What is an IP Address, and How Does it Work?
With the growing need for internet privacy, most of us have heard about the concept of “IP address.” What exactly is an IP address, how does it work, and what can it tell us about the person using it?
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the IP address and how it can be useful in investigating internet users.
What is an IP Address?
An IP address is simply a numeric code that indicates a particular internet connection to the outside world. It is actually a portion of the data that travels over your network connection, a number of data bytes that make up the communication string between two computers (typically a client and a server).
You may think your computer already has an IP address, which it does, but your IP address is usually obtained through your ISP.
As with conventional addresses, they assist packets or communication in determining where they are supposed to go and where they are supposed to place requests and receive responses. Thus, when we discuss IP addresses, we typically refer to three things: the IP addresses themselves, something called the subnet mask, and finally, a gateway.
Thus, if you’ve ever attempted to configure or enter an IP address into one of your devices, such as your laptops, you’ll have encountered these three items. Thus, what do they imply? Thus, IP addresses, as we all know, are unique addresses assigned to your system over the network.
When it comes to the subnet mask, this basic address or these digits define whether this IP address and the others are part of the same network. Thus, a computer can determine whether 192 168 dot 0 dot 2 or any other IP address with this subnet mask is part of the same network as 192 168 dot 0 dot 2. How? We’ll take a look at it later. And gateway is the router’s IP address.
What is IPv4?
The IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) Address is the address of a computer on the Internet. This address is the same for all computers on the Internet. This address is used by the client to send an IP message to the server. The IP message informs the server that the server should handle a given task. The message contains two things:
- The IP address of the client (the sender)
- The IP address of the server (the destination)
What is IPv6?
IPv6 is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with the long-anticipated problem of IPv4 address exhaustion.
IPv6 was developed in the 1990s in response to the impending exhaustion of the IPv4 address space.
IPv6 addresses are 128-bits long, which provides approximately 3.4×10^38 unique addresses. This is a vast improvement over the 4.3 billion unique addresses provided by IPv4.
IPv6 addresses are four times larger than IPv4 addresses, meaning that there are many more of them. This larger address space is the most significant difference between the two versions of the IP protocol.
IPv6 also includes several other changes and improvements, including support for new types of network applications and devices, more straightforward network configuration, increased security, and more efficient routing.
What is a router, after all?
A router is a network device that physically divides or terminates networks. Thus, a router’s function is to link two networks together. Therefore, the gateway serves as the network’s router. For instance, if you have a WiFi router at home, the router connects you to your internet service provider, which may be a different company.
Thus, what are Internet Protocol (IP) addresses? As you saw, they are made up of four digits, or four octets. Why are octets used instead of hexadecimal? Thus, as is well known, computers communicate in binary code. Thus, each number is represented by eight digits, one of which must be a zero or a one.
Thus, we say that the 192s representation in octet form is 1 1 and all the 0s. How are you going to obtain that? As an example, consider the following.
Thus, you multiply 2 to the power 0 by 1, 2 to the power 1 by 2, and similarly, if you calculate all of these, then multiply whatever value here by whatever value. Thus, 128 and 64 are created, and when all of these are added together, 192 is created.
Thus, this is a crude method of determining the respective binary values or how to obtain a value from a binary value.
Consider the remaining numbers in the address, which were 192, 168, 0, 1, and 255. Thus, these are the equivalents to the other numbers. As a result, an octet can represent a value ranging from 0 to 255. What does this mean in practical terms?
Each octet can contain an IP address ranging from 0 to 255, or two hundred and fifty-six numbers. Likewise with the remaining octet. Utilizing this addressing scheme, we can have up to 255 to power 4 unique addresses. However, don’t you believe that these addresses are a bit fewer in number when we consider the entire internet? Without a doubt!
Thus, we now have something called IP v 6, which is a completely different topic that needs to be discussed, and there is another concept known as public and private addresses that we will investigate in different post.