What is IP Address?


IP Address definition

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IP Address means Internet Protocol. This is a Numerical label that is used to identify all the devices (i.e. computers, printers etc) of the network. Any IP address mainly works in two form, one for hosting and network interface identification and second one to identify the location of another device.

When the desingers designed the IP address, the IP address was a 32 bit number and this system was called IPv4. But now with the growth of the Internet, the 32 bit number system which got the IP Addresses started falling short, the designers launched a new IP address system called IPv6. Although IPV4 is still very popular and it is in use, it will convert to IPV6. The new IP system is the IPv6 128 bit address and it was developed in 1995. IPv6 was standardized in 1998 while deployment started from mid 2000. 

The IP address always contains 4 blocks of numbers, which are separated by period. Each block has potential ranges from 0 to 255, which means that each block has 256 potential values. For example, IP address looks like 192.168.1.10.

3 ranges from these addresses have been reserved for special purpose. The first address 0.0.0.0 is related to the default network and 255.255.255.255 are called Broadcast Addresses. The third address is the 127.0.0.1 loopback address, and it shows your own machine or computer.

IP version 4 (IPv4):

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) This is the fourth version of Internet Protocol (IP), which is used to identify network devices. IPv4 addresses are 32 bits tall and support 4,294,967,296 addresses (although many of them are reserved for specific purposes, such as 10.0.0.0 and 127.0.0.0)

192.168.0.1 This is a common example of an IPv4 address. The most easily identifiable IP ranges are 192.168.0.1 - 192.168.0.255, because these addresses we use at home or office.

IP version 6 (IPv6):

A new version of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) was developed due to the worsening IPv4 addressing potential future due to the popular Internet growth. This is new and unchanged version of IPv4. It is also known as IPng.

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is 128 bits long. Therefore, it supports 2 ^ 128 internet addresses, which are equivalent to 340.282.366.920.938.000.000.000.000.000.000.000 addresses. These are many addresses and they are more than enough to continue internet operations for a very long time.

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