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What’s an IP Address and how does it work?

What is an IP Address?

An IP address may be a unique identifier for each machine using the web. This identifier is written as a series of numbers separated by intervals, known as the “internet protocol address.”

If you would like to travel a touch deeper, we could mention the 2 different standards for IP addresses. Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is that the most up-to-date version of IP, while Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) was the primary IP address employed by the general public. Most addresses are IPv4. It’s the foremost widely-deployed IP that won’t too connected devices to the web.

We see that IPv4’s 32-bit address allows for around 4 billion addresses as we crunch the numbers. While that seems like tons, we will safely assume that we have already got 4 billion devices that want to attach to the web.

IPv6 uses eight blocks of 4 hexadecimal digits; it had been designed as an upgrade that also satisfies the necessity for more addresses. In classical logic, there are 340 IPv6 addresses undecillion. That’s more addresses than atoms on the surface of the world.

How Do IP Addresses Work?

When you jump online to send an email, you’re accessing a network that’s connected to the web itself or one that provides you access to the web. Perhaps that’s connecting to whatever internet service provider (ISP) you’ve got reception or employing a company network within the office.

To do this successfully, your computer uses internet protocol, and your IP address is employed as a virtual address to determine a connection.

The blocks of hexadecimal digits that structure an address are called octets. 

IP addresses are broken into two parts: a network address and host address (host = the precise device on the network).

This is where it all comes together. The first few bytes in the IP address would identify the network. The exact amount of octets depends on the category of the network. For instance, during a Class A address, the network component is located within the primary byte, while the rest of the address is used to indicate subnets and hosts. In a Class B address, the primary two octets are the network portion, while the remainder is for subnets and hosts, etc.

How Are IP Addresses Assigned?

All of those addresses are allocated by the web Assigned Numbers Authority. This nonprofit U.S. corporation coordinates global IP addresses, which you’ll read all about here.

In fact, IANA assigns blocks of IP addresses to the territorial Internet registries. These regional registries, in turn, assign addresses to ISPs, businesses, schools, and similar institutions within their area.

This means that your IP address would actually come from your organization network or ISP, which has obtained the address from the area Internet register, which has been assigned a block of IANA addresses. (It’s a process.)

Where Does a Router Fit in?

Yes. Routers matter. That box filled with ports collecting dust in your front room is translating data to attach you to the web, also as keeping you safe via the firewall.

In its simplest form, routing is what we call the method of forwarding IP packets from network to network. You probably know a router because of the device you found out to get internet access. To do that, your router is really joining networks and routing traffic between them sort of a switchboard.

To join networks, a router uses network cards, all physically connected to a network and communicating with each other across the IP system to make sure data is moved to and from the correct endpoints.

This means that when you visit the Bloggywissenhomepage, a packet of data comes from your computer and another packet is received by it, which loads your request. This communication bounces between two endpoints, all because this information has been transmitted and directed by routers.

Does This Relate to VPNs?

Yes, IP addresses are related.

In short? A VPN maybe a private network that shares data through a public network just like the internet. When employing a VPN, a user’s IP address will actually get replaced by their VPN provider, but that’s an entirely separate blog post.

Jahid Al Azom
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