How Does an IP Address Work?

Every device connected to the Internet has an IP address. Your computer, television, phone, fax machine, XBox and even the coke machine must take an IP address to send and receive information on the Internet. IP address, or short for Internet Protocol address, is the unique identification for computer systems on the network. There are two other identifiers used in Internet communication – the Domain name and the MAC (Media Access Control) address. These identifiers must not be confused with the IP Address.

What is the purpose of the IP address?

The IP address acts as an identifier, which is unique. It helps locate the device by other devices on the Internet. It also helps enforce the right security mechanisms.

What Format Does an IP Address Assume?

A device can have an IPv4 or IPv6 address. IPv4 addresses contain four segments. For example, 192.168.1.1 is an IPv4 address. The famous IP address 127.0.0.1, which represents the local machine is also an IPv4 address.

On the other hand, an IPv6 address has eight segments, and an example of an IPv6 address is 3ffe:1901:4544:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf.

Internet IP Address

What is the Difference Between the DomainName and the IP Address?

When a device connects to the Internet, the IP address is translated into the domain name to help make it convenient for end-users. The domain name acts as a pointer to the real identifier for that device, which is the IP address. For example, www.nasa.gov has the IP address 72.246.51.15 and about.com take the IP address 208.185.127.40.

How Does Your Device Obtain an IP Address?

You Internet Service Provider (ISP) has a pool of IP addresses. This method followed by ISPs is known as Dynamic IP Addressing mechanism. When a device logs in to connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider(ISP), an IP address is assigned to it.

In this way, millions of devices can connect to the World Wide Web at any instant, all identified by their unique IP addresses. During the 1990s, when the Internet was just in its infancy, devices were assigned static IP addresses. Static IP addresses are used only in a few cases presently.

How Does an IP Address Help Locate a User?

Certain websites like www.whatismyipaddress.com are tuned to be able to pick your machine’s IP address and compare it to the available ISP database. This helps them find your location on the planet.

How Can You Ensure Greater Privacy for your IP Address?

Sometimes, it is essential to mask your IP address and avoid being tracked. To maintain privacy for your online habits, you can digitally alter the appearance of your computer’s IP address by masking it.

What is the Difference Between Internal and External IP Addressing?

Computers within office networks obtain an internal IP address and get the primary IP address only when they connect to the Internet. This technique is used to reduce the number of IP addresses on the Internet and is referred to as internal vs. external addressing mechanism.

What Mechanisms Ensure that a Greater Range of IP Addresses Available?

The switch over from IPv4 to IPv6 standard during the recent years makes a greater range of IP addresses accessible to the online community. This means that while IPv4 had only 4.3 billion possible IP addresses, IPv6 creates enough room for as many as 34,000,000,000,000,000,000 billion addresses.

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