What Do the Numbers in an IP Address Mean?


IP (Internet protocol) addresses are actual addresses for each type of technological device that is being used to connect to the Internet.


  • IP addresses originated with the advent of networks and expanded with the introduction of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s. In 1995, with the growth in the Internet, IP addresses were redefined to include larger bit numbers. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, or IANA, globally designates and manages IP addresses.


  • The two main identifying pieces of data in any IP address are the type of machine being used and the location of the machine on a particular network.


  • There are three categories of IP addresses: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A IP licenses are reserved for multinational corporations, government agencies and universities. Class B IP licenses are designed for medium-sized companies. Class C IP licenses are for smaller local area networks (LANs).



  • Some IP addresses may not be changeable if they are static IPs. Otherwise, depending on the network, an individual may be assigned a dynamic, new IP address each time he logs on to the network.

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