An IP address is a specific address that identifies a device on a local network or the internet. The Internet Protocol (IP) policies regulate the delivery format of information to local networks or the internet.
The IP address enables the internet to differentiate between websites, computers, and routers and therefore is crucial to how the internet works.
How Does an IP Address Work?
An IP address comprises a string of four numbers divided by periods, for instance, 188.8.131.52. Since each number in the group can range from 0 to 255, the full address range is 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255.
No matter their location, all devices use the same language to exchange information and communicate with each other. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA – an ICANN subdivision) automatically generates and allocates IP addresses; hence they are not random. ICANN is a non-profit organization that helps maintain internet security and allows all to use it.
When anyone registers an internet domain name via a DN registrar, the latter plays ICANN a small fee to do so.
3 Types of IP Addresses
There are various IP address categories within which are different types. These are:
- Consumer IP addresses
- Private IP addresses
- Public IP addresses (Dynamic IP addresses and Static IP addresses).
In addition, there are also two types of web IP addresses – shared and dedicated.
IP Address Security
Hackers use several methods to obtain IP addresses, primarily online stalking and social engineering. Therefore, using a proxy server or VPN is advised to hide your IP address and protect your private information and online identity.