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URL vs. IP Address: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 26, 2024
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) specifies the location of a resource on the internet, while an IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) is a numerical label assigned to each device on a network.
URL vs. IP Address

Key Differences

A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is a human-readable address used to access resources on the internet. It consists of a protocol, domain name, and path. An IP Address, on the other hand, is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
URLs are designed to be easily understood and remembered by humans. They often contain words and phrases that indicate the content of the website. IP Addresses are more technical and are used by the network to identify and locate devices, functioning like a postal address for the internet.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
A URL can be translated into an IP Address through a process called DNS resolution, where the domain name in the URL is converted to its corresponding IP Address. IP Addresses, however, do not contain any inherent information about the content or nature of the resource they point to.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
URLs are specific to web resources and can include additional information such as ports, paths, and query parameters. IP Addresses are used for a wide range of networking purposes, not just for accessing web pages, and consist solely of numbers and, in the case of IPv6, letters.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
The structure of a URL is standardized and includes various parts like protocol, domain, path, and parameters. In contrast, IP Addresses follow a numerical format, either IPv4 with four decimal numbers or IPv6 with eight groups of hexadecimal numbers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Address to a resource on the internet in human-readable form
Numerical label for devices in a network
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Composition

Protocol, domain, path, parameters
Numeric values (IPv4) or hexadecimal values (IPv6)
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Purpose

Easy access and identification of web resources
Identification and location of network devices
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Readability

Human-readable and mnemonic
Technical and numeric
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Usage in Networking

Specific to accessing web resources
General purpose in network identification and routing
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
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URL and IP Address Definitions

URL

Comprises protocol, domain name, and path to a specific resource.
Http://blog.example.com/articles is a URL leading to a blog section.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

IP Address

Unique numerical label assigned to each device on a network.
192.168.1.1 is an IP address for a local network router.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

URL

Web address indicating the location of a resource on the internet.
Https://www.example.com is a URL for a website.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

IP Address

Exists in two formats: IPv4 and IPv6.
203.0.113.0 is an IPv4 address, while 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334 is an IPv6 address.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

URL

May contain additional parts like query parameters for specific actions.
Https://www.example.com/search?q=query is a URL with a search query.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024
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IP Address

Integral part of the internet's underlying network protocol.
216.58.214.14 is an IP address that could correspond to a Google server.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

URL

Human-readable form for accessing internet resources.
Https://shop.example.com/item?id=123 is a URL for an online product.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

IP Address

Used for identifying and locating devices on a network.
172.16.254.1 is an IP address used in internal network configurations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

URL

Translates into an IP address for the browser to connect to a server.
Ftp://files.example.com is a URL for accessing an FTP server.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

IP Address

Does not inherently contain information about the resource it points to.
10.0.0.1 is an IP address typically used for a local network device.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

URL

An internet address (for example, http://www.hmhco.com/about-hmh), usually consisting of the access protocol (http), the domain name (hmhco.com), and optionally the path to a file or resource residing on the server where the domain name resides (about-hmh).
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

URL

The address of a web page on the world wide web
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is an IP address used for?

An IP address is used to identify and locate devices on a network.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What does URL stand for?

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Can a URL be converted to an IP address?

Yes, through DNS resolution, a URL can be translated to its corresponding IP address.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Are URLs and IP addresses interchangeable?

No, they serve different purposes and are not directly interchangeable.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Can two devices have the same IP address?

In a single network, two devices cannot have the same IP address, as it would cause a conflict.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What happens when you type a URL into a browser?

The browser translates the URL to an IP address to connect to the right server.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Is an IP address human-readable?

No, IP addresses are numerical and not designed to be easily remembered by humans.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

How many types of IP addresses are there?

IPv4 and IPv6.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Do all internet-connected devices have an IP address?

Yes, every device connected to the internet has an IP address.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What information does a URL contain?

A URL contains a protocol, domain name, and often a path to a specific resource.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Can a URL include an IP address?

Yes, a URL can directly use an IP address instead of a domain name.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Can a device have multiple IP addresses?

Yes, a device can have multiple IP addresses, especially if it's connected to different networks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Why are URLs important for the internet?

URLs make it easier for people to access and navigate the web by using easy-to-remember addresses.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Are URLs case-sensitive?

The domain part of a URL is not case-sensitive, but the path and parameters can be.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Is an IP address permanent for a device?

No, IP addresses can be static (permanent) or dynamic (changing).
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What is the main difference between a URL and an IP address?

A URL is a human-readable address for a web resource, while an IP address is a technical label for networked devices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

How is an IPv6 address different from IPv4?

IPv6 addresses are longer, using hexadecimal, and were created to deal with IPv4 address exhaustion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What is a static IP address?

A static IP address is a permanent address assigned to a device, remaining constant over time.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Can an IP address reveal your location?

To some extent, IP addresses can reveal approximate location information, like city or country.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Do URLs always need to start with "http://"?

No, URLs can use different protocols like https, ftp, etc., depending on the resource.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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