A numeric value that uniquely identifies a device attached to the Internet. The Internet Protocol (IP) uses IP addresses to route message packets to their intended destinations.
The Internet Protocol has two addressing schemes.
- Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses have a length of 32 bits, which allows for just over four billion unique identifiers. IPv4 addresses are written as a sequence of four decimal values ranging from 0 through 255, separated by dots. A typical IPv4 address looks like this: 188.8.131.52.
- Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) addresses have a length of 128 bits, which allows for 340 undecillion unique identifiers. IPv6 addresses are written using sequences of hexadecimal values, separated by colons. A typical IPv6 address looks like this: 2620:0:2d0:200::7.
An Internet device can have both types of addresses simultaneously. Having both address types enables the device to send and receive messages using IPv4 or IPv6.