What Does IP Stand For?
IP stands for Internet Protocol — a set of standardised rules with which computers are able to send and receive messages or data to each other across networks. Essentially, it is the principle that governs and facilitates how data is transmitted on the World Wide Web.
Computers, however, need to have something to help them pinpoint the source and destination of the data or messages in order to efficiently transmit them. This is where the IP Address comes in.
An Internet Protocol Address (IP address) is a unique identifying numeric address that is assigned to every device to communicate with other devices over an IP-based network like the internet. Moreover, an IP Address is the core component of any network; which means that none of these networks would exist without it.
Additionally, an IP Address provides an identity and the ability to be located to a networked device. For example, the IP Address of your home computer could be 173.26.267.0 while your mobile phone’s is 188.8.131.52. If your printer and television are also connected to the internet, then they will have their own IP Addresses as well. So essentially, both the source and destination devices of transmitted data, within a network, each has its own IP Address.
IP Address vs. Domain Name
Both the IP Address and the Domain Name help us find specific locations in the World Wide Web. However, these two are not exactly the same.
An IP Address is a string of numbers designed to be read by computers that points to a location of a device connected to the internet.
A Domain Name, on the other hand, is a readable and recognisable, alphanumeric version of the IP Address designed to be easily comprehended by humans.
In short, while computers require IP Addresses to locate one another, we humans use Domain Names.
Note: Another difference between the two is that there are IP Addresses that can change at any time while Domain Names don’t. Once you register a Domain Name, you can’t change it anymore.
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