What is my IP address?
IP addresses direct streams of data in the right direction
Every device with access to the Internet owns an IP address. It ensures that data is sent to the right recipient. Without you noticing, your IP address is used when you open a webpage and when you send emails. Your IP address is always assigned by your Internet provider. Usually it consists of dynamically generated combinations of numbers and letters. Each new dial-up of the router leads to a new IP address.
How IP addresses are constructed
Two types of IP addresses are distributed for surfing the Internet: IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, IPv4 being the old standard. IPv4 addresses consist of four blocks of numbers between 0 and 225 divided by full stops. The fast growth of the Internet necessitated a new standard to ensure that more and more IP addresses could be generated. For this reason, the IPv6 method was introduced, although it is still a relatively uncommon practice. While IPv4 addresses consist only of numbers and full stops, IPv6 also uses letters in combination with colons and numbers.
Set up your own small server with your IP address
What is my IP address and how can I find out? Most Internet users never have to consider these kinds of questions, as IP addresses are exchanged completely automatically in the background, without the user having to take notice. However, if you want to externally access a network or a router, or allow third party access, you usually need to know the IP address. Installing an FTP server or joining the server of a game like Minecraft requires entering the IP address.
Safe assignment and data protection
To the average Internet user an IP address will appear as no more than a random sequence of numbers, but in fact the numbers are assigned according to exact rules. They contain information about the respective internet provider for example, or convey the location of the dial-up node. The laws on saving information, like the history, vary from country to country.