WHAT IS AN IP ADDRESS
An Internet Protocol address is a numerical label such as 192.0.2.1 that is connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: network interface identification and location addressing
An IP address is a unique address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network. IP stands for “Internet Protocol,” which is the set of rules governing the format of data sent via the internet or local network.
In essence, IP addresses are the identifier that allows information to be sent between devices on a network: they contain location information and make devices accessible for communication. The internet needs a way to differentiate between different computers, routers, and websites. IP addresses provide a way of doing so and form an essential part of how the internet works.
What is an IP?
An IP address is a string of numbers separated by periods. IP addresses are expressed as a set of four numbers — an example address might be 188.8.131.52. Each number in the set can range from 0 to 255. So, the full IP addressing range goes from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255.
IP addresses are not random. They are mathematically produced and allocated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a division of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is a non-profit organization that was established in the United States in 1998 to help maintain the security of the internet and allow it to be usable by all. Each time anyone registers a domain on the internet, they go through a domain name registrar, who pays a small fee to ICANN to register the domain.
How do IP addresses work
If you want to understand why a particular device is not connecting in the way you would expect or you want to troubleshoot why your network may not be working, it helps understand how IP addresses work.
Internet Protocol works the same way as any other language, by communicating using set guidelines to pass information. All devices find, send, and exchange information with other connected devices using this protocol. By speaking the same language, any computer in any location can talk to one another.
The use of IP addresses typically happens behind the scenes. The process works like this:
- Your device indirectly connects to the internet by connecting at first to a network connected to the internet, which then grants your device access to the internet.
- When you are
athome, that network will probably be your Internet Service Provider (ISP). At work, it will be your company network.
- Your IP address is assigned to your device by your ISP.
- Your internet activity goes through the ISP, and they route it back to you, using your IP address. Since they are giving you access to the internet, it is their role to assign an IP address to your device.
- However, your IP address can change. For example, turning your modem or router on or off can change it. Or you can contact your ISP, and they can change it for you.
- When you are out and about – for example, traveling – and you take your device with you, your home IP address does not come with you. This is because you will be using another network (Wi-Fi at a hotel, airport, or coffee shop, etc.) to access the internet and will be using a different (and temporary) IP address, assigned to you by the ISP of the hotel, airport or coffee shop.
Types of IP addresses
There are different categories of IP addresses, and within each category, different types.
Consumer IP addresses
Every individual or business with an internet service plan
will have two types of IP addresses: their private IP addresses and their public IP address. The terms public and private relate to the network location — that is, a private IP address is used inside a network, while a public one is used outside a network.
Private IP addresses
Every device that connects to your internet network has a private IP address. This includes computers, smartphones, and tablets but also any Bluetooth-enabled devices like speakers, printers, or smart TVs. With the growing internet of things, the number of private IP addresses you have at home is probably growing. Your router needs a way to identify these items separately, and many items need a way to recognize each other. Therefore, your router generates private IP addresses that are unique identifiers for each device that differentiate them on the network.
Public IP addresses
A public IP address is the primary address associated with your whole network. While each connected device has its own IP address, they are also included within the main IP address for your network. As described above, your public IP address is provided to your router by your ISP. Typically, ISPs have a large pool of IP addresses that they distribute to their customers. Your public IP address is the address that all the devices outside your internet network will use to recognize your network.
Public IP addresses
Public IP addresses come in two forms – dynamic and static.
Dynamic IP addresses
Dynamic IP addresses change automatically and regularly. ISPs buy a large pool of IP addresses and assign them automatically to their customers. Periodically, they re-assign them and put the older IP addresses back into the pool to be used for other customers. The rationale for this approach is to generate cost savings for the ISP. Automating the regular movement of IP addresses means they don’t have to carry out specific actions to re-establish a customer’s IP address if they move home, for example. There are security benefits, too, because a changing IP address makes it harder for criminals to hack into your network interface.
Static IP addresses
In contrast to dynamic IP addresses, static addresses remain consistent. Once the network assigns an IP address, it remains the same. Most individuals and businesses do not need a static IP address, but for businesses that plan to host their own server, it is crucial to have one. This is because a static IP address ensures that websites and email addresses tied to it will have a consistent IP address — vital if you want other devices to be able to find them consistently on the web.
This leads to the next point – which is the two types of website IP addresses.
How To use the IPConfig Command
The ipconfig command is used to display information about your network configuration and refresh DHCP and DNS Settings. By default, the ipconfig command displays your IP Address, Subnet Mask, and default gateway. But with correct parameters, you can get a lot more information out of it.
How to use ipconfig command
So let’s first start with something simple, how to use the ipconfig command.
- Press Windows key + X or Right Click on the start menuTo use the IP config command we will need to open Command Prompt or PowerShell
- Select Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt
- Type ipconfig and press enterThis will show you the basic network information from your network adapters
As you can see in the screenshot above, the command will return information about each network adapter on your computer. In this case, we have an ethernet adapter (for our wired network connection) and a wireless network adapter.https://500b0089db267ffa6f0440d3591237b5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
If you are using a VPN client, then this will also be listed as a network adapter.
Ipconfig /all command
Without the use of any parameter, the command shows only the basic network information. But information about the DNS and DHCP servers isn’t displayed by default. To show all the information about your network adapter, you will need to use the
/all parameter.ipconfig /all
This will return the following information for each network adapter in your device:https://500b0089db267ffa6f0440d3591237b5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
|Physical Address||This is the MAC address of your network adapter.|
|DHCP Enabled||Indicates if the network connection is using DHCP or Static IP Address|
|IPv4 Address||The IP Address of your computer|
|Default Gateway||The router to which your computer is connected|
|DHCP Server||Router/server that hands out IP Addresses in your network|
|DNS Servers||Servers used to translate domain names to IP Addresses|
|Link-Local IPv6 Address||IPv6 address of your computer (often not used)|
|Lease Obtained||Date-time when your computer received the IP Address|
The ipconfig /all command is often used to troubleshoot network connection problems. But which information is important and do you need to look at?https://500b0089db267ffa6f0440d3591237b5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
If we take a closer look at the results of ipconfig /all then we can indicate 4 items that are important to look at:
- IPv4 Address – This is your IP Address
- Default Gateway – The router or modem to which you network package are sent
- DNS servers – Used to translate domain names to IP Addresses
- DHCP Enabled – Needs to be Yes in most cases. No means that you have manually enter an IP Address
Ipconfig /release Command
The ipconfig command doesn’t only show your information about your network settings, but it can also be used to reset or refresh your network settings. When you have DHCP enabled on your network card, you can request a new IP Address from the DHCP server.
IP CONFIGURATION ERROR AND HOW TO FIX IT
What does the “Ethernet does not have a valid IP configuration” error mean?
The “Ethernet does not have a valid IP configuration” error means that Windows can’t receive the IP address from DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), which automatically assigns IP addresses to devices connected to the network.
Your computer needs an IP address to connect to the internet and communicate with the outside world. It’s similar to your home address. If a postman doesn’t know where you live, he can’t deliver your mail; likewise, without a valid IP configuration, the internet can’t send you data.
There could be several reasons for this error: incorrect network configurations, outdated drivers, and more. However, this is not a serious issue and can be solved with even a limited technical knowledge. Just follow these steps to get back online.
Restart your router
Turning your router on and off can work miracles. While this might seem a trivial solution, restarting your router usually solves nine out of 10 internet connectivity issues. When you turn off your router, make sure to count until 10 before turning it on. Additionally, you can also restart your PC.
Reset the network adapter
If the problem persists, you can reset the network adapter and refresh your IP configuration:
- Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Status.
- Under the Advanced network settings section, click Change adapter options.
- Right-click the adapter and select Disable.
- Right-click the adapter again and select Enable.
Configure your network adapter settings
Your device obtains an IP address automatically, but it’s worth checking if your settings are correct:
- Go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings.
- Right-click on the Ethernet and select Properties.
- Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4.
- Click on the Obtain an IP address automatically radio button.
- Click on the Obtain DNS server address automatically radio button.
- Click OK.
You can also change your default settings manually and see if it helps to connect to the internet:
IP address: 192.168.1.15
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway: 192.168.1.1
Preferred DNS server: 184.108.40.206*
Alternate DNS server: 220.127.116.11 address.
Ip Configuration Between Two Computers
If you want just a temporary arrangement for sharing files between two computers, a direct cable connection can be the fastest method. With this setup, you manually configure the computers’ IP addresses, since you have no DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) server to create the connection automatically.
This technique uses an ethernet or FireWire (IEEE 1394) cable. The benefit of choosing this method over a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection is that it allows fast transfers of big files. But both cables have limitations. FireWire connections work only on Windows XP, not Vista. (You can use FireWire to network an XP machine and a Mac, however.) And ethernet requires a crossover cable or another piece of hardware, either a hub or a switch. The crossover cable will likely be labeled as such; otherwise, most ethernet uses straight patch cables. (Look for “patch” or “crossover” on the cord.) I like to have a short FireWire or crossover cable on hand, even when I’m traveling; it has saved my bacon on a few occasions.
Once you have connected the cable between the two PCs, here’s how to start sharing.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.509.0_debug_en.html#goog_16986013760 seconds of 30 secondsVolume 0%This ad will end in 21
Open the Network Connections Control Panel. Right-click your connection, such as Local Area Connection, and click Properties. Select TCP/IP, and choose Properties. Click Use the following IP address and enter 192.168.0.1 as the IP address and 255.255.255.0 as the subnet mask. Leave the other details blank and click OK. Close the dialog boxes until you return to the Network Connections Control Panel. Repeat the process on the second PC, but set its IP address as 192.168.0.2. You’ve just created a network of two computers.
Share the Internet Over a Wired Connection
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) allows an online PC to pass its connection to an offline computer. You could use this arrangement to share a Wi-Fi signal in a hotel or airport across ethernet, to pass your 3G mobile broadband connection along to a nearby colleague, or to otherwise let another PC mooch a live Internet signal.
The process uses two different network connections: the one that goes to the Internet and the one that leads to the second PC. So you can’t pass along a Wi-Fi signal via Wi-Fi; you’ll have to use another plug. And if you’re directly connecting two PCs via ethernet, you’ll still have to use a crossover cable, instead of a standard patch cable.
Connect the host computer to the Internet as you normally do, such as through Wi-Fi, ethernet, or a mobile broadband adapter. You’ll rarely set up this kind of temporary sharing at home or your office; but if you do, be sure that your router’s IP address is configured to a subnet other than 192.168.0.x. For example, change the 0, setting the router to 192.168.2.1. (The process varies by router brand; consult your documentation.) Windows wants to take over that 192.168.0.x subnet, and will likely report errors if it can’t.
In the Network Connections Control Panel, right-click the connection that takes the PC online, and pick Properties. Under the Advanced tab, click the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection check box. If necessary, in the drop-down menu, select the method used to bridge to the client computer, such as 1394 for FireWire or Local Area Connection for ethernet. (If you don’t have extra ports, you won’t need to pick one.) Click OK.https://dbbefcb1b7b6f817d95d7727c95eeb49.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Verify that the client computer is set to automatic configuration. Open the Network Connections System Preference. Right-click the connection that goes to the host PC, such as 1394 for FireWire or Local Area Connection if you’re using a crossover ethernet cable between the two machines. Click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and choose Properties. Click the Obtain an IP address automatically radio button. That’s it–both computers can now get online.
Connect Two PCs on an Ad Hoc Wi-Fi Network
If you’re going to transfer files for more than a few minutes, consider setting a password when you create the network.Temporary Wi-Fi connections are slightly different from their wired counterparts because they can reach many computers. You configure the host PC to act as a wireless router, letting other PCs join as they normally would to dedicated hardware. This setup can share files or bridge a wired Internet connection–such as in a hotel room–to wireless friends.
Most Wi-Fi-equipped PCs include a networking utility from the Wi-Fi hardware (or chip) vendor. You can use that tool to configure the ad hoc network; since they vary, however, I’ll explain the process within the Windows Control Panel. But first, open your specific utility, and be sure that it’s set to allow Windows to configure the hardware.
Open the Network Connections Control Panel. Right-click Local Area Connection, and click Properties. Choose the Advanced tab, and click the first Internet Connection Sharing check box to allow other network users to connect. Click OK.
In the Network Connections Control Panel, right-click Wireless Network Connection and select Properties. Click the Wireless Networks tab, and click Add. Enter a name–I named mine Adhocshare–and check the box at the bottom that says it’s a computer-to-computer network. Uncheck the box that says the key is automatically provided. If you want to use a password to access the network, change the settings in the Network Authentication drop-down menu. Click OK.
Double-click the icon for your wireless adapter in the Network Connections Control Panel. Click View Wireless Networks, and then choose the name of the ad hoc network. Click Connect. At that time, on the client computer, open the Network Connections Control panel and double-click the Wireless Network icon. Click View Wireless Networks, highlight the ad hoc network, and click Connect. Enter the password details you’ve set, if necessary.
You can now share the Internet and transfer files between one or more client computers. Just as with other ICS methods, Windows assumes that you are not using a home router; if your wired connection is on the 192.168.0.x subnet, the process might not work because the host computer configures clients using those addresses.
Drop your comment