Definition of an IP Address – What is an IP Address?

The full form of IP address is an Internet Protocol address. Every device that is connected to a computer network requires this IP address for communication. An IP address can identify the host and its network interface and gives the location of the host in the network.

IP Versions

Generally, two versions of the IP address are there. One is ARPANET and another is IETF. ARPANET is known as IPv4 or Internet Protocol version 4 and IETF can be found as IPv6 or Internet Protocol Version 6. Both these versions define the format of the addresses in different ways.

Subnetworks of IP Address

IP addresses are divided into subnetworks and can be found in both IPv4 and IPv6. That is why the IP address can be identified in two parts. The high-order bits are called network prefix and the remaining bits are known as rest fields. Generally, the first 24 bits of the IP address is indicated as a subnet.

The Process of Assigning IP Address

ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers manages the IP address across the world. This organization helps and co-ordinates with the whole process through IP addresses that are supplied and avoid repetition or clashes.

Basically, it works as a central repository for IP addresses. All the ranges are supplied to regional registries through this ICANN as well as distribute them to network providers. 

It means you get your IP address from your company network or ISP and they receive this address from a regional internet registry where a block of addresses is found. This whole process is managed by IANA.

Why IP Addresses are Important?

By using an IP address, we can communicate with each other. Every computer, servers, telephones, cameras should have a different and unique IP address. Sometimes one IP address can be used by many websites as well. IP addresses help to rank your website in search engines and make the process more effective.

How to Find IP Address on PC?

If you want to know how to find IP address on your Windows and Mac computers then you can follow the below-mentioned steps.

Find IP address

Windows (Wired Connection)

  • First, click on start logo and choose Settings.
  • Go to the Network & Internet Settings icon.
  • To get the IP address of the wired connection, check on the left menu pane and choose Ethernet then select your network connection.
  • Check the IP address next to IPv4 address.

Wireless Connection

For a wireless connection, you have to follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • Choose WifI from the left menu pane.
  • Click on the Advanced Options
  • Get the IP address next to IPv4 address.

For Mac OS

  • Click on the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  • In the system reference page, go to the View menu and select Network.
  • Select the Network connection for which you want to view your IP address.
  • Check the IP address under Status.

Types of IP Address

There are two types of IP addresses- Static and Dynamic.

Dynamic and Static

Static IP addresses can not be changed after these are assigned to a device on a network. As these addresses are stable that is why they are cost-effective. Generally for web, email, and gaming servers, static IP addresses are the best option.

On the other hand, Dynamic IP addresses are changeable. Each time your device logs in a network, these IP addresses get changed. Basically these addresses are difficult to trace and that is why these can secure your network. Most of the companies and firms prefer to use these dynamic addresses to build a strong network. DHCP or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol allocate this address to your device’s network

Advantages of Having an IP Address

Having an IP address has several benefits. Here are a few points that are discussed below.

Benefits of Static IP Address

If you want to use a static IP address then you can find the following benefits.

1. Decrease Downtime

When you refresh your IP address, downtime occurs. With the static IP address, you can decrease the risk of downtime.

2. Get Better Name Resolution Across the Internet

By using a static IP address, hostnames can be found easily and in a reliable way. This is the main reason that FTP servers, web servers, and others prefer these addresses. As these are fixed, you do not need to track their changes.

3. Provide Protection

If you are using a static IP address then it will provide your home network extra protection from any type of security problem and develop your network.

4. Remote Access

The best part of using a static address is that you can communicate remotely from anywhere. This address will allow you to log in to your work and home PC by using programs like Remote Administrator and PC.

5. Reduces the Risk of Losing Important Information

A static IP address secures all your important information, messages. You can even find all your messages the same at all times. It means you will be aware if someone wants to communicate with you.

6. Allow More than One Device

Static IP is the best for a shared network connection. Many companies prefer to use the same networked printer by using this address as it makes the whole process easier. That is why you can easily locate your shared devices.

Advantages of Dynamic IP Address

Like static IP addresses, the dynamic IP address has many benefits. Check out the below points to understand better.

1. Get Flexibility

A dynamic IP address is a flexible IP address that you can easily set up. Only you have to enable DHCP on the router. Basically, this is an automatic process where you do not have to give much effort manually.

2. Cost-Effective

In comparison to the static IP address, this address is cost-effective.

3. Get Security

 As these addresses are dynamic, you can not trace them easily. That is why they can protect your network and provide security.

Difference Between Private IP address and Unique IP Address

Private IP addresses are useful for private networks. That is why homes and offices use this network. A private network is the best for a single administration.

On the other hand, you can use unique IP for your domains that have an enabled SSL certificate. Mainly, if you want to manage your domain page better then the unique IP address is the best option.

How Does An IP address Look Like?

As you know there are two types of versions of IP addresses and both the address is different from each other. Typically an IPv4 looks as On the other hand, IPv6 uses hexadecimal and longer strings of numbers like –2001:0db8:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0053.

Final Words…

Hopefully, this helps you to understand the basis of the IP address, why these are important in TCP/IP networking. All your computer and networking devices can recognize the IP address and as per that they communicate with each other.

Mario C. Morrissey
Mario C. Morrissey
Articles: 181