A friend of mine called Brian Elks asked me the question

What is an IP address ?

Well the letters IP stand for Internet Protocol, so we are talking about an Internet Protocol Address

There are many millions of computers commected to the Internet Cloud at any given time. Some huge Servers (in Internet Service Providers server farms) some tiny little client PCs. Every mortal one has its own IP Address. Some servers have several IP Addresses.

As soon as any computer connects to the Internet, an IP address is given to that computer. In some cases, such as BroadBand Connections - it may be that it is the same address every time. In other cases, it could be selected from a pool allocated to the ISP (Internet Service Provider) to whose computer you have connected to.
Click here to see your IP Address

So navigation around the internet is not really based on addresses like 'www.fred.com' and suchlike. There are databases all around the world which translate the 'public' addresses into IP addresses.

Just for your information, you can get to this page by typing either
http://www.sst-ltd.co.uk/writings/ip.htm
OR
http://195.99.184.152/writings/ip.htm

. . . . . because the IP Address for 'www.sst-ltd.co.uk' is '195.99.184.152'

Also for your information, not every ISP has huge databases with millions of IP Addresses in them. They actually look at the last bit of the 'public' address - and if it is .com - it goes to a server somewhere on the internet that it knows has the .com information. Similarly there are other servers that hold information for .uk - .fr and so on.

I hope that this clairfies the situation and answers the question.