Demystifying Technology without Jargon

  1. API
  2. Binary Code
  3. Cache
  4. Compiling
  5. Cookie
  6. Database
  7. Defragmenting
  8. Exploit
  9. IP Address
  10. Open Source
  11. Phishing
  12. Router
  13. Server
  14. VPN
  15. Web Browser

IP Address

An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.


An IP Address is a Mailing Address.

Like a mailman delivering mail, an IP Address is how the Internet network knows how to deliver responses from web servers and other devices directly to you.


An IP Address is a Telephone Number

While it looks complicated, an IP Address is nothing more than a unique number to identify you on the Internet. These numbers are assigned by your ISP, or, if you have one, your router.

When you request a page from a web server, your request is marked as coming from a specific address. When the response is ready, the web server sends it to your specific number, much like you talking to someone over the phone.


Hear a term that you wish had a metaphor? Tweet us, post it to Facebook, or, if you're feeling geeky, open a new task on Github!

Created by Clint Andrew Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.