We can’t just hand mail off to our postal carrier without a physical address for the system to work; of course for them it’s a letter or package but in our internet world it’s all kinds of electronic data (i.e. emails, files, pictures, etc.). An IP Address is an electronic mailbox number our cellphones, computers, electronic readers, video cams, etc., are given when they’re manufactured. The moment we log on to the internet with
our new device the world of electronic post offices knows we’re now part of the
world wide delivery system. Unfortunately millions of companies know you’ve
arrived as well so the advertising pop-ups begin.
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this but not only does the web know where to send the information based on your electronic address but it also knows what route it had to take to get there. In other words you can be in Charlotte getting pop-ups for a restaurant there and then travel to Orlando and get pop-ups for Disney tickets.
The way it tracks is helpful to law enforcement. Let’s say you got a threatening email from someone and you don’t know who it is. You don’t notice it but when the message comes in your computer knows what IP Address the message is coming from. To us its names of people in our contacts but to the computer it knows everyone by their IP Address. By the way my Address is: 22.214.171.124 so you know what they look like. So law enforcement checks out the computer to see what address the threatening email
came from. Then they go to one of their computer systems and type in the IP
Address and a location shows up like an Internet Café in Springfield or an apartment in Charleston. It’s just like how these pop-ups find us.
Tracking locations isn’t always easy as the police can end up finding out an email was sent from Russia with little else to go on. I can’t say that I’m right but it seems like it’s harder to track down IP Addresses in countries where there’s a lot of internet fraud. Before I forget, servers also have their own IP Addresses so there can be an internet porn site taking money from clients, fraudulently or not, and if it’s in a country like Russia there’s no way to stop it. Coincidentally, it’s these types of websites that a lot of
computers get hit with viruses . It’s not their intent to shut the client’s computer down because they want to keep the money flowing in but the viruses instead try to get personal information to use or sell. I hate to say it but if you’re in to sites like these you’re better off buying a Playboy magazine from a convenience store.
Sometimes satellites are used to move our data around especially if we’re sending information overseas. There’s also massive cabling running at the bottom of the ocean where our data travels back and forth as well. Think about how fast this all happens…you go on Skype and say something and the audio and video is instantaneously received over 5,000 miles away…I find this amazing, humbling, and scary.
In wrapping up, an IP Address is just like the physical addresses for our homes but these addresses are assigned to various electronic devices that are constantly on the move. These addresses aren’t anything that we deal with it is assigned by the manufacturer; just like you didn’t decide what your street address would be. Well maybe you did but I don’t have that kind of clout. Creating this protocol had to be done or we wouldn’t be able to communicate around the world. As a matter of fact I think this is the only thing all countries have ever agreed to.