Your internet service provider assigns a numeric label, called the Internet Protocol (IP) address, to identify your device among billions of others. In a way, an IP address functions as an online home address because devices use IPs to find and communicate with each other.
Here’s how an IP address directs data to its destination. First, you type in a website name (example.com) into the browser. However, your computer does not understand words — only numbers. So it first finds out the IP address of that website (example.com = 126.96.36.199.), finds it on the web, and finally loads it on your screen.