What is an IP Address?

What is an IP Address
6 min read
What is an IP Address

An IP address is one of the most important parts of network connectivity. That is to say, that this is the most important tool that computers use to communicate with each other over a network. First of all, the reason you are reading this article is that you need the answer to one important question. What is an IP Address?

Every device that can be connected to a network receives an IP address. In the past, devices that required IPv4 address to connect into a network included devices such as computers, routers, switches, and VoIP phones.

Nowadays, this list grew exponentially amid the rapid success of the Internet of Things or IoT. Consequently, the need for extra addresses has become a priority.

How Internet Protocol Works

What are the different types of IP addresses?

There are 2 main types of IP addresses divided into public and local addresses. Firstly, the public address consists of an address provided by your internet service provider or ISP. Secondly, the local IP address is automatically assigned by your router to each device on your local network. These private addresses are not reachable outside your local network.

A typical IP address consists of:

  • Four different numbers, separated by periods
  • Each with one to three digits
  • All of them falling between 0 and 255 

There are 3 range of IP address reserve only for private networks used.

  • – (65,536 Addresses)
  • – (1,048,576 Addresses)
  • – (16,777,216 Addresses)

How To Find an IP Address?

An IP address consists of four numbers separated by periods. For example, the typical IPv4 address located in your home networks starts with 192.168.#.#.

Windows 10

On Windows 10, there are several ways to find your device IP address.

  1. Click on the Wi-Fi icon or network icon in the system tray
  2. Then click the “Network Settings” link.
  3. Click on Ethernet if you are connected with a cable
  4. Click on WI-FI if you are connected via WI-FI.

Find IP Address with Command-line

Secondly, for the command-line users. This is how to get an IP address in the command line.

  1. Mac and Linux – Open terminal and type ifconfig
  2. Windows – Open cmd and type ipconfig

Find Your Public IP Address

The simplest way to find your router’s public IP address is by using Google’s search engine and typing “what is my IP?“.

What do IPv4 and IPv6 mean?

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the fourth version of the Internet Protocol (IP). IPv4 uses a 32-bit addressing scheme able to supports 4.3 billion devices. This was enough 10 years ago, however with the rapid growth of IoT devices more addresses are necessary.

IPv6 is the next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) address standard. It provides approximately 340 undecillion IPv6 addresses. This next-generation of address is intended to supplement and eventually replace them all. Above all, IPv6 provides some other updates to IPv4, including security and privacy improvements.

What’s the difference between static IPs and dynamic IPs?

First of all, when a device is assigned a static IP address, the address does not change. A static IP address makes it easier to permanently connect to a device over the network. For example, this is very useful while connecting to NAS and over the network printers.

On the other hand, most devices connected to the Internet are assigned a temporary or dynamic IP address. These addresses are assigned by the network and change over time. That is to say, the insufficient amount of IPv4 addresses drove the industry to introduce dynamically assigning IP addresses.

How do I Hide My IP Address?

Cyber-attacks have become one of the greatest threats to any computer network. For those not familiar with the term, a cyber-attack is a malicious and deliberate attempt designed to breach a computer network. Regularly, the attacker attempts to obtain as much information from the victim’s network.

Most importantly, in the internet world, an IP address is a unique identifier that tells websites who is visiting. Consequently, that is why many want to hide their footprint around the web.

Certainly, This is why a Virtual Private Network or VPN is one of the most popular ways to hide your tracks on the web.

To sum up, what a VPN does is creates an encrypted tunnel between you and the website’s servers This tunnel ensures that no one sees your web traffic and providing alternative information that helps you stay hidden online.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, an IP address is one of the most important tools for today’s computer systems. Certainly, this is because the Internet is just a really big network or the interconnection of many individual networks.


Victor Hugo Solis

Master’s Degree in Information Security, a Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration, and experience as a WordPress Web Designer & Developer.