IP Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Do you know what the acronym IP stands for? Not to worry — we’ll tell you. Read on to discover the meaning of IP and how to use it.

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Whether you use the Internet to stream, game, browse, or shop, you need to connect to a unique identifying number with which to communicate — aka, an “IP address.” That said, what does the acronym IP stand for, and what does it mean?

You have questions, and we have answers. Read on to get the low down on the word IP.  

What Is the Definition of IP?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the abbreviation IP stands for internet protocol and refers to the technical rules that control communication on the web. It allows devices running on various platforms to communicate with each other as long as they are connected to the Internet. 

To be recognized by other devices, an Internet-connected host must have an IPv4 or IPv6 address

  • IPv4 — or IP version 4 — is the most common type of IP address and consists of four numbers, each of which contains up to three digits with a single dot (.) separating each number. This 32-bit number is used by billions of people worldwide.
  • IPv6 — or IP version 6 — is the newest generation of IPs. Writing in a 128-bit hexadecimal format with a range of letters and numbers that are celebrated by colons, this type of IP address is thought to be limitless. 

What Are the Different Types of IP Addresses?

Whether it’s for your business or personal use, you will have two types of IP addresses when getting an internet plan:

  • Private IP Addresses. A unique IP number assigned to every digital device that connects to your home internet network — including devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers — which is used in your household. 
  • Public IP Addresses. An address where one primary IP address is associated with your entire network. 

Are There Other Meanings of IP?

Although you may know IP primarily as internet protocol, the acronym does have a few other meanings, including:

  • International Paper Company
  • Intellectual Property
  • In Progress
  • Injured Person
  • Instructor Pilot
  • Industrial Park
  • Instrument Panel
  • Image Processing
  • Internet Provider
  • Increased Productivity
  • In-Patient
  • Installation Procedute
  • Ingress Protection
  • Initial Point
  • Interesting Point
  • Innings Pitched
  • In Process
  • Internet Packer
  • Interaction Point
  • Internet Service Provider

How Can You Use IP in a Sentence?

By now, you should have a pretty good understanding of the word IP, but do you know how to use it in a sentence? Not to worry; we’ve compiled a list of sentence examples to help.

“Did you know that every single computer that’s connected to the Internet has a unique IP address?” 

“If you’re going to use a public network connection, make sure you’re using a protected IP address to avoid getting hacked.”

“I am trying to download a few apps on my iPhone, but I can’t figure out the correct IP address.”

“If you want to use your android to scroll through social media, you’ll first need the IP address, which I am not giving up for free!”

“Would you mind sharing your IP address with me so I can get access to the Internet?”

“An IP address helps to identify routers, computers, Bluetooth devices and other hardware on a network.”

“If you’re trying to change your private Internet Protocol addresses, simply reset your router.”

How Can You Find Your IP Address?

If you want to configure a cloud service or an email program, you may need to enter your IP address manually. To find your own IP address, follow these two steps:

  • Step #1: Select Start > Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi and then select your Wi-Fi network. For Ethernet connection, select “Ethernet” as opposed to “Wi-Fi.”
  • Step #2: Look under Properties for your unique IP address listed next to IPv4 address.

Related Words You Should Know

As you continue on your journey in understanding the meaning behind our word of the day, you’ll likely come across a number of new terms, such as:

  • Internet Service Provider — An organization that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet. 
  • Hackers — People that use their technical knowledge to overcome a challenge or problem within a computerized system by non-standard means. 
  • Pop-Ups — A graphical user interface display area (usually a small window) that suddenly “pops up” in the foreground of the visual interface. 
  • TCP/IP — Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a suite of communication protocols used to interconnect network devices on the web.
  • Domain Name — The part of a network that identifies the IP address as belonging to a particular domain.
  • Dedicated IP Address — A unique IP address that is only used by you.   
  • Router — A common networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks.
  • IPS — An Intrusion Prevention System is a network security tool that examines network traffic flows to detect and prevent vulnerability exploits. 
  • Dynamic IP Address — An IP address that an ISP lets you use temporarily. 
  • Static IP Address — An IP address that doesn’t change. 
  • Web Browser — An application software for accessing the World Wide Web or a local website.
  • Shared IP Address — An IP address that is shared amount multiple different domains. 
  • VPN — The opportunity to establish a protected network connection when relying on public networks to use Internet. 


The acronym IP stands for Internet Protocol and refers to a communications protocol for computers and other digital devices that specifies the way data is broken into packets as well as the way those packets are addressed for transmission. 

That said, the acronym IP can stand for many other things — such as intellectual property, in progress, and image processing — so be sure to pick up on context clues when you come across our word of the day to ensure you’re using it properly. 


  1. IP: definition | Cambridge English Dictionary 
  2. Network Fundamentals – Internet Protocol and IP Addressing | University of Houston-Clear Lake
  3. How Does the Internet Work? | Stanford