It can be confusing when setting up your home network or making changes on your devices and not knowing what an IP address is.
An IP address is a unique identifier for every device connected to the internet. It’s like your home address, but for your computer or phone instead of your house. You can use it to find out where someone lives if they have their location services turned on. And sometimes, you might need to enter one into a website so that you can access it.
A valid IPv4 address must have four numbers separated by periods (e.g., 192.168.1). Each number must be between 0 and 255 inclusive (i.e., 192 = 192, 168 = 168). The numbers may represent a network ID or host ID depending on whether the network or host uses classful addressing or classless addressing, respectively.
When used as part of a host identifier within a more extensive system such as an Internet Protocol Version 4 subnet mask, which specifies which parts of the overall IPv4 address identify the network and which parts identify hosts on that network, each decimal value from 0 through 255 is understood by convention as representing 256 possible values divided into eight groups of 32 bits.
The first part of an IP address tells us which network or class the device belongs to, and the second part gives us information about where the device is located. For example, if we see an IP address starting with 192, we know that this device is on a local area network (LAN) with other devices using addresses starting with 192.
Most likely, computers in a single office building or school campus have such IP addresses. If we see 10, then this means it’s either on another LAN somewhere else or perhaps even remotely accessing something from across town or around the world via VPN.
You can use an IP address to access websites and other online services from any device connected to the Internet. If you want to set up your website, you need one too.
Read more about Internet Protocols and Voice Over IP to know how things work.