We connect the computers with the internet. Not only computers, today, most of the digital devices that have something to do with media files are connected wirelessly. Now, do you ever wonder what medium a computer or the device that you use is connected to? Yes, the answer is it is all connected using an IP Address.
Now, the question is, what is an IP Address? By simple definition, an IP Address is a location or destination where one can find you on the world wide web. Just like our home has a postal address, the IP Address acts as a destination where all your connected devices reside. Unlike a postal address, however, the IP Address is a string of auto-generated numbers that follows a fixed protocol.
That brings us to a series of questions – how does it work? What type of IP Addresses are available now? How to find the IP Address? So, in this article, we will discuss and try to answer all these questions. Alongside that, we will also discuss the purpose and benefits of an IP Address.
How Does it Work?
An IP Address can be of two types, which we will learn later. For now, let us discuss the most commonly accepted protocol – IPv4. So, there, there are four sets of numbers divided by a ‘dot.’ For example, this is how an IPv4 IP Address looks like – 192.168.0.1.
Note that the first two octaves, 192 and 168, related to the network, and the next two, 0 and 1, are for the host or the devices connected in the network. So, if there are multiple devices connected in the same network, the IP Address will subsequently look like 192.168.0.2, 192.168.0.3, and will follow this pattern.
Types of IP Address Available Today
As we have mentioned IPv4, which most internet user use today, there is one other protocol available – IPv6. Now, we will not jump into all the technical aspects. Instead, we will discuss this in layman’s term. IPv4 is a 32-Bit network that is widely used today, whereas IPv6 is an advanced protocol that is apparently the future of the world wide web.
Now, if we draw a basic difference between IPv4 and IPv6, an IPv4 has an approximate capacity of 3 billion networks and devices. So, we can assume that we are about to cross that threshold of 3 billion. That is why IPv6 is crucial. It is a 128-Bit protocol which has practically an endless capacity. It can easily suffice hundreds of generations.
How Can You Find Your IP Address?
Now that we know what an IP address is along with its categories, the next step is to find the IP Address. Please note that every device connected to the network has its unique IP Address. So, down below are the most common steps to find the IP Address:
- If you are using a computer running on Windows, go to the command prompt and type the command, ‘ipconfig.’ In a few moments, you can see the IP Address of your computer.
- In case you are using a Mac computer, click on the Apple logo on the top left-hand side and then click on “System Preferences.” Then find and hit on the ‘Network’ tab to see the list of networks. Now, from the list of network list on the left, choose the currently connected network, and then click the ‘Advanced’ tab to see the IP Address of your Mac computer.
- If you are using a Phone, preferably an Android Smartphone, then go to the settings option and then click on the “About Device” option. You will see the ‘Status’ option, which you need to hit to see the IP Address of that phone.
What are the Basic Purposes of an IP Address?
The primary objective of an IP Address is to let your connected device a web address. Now, you may wonder why do I need that? You need that to make other internet user find you. They can’t send and information or files if they don’t know where to send. So, an IP Address acts as a host for the device you are using.
Without the IP Address, other internet users will be clueless about how to find you and send data. However, there is one more purpose of the IP Address. It is not only the internet users; sometimes, we need to share files to the same connected network. So, we need an IP Address for all the devices that connected to the Local Area Networks as well.
What are the Benefits of an IP Address?
Before we dive into this, we would like to mention that there are two kinds of IP Address – Static and Dynamic. Now, as the name suggests, a Static IP Address is a fixed set of numbers that don’t change. Whereas, the Dynamic IP Address tends to change as it suits. We, however, discuss the benefits of having a Static IP Address as Dynamic Address won’t have these below-mentioned privileges:
- Remote Access: With a Static IP Address, you can connect your computer remotely to any server location without risking any information online.
- Website Hosting: With sound knowledge, you can host websites directly from your home computers using a Static IP Address.
- Direct Emails: You can set up your own email accounts using a Static IP Address. You can even select the domain name by yourself.
- FTP Servers: You can configure the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server only with a Static IP Address. It allows you to transfer files without breaking a sweat.
- Gaming Servers: By using a Static IP, you can set up your own Gaming Server, where you can manage the users of your preference. You can also ask others to join the network as well.
IP Address is essential to connect with the network. There are tons of elements that determine what your address would be. Sometimes it is the automation service; sometimes, it is the ISP. We recommend you to use a Static IP Address for the maximum possibilities that you can achieve.