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. Of these addresses some 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..
This number is an exclusive number all information technology devices (printers, routers, modems, et al) use which identifies and allows them the ability to communicate with each other on a computer network. An IP address comes in a standard format of four sets of numbers, each of which ranges from 0 to 255. Each number is then separated by a decimal point. The currently used IP addresses (IPv4) look like four blocks of digits ranging from 0 to 255 separated by a period like "188.8.131.52".
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