What is an IP address?

IP Address

In the field of networking IP address is the most used terminology and it is very essential for a networking beginner to learn and understand the IP address and the way of using it in the efficient way. We have compiled some of the useful information and knowledge about the IP address and have given it below.

  1. What is an IP address?
  2. Syntax for the IP address.
  3. What is the use of IP address?
  4. Different types of IP address
  5. Version of IP address
  6. Find your IP address

IP Address:

Every person on this world is unique. There must be some unique ID that identifies every unique person. For example in America, social security number is unique for each individuals and it identifies each person. No two persons will have the same social security number. This concept applies for the hosts that are connected to the internet. In order to identify the computers connected to the internet IP address is used. Every computer that is connected to the internet follows the TCP/IP protocol to communicate with the other hosts in the internet. So every computer have a unique ID called IP address.

IP Address

IP Address

The two types of IP addresses are IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

Syntax of the IP Address:

Every IP address is a 32-bit numeric address divided into four which are separated by dots. For example [23.456.433.455]. The syntax is like xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

Each division can have a number from 0-255. Total 4 divisions. This is applicable to IPv4 addresses. The two major division of IP address is two parts network ID and host ID.

Network ID:

The first three parts are the network ID that denotes the network that the host is connected. For example: [192.168.0].x this part is the network ID and it is increased by adding one digit to the third part. The next network is denoted by [192.168.1].x

Host ID:

The last division of the IP address is the host ID and it denotes the number of the host the host is in the network. For example in a network 192.168.1 series every host is denoted by 192.168.1.1, 192.168.1.2 and so on.

These IP addresses can be further classified into two types. They are Static IP addresses and dynamic IP addresses.

Subnet Mask:

In order to help the device find which part is the network ID and which one is host ID another set of address is used and that is called the subnet mask. The subnet mask ID consists of numbers from 0-255.

In the subnet mask the 0 denotes the division between the network ID and the host ID. For smaller networks the subnet masking will be simple and easy to understand but in the complex networking systems it will be difficult to understand.

Default Gateway Address:

You might have heard this many times if you have browsed for things that are related to networking. This default gateway address thing can be explained with a simple home network example.

The devices that are connected to one another inside a home network will have private IP address. For example if you have a host 192.168.2.0 then the router that you have in the home which connects you to the internet will have a similar private IP address. That address might be something like 192.168.2.1 and that address is called default gateway address because it is the router that connects you with the outside internet.

Using this we configure many network settings that we need to configure. Wireless devices that are connected to the network can be controlled and managed by router settings which you can access using the default gateway settings.

DNS (Domain Name Servers):

DNS stands for domain name server system. Simply speaking DNS is a set of record that has the equivalent IP address for the name that is provided as the website address. IP address is the real server name but mostly servers have human readable name formats and the work of DNS is to resolve the readable website name into the IP address. It is a registry that maintains all the records.

There are lot of DNS service providers. Mostly by default you will be using the DNS server provided by your ISP provider. But if you feel that your DNS server data is getting updated very slow then you can also use the other DNS providers. Some of the most famous DNS providers are Google DNS, Open DNS etc.

Uses of IP Address:

In order to identify a host connected to the internet from any of the location worldwide IP address is used. As per the TCP/IP protocol of networking, every device that is connected to the internet must have the IP address.

IPV4 vs IPV6:

As said already IPv6 is based on 32 bit numbers and there are about nearly 4.25 billion IP address that are available to be used. But the usage of the devices are growing fast and in near future we may end up in IP address shortage. That’s why we found IPv6 which is 128 bit based IP address and it is too many address and there is a lot of time that these IP address will run out. Also the concept of private and public IP address is created in order to reduce the usage of public IP address for internal networking.

This article is a pillar article in this blog and will be updated regularly. Make sure to visit often to know the latest updates. Last updated.

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