Like the street address for your home, an IP address identifies networked computers, and computers on the internet. It helps traffic flow between computers because each one has its own IP address.

An IP address is formatted as a series of four values separated by periods. Each value ranges from 0 through 255.

For your home or office network, the IP address is most likely assigned by the router, using something called DHCP. The router keeps track of every computer’s NIC and maps an IP address to the NIC every time the computer joins the network.

Your IP address: