What is my IP Address? What is an IP address? Explain Internet Protocol (IP).
In today’s world, we are daily connected to the Internet through mobile devices, Ipads, laptops, and PCs. Every time we access these devices and are online (e.g., sending emails, posting pictures on social network sites, online shopping, reading news, etc.), an IP address is working for us. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.
Don't worry. Most of the billions of computer users don't know either, and to tell you the truth, that's perfectly alright. Because even though it's your passport to the Internet, you never have to think about it. A simple definition would be A network address for your computer so the Internet knows where to send you email, data, pictures and more. The fact that you are searching online, put’s you way ahead of the curve. Many people actually do not know what an IP address looks like.
What does an IP address look like? Explain IP address. The Format of an IP Address.
The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, 18.104.22.168 could be an IP address.
Within an isolated network, you can assign IP addresses at random as long as each one is unique. However, connecting a private network to the Internet requires using registered IP addresses (called Internet addresses) to avoid duplicates.
To make it simple and clear: 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. It is a means of recognition of both devices over the network. 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 need a mailing address to receive a letter in the mail from a friend, a remote computer needs your IP address to communicate with your computer.
Here's the deal...
- Your house has a street address to get mail or courier; your connected device has an Internet address to get and receive data on the Web.
- Your home as a street number; your laptop, smartphone or your lights, baby monitor, security cameras, Ask Alexa, thermostat (anything device that connects to the Internet and works wirelessly) has an Internet number. (That's what the Internet of Things is all about.)
The word protocol refers to a standard of guidelines, and that's a key part of the definition. The networking part of the Internet is defined by exact specifications (guidelines) for connecting on the Internet.
The IP address you're using at any given time is your device's "digital address" that allows a connection to the systematically laid-out, interconnected grid that governs global connectivity.
But can you be sure IP address is 100% reliable?
When anyone pops a letter in a mailbox, you don't think about its route, or how many delivery cars the postal office uses, or how many packages the letter carrier delivers a day. You just want it to go to the right address.
Want to know something extra cool?
Every website (Disney, Amazon, Apple, etc.) has a unique IP address, but it goes by its name instead (Disney.com, Amazon.com, Apple.com.) But without IP addresses you couldn't connect with them and they couldn't share information with you.
Static Versus Dynamic IP Addresses
(For those who want a little more techie insights, or scroll to next paragraph).
There are two types of IP address: Static or Dynamic. A Static IP address will never change and it is a permanent Internet address. A Dynamic IP address is a temporary address that is assigned each time a computer or device accesses the Internet.
The four numbers in an IP address are used in different ways to identify a particular network and a host on that network. Four regional Internet registries -- ARIN, RIPE NCC, LACNIC, and APNIC-- assign Internet addresses from the following three classes:
Class A - supports 16 million hosts on each of 126 networks
Class B - supports 65,000 hosts on each of 16,000 networks
Class C - supports 254 hosts on each of 2 million networks
The number of unassigned Internet addresses is running out, so a new classless scheme called CIDR is gradually replacing the system based on classes A, B, and C and is tied to the adoption of IPv6. In IPv6 the IP address size is increased from 32 bits to 128 bits.
The IPv4 Address.
The common type of IP address (is known as IPv4, for "version 4"). Here's an example of what an IP address might look like:
An IPv4 address consists of four numbers, each of which contains one to three digits, with a single dot (.) separating each number or set of digits. Each of the four numbers can range from 0 to 255.
Thanks to our IP addresses, we're pretty much guaranteed that our emails will come and go as expected and that all our Google searches and website visits will work to perfection.
IP addresses connect automatically in the background, so we can focus on what's important.
These versatile groups of segmented numbers create the addresses that let you and everyone around the globe to send and retrieve data over our Internet connections. Without this numeric protocol, sending and receiving data over the World Wide Web would be impossible.
What would happen if we ran out of IP addresses?
A shortage of IP addresses created panic and desperation.
Guess what—suddenly, major companies (even Microsoft!) were scrambling to buy unused IP addresses from other companies...for millions of dollars.
What went wrong?
The past decade has seen explosive growth in mobile devices including mobile phones, notebook computers, and wireless handheld devices. The format for IPv4 wasn't designed to handle the sheer number of IP addresses.
Fortunately, there was a backup IP address type waiting in the wings. That gave rise to IPv6.
IPv6 seems to be the solution for today and the future.
Whereas IPv4 supports a maximum of approximately 4.3 billion unique IP addresses, IPv6 supports, in theory, a maximum number that will never run out. In theory maximum IPv6 can support the following number: 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456. As the Techies have put it, it’s a number and solution that will never run out of IP address ever.
An IPv6 address consists of eight groups of four hexadecimal digits. If a group consists of four zeros, the notation can be shortened using a colon to replace the zeros. Here's an example IPv6 address:
How do I view or find my IP Address? What is my IP Address?
To view your IP address you can use the ipconfig (IPCONFIG) command-line tool. Ipconfig displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings.
- To launch the command prompt from a Windows-based computer click: Start> All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt. Type ipconfig and press the Enter
- The easiest and simplest way is to use Google search to find your IP address. Type "what is my IP address" as a search query and Google will show the IP address of the computer from which the query was received as the top search result.
I hope this article has answered the basic question you may have on IP – Internet Protocol Address. Feel free to comment with moderation, include your email and URL (if required).
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