What Is IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)?

what-is-ip-address

IP address is an address assigned to each computer on Internet. It is used to identify every computer uniquely over the network. IP address is associated with Domain name. They say “A name indicates what we seek, An address indicates where it is”.

IP (Internet Protocol) is a systematic design and rules which defines how the communication is done over the internet. Internet Protocol is a standard. And to communicate over this protocol the two entities need to have an identity by which they can be identified and located. This identity is called as Internet Protocol Address.

What Is IP Address?

IP address is a 32 bit number. This system is called as IPV4 (Internet Protocol Version 4). The IP address is divided into 4 sections each divided by a (.) dot operator. Each section has a number between 0 to 255. IP address consists of network as well as host information. Within a network all the IP addresses will have common network address and different host address. Example of an IP address is 127.0.92.1.

The Class System

To manage the IP addresses more efficiently they are divided into following classes.

  • Class A
    • Starting Address – 10.0.0.0
    • Ending Address – 10.255.255.255
    • Who Uses? – large networks
  • Class B
    • Starting Address – 172.16.0.0
    • Ending Address – 172.31.255.255
    • Who Uses? – Networks larger than Class A networks.
  • Class C
    • Starting Address – 192.168.0.0
    • Ending Address – 192.168.255.255
    • Who Uses? – this is the most common type and can be used in general.

Public vs Private IP Addresses

For the uniqueness within the available IP addresses, the public IP addresses are registered with the Network Information center(NIC). Only the public IP addresses are registered with the NIC. Public IP addresses are normally assigned to public servers which can be DNS servers, mail servers or web hosts. This adders don’t change. Because, this are the servers which are frequently accessed by public.

Private address are normally used within an organization where the hosts need not to be accessed outside their networks. Here the unique addresses may be assigned to hosts but they are private.

Static vs Dynamic IP Addresses

Static address is a fixed address assigned to the host. This address do not change normally. Static address is used to identify the host uniquely

Dynamic address changes frequently. Whenever the host is connected to the network every time the host gets new IP address and this is called as Dynamic IP addressing.

IPV4 Vs IPV6

Internet Protocol Version 4 can approximately address 4 billion hosts. Which is very close to exhaustion. To address the emerging need of more IP addresses Internet Protocol Version 6 was founded. IPV4 has 32 bit number whereas IPV6 has 128 bit number. IPv6 can address unlimited hosts.

Example of IPV4 and IPV6 are 127.0.0.1 and 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1 respectively.

We have tried to cover the information briefly, if you have any more information feel free to share in comment section below.

I found this awesome video on youtube by code.org. This will help you to understand the things better.

Happy Learning!

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