Tech Term: IP Address

Tech Term: IP Address

Happy Tuesday! (We skipped Monday this week, so it’s already fantastic!) Our Tech Term this week is: “IP Address.”

It’s one of those terms that everyone uses, but don’t necessarily know what it means. Go ahead–think about what it means. Do you know? Or is it one of those that you throw around, with a vague knowledge of what it is? (If it is, don’t worry. Almost everyone in tech does this about something.)

IP Address stands for “Internet Protocol Address.” It is a unique code that identifies each device participating in a network. Or as Julie Taylor, our chapter leader and Web Concepts teacher, makes the metaphor of the IP address being the phone number of your device on the web.

Think about it this way–once you login to WiFi, your computer is hooked up to a bigger network. Each click you make sends a request for information over the world wide web, and the information needs to know where to go. So, it sends it to your unique device by your IP address. So it’s like sending a text from your phone, and receiving the reply you want back on your same phone.

What is great about IP Addresses is that you can backtrack them. For example, you can figure out your IP address by simply typing “What’s my IP?” into Google.com and it’s the first thing to pop up.

You can also look up others IP addresses. For example, if you send out a Google Form for club members or family to fill out their favorite T-shirt design anonymously, you can make sure no one voted more than once by simply asking Google to show you the IP addresses of the forms submitted. (I did this once. Someone voted 6 times and still won’t own up.)

It’s a little scary, knowing that your computer and all its data has a concrete address. But that’s the beauty of the internet, my friends.

If you want to learn more and jump into tech in a comfortable, affordable beginner’s class, make sure to sign up for our Intro to HTML and CSS class starting June 7th! You’ll be a code wiz in no time.

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