What Is My IP Address?

Instantly Find Out Your public IP Address, and Other Useful Info

What Is an "IP Address"?


Let’s break down that phrase. The “IP” in “IP Address” is short for “Internet Protocol.” So the whole phrase broken down is “Internet Protocol Address.” You probably know what each of these words means (and can even confidently use them in a sentence), but put them together and maybe you’re not so sure. So let’s break it down:

You probably already have an idea of what the internet is. For most people, the internet is what can be browsed and viewed via a web browser. This understanding is good enough for an introductory explanation.

In the IT world, a protocol is a commonly understood method for digital communication. A protocol must abide by a set of rules or formatting that is understood by both the sender and receiver of digital data. For the purpose of the average web surfer, suffice it to say that the machine/computer/server sending your desired website information is using a protocol that your web browser understands. This is how you are able to view a coherent webpage complete with text, pictures and even video feeds.

As you might imagine, an address defines where something is.

So put all these words together, and you can at least have an idea of what an IP Address is: It’s a way for your browser to effectively find the website you are looking for.

Using IP addresses, online services, such as website hosting companies, can identify themselves and ultimately be found by whoever is looking for a specific website, or general computer location. Most of the times, when your visit a website, your request for that website’s content will bounce over a dozen or more different locations, which are at some level defined by an IP address.


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