What Data Type Is IP Address in MySQL?


Scott Campbell

In MySQL, the data type used to store an IP address is VARCHAR. This data type is commonly used for storing string values, and it allows you to store a variable number of characters.

IP addresses are unique numerical identifiers assigned to devices in a computer network. They are used for communication between devices over the internet. An IP address consists of four sets of numbers separated by periods, such as

When storing an IP address in a MySQL database, it is important to choose the appropriate data type. The VARCHAR data type is ideal for this purpose because it allows you to store the exact IP address as a string of characters.

For example, if you have a table called “devices” and you want to store the IP addresses of various devices, you can create a column called “ip_address” with the data type VARCHAR(15). The number 15 represents the maximum number of characters that can be stored in this column.

Here’s an example of how you can create a table with an IP address column in MySQL:

CREATE TABLE devices (
    name VARCHAR(50),
    ip_address VARCHAR(15)

In this example, we have created a table called “devices” with three columns: “id”, “name”, and “ip_address”. The “id” column is defined as an integer with auto-incrementing values, while the “name” and “ip_address” columns are defined as VARCHAR.

Now that we have created the table, we can insert some sample data:

INSERT INTO devices (name, ip_address)
VALUES ('Device 1', '192.1'),
       ('Device 2', '10.1'),
       ('Device 3', '172.16.1');

In this example, we have inserted three rows into the “devices” table, each with a name and an IP address.

It’s important to note that storing IP addresses as VARCHAR has some limitations:

  • Searching for specific IP addresses may not be as efficient compared to using other data types designed specifically for storing IP addresses.
  • There is no built-in validation for the format of the stored IP address, so you need to ensure that valid IP addresses are inserted into the database.

If you need to perform complex operations on IP addresses, such as subnet calculations or range queries, you might consider using a different data type or third-party extensions.

In conclusion, the VARCHAR data type in MySQL is commonly used to store IP addresses. However, if your use case involves extensive manipulation or querying of IP addresses, it may be worth exploring alternative data types or extensions specifically designed for handling this type of data.

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