What is an IP address?


IP address definition and why all computers and devices need one

An IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, is an identifier number for a piece of network hardware . Having an IP address enables a device to communicate with other devices through an IP-based network, such as the Internet.

Most IP addresses look like this:

Other IP addresses you may come across may look more like this:

2001: 4860: 4860 :: 8844

There is much more to the IP version (IPv4 vs. IPv6) section based on the following paragraphs.

What is an IP address used for?

An IP address provides an identity to a network device. An address or business address that provides a customized physical location with similar identifiable addresses, devices on a network are separated by IP addresses.

If I am going to send a package to my friend in another country, I need to know the exact destination. It’s not enough to just put a package with her name by mail and expect it to reach her. I must attach a specific address instead , which you can do by looking at it in a phone book.

This same general procedure is used when sending information over the Internet. However, by using a phone book to find the physical address of any person’s name, rather than finding your computer’s DNS server IP address to find a hostname to use it .

For example, when I enter a website called www into my browser, the loading request is sent to the DNS server to find the hostname () corresponding to its IP address ( If the IP address is not connected, my computer will have no clue what I will do next

Different types of IP addresses

Even if you have heard of IP addresses before, you may not realize that there are certain types of IP addresses. Not all IP address numbers or letters are formed, not all addresses are used for the same purpose

There are private IP addresses , public IP addresses , static IP addresses and dynamic IP addresses . That’s quite different! By following these links you can pay a lot more for each of them. Each IP address can be an IPv4 address or an IPv6 address যুক্ত more at the bottom of this page to add to the complexity.

In short, private IP addresses are used “inside” a network, as you probably run at home. Such IP addresses are used to provide a way for your devices to communicate with your router and all other devices on your personal network. Private IP addresses can be set or set automatically by your router.

Public IP addresses are used “outside” of your network and are determined by your ISP . This is the primary address that your home or business network uses to communicate with the rest of the Internet on the worldwide network (i.e. the Internet). It provides a way for devices in your home, for example, to reach your ISP, and therefore the external world, allowing them to do things like access websites and communicate directly with other people’s computers.

Both private IP addresses and public IP addresses are either dynamic or static, which means that, respectively, they change or not.

An IP address assigned by a DHCP server is a dynamic IP address. If DHCP is not enabled or supported on a device, the IP address should be assigned manually, in which case an IP address is called a static IP address.

How to find your IP address

Finding IP addresses for different devices and operating systems requires unique steps. There are several steps to see if your ISP is looking for the public IP address you provided , or if you need to see the private IP address assigned to your router .

Public IP address

There are many ways to find the public IP address of your router but sites like IP Chicken, WhatsMyIP.org, or WhatIsMyIPAddress.com make this super easy. This site works on a network-connected device that supports a web browser, such as your smartphone, iPod, laptop, desktop, tablet, etc.

Finding the personal IP address of a specific device is not easy.

Private IP address

In Windows, you can find the IP address of your device using a command prompt using the ipconfig command .

Tip: See how can I find my default gateway IP address? If your router’s IP address, or any network that uses your network for public Internet access.

Linux users can open a terminal window and enter the command hostname -i (which is a capital “I”), ifconfig , or ip addr show .

For MacOS, use the ifconfig command to find your local IP address.

IPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices show their personal IP address via the Settings app in the Wi-Fi menu . To view it, simply tap the small “i” button attached to it on the network.

You can view the local IP address of an Android device via Settings> Wi-Fi , or through Settings > Wireless Controls> Wi-Fi settings on some Android versions . Simply tap the network to see a new window showing the network to which you include the private IP address

IP version (IPv4 vs. IPv6)

There are two versions of IP: IPv4 and IPv6 If you have heard of these terms, you probably know that the older version, and now the older version, is the IPv6 upgraded IP version.

One reason IPv6 replaces IPv4 is that it can provide much more IP address than IPv4. With all devices we are constantly connected to the Internet, it is important that each of them has a unique address.

The way IPv4 addresses are created is capable of providing 4 billion unique IP addresses (2 32 ). While this is a very large number of addresses, it is not enough for the modern world that all devices are using the Internet.

Think about it আছে there are billions of people in the world. Even if everyone on the planet used to access the Internet on just one device , IPv4 would still be insufficient to provide an IP address to all of them.

IPv6, on the other hand, supports 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses ( 2188 ). That’s 1240 with 340! This means that every person in the world can connect billions of devices to the Internet. True, an overkill is a bit, but you can see how IPv6 solves this problem effectively.

The IPv6 addressing scheme helps to understand how many IP addresses are supported by IPv4. Show a stamp currency Each IPv4 address can provide enough space to hold. IPv6, then, to scale, would require the entire solar system to contain all of its addresses.

IPv4 offers a wide range of IP addresses, as well as IPv6 no personal address, no self-configuration, no network address translation (NAT) , no more efficient routing, no IP address conflict for any reason for easy administration, privacy and much more.

IPv4 displays are written as a 32-bit numeric number written in decimal format, such as or Since there are trillions of possible IPv6 addresses, they must be written in hexadecimal to display them as 3x fax: 1900: 4545: 3: 200: f8ff: fe21: 67cf .

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