What is an IP address?

Every computer connected to the internet has a unique public address known as an IP address. The current IP address space (IPv4) consists of 4,294,967,298 addresses. Some of these addresses are reserved for private networks (about 18 million) and others for multicast (about 270 million), so in theory there can never be more than 4 billion computers and servers connected to the internet at any given moment. This is a limiting factor since there are about 7 billion people on earth. There is a new addressing schema being implemented (IPv6) that has 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 possible addresses.

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