Your IP address is a unique Internet Protocol address associated with your Internet connection.
This code is assigned to your device to identify your device. This code identifies your network, laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. An IP address is used to find out which two addresses should communicate between. For convenience, you can keep it at a mailing address or phone number, but it applies to computers.
In most cases, your IP address is assigned to your Internet modem by your ISP, and everyone who uses the same Internet network: family, roommates, or colleagues at the same time uses the same IP address when you’re at work. Therefore, this IP address is sufficient to pinpoint your exact location.
How is IPv4 different from IPv6?
IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are often distinguished. Typically, when we talk about IP addresses, we are talking about IPv4 addresses. IPv6 addresses were created because IPv4 addresses have expired. The IPv4 address consists of 32 bits, allowing approximately 4.3 billion. combinations. The IPv6 address, meanwhile, is 128-bit, allowing for 4.3 to 38 possible combinations – which is a lot.
Thus, there are many more combinations of IPv6 addresses than IPv4 addresses. The growing number of Internet connections that require a unique IP address has forced the introduction of IPv6. As a regular Internet user, you will not notice the difference between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
What is an IP address used for?
IP addresses are used to determine which two servers or devices exchange information with each other. It actually works the same way as ordering something from an online store. If you want to order something from the online store, you need to provide your address so that the order can be shipped there.
When you browse the Internet, it works the same way: when you visit a website, you request an information packet (website content) from your Internet IP address. This requested information is provided to your address (your device’s IP address).
Your IP address will change as soon as you connect to another Internet modem. So, you have a different IP address at home than at work. This way, sites and devices know which address to communicate with in order for packets to reach the correct device. This is why your IP address is provided when you visit a website or download something. It is essential for online communication, although it also affects your privacy.
In addition, IP addresses are used to determine your location. IP addresses are associated with an ISP, and therefore with a specific country. An ISP can see who owns a particular IP address in their customer base. This information can be used, for example, in court cases.
However, it is not always possible to associate an IP address directly with a specific user. The IP address really only showed that one or another piece of information was sent or downloaded from that Internet connection. In the case of a shared computer or Wi-Fi network used by, for example, neighbors, it cannot be said on the basis of an IP address alone that a particular person, X, has done something.
Whether or not you are actually responsible for everything downloaded to your IP address, you can read our download page.