What is my IP address?



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Your IP address is something you probably rarely think about, but it's vitally important to your online lifestyle. Without an IP address, you wouldn't be able to get today's weather, check the latest news or look at videos online. Why? Because without your IP address, websites like ip.zemra.org, CNN or ESPN wouldn't know where to send the information you asked for. They wouldn't be able to get it to YOUR computer.

The "IP" part of IP address stands for "Internet Protocol." The "address" part refers to a unique number that gets linked to all online activity you do...somewhat like a return address on a letter you'd send out. (All this happens in milliseconds.) That's the end of today's lesson. At least it should be.

Because from this point on, it gets complicated fast. And confusing. Information technology (IT) is crazy stuff and it's best left to those who have to deal with computers and networks. Still, we're all on the Internet these days, and it seems we're always connected through our personal computers, laptops or mobile devices. And every time you go on the Internet, an IP address is right there, working for you. And with so much obscure information (and misinformation) out there about the IP address, it's helpful to know the basics.