What is an Internet protocol address? An Internet protocol address, also known as an IP address, is a completely unique numerical label. This label is attached to a computer network that is connected to the Internet. Every device that is connected to the internet including laptops, modems, routers, smartphones, scanners, printers, etc. has an IP address. An IP address looks something like this: 22.214.171.124.
What is the role of an Internet protocol address? Without an IP address, a device would not be able to send and receive information across a network. The Internet protocol address allows devices communicate with websites. The IP address lets the website know who is connecting with them. You can think of an IP address kind of like the return address when you send a letter to someone. This applies to email as well. When you send an email, if it is sent to an address that doesn’t exist, the email is sent back to you letting you know the address was incorrect.
An Internet protocol address can also be used to identify your physical location in the world. While it won’t know your exact address, it can usually identify city, Internet service provider, and longitute and latitude. Most people don’t want this information public, so a VPN comes in handy for hiding the IP address. What does a VPN do? A VPN hides your real IP address behind a different one.
How are Internet protocol addresses created? The IANA, or the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, both creates and manages IP addresses. They assign number super-blocks to registries, which are known as Regional Internet Registries. They then assign numbers to Internet service providers and small enterprises. This system is used to track every computer and device.
When the original version of Internet protocol was first deployed, it was actually before the Internet even existed. Today, there are two versions in use. The new version is known as Internet Protocol 4 or Ipv4. During the early 1990s, address space was beginning to run out and Ipv6 was in its testing stages, which lasted into the mid-2000s. Ipv4 limits address space, some of which are reversed for private networks and other special purposes. These account for approximately 18 million addresses. Ivp6 has a size of 128 bits (compared to 32 bits for Ipv4) for addresses. Thanks to its grand size, Ipv6 is expected to last for a long time providing Internet protocol addresses.
A dynamic IP address is one that is assigned by a network using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is used to allow devices to share address space if they are online at the same time if address space is limited. Addresses that are assigned by the DHCP usually have an expiration date. The lease can be renewed, but if it isn’t, the address will be assigned to a different device.
A static IP address is a permanent address and can’t be changed, but can be configured manually if needed. Static IP addresses are used by servers and important equipment.