IP stands for Internet Protocol. It’s a unique number assigned to every device connected to the Internet or a local network, like your home Wi-Fi network.
Every device on a network must have a unique IP address to communicate with other devices on the same local area network (LAN). This includes computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Types of IP Address
There are two types: IPv4 and IPv6. IP addresses are assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages all IPv4 and IPv6 address space assignments.
IPv4 addresses consist of 32 bits separated into four octets, each with values 0-255; for example, 192.168.1.1 or 2001:db8:0:1234::93e3.
Each part of an IPv4 address can be written in decimal or hexadecimal notation like this: 192.168.1.1 or C0A80C01.
IPv6 addresses use 128 bits divided into eight 16-bit fields separated by colons (example 2001:0DB8::CD33/128). In hexadecimal notation, they look like this: 00110100001010001110000001110 1111 1110 11 10 000 0100 0001 1 FFFF C000 0000 1010 (this is two words long instead of 4 bytes).
IPv4 vs. IPv6
One of the main points to understand is that IPv6 and IPv4 are fundamentally different in how they’re used. IPv4 is a 32-bit address, which means there can be up to 4,294,967,296 different addresses (although not all possible addresses have been allocated).
IPv6 uses 128 bits and has 2^128 possible addresses—that’s 340 undecillion addresses!
Private IP address
A private IP address refers to the unique address given to each device on a network. It must be unique, but it can be any value between 1 and 255.
The first three numbers of this address (for example, 192) are reserved for use by Internet service providers (ISPs).
Your ISP assigns the last number for your specific network; this number will differ from any other networks you can connect to in your area.
Private IP addresses communicate between devices within a single local area network (LAN) or across multiple connected LANs on what’s known as an intranet.
For example: if you want to access a web server from home, you would look up the public IP address of that server and then enter it into your browser’s URL bar.
But when you’re on the same local area network as that server, such as at work or at school where both devices have been connected with cables into switches or routers—you wouldn’t need an external connection because they’re already connected through their internal connections and do not require another external connection through internet service provider servers outside their networks which would slow down performance due to increased latency times while trying accessing information over long distances via satellite signals, etc.
Public IP address
The most common type of IP address is the classful IPv4 address, which is 32 bits long and can be written down as four separate octets, separated by periods.
Classless addressing uses CIDR notation or a slash and number after an IP address. For example, 192.168.1/24 designates all addresses beginning with 192.168/1 for 24 possible hosts on that network segment (192 + 16 = /16).
IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses instead of 32-bit ones; these contain eight groups of 16 bits, each separated by colons or dashes rather than periods (example: fe80::9a33:c8ff:feac:e7a7).
What Does an IP Address Look Like?
IP addresses are four numbers separated by periods.
The first number is the network address, which identifies the network you’re on. The last three numbers are your unique identifier within that network, called your “host” address.
So if you have a home network with 192 in the first byte and 255 for all of the other three bytes, then 192.168 would be a typical designation for it (although many people use 10 as their last byte to indicate they’re on an internal private LAN/WLAN).
This means that every device connected to this wireless router will have a different host address within that range, so your laptop would have something like 192.168.1 while someone else’s could be 192.168.2, etcetera.
How To Find Your IP Address?
The easiest way to find your IP address on any operating system or device is to open up your browser and go to this website: https://www.whatismyip.com/
It will tell you all of your IP-related data, including your public IP, Location, and ISP.
IP addresses are used to send and receive data over the Internet. They allow users to connect to websites, send email, and access network resources.
By assigning a unique number to each device on the Internet, they provide a way for computers and other devices like printers and servers to communicate with each other.