If you’ve ever heard or read the term “IP Address” and felt a little confused, don’t worry, it’s very simple! An IP address (short for internet protocol address) is a specific number assigned to your computer which identifies it from every other computer on the internet. Think of your IP address as being a bit like your computer’s version of a passport number or a license plate.
Everything that is connected to the internet has an IP address, from your computer to your phone and these days even your gaming consoles. The IP address is used by your computer both as identification and so that other computers can find it if necessary. If you’ve ever heard of the police arresting a cybercriminal, there is a good chance they were identified and found through their IP address.
Your IP address is assigned to you by your internet service provider (ie: the company you pay for internet access) since they are the ones who are allowing you to access the internet. Although IPs used to be fixed in the days before the World Wide Web, your IP address now may be reassigned easily by your service provider, or even by turning your modem off and on.