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IP (Internet Protocol) address

This month our geektalk term is: IP address. An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique identifier for a computer, or another device like a printer, that is in a network. This address is represented by 4 sets of numbers, each between 0 and 255, separated by dots. For example, 1.160.10.240 could be an IP address.

An IP address allows devices in a network to find the device they are looking for and to know where it is located. Each IP address consists of two parts: one to identify the network the device is in, and one to identify the actual device. So all devices in a given network share the network identifier but must have a unique personal identifier.

You can compare that to your “real life” address: all the people on your street share the state, city, zip code and street parts of the address. If you live in an apartment building, your neighbors often even share the street number. But your name and apartment number identify only you.

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