What is an IP Address?
Whenever you check your emails, there is information within the header or footer of the email form regarding an IP address. Depending on your email provider, the message usually will read something like: ‘This email has been sent from the following IP address’. The message is then followed by a stream of numbers (e.g. 188.8.131.52).
These numbers are referred to as the IP address. Though most web users aren’t aware of what these numbers actually stand for, the IP address is considered to be very important information.
What does IP address mean?
The term "IP address" simply means Internet Protocol Address. This is a unique identification that is given to computers on a network to assist in identification with other computers on the network. The purpose is to make sure the information being sent or received by the computer is not misdirected to another computer.
It acts as a compass direction for whatever information is being shared by you and your network users, so that the information is directed to and from the right computer. There are several uses that the IP addresses serve. Many internet users who log onto their computers and mobile devices might not be aware of them.
The most basic use of an IP address is to make sure that your computer is well addressed with the rest if the computers on the network. As a matter of fact, it is not only the computers that have IP addresses, but today, technology has advanced so much that even Smartphones, iPhones, iPads and other tablets all have IP addresses.
If you’re still wondering what is an IP address, it is basically any device that can connect to the Internet. It also includes any device that connects to a network that is shared with other devices. The following are a few common uses of an IP address:
The rapid growth of the Internet is having a great impact on security and protocol. There are many web users that have used the Internet for their own selfish gains. Many criminals have tried to use the Internet as a tool to extort from other users. Through IP addresses, their computers can be traced by the authorities to their physical location.
Most devices that we use these days come with GPS devices pre installed. A good example of this would be in vehicles, mobile phones and even motor boats. In the event you go boating or you take a drive around an unfamiliar area and you get lost, your IP address can be traced from the last point of activity, and you can be easily found and rescued.
Personal Internet Safety
If you ever receive threatening or harassing emails from other users, you can actually report them to the authorities by using their IP address. Also, if your computer is ever lost or stolen, it can be tracked down with the IP address if anyone else attempts to log onto the Internet with your computer or mobile device.
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