An IP Address is a unique number assigned to every device that has access to the Internet. Your computer, phone, and tablet all have their IP addresses, which your ISP (Internet Service Provider) uses so they can provide you with internet service. When you’re browsing websites from home or work, those servers know where in the world you are because of your IP address. You also need an IP address when connecting remotely through FTP and SSH connections and for gaming consoles like Xbox Live or Playstation Network if they require a connection over the Internet rather than just being on your local wireless network.
The downside is that anyone who knows what your IP address is can find out where you live. This is why you should always use a VPN so that your Internet Service Provider doesn’t know what you’re doing on the Internet and can’t identify which IP address belongs to you. In addition, if a website is blocked by your government or company network firewall, you may need to use an IP address outside of the region to access it.