An IP address is a fascinating product of modern computer technology designed to allow one connected computer (or “smart” device) to communicate with another device over the Internet.
IP addresses allow the location of literally billions of digital devices that are connected to the Internet to be pinpointed and differentiated from other devices.
Because, in the same way you to need a mailing address to recieve a letter in the mail from a friend, a remote computer needs your IP address to communicate with your computer.
IP (Internet Protocol) Address is an address of your network hardware. It helps in connecting your computer to other devices on your network and all over the world. An IP Address is made up of numbers or characters.
An example of an IP address would be: 506.457.14.512
There are are two IP versions: IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 is the older version which has an space of over 4 billion IP addresses. However, the new IPv6 version can provide up to trillions of IP addresses to fulfill the need of all internet users and devices.
The IPv4 version used to configure IP addresses in numerical value (numbers) which may conflict with other IP addresses. That’s why IPv6 adopted the hexadecimal method to provide unique IP addresses to billions of users in the world.
Example of an IPv6 IP address would be:
TYPES OF IP ADDRESSES
Private IP Address
A private IP address is the address of your device connected on the home or business network. If you have a few different devices connected to one ISP (Internet Service Provider), then all your devices will have a unique private IP address. This IP address cannot be accessed from devices outside your home or business network.
For example: 192.168.1.1
Private IP addresses are not unique because there are limited number of devices on your network.
You can find out the private IP address of your device using a few techniques. If you are a Windows user, then simply go to the command prompt and enter the command ipconfig. If you’re a mac users, then you need to enter the following command ifconfig in your Terminal app
If you are using the internet on a mobile phone, then you can go to your WiFi settings to find out the IP address. iOS users can find the IP address by clicking on the ‘i‘ button next to the network they are connected to. Android users can click on the network name in their WiFi settings, and it will show the IP address.
Public IP Address
Your public IP address is the main IP address to which your home or business network is connected. This IP address connects you to the world, and it’s unique for all users.
To find out your public IP address, simply go to SupportAlly site in your browser, and it will display the public IP, and other browser information.
Static and Dynamic IP Addresses
All private and public IP addresses can be either static or dynamic. IP addresses that you configure manually and fix them to the network of your device are called static IP addresses. Static IP addresses cannot change automatically.
The dynamic IP address configures automatically and assign an IP to your network when you set up the router with internet. This distribution of IP addresses is managed by Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP can be your internet router that assigns an IP address to your network in your home or business environment.
CLASSES AND CATEGORIES OF IP ADDRESSES
For easier management, IP addresses are organized in numeric order and divided in following five classes.
Relevance Of IP Addresses
Each device that participates in networking activities must have a unique IP address. Network services that use TCP/IP identify other network hosts by using IP addresses. The IP address provides the exact location of a host device on a network. If the internet protocol determines that a destination address is on the local network, it transmits the packet directly to the network host. If it is determined that the destination IP address is not on the local network, the internet protocol looks for a route to a remote host. An address on the local network is a local address and on not on the local network is a remote address. If a route is found, the packet is sent using that route. If no route is found, then the packet is sent to the default gateway for the source host. A gateway connects networks using different communication protocols.
IP addresses are as much important as a person’s unique identification card or number. It assures security for your own benefits and promotes your creativity towards the field or fields you as a user are interested in. Be it a business, a blogging website, or even an educational website concerned with providing useful material for college going students, an independent IP address is extremely necessary. As the technology is adapting faster than the human gene itself, one can only imagine the advent of newer avenues of an ever-growing network, and to manage these networks to every last user we all need IP addresses.
Hence, IP addresses are as much important as your house keys, without which it would be quite difficult to get into your network, or in other words it is as important as a blip on a Google map showing your home. But remember, using it wisely shall grant you immense wealth and status depending upon your work and creativity.
So next time before you log into your browser, just think about your PC’s address once, it needs its fair share of attention as well!
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