What is IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)?

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In computer networks we need to give each host or system a unique number and/or name. This is the only way to make communication possible. In other ways there will be a lot of problems like collusion or miss interpretation. Most of the system uses IP addresses to communication over computer or IT networks. In this tutorial we will try to answer the question “What is IP address?” and details about IP address.

Internet Protocol or IP

TCP/IP is the most popular protocol suit that creates complete Computer networks to provide communication between hosts. There are other protocols which completes the whole picture of the end to end communication. IP is the main part of the end to end communication. IP stands for Internet Protocol and designed to provide communication between remote systems over the world. IP uses packet switching to transmit packets to the destination hosts throughout intermediate systems.

IP Address

IP Address is used to uniquely identify systems in a network. IP Addresses are used in hierarchical manner which makes packet switching possible, easy and fast. A group of hosts connected together generally creates a network. This network will have a address and hosts will have addresses too which is allocated from given network. Following lines shows some IP addressing example

Network Address Range

192.168.1.0-255

Host A Address

192.168.1.10

Host B Address

192.168.1.11

Host C Address

192.168.1.12

IP Address Range

IP addresses splinted into four segment A.B.C.D as we can see in previous part. Each segment number start from 0 and continue up to 255. Followings are IP addresses.

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We use segmented structure in order to create hierarchy. We can switch packets which destination is 1.2.3.4 by looking the 1.2.3 part of the address. Each IP address have following characteristics.

  • Consist of 64 bit = 8 byte = 4 octet
  • Numeric only
  • Each octet range is from 0 to 255

IP Address Versions

We do not talk about IP Address versions. There is two versions those called version 4 and version 6 . We also express them as IPv4 and IPv6 . IPv4 is old addressing protocol and schema but mainly used everywhere. IPv6 provides some new mechanism but not penetrated into networks as expected. Simply if someone says IP address most probably he talks about IPv4

IPv6

Here are some features about IPv6

  • Consist of 128 bit
  • Expressed with hexadecimals
  • A lot of IP address which will enough for everyone

Private IP Addresses

Most of the IP addresses are used in the internet. But some of them are and can not be used in the internet. We call these IP addresses as Private IP addresses. We need private IP addresses because IP address count is not enough for every host so we have to reuse them with congestion. Private IP addresses are used in home and private networks without interfering with other networks. Home modem users also uses Private IP addresses which is the same for the most of the home networks. Here the list of Private IP Addresses

  • From 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255
  • From 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255
  • From 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255

Public IP Addresses

Public addresses are used in the internet space. Public addresses are all IP address range other than private and some specially IP addresses. Public IP addresses should be uniquely used in the internet. So IP address like 8.8.8.8 will only used by a single host on the internet.

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