An IP address, also known as an Internet Protocol address, is a classifying number for computers connected to a network. When an IP address is active, it simply means the primary computing device will have the ability to communicate with other devices over an IP-based network.
There are multiple versions of the Internet Protocol, but the most known as IPv4 and IPv6. We should point out that IPv4 defines an IP address as a 32-bit number, while IPv6 defines an IP address as a 128-bit number.
How it Works
IP addresses are especially important for sending and receiving information. They route internet traffic where it needs to go, and they direct emails to your inbox.
The important thing to remember is this: Every active device on the internet has an IP address.
IP addresses are only one part of the internet’s architecture. After all, having a postal address for your house is meaningless unless there’s a post office responsible for delivering the mail. In internet terms, IP is one part of TCP/IP.
The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is a set of rules and procedures for connecting devices across the internet. TCP/IP specifies how data is exchanged: Data is broken down into packets and passed along a chain of routers from origin to destination. This is the basis for all internet communication.
TCP defines how applications communicate across the network. It manages how a message is broken down into a series of smaller packets, which are then transmitted over the internet and reassembled in the right order at the destination address.
The IP portion of the protocol directs each packet to the right destination. Each gateway computer on the network checks this IP address to determine where to forward the message.
Classes of IP Address
Classful addressing is a network addressing the internet's architecture . This addressing method divides the IP address into five separate classes based on four address bits.
They are: class A, B, C, D, and E. One should note that each class has a range of valid IP addresses.
You see, the IP addresses of classes A, B, and C, can be used in many instances, but primarily for host addresses. In terms of Class D, it is designed for Multicast, while E has a more experimental purpose.
A: It has a first Octet value of 0-127, with a Subnet mask of 8
B: It has a first Octet value of 128-191, with a Subnet mask of 16
C: It has a first Octet value of 192-223, with a Subnet mask of 23
D: It has a first Octet value of 224-239, with a Subnet mask of –
E: It has a first Octet value of 240-55, with a Subnet mask of –
Here are the drawbacks/ cons of the classful IP addressing method:
Risk of running out of address space soon
Class boundaries did not encourage efficient allocation of address space
Types of IP Address
There are basically four types of IP address:
Public IP address
Private IP address
Static IP address
Dynamic IP address
A public IP address is an address where one primary address is associated with your whole network. In this type of IP address, each of the connected devices has the same IP address.
A private IP address is a unique IP number assigned to every device that connects to your home internet network, which includes devices like computers, tablets, smartphones, which is used in your household.
A static IP address is an IP address that cannot be changed. In contrast, a dynamic IP address will be assigned by a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, which is subject to change. Static IP address never changes, but it can be altered as part of routine network administration.
Dynamic IP addresses always keep changing. It is temporary and are allocated to a device every time it connects to the web. Dynamic IPs can trace their origin to a collection of IP addresses that are shared across many computers.
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