Generally, first-time users often don't understand the terms like domain names, universal resource locators (URLs), and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. This confusion is natural. This topic is important because many people confuse the terms IP address and Domain Name. Before going ahead, it is essential to know that these are two separate terms. The difference between them is worth learning as these terms are in use at a frequent rate. Further, it becomes important to know the difference if you are planning to host your website or going to do a hosting business. You need to communicate with technicians and therefore, you must know the technical jargon.
These addressing terms are quite similar to the physical addressing system we use to go to places. The way we use maps to search for physical locations, similarly we look up for the websites. A URL is like an exact street address of a website and its IP address is like a vehicle traveling to that address.
Let's start with the definition of Domain Name -
Well, a domain name is nothing but a textual version of the IP address, this is the number which points to a specific website. You can also visit a website by entering the IP address in a specific sequence and you would get a brief idea about a domain name. For humans, it is suitable to remember the name (domain name) of a website than remembering a multiple-digit IP address. In addition, your website also gets your desired brand name if you succeed to get your desired domain name.
So from a technical point of view, your website is identified by systems with its IP address and the domain name is just for the suitability of human beings. Let’s refer to this definition of domain name provided by ‘Wikipedia’ - “A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control on the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS).” One can purchase these domain names from domain name providers but these days Web Hosting Services providers also provide you the domain name at a cheap cost. This also helps you to save your time and effort, while you go separately for buying domain names. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the corporation which manages the development and architecture of Internet domain name space. Authorization to domain registrars is also provided by the same corporation.
Definition of IP address -
You might not be knowing what an IP address is and for what it is used but many people aren't aware of it.
A short and sweet definition can be - it is an address in the network so that the Internet or the sender can know where to send you any stuff like emails, documents, photos, and videos.
You can check your IP address by searching on Google as - "What is My IP address?", and it will display yours. IP address holds much of an importance in our lives. Check out, why?
It allows one device to connect to other through the internet and a protocol named IP (Internet Protocol, version 4 and 6; IPv4 ran out of addresses after an approximate count of 4.3 billion and therefore IPv6 came into the picture providing theoretically a never-ending count of addresses). The term 'protocol' means a standard set of rules or guidelines. Trillions of digital devices are having their own IP address and they are individual for the same reason as we have our own addresses. There is no location or exact address which is completely similar to another one.
Concluding the relationship between IP address and domain name, I can say the following-
If you want to host your site or blog, then you have to host your website with the help of a cloud service provider. He would provide you with a domain name with the extension of your choice, but if it is not already taken. Finally, you can put your site on the server through which people could easily recognize your business. So, to further communicate with any site, which is hosted on a server (a machine) will have its own IP address. Besides that, every cell phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, and any device that could be connected with internet, will have its unique IP address. Without an IP address, we won't be able to communicate with each other.