What is an IP address?
An IP address is an identification number for each device connected to a network. When you connect to your modem, your ISP assigns you a public IP address. This address is the way you communicate with all other devices available on the Internet. However, you probably have several computers and other devices in the local network, each of which needs its own IP address. So, how does all this work and how can you know what those IP addresses are?
Most IP addresses look like this:
Other IP addresses you can find with may look more like this:
2001: 4860: 4860:: 8844
In this tutorial we will explain everything you need to know about IP addresses.
What is an ip address for?
An IP address provides an identity to a network device. Similar to the address of a house or company that provides an identifiable address to that specific physical location, the devices in a network differ from each other through IP addresses.
If I am going to send a package to my friend in another country, I must know the exact destination. It is not simply putting a package with your name on it through the mail and waiting for it to arrive. Instead, I must add a specific address.
This same general process is used when data is sent over the Internet. However, instead of using a phone book to look up someone's name to find your physical address, your computer uses DNS servers to search for a host name and find your IP address.
For example, when you enter a website in a browser, such as www.comofriki.com, in your browser, the request to load that page is sent to the DNS servers that look for that host name (comofriki.com) to find your corresponding IP address (184.108.40.206).
Without the IP address, the computer will have no idea what I'm looking for.
Different types of IP addresses
Even if you have already heard about IP addresses, you may not realize that there are specific types of IP addresses. While all IP addresses are composed of numbers or letters, not all addresses are used for the same purpose.
There are private IP addresses, public IP addresses, static IP addresses and dynamic IP addresses. It's a great variety! To increase complexity, each type of IP address can be an IPv4 address or an IPv6 address.
In short, private IP addresses are used "inside" your network, like the one you probably run at home. These types of IP addresses are used to provide a way for your devices to communicate with your router and with other devices in your private network. Private IP addresses can be configured manually or can be assigned automatically by the router.
Public IP addresses are used on the "outside" of your network and are assigned by your ISP. It is the main address used by your home or business network to communicate with the rest of the network devices around the world (ie Internet). It provides a way for the devices in your network to reach your ISP, and therefore the outside world, allowing them to do things like access websites and communicate directly with other people's computers.
Which is my ip address?
Both private IP addresses and public IP addresses can be dynamic or static, which means that they change or do not change, respectively.
An IP address assigned by a DHCP server is a dynamic IP address. If a device does not have DHCP enabled or does not support it, the IP address must be assigned manually, in which case the IP address is called static IP address.
How to know my ip address
Different devices and operating systems require unique steps to find the IP address. There are also different steps to follow if you are looking for the public IP address provided by your ISP, or if you need to see the private IP address given to you by your router.
How to know my public ip address
There are many ways to find the public IP address of your router, but sites likewhich-is-my-ip-publica.com , www.cualesmiip.com or www.vermiip.es make it very easy.
These sites work on any device connected to the network with a web browser, such as your Smartphone, Tablet, Computer, etc.
What is my private ip address?
On most complete computer platforms, such as Windows, MacOS and Linux, you can often find the private ip address quickly using the command console. For example, in Windows, you can open the Start menu, look for the command prompt and press Enter. Next, type the ipconfig command and press Enter: you will get what you are looking for in the blink of an eye.
What is ip address for
Linux users can open a terminal window and enter the command ifconfig, hostname -I , or ip addr show .
For Mac OS X, use the ifconfig command to find your private IP address.
The iPhone, iPad and iPod display their private IP address through the Settings application in the WiFi menu. Touch the small "i" button next to the network to which you are connected. Depending on whether the IP address was assigned via DHCP or entered manually, it will determine which tab (DHCP or static) you should choose to view it.
You can see the private IP address of an Android device through Settings> Wireless controls> WiFi settings. Simply tap on the network you are on to see a new window that shows network information that includes the private IP address.
Versions of IP (IPv4 vs IPv6)
There are two versions of IP: IPv4 and IPv6. If you have heard about these terms, you probably know that the first one is the oldest and almost obsolete version, while IPv6 is the updated IP version.
One of the reasons why IPv6 is replacing IPv4 is that it can provide a much greater number of IP addresses than those allowed by IPv4.
With all the devices that we have constantly connected to the Internet, it is important that there is a unique address available for each one of them.
The way in which IPv4 addresses are built means that it can provide more than 4 billion unique IP addresses (2 32 ). While this is a lot of directions, it is not enough for the modern world with all the different devices that people use on the Internet.
Think about it: there are several billion people on earth. Even if everyone on the planet had only one device they used to access the Internet, IPv4 would still be insufficient to provide an IP address for all of them.
IPv6, on the other hand, is compatible with the large number of 340 billion addresses (2 128 ). That's 340 with 12 zeros! This means that every person on earth could connect billions of devices to the Internet. It is true, a bit exaggerated, but you can see how effectively IPv6 solves this problem.
In addition to the increased provision of IP addresses over IPv4, IPv6 has the added benefit of no more IP address collisions caused by private addresses, automatic configuration, and no reason for network address translation (NAT), more efficient routing, easier management, integrated privacy, and more.
IPv4 displays the addresses as a 32-bit numeric number written in decimal format, such as 220.127.116.11 or 192.168.1.1. Because there are billions of possible IPv6 addresses, they must be written in hexadecimal to show them, such as 3ffe: 1900: 4545: 3: 200: f8ff: fe21: 67cf.