What is an IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)?

An IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. It serves as a fundamental identifier in data networks, allowing devices to locate and communicate with each other over the internet or within a local network. IP addresses are composed of a series of numbers separated by periods (e.g., and can be either IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) or IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) format, with IPv6 addresses being longer and designed to accommodate the growing number of connected devices.

IP addresses play a crucial role in routing data packets between devices on the internet. When you enter a web address into your web browser, a Domain Name System (DNS) server translates that domain name into an IP address, allowing your computer to locate the web server where the website is hosted. Additionally, within a local network, IP addresses are used to identify individual devices such as computers, smartphones, and printers, enabling data transmission and device interaction. IP addresses are a fundamental building block of the internet and are essential for the seamless exchange of information across the global network.

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