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What is IP Address (Internet Protocol) | Meaning, Types, Example

What is IP Address (Internet Protocol) | Meaning, Types, Example?. In the previous articles, we have given How Many Languages are Spoken in India and How to Start a School in India | Procedure, Documents RequiredToday we are discussing what is an IP address, types and examples. An IP address (abbreviation of Internet Protocol address) is an identifier assigned to each computer and other devices (e.g., printer, router, mobile device, etc.) connected to a TCP/IP network that is used to locate and identify the node in communications with other nodes on the network.

What is IP Address (Internet Protocol) | Meaning, Types, Example

There are basically two types of IP addresses:

  • Static IP address
  • Shared IP address

An IP Address is a 32-bit number that identifies a computer on the Internet. Every website on the internet is found not by its domain name but by its IP address.

When someone types the address: www.xyz.com it is translated into an IP address and then the computer is directed to that IP address which is the website.

Now every single website has an IP address specifically allocated to it. If every site assigned a separate IP address then there could be a problem with running out of IP addresses so a lot of the sites on the server use a single IP address for multiple sites.

Shared IP address: using more than one site on an IP address.

Static IP address: If a site has its own IP address, and shares with no one else.

The Format of an IP Address

The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, 1.160.10.240 could be an IP address.

Within an isolated network, you can assign IP addresses at random as long as each one is unique. However, connecting a private network to the Internet requires using registered IP addresses (called Internet addresses) to avoid duplicates.

IP is a connectionless protocol, which means that there is no continuing connection between the end points that are communicating. Each packet that travels through the Internet is treated as an independent unit of data without any relation to any other unit of data. (The reason the packets do get put in the right order is because of TCP, the connection-oriented protocol that keeps track of the packet sequence in a message.) In the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communication model, IP is in layer 3, the Networking Layer.

The most widely used version of IP today is Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4). However, IP Version 6 (IPv6) is also beginning to be supported. IPv6 provides for much longer addresses and therefore for the possibility of many more Internet users. IPv6 includes the capabilities of IPv4 and any server that can support IPv6 packets can also support IPv4 packets.

IPv4

An IPv4 address consists of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by three dots. For example, the IP address of Cawinners.com is 162.144.212.44. This number is used to identify the CA Winners website on the Internet. When you visit http://cawinners.com in your web browser, the DNS system automatically translates the domain name “cawinners.com” to the IP address “162.144.212.44.”

There are three classes of IPv4 address sets that can be registered through the InterNIC. The smallest is Class C, which consists of 256 IP addresses. The next largest is Class B, which contains 65,536 IP addresses. The largest block is Class A, which contains 16,777,216 IP addresses.

The total number of IPv4 addresses ranges from 000.000.000.000 to 255.255.255.255. Because 256 = 28, there are 28 x 4 or 4,294,967,296 possible IP addresses. While this may seem like a large number, it is no longer enough to cover all the devices connected to the Internet around the world. Therefore, many devices now use IPv6 addresses.

IPv6

The IPv6 address format is much different than the IPv4 format. It contains eight sets of four hexadecimal digits and uses colons to separate each block. An example of an IPv6 address is: 2602:0445:0000:0000:a93e:5ca7:81e2:5f9d. There are 3.4 x 1038 or 340 undecillion) possible IPv6 addresses, meaning we shouldn’t run out of IPv6 addresses anytime soon.

What is a Private IP Address?

When you send a letter from your house to a friend, you have to know the address to send it to so that the postman knows which street and which house to take it to. Computer networks such as the Internet are no different, except instead of sending your Web traffic to an address like 1145 Main Street, your computer’s “location” (the destination for your emails and Google inquiries) is known by its IP (Internet protocol) address.

In theory, your individual computer has to have its own unique IP address so that it will only receive the information that is meant for you. You don’t want your emails and the responses to your Google searches going anywhere else.

Types of IP Addresses

The Internet community originally defined five address classes to accommodate networks of varying sizes. Microsoft TCP/IP supports class A, B, and C addresses assigned to hosts. The class of address defines which bits are used for the network ID and which bits are used for the host ID.

IPClass IP Address Range No. of hosts and net­works each Class provides
Class A 1.0.0.1 to 126.255.255.254 Sup­ports 16.7 mil­lion hosts on each of 126 networks.
Class B 128.1.0.1 to 191.255.255.254 Sup­ports 65,534 hosts on each of 16,382 networks.
Class C 192.0.1.1 to 223.255.254.254 Sup­ports 254 hosts on each of 2 mil­lion networks.
Class D 224.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255 Reserved for mul­ti­cast groups.
Class E 240.0.0.0 to 254.255.255.254 240.0.0.0 to 254.255.255.254

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