Every body say about IP address …  But what really the IP address is? Most of the time the question remains unanswered or the answer may not complete. So let me try for a simple and clearer answer.

What is an IP Address?
An IP address is a numerical representation of logical address that assigned to devices participating in a computer network utilizing the TCP/IP for communication between its nodes. IP addresses are usually displayed in human-readable notations, such as 192.168.18.166 (for IPv4) and 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:1:1 (for IPv6).

There are two versions of IP address IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 is the older version-which is still in use- which is a 32 bit number (4 Bytes address), with a limited address space of 4,294,967,296 possible unique addresses. Which is represented using 4 parts of decimal numbers (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) each part can hold values from 0 to 255 (total 256 numbers in each part – 8 bits). It’s IP number can be calculated using the following method.

Let’s say the IP Address is A.B.C.D

Then IP Number value =  A x (256)3 + B x (256)2 + C x (256)1 + D x (256)0

                                                = A x (256)3 + B x  (256)2 + C x 256 + D

IPv4 also reserves some addresses for special purposes such as private networks or multicast addresses.

Using the IP number, you can find out the place using the Repository DB of all IP addresses.

The latest version is IPv6, which uses 128 bits (16 bytes) and provides the potential for a maximum of 2128 new addresses space, or about 3.403 × 1038 unique addresses.
Types of IP Configurations in Networks

Static IP addresses
When a computer configure to use the same IP address each time it powers up, this is known as a Static IP address. Uses of static addressing: Some infrastructure situations have to use static addressing, when finding the Domain Name System host that will translate domain names to IP addresses.

Dynamic IP addresses
Dynamic IP address refers to the computer’s IP address which assigns automatically. Uses of dynamic addressing: Dynamic IP addresses are most often assigned on LAN and broadband networks by Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers. It avoids the administrative burden of assigning specific static addresses to each device on a network and allows many devices to share limited address space on a network.

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