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IP address, full name ‘Internet Protocol Address’, is a unique identifier that is used to locate and identify a device on the Internet. Whether it’s your computer, phone or server – each device has its own unique IP, which is used for communication between devices. Without an IP address, a computer would not be able to send or receive data on the Internet.
IP addresses – types
Private IP address
A private IP address is a unique identifier assigned to devices inside a local network, such as a home Wi-Fi network, a corporate network or an Ethernet network. These addresses are used to identify and communicate between devices inside the same network, which can include different devices such as computers, smartphones, routers or hosting servers.
Private IP addresses are used to identify and communicate between devices inside the same network.
This allowsapplications to communicate directly with each other on the same hardware or within the same network without the risk of being confused with another user’s device. Because of its local applicability, private IP addresses can be repeated on different networks, as they do not have to be unique worldwide. The important thing is that private IP addresses do not reveal your physical location on the Internet. Popular ranges of private IP addresses include 192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255, 172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255 and 10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255.
Public IP address
A public IP address, in turn, is a unique address used on the Internet that allows communication between a device and the rest of the global network. Each public IP address is unique throughout the world, allowing devices to be uniquely identified on the global network. It is the address that Internet services see when you connect to them, and they can use it to track your online activity. Your home devices most likely share a single public IP address assigned by your ISP.
Permanent IP address
A fixed IP address, often also called “fixed” or “fixed” IP address, is an IP address that does not change over time Unlike a dynamic IP address, which can change every time a device connects to a network (for example, when rebooting a router or reconnecting to a network), a fixed IP address remains the same.
Permanent IP addresses are often used for web servers, monitoring systems, VPNs and other services and applications that require a fixed access point. That way, users and other systems always know how to connect to them. However, fixed IP addresses can pose a greater security risk, as they are easier to track and attack, and can make it easier to track online activity.
How to check your IP address?
If you want to check your computer’s IP, there are several ways to do it. On Windows computers, you can use the command line andtype ‘ipconfig’, which will show the IP address. On Macs, you can find the IP address in the Apple menu by selecting ‘System Preferences’ and then click ‘Network’. You can also check the IP address on your android phone in the Wi-Fi settings.
What is a VPN?
Many people choose to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access the Internet securely and protect their private IP address. VPN hides your real IP address and replaces it with a new one, which can help protect your privacy.
IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol, which is the foundation of the Internet. This protocol is responsible for identifying and locating computers on the Internet and transferring data between them.
Reasons to switch to IPv6
IPv6 was introduced mainly due to the depletion of the pool of available IPv4 addresses, which is the previous version of the protocol. Each device connected to the Internet must have a unique IP address. IPv4 addresses, which are 32-bit numbers, allow for about 4 billion unique combinations, which may seem like a large number, but as the number of devices connected to the network increased, this pool began to run out.
Benefits of this solution
IPv6 solves this problem by using 128-bit addresses, which theoretically allows 340 undecylions (3.4×10^38) of unique addresses. In addition to increasing the available address space, IPv6 also introduces a number of other improvements over IPv4, such as better support for mobile networks and improved data flow and routing support.
Did you know that…
- Private IP Addresses: As recommended by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), they are reserved for use on private networks and are not routed on the public Internet. That’s why when you try to “ping” a private IP address from somewhere outside your local network, you won’t get a response.
- Fixed IP Addresses: While they have many advantages, such as stability for Internet services, they tend to be more expensive to maintain because there are limited resources. ISPs often charge extra for fixed IP addresses.
- Protocol IPv6: One of the most important improvements in IPv6 is the introduction of “extended headers”. These allow for additional information to be sent in packets, increasing the protocol’s flexibility and functionality.
- Rationale for the transition to IPv6: It is necessary, but the process is slow. According to Google, by the beginning of 2021, only about 30% of Internet traffic was using IPv6, although this number is steadily growing.
- Benefits of IPv6: One of the more interesting improvements in IPv6 is the simplification of the packet header. In IPv4, the packet header can contain up to 40 bytes of data and has many options that can be difficult to parse. IPv6 has a simpler 40-byte header with fewer options, making it easier to process and transmit packets.
- IPv6-addressing: Due to the huge number of addresses available in IPv6, theoretically every grain of sand on Earth could have its own unique IP address!
Summary, IP address is a key element in communication between devices on the Internet. With it, data can be sent to a specific device on the network. Whether it is the IP address of a computer, the IP address of a phone, or the IP address of a server – each is essential to the proper functioning of the network.
Don’t forget, however, to protect your IP address, especially if it is a public one. Using VPNs and other security tools can help protect your IP address and privacy online.
Don’t forget to protect your IP address
Also consider upgrading your system to IPv6, especially if you are an ISP or manage a large number of devices. IPv6 offers a larger pool of available IP addresses, which can be crucial for efficient and secure network communications.
Provide a larger pool of available IP addresses, which can be crucial for efficient and secure network communications.
Whether you’re a home user or managing a company’s network, understanding what an IP address is and how it works is key to using the Internet effectively. Remember that an IP address is not only part of your device’s address on the Internet, but also an essential element that enables communication between devices on local networks and the global Internet.