Have you ever sent any letter post or anything from the courier or ordered something from any online shopping website? If yes, then you know that they ask you for the destination Address where you want them to deliver your product. You give them an Address like your flat number, building name or number, street name etc. so they can reach to the right person. IP Address also works in the same way. Today in this article we shall discuss what is an IP Address, What are its types, how it works and much more.
What is an IP Address?
IP Address stands for Internet Protocol Address. It is like phone numbers, as we all have phones and each phone has unique phone numbers. Without phone number we cannot make any call. Similarly, each and every device that can connect to a network has a unique IP Address through which it connects to any network in order to share information and data. Every website every computer every mobile phone has its IP Address.
Now you can say that where the IP Address of websites is. When we need to access any website just type website name in the browser like www.google.com, www.techquery.in and start surfing. Ok so do you save contact list number with their names so that you can easily identify them? Same is with websites, IP Addresses are difficult to remember and so each website’s IP is assigned to a unique Domain Name so that people can easily remember them. So when you type www.techquery.in in your browser and press enter it goes to the DNS server and then DNS server converts into its numerical value of IP Address like 188.8.131.52. Now it connects to its server same as you connect to any call from your contact list. It goes through a long process but in lightning speed that’s why you don’t realize it.
Why do we need IP Address?
To understand it more clearly let’s understand how you access any website. Basically, servers are also a computer where they have connected their computers to the internet and allowed you to access those files which are kept in a public folder. When you type the Address of any website it connects to that computer through its IP. After that, it sends packets to your IP that you had requested. As I mentioned above that computers communicate with each other and share packets to each other through IP Address. Without an IP Address it will be almost impossible for computers to connect to any network and thus internet is also a network so without IP Address we won’t be able to connect to the internet.
Types of IP Address-
IP adresses are of four types i.e; Public, Private, Dynamic and Static IPs. Each type has it’s own functions.
Public IP is the IP Address that is allotted to your router by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). This IP is visible to the world and when you type what is my IP Address, this is the IP that is shown to you. When you surf any website, your requests are served through your public IP Address. I will explain it in next paragraph so that you can understand it more clearly. Since your Public IP is allocated by your ISP hence you cannot change your public IP manually.
When you connect multiple devices to your router, your router allots specific IP Addresses to all your devices within the network. These IP Addresses are not visible to the outside of the network. And since these are used privately within a network these are called Private IP. When you connect your device to your Wi-Fi and surf any website your request goes through your private IP to your router and from router to the server of the website your public IP is used. When website responds to your request it comes to your router through your public IP and then your router sends the data back to you through your allocated IP Address. You can change your private manually,
Have you ever noticed that your IP Address is changed every time you reconnect to the internet? This is because you have a dynamic IP. ISP continually changes the IP Address after a certain period of time and that’s why it is called dynamic IP. Now you will say if ISP repeatedly changes my IP then does my identity also change? The answer is no because the ISP has all the record of which IP was allotted to you for what period of time so your identity never changes on the internet. If anyone commits any illegal activity on the internet the company can trace you with that data.
Static IP is something you can say premium IP Address. Premium in the sense is if you want a static IP then your ISP will charge extra money for that. People who play online video games where they need to put their IP Address, in that case, they need static IP otherwise they will be disconnected from the game if IP changes in the middle of the game. If you have CCTV cameras in your office or house and you want to access it remotely through IP Address then you will have to purchase a static IP.
Versions of IP Address-
There are two versions of IP Address are available till date. One is IPv4 and second is IPv6.
IPv4 is the first version of the IP Address. It works on 32-bit based system in which there are four sections of 3 digits. Each section is separated by a point ‘.’. There is a limit of each section from 0 to 255. It looks like this 192.168.43.33. The problem with the IPv4 version of IP is that it can generate only 4 Billion unique IP Addresses. As the number of internet gadgets is more than 4 Billion so it has become a problem to allot unique IP Address to all.
IPV6 is the second and the latest version of the IP Address. The goal of development of IPv6 is to massively increase the number of available unique IP Addresses. It was standardized in 1996 and first allocated in 1999 for the testing of this system. It works on 128-bit based system and can allocate 340 undecillion unique Addresses. This is really a big figure, isn’t it? IPv6 looks like this 2409:4064:41e:66a5:a9cd:75fa:2cc4:8f92. It uses the hexadecimal system.
How can I check my or any website’s IP Address?
There are many ways to check the IP Address of yours and any website. Here are some simple ways to know the IP.
If you are a Windows user then you can check your IP in following ways.
- Open the command prompt and type ‘ipconfig’ and hit enter it will show your IP.
If you want to know the IP Address of any website then type “ping www.example.com’ and hit enter.
- Go to settings
- Click on Network and Internet
- Now click on Change connection properties there you can see all the details of your connection.
Open your browser. Go to www.whatismyip.com where it will show your public IP Address. This way also works on Mac and Linux.
For Mac OS
- Click on the Apple icon on the left upper corner of the desktop.
- Now go to system preferences
- Click on Network
- Finally, select your connection and it will show your IP.
Open the terminal and type ‘ifconfig’ and see your IP.
Click on the connection icon on the right upper corner
Click on the connected network
Open a terminal and type ‘ifconfig’