An IP Address, which stands for Internet Protocol Address, is a unique
identifying number assigned to every single machine that uses the Internet.
Computers, printers, and other devices that contain a network adapter have IP
Addresses. It is expressed in dotted decimal number format to make it easier for
human beings to take note and remember.
A typical IP Address looks like this: 220.127.116.11
An IP Address is classified as an address primarily because it serves the same purpose as a home address or an office address- it allows each machine present on the Internet to be located. Websites are able to track visitors' locations and determine the pages that they are interested in through their IP Address. It can also be used to identify a specific user if there is a request for log records through the user's Internet Service Provider or ISP. Unlawful behavior on the Internet can call for investigation, and law enforcement has the discretion to subpoena the ISP so that the name and contact details of the owner of a certain IP Address can be obtained.
There are 5 classes of IP Address, excluding special addresses. These are:
Special classes include Broadcast, Default, and Loopback IP Addresses.
There are many online users who have opted to hide their IP Address for security reasons. Hackers and websites often use IP Addresses to monitor a user and the user's location. What a lot of people do not know is that if an IP Address is exposed, it could allow for just about anyone to track any user directly to their home. This can be risky to say the least especially when hackers and fraudulent users are able to access such information.
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