What Is An IP Address, And Why Is It Important To Know?
Definition of IP Address
An IP address is a unique string that identifies a device on the internet or a local network. The protocol IP stands for “Internet Protocol” and is the set of rules which govern how data should be formatted upon transmission over the internet or local network.
IP addresses provide a way of making computers and the internet distinguishable, connecting the millions of devices on this network. Without IP addresses, the internet would not be able to function as it does today; they are an essential part of how this technology works.
What is an IP Address?
An IP address is a string of numbers separated by periods. IP addresses are expressed in the format of four stacked hexadecimal numbers, with each digit ranging from 0-255.
In addition, the IP address is not random. It’s mathematically produced and allocated in the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a division of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is a non-profit organization that was established in the United States in 1998 to help maintain the security of the internet and make it usable by all. Each time someone registers a domain on the internet, they go through a domain name registrar, who pays a small fee to ICANN so that they can register their domain.
In this video, you will learn what IP address is, why it is important to protect and how to do so by using a firewall.
Looking to understand why a device is not connecting as expected or why your network may not be working, it helps understand how IP addresses work.
The Internet Protocol is like any other language, using set guidelines to relay information. All devices use IP to communicate with other connected devices. With the same language, any computer in any location can talk to one another.
When people want to share information, countries typically censor unwanted content to protect their interests. This can be done through IP address blocking, a filtering service that identifies IP addresses and stops content from being seen.
- Connection to the internet is facilitated by your device connecting to a network connected to the internet.
- In terms of Internet connectivity, your network’s overall location will have an impact on the speed of its connection. Your ISP is when you’re at home and your work’s network is when you’re at work.
- How to use your IP address as a device identifier
- ISPs provide the internet to its members, giving them an IP address for their device. It is their role to assign an IP address for each device.
- However, IP addresses can change. For example, turning your modem or router on and off can change it. You may also contact your ISP and have them change it for you.
- When you are traveling, it’s important to note that your IP address won’t change. To access the internet and other websites, you’re connecting through a different network (like Internet Service Provider Wi-Fi in hotels, airports, or coffee shops) with a temporary IP address.
Types of IP addresses
These types of IP addresses help to determine who uses the device
Every individual or business with an internet service plan will have two types of IP addresses: their private IP addresses and their public IP address. The terms public and private relate to the network location — that is, a private IP address is used inside a network, while a public one is used outside a network.
Private IP addresses
As more devices are added to the internet, your router needs a way to identify each new device on the network. Most devices require the ability to recognize other devices and the router assigns private IP addresses that would differentiate each device on the network.
Public IP addresses
Through DNS, each device connected to the internet has an address. The IP address for your entire network will be the public IP address for your router provided by your ISP. You can use your public IP address as the registration point for all other devices to recognize that you are hosting this network.
Public IP addresses
Public IP Address is further divided into two types;
Dynamic IP addresses
A dynamic IP address changes each time you login and, during our logout process, old IP addresses are recycled to be used by future customers. This approach makes it easier for ISPs to save on costs by automating their processes while adding a level of security.
Static IP addresses
For personal or business use, static IP addresses are equally important. It is important for websites and email addresses to remain consistent as other devices would rely on that information to connect with the website or email address.