What Is An IP Address Used For?

Whether you’re using a camera, computer, or tablet, every device that’s connected to a network requires a distinct identifier to make sure other devices can reach it. This identifier is what you call an Internet Protocol (IP) address. If you’re dealing with computers for quite some time from now, you’ll more likely be exposed to different IP addresses that are composed of numerical sequences.

If you want to have a better understanding of these figures, read this article to learn more about what an IP address is and what it’s used for.

IP Address Defined

In the field of IP networking, an IP address is a unique identifying number for every device that uses the internet. Short for Internet Protocol (IP) address, it’s written as blocks of numerical sequences that are separated by periods. If you have this identifier, your device can communicate with other devices through the use of an IP-based network such as the internet.

It’s important to note that IP addresses are considered sensitive pieces of information as they identify the location of your networked devices. If you don’t want hackers to track your location and steal delicate personal records, hiding your IP can be the best way to go.

Parts Of An IP Address

In order to better understand how an IP address works for a device, it’s essential to become familiar with its two separate roles as enumerated below:

  • Host ID – It’s the part of the IP address that the network ID doesn’t take up. Instead, the host ID is used to identify a particular device on that network. For example, in the IP address 192.168.1.34, 34 is the host ID.
  • Network ID – It’s the part of the IP address that’s used to determine the network on which the device can be found. In a typical IP address like 192.168.1.34, the network ID are the figures starting from the left or 192.168.1.

Several Types Of IP Addresses

In the world of technology, you may need to know that there are different types of ID addresses. However, even if they’re composed of numbers, not all addresses have the same usage and purpose. To dive a little deeper into what are the types of IP addresses, take a look at these:

  • Public IP Address – These figures serve as the primary address that your home network utilizes to connect with the rest of the devices across the globe. It gives every device a way to communicate with your internet service provider so you can do things like access websites and reach out with other computers and servers worldwide.
  • Private IP Address – It’s used on the inside of your network by devices like wireless printers, desktops, tablets, and Wi-Fi cameras. Compared to a public IP address, this identifier allows your device to connect with your router and other devices. Your router can also set your private IP address automatically or have it manually set up by yourself.

Ways In Which An IP Address Is Used

Whether you like it or not, you’ll always have an IP address working for you so long as you use networked devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and computers. With all the information about it out there, it’s helpful to know what’s an IP address used for:

1. It serves as a protocol – Doing something on the internet means your device’s networking software should follow a list of standards and protocols when connecting to the internet and exchanging information back and forth. An IP address is one of the networking protocols your computer uses. Its responsibility is to address, deliver, and route your requests online. However, despite its functions, always make sure to keep all your data safe and secure.

2. You get connections – To get some online information, your device is connected to the internet. When you browse anything online, your request for information will be delivered to the proper destination and, as a result, the responses you want will be sent to you. In such a case, an IP address proves to be useful. First, you have to connect to a network that’s linked to the internet itself. Then, the network will grant you internet access. In this case, the network you may be referring to is your home’s internet service provider or a wireless network in a public place. When you send data on the internet, your device will utilize DNS servers to rely on a hostname in finding its IP address. Without an identifier, your device will not have any clue about what it’s looking for.

Conclusion

When it comes to networking activities, finding out your unique IP address is significant. Even if this identifier isn’t usually a problem for most users, it’s still crucial to know what it is since you get everything online. So, if you’re looking to be more tech-savvy these days, find time to read this article to obtain more information about what an IP address is used for.

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