IP Address Examples: The 3 Identifiers You Need to Know

By Tibor Moes / Updated: June 2023

IP Address Examples: The 3 Identifiers You Need to Know

IP Address Examples

Just like your home has a unique address that lets the postal worker deliver your mail right to your doorstep, your computer or smartphone has an IP address that allows the Internet to deliver information right to your screen. Imagine a world without addresses – chaos, right? That’s why IP addresses are so crucial in the world of digital communication.


An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique numerical label assigned to each device participating in a computer network. It serves two main functions: identifying the host or network interface, and providing the location of the host in the network.

Example 1: ARPANET (1983). ARPANET, the precursor to the internet, adopted the modern IP address system on January 1, 1983. This switchover marked the start of the Internet as we know it, with IP addresses allowing computers to talk to each other in a completely new way.

Example 2: IPv6 Launch (2012). On June 6, 2012, the Internet Society coordinated a world-wide IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) launch. This updated IP addressing scheme was introduced due to the rapid growth of the internet and exhaustion of IPv4 addresses, offering a seemingly infinite number of unique addresses, about 340 undecillion!

Example 3: IoT Devices (Up to 2021). The expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in recent years (up to 2021) has showcased the vital role of IP addresses. From smart fridges to fitness trackers, each IoT device needs an IP address to connect and communicate on the internet, highlighting the essential nature of these digital identifiers in our modern world.

Don’t become a victim of cybercrime. Protect your devices with the best antivirus software and your privacy with the best VPN service.

IP Address Examples In-Depth

The ARPANET Switch (1983)

Think back to the year 1983. While the pop culture landscape was being filled with the sights and sounds of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, a quiet revolution was taking place behind the scenes in the realm of digital technology.

Picture the scene like this: There’s a city, the first of its kind, a digital city called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). It was the precursor to today’s internet. Yet, the addresses in this city were less like the organized ones you see on your street and more like a hodgepodge of door numbers thrown together in no particular order.

You see, in the early days of ARPANET, they used a system called NCP (Network Control Protocol) for communication. But there was a problem. The NCP was like an old map that didn’t have the details needed for the rapidly growing city. It was difficult to navigate and couldn’t support the increasingly complex digital interactions.

So, a new system was proposed – an Internet Protocol (IP). This would be a new kind of address, a unique number that could identify every computer (then, referred to as hosts) on the network, a bit like giving each house in the city a clear, easy-to-find address. But implementing it meant switching every host on the network over to this new system – a mammoth task!

January 1, 1983, now known as ‘Flag Day,’ marked this monumental shift. It was the day that the switch to the new IP address system was made. It was a bit like changing every address in the city overnight. Just like the urban planners carefully renumbering each house, the architects of the internet meticulously assigned these new IP addresses.

This shift laid the groundwork for the internet as we know it today. The introduction of the IP address enabled ARPANET to grow, and eventually evolve into the current internet. The use of IP addresses made the network more orderly, and it suddenly became much easier for data to find its way to the correct device.

In essence, the birth of the modern IP address was a pivotal moment, the backbone that allowed the internet to expand and become a tool for global communication. So the next time you log onto your computer or browse on your smartphone, remember that you have the forward-thinking minds behind the 1983 ARPANET switch to thank for the smooth digital experience we often take for granted today.

The Launch of IPv6 (2012)

Let’s jump forward in time to the year 2012. As the world tuned into the London Olympics and the catchy rhythm of “Gangnam Style” took over the airwaves, a major shift was unfolding in the digital realm that promised to redefine the way we connect on the Internet.

Imagine the Internet as a bustling city that had grown exponentially since its inception in 1983. The addresses of the digital houses – the IP addresses – were formulated based on a system called IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4). The system had a finite set of addresses, much like a city has a limited number of unique house numbers. But with the digital city expanding rapidly, we were running out of room. The IPv4 system could provide around 4.3 billion unique addresses – a number that seemed huge in the early days of the Internet, but was now on the verge of exhaustion.

The solution? The architects of the Internet presented a blueprint for a new digital city with virtually unlimited addresses, courtesy of the newly proposed IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6). This upgrade was like introducing a whole new postcode system with enough unique codes for every grain of sand on Earth – and then some!

The official launch of IPv6 took place on June 6, 2012, an event coordinated by the Internet Society that marked a significant step in the evolution of the Internet. This new system could provide approximately 340 undecillion (that’s 340 followed by 36 zeros) unique IP addresses. This essentially means that IPv6 can assign a unique address to every atom on the surface of more than 100 Earth-sized planets – that’s how vast it is!

The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 was like the city undergoing a significant expansion, creating new streets, new buildings, and new houses, each with its own unique address. It allowed the Internet to continue its massive growth, paving the way for new technologies, services, and connected devices.

The introduction of IPv6 proved to be a game-changer in the digital world. It allowed us to keep up with the increasing demand for Internet connectivity, ensuring a smooth online experience for everyone. So, next time you’re streaming your favorite show or video chatting with a friend halfway across the globe, remember that you’re part of this vast digital city, living at your unique IPv6 address.

IoT Devices (Up to 2021)

For our next leap in time, let’s land in the bustling digital era of the 21st century, where not only computers and smartphones, but everyday objects from fridges to fitness trackers, are all part of our vast internet city.

As the 2010s rolled around, technology started to truly inhabit our everyday lives, morphing ordinary objects into smart, internet-connected devices. This wave of innovation was part of what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). From doorbells that send notifications to your phone, to watches tracking your heartbeat, these IoT devices have come to redefine our relationship with technology.

But how do these devices communicate over the internet? Well, you guessed it – they each have their unique IP addresses. It’s like each device, no matter how small, gets its own mailbox in our vast digital city. They receive and send information, just like we receive and send letters (or more likely, online messages) in our daily lives.

Up until 2021, we’ve seen an explosive growth in the number of IoT devices. By the end of that year, it was estimated that there were over 35 billion IoT devices worldwide. That’s more than four devices for every person on Earth!

Each one of these devices, from the thermostat in your living room to the smartwatch on your wrist, is assigned a unique IP address that allows it to connect and interact with the internet. These addresses are the devices’ identification and location in the network. When your fitness tracker records your morning run, for example, it uses its IP address to send this data to your smartphone or computer, just like posting a letter in the mailbox.

The proliferation of IoT devices has truly underscored the crucial role of IP addresses. With each new device that becomes part of our digital ecosystem, a new IP address is required, underscoring the importance of the vast address space provided by IPv6.

So, the next time your smart fridge adds milk to your online shopping list, take a moment to appreciate the intricate web of IP addresses that makes such marvels of modern living possible. This system, which originated from the ARPANET switch of 1983 and was massively expanded with the launch of IPv6 in 2012, now underpins the vast, constantly expanding universe of connected devices that we call the Internet of Things.


In the digital world that we inhabit today, the humble IP address works tirelessly behind the scenes, guiding our emails, social media updates, online searches, and streaming content to their correct destinations. From the revolutionary shift in ARPANET in 1983, through the transformative launch of IPv6 in 2012, to the rise of IoT devices up until 2021, the journey of the IP address has mirrored the extraordinary growth of the internet.

These unique identifiers, assigned to each device connected to the network, are the unsung heroes of our digital age. Without them, the internet, as we know it, would simply cease to exist. So, the next time you connect to the internet, take a moment to appreciate the IP address – the vital cog in the vast, ever-expanding digital machine.

How to stay safe online:

  • Practice Strong Password Hygiene: Use a unique and complex password for each account. A password manager can help generate and store them. In addition, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever available.
  • Invest in Your Safety: Buying the best antivirus for Windows 11 is key for your online security. A high-quality antivirus like Norton, McAfee, or Bitdefender will safeguard your PC from various online threats, including malware, ransomware, and spyware.
  • Be Wary of Phishing Attempts: Be cautious when receiving suspicious communications that ask for personal information. Legitimate businesses will never ask for sensitive details via email or text. Before clicking on any links, ensure the sender's authenticity.
  • Stay Informed. We cover a wide range of cybersecurity topics on our blog. And there are several credible sources offering threat reports and recommendations, such as NIST, CISA, FBI, ENISA, Symantec, Verizon, Cisco, Crowdstrike, and many more.

Happy surfing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

What is an IP address and why is it important?

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique numerical label given to every device connected to a computer network. It’s crucial for two main reasons: identification and location. The IP address identifies a device (like your computer, tablet, or smartphone) and provides its location on the network, allowing data packets to be sent and received correctly.

What is the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?

IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) and IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) are both protocols for assigning IP addresses. IPv4, introduced during the early days of the internet, provides approximately 4.3 billion unique addresses. However, the rapid growth of the internet led to a shortage of these addresses. Enter IPv6. Introduced in 2012, IPv6 has a much larger address space (about 340 undecillion unique addresses), accommodating the ongoing growth of the internet.

How do IP addresses work in IoT (Internet of Things) devices?

Each IoT device – be it a smart fridge, fitness tracker, or a connected light bulb – needs a unique IP address to communicate over the internet. The IP address identifies the device and provides its location in the network. When an IoT device collects data (like recording your heart rate or noting that you’re out of milk), it uses its IP address to send this information where it needs to go, like your smartphone or an online shopping list.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

Security Software

Best Antivirus for Windows 11
Best Antivirus for Mac
Best Antivirus for Android
Best Antivirus for iOS
Best VPN for Windows 11

Cyber Technology Articles

Active Directory (AD)
Android Examples
Android Types
Authentication Types
Biometrics Types
Bot Types
Cache Types
CAPTCHA Examples
Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing Examples
Cloud Computing Types
Compliance Examples
Computer Cookies
Confidentiality Examples
CPU Examples
CPU Types
Cryptocurrency Examples
Cryptocurrency Types
Dark Web
Data Breach
Data Broker
Data Center
Data Center Types
Data Integrity
Data Mining
Data Mining Examples
Data Mining Types
Dedicated Server
Digital Certificate
Digital Footprint
Digital Footprint Examples
Digital Rights Management (DRM)
Digital Signature
Digital Signature Examples
Digital Signature Types
Endpoint Devices
Ethical Hacking
Ethical Hacking Types
Facial Recognition
Fastest Web Browser
General Data Protection Regulation
GPU Examples
GPU Types
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Storage
Hardware Examples
Hardware Types
Hashing Examples
Hashing Types
HDMI Types
Hosting Types
Incognito Mode
Information Assurance
Internet Cookies
Internet Etiquette
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) Examples
Internet of Things (IoT) Types
iOS Examples
iOS Types
IP Address
IP Address Examples
IP Address Types
LAN Types
Linux Examples
Linux Types
Local Area Network (LAN)
Local Area Network (LAN) Examples
Machine Learning
Machine Learning Examples
Machine Learnings Types
MacOS Examples
MacOS Types
Modem Types
Netiquette Examples
Network Topology
Network Topology Examples
Network Topology Types
Operating System
Operating System Examples
Operating System Types
Password Types
Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
Personal Identifiable Info Examples
Port Forwarding
Private Browsing Mode
Proxy Server
Proxy Server Examples
QR Code Examples
QR Code Types
Quantum Computing
Quick Response (QR) Code
RAM Examples
RAM Types
Random Access Memory (RAM)
Router Examples
Router Types
SD Wan
Server Examples
Server Types
Shareware Examples
Shodan Search Engine
Software Examples
Software Types
Solid State Drive (SSD) Storage
Static vs Dynamic IP Address
Tor Browser
URL Examples
URL Types
USB Types
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Web Browser
Web Browser Examples
Web Browser Types
Web Scraping
Website Examples
Website Types
WEP vs WPA vs WPA2
What Can Someone Do with Your IP
Wi-Fi Types
Windows Examples
Windows Types