What is an IP Address?
The acronym for IP address is "Internet Protocol." It is the string of numerical numbers separated by a dot (.) labeled such as 192.111.231.01 attached to an internet-connected device like computer, routers, modems, etc.
The 'Address' part further adds to its pith because each device with an internet connection has been presented a particular set of these threads, just like a house number. After all, the internet also demands to differentiate between different computers, routers, modems, and websites.
Every device has a different set of IP Addresses. Since millions of devices work simultaneously over the internet, there must be a system to distinguish each device separately to ensure the realization of smooth flow of data; hence, billions of IP addresses exist in the vast digital ocean.
How Does IP Address Work?
IP Address works as a gateway to enter into the (www) World Wide Web. It is the identifier that allows data to be transmitted on distinct networks and carry your location information for making your device convenient for communication with other computers, websites, and all parts of cyberspace.
The working principle of IP Addresses is complex. Still, that can be generally defined in such a way that every device connected to the internet is hardwired to Transmission Control Protocol or Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). TCP or IP is the system that commands all the rules by which all the devices connected to the network shares data.
For example, your IP Address is 192.111.123.01, the first three sets of numbers are known to be the set of Network ID (192.111.123), and the last two or three digits (01) are your specific host ID. Whenever anyone shares any data with you, it first goes to your Internet Service Provider’s Network ID, and later, it goes to your host ID.
What are the types and versions of IP Addresses?
Versions Of IP addresses
IP addresses are divided into two versions, Internet Protocol version 4, IPv4 consisting of 32 Bits, and Internet Protocol version 6, IPv6 composed of 128 bits.
Types Of IP addresses
The IP addresses are explained into four categories.
Private IP Address
It is also known as Local IP Address:
The addresses that are running inside your router or modem are called your Private or Local IP Addresses.
These addresses are employed to classify devices inside the network, such as your WiFi network, usually operating at your home. They may be assigned manually or automatically by the dynamic host configuring protocol.
They are often written as 192.111.123.01 having numbers between 0 to 255. It depends on the gateway or accessibility of the IP on the router of the network.
Public IP Address
The Public Address is incorporated with your whole network is the Public IP Address. It is used outside the network and assigned by the Internet Service Providers (ISP).
It can be considered the primary IP Address your devices use to communicate over the wide-area network and the internet, and this is why it is also known as the primary IP Address. It allows you to visit websites and communicate to any server or any computer around the entire globe.
Dynamic IP Address
The address that frequently changes by itself over the specified duration is known as Dynamic IP Address.
These are assigned to your internet service provider by (DHCP) Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server in a big block of IP addresses. Internet Service Provider then automatically gives these to its customers and periodically changes them into a new one by putting the older ones back in the pool to be recycled for another customer.
Static IP Address
This IP Address remains fixed and stays the same over time, just like the number of houses, streets, roads, or buildings. Every computer hosting a web server has a specific IP address assigned to it, which stays for the rest of the Internet.
It is also defined as when your computer is assigned a static IP Address; a router can be set up to always forward specific inbound requests directly to that computer.
Why should I know My IP address?
You must be aware of your IP address to avoid any subsequent activities against you. Any cybercriminals may perceive your IP Address merely by stalking you online or chatting with you on Skype by the Skype Resolver tool.
Your IP Address revealed to cybercriminals can be harmful because they can use several malicious techniques like:
After identifying your IP Address, Cybercriminals can get access to your social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., and from these sites can trace your location down.
One of the most significant and famous attacks on IP Addresses is a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial-of-Service). DDoS is an action of vigorously disturbing your regular traffic and indulging unwanted & unnecessary traffic in your IP Address. Gamers are more prone to this attack.
There are many ports for every IP address, and when a hacker understands your IP, he can attempt to force a connection, i.e., stealing your data from your smartphone, laptop, computer, etc., or installing malware in it.
Therefore to stay away from these attacks, you must follow these steps:
- Hide your IP Address.
- Create a firewall.
- Create a strong password for your devices.
- Use a good VPN (Virtual Private Network).
But the foremost important aspect here is to know the current status of your IP Address.