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The Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique string of numbers separated by periods that is assigned to every device connected to the Internet (e.g., server, computer, modem, router, tablet). These addresses allow the Internet to identify and locate each computer and for devices to use the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to communicate with one another by sending data packets.

IP addresses are a core component of network architecture. No network could exist without them. For example, each time an Internet user sends an email message or opens a webpage, the IP part of TCP/IP includes the user’s IP address in the message (or more likely, in each of the packets if more than one is required) and sends it to the IP address that ...

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