IP address – What is it?
The IP (Internet Protocol) address helps with identifying most of the elements inside a network. Each device, laptop, computer, smartphone, etc., requires an IP address to successfully connect to a private network. Also, when we are talking about connecting to the Internet, we have the same case. The user is receiving a public IP address provided by an Internet service provider (ISP). For the purpose of operating accurately, servers also have a public IP address.
Thanks to IP addresses, the Internet is able to recognize different participants, devices, which every communication contains. The IP address also gives its location in the network. That makes the machines available to exchange data and communicate.
IPv4 is short for Internet Protocol version 4. It is represented with a numerical string composed of four groups. Each group contains a number between 0 and 254, and they are separated by dots. It is a 32-bit address. For example, IPv4 looks like: 18.104.22.168.
This version of the IP address is a connectionless protocol. That is the reason why it doesn’t need a prior adjustment between the two endpoints for the connection to operate successfully. To make it simple, devices are able to send data to a recipient and don’t have to check if it is available first.
IPv4 determines addresses, packets’ format, and routes data. On the networks, a lot of data is communicated every second. If those data are too big to be carried to their destination, IPv4 is capable of detecting that. So with the help of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), the data is divided into smaller pieces and is easier to transport. Also, on every data packet is going to be written the IP address of their destination, and their route is also set. So until they reach their target, they are going to travel through nodes, routers, etc.
If devices want to connect to a network and be able to use its resources, they need IPv4 addresses. That way, with the implementation of IPv4, they can be successfully located and identified on a network.
No matter IPv4 was first described in 1981, it is still a very commonly used IP version. The newer version and future replacement is the IPv6. It is already in use, and it is operating accurately. However, achieving the whole transition from IPv4 to IPv6 requires more time.
IPv4 addresses are simpler, and their structure includes fewer numbers. On the other hand, the new version of IPv6 has a more complicated format. This matters when we are talking about manual tasks. With IPv4, the possibility for human mistakes is way more reduced.
The compatibility of IPv4 is much more extensive. Both the older and newer systems support this version of Internet Protocol without any problems. On the other side, version 6 of the IP address is supported only by most modern devices.
The topology is a lot easier and simpler to be applied on networks.