What is an IP address? The meaning and explanation of IP
We heard IP commonly when talking about internet-related stuff. But very few people know what it means and stands for, so let's start with the explanation and basics. An IP address is the same as a house address that is unique and different from others. To send or receive anything, one must know the correct address. The same is the case with IP addresses.
IP stands for Internet Protocol Address; now, this might have raised a question in many people's minds; what is that? Anything that receives any data or transmits any information using the internet has an IP address; these are unique and different numbers assigned to all the devices related or connected to technology.
Internet routers, printers, modems, and many more technological devices have an IP address. These unique numbers help the devices to communicate through other networks to work properly. In short, an IP address is the most important thing as, without them, no information can be sent or received.
Let's move forward and see how these unique numbers work.
The working of IP addresses
Language makes communication easy, and it becomes easier when the language is the same. An IP address is a language that all the devices use to communicate with each other. An IP address is not something that you can see; it is behind the curtain, and from there, it sends, receives, and exchanges all the necessary information. Any system anywhere with the same language can understand the message of another system. How does this work is stated below for better understanding;
When any of the systems is started and is connected to the network given at that place, it gives them permission to the system and allows the device to access the internet.
We all have a network that our Internet service provider (ISP) provides us, either we use it at home or our offices.
Our ISP has assigned every system an IP.
Everything that we do on our systems goes to ISP, and they get back to you using the IPs assigned.
Every ISP assigns an IP as this is their duty to get you going with your work easily.
These IP addresses can or might change if the modems or routers are turned off or on. Or sometimes, you may also ask your ISP to change them if not working properly.
Every IP is unique and works differently; for example, when you are out of your country but have your internet connection along, the IP that has been assigned will not work there, and you will have to get a new IP from there.
There are many different types of IP depending upon the type of work.
How many types of IPs addresses are there?
IPs have different types and, based on that, they fall into different categories. Let us see how many types of IPs are there and which one is ideal for you.
Consumer IP address
Any person, company, or business that owns devices working through the internet and paying for these has a Consumer IP address.
Private IP address
Everything that we see or use today has been assigned an IP. Any devices or gadgets that work through the internet have an IP. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, LEDs, printers, and even the speakers you connect via Bluetooth all have IPs. Over time, the Private IP addresses have increased because all these devices are commonly found in every house, office, car, hotel, etc. for a router to work properly, it needs to differentiate between every device, and therefore; a private IP is generated to send and receive the correct information or message to different gadgets.
Public IP address
A public IP address is the main IP address that all the devices use alongside their unique IPs; this means a basic IP address is linked with a whole network. These IPs are provider by the ISP, and generally, they have lots of other IPs in them. Public IP is a general one used by all the devices present, and each of these devices has its different IPs.
Public IPs are further divided into two categories dynamic and static. Both of them are briefly stated below.
Dynamic or sticky IP address
The name itself tells that these are the IP addresses that keep on changing. They usually change automatically and sometimes regularly. The ISP gets a huge pool of IPs that they assign to the devices used by customers, and the IPs that change go back into the pool for future use by other customers automatically. The reason or the idea behind this dynamic IP address is that it is beneficial from the security point of view. The constantly changing IPs make it difficult to intrude or hack the network interface.
Static IP address
The self-explanatory name tells that the static IP address is the one that remains constant throughout no matter what. These IPs are most commonly used by the companies or businesses that have their server; most of them want their emails and websites linked to them and therefore, getting a static IP is a must thing for them. In many cases, companies have devices that they need to be on that network, and for that, they prefer this particular type of IP address.
A point to consider here is that there these IP address is further divided into two. In most cases, we see that companies or businesses that do not own a server and completely depend on their webpage need to choose either a shared website IP address or a dedicated website IP address. Let's have a look at these two separately.
Shared Website IP address
These websites are commonly shared with several other host websites through the same server. This is most commonly seen for sites where traffic volumes are easy to manage, like most SME companies have shared website IP addresses. Websites that have limited pages that are not huge have shared IPs.
Dedicated IP address
This type of website IP address is beneficial or more suitable for companies that wish to use an IP address instead of using a domain name. Some companies prefer to buy a dedicated IP address; this helps get a File Transfer Protocol that allows the company to share files within the company and with other people. This can be done anonymously; for a dedicated IP, you need to get an SSL certificate to get your own FTP server.
What is an IPv4?
The most commonly and widely used is the IPv4 version. This version was produced in 1983 in ARPANET, which is used to detect the devices on the network and use the same address. It is compatible with 32-bit and stores more than four billion IP addresses. It is considered the prime internet protocol that carries almost 94% of the traffic. However, with the increase in networks, these IPs are running out of stock.
What is an IPv6?
As the demand for IPs increased, IPv6 came into being to help those out of IPv4. It is also referred to as Internet Protocol Next Generation (IPng). This newer version of Internet Protocol fulfills all the demands of the IPs and aims to resolve the issues that IPv4 was unable to solve. It is compatible with 128-bit and generates 340 undecillion unique addresses.
Why are My IP Address important?
IP addresses are of great importance as they provide a state of protection that helps get rid of many criminal activites. These unique number helps a business or company to flourish by showing their creativity. IP addresses help better transmit data and information; they help generate traffic and direct them to you.