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IP Address: Definition, Function, and The Types

Last updated: Aug 25, 2023

What is IP Address?

IP address stands for internet protocol address which is a combination of numbers used as the address of a device on a computer network. It is likened to a home address that facilitates routing in sending data and exchanging messages.

IP Address Version 4 (IPv4)

IPv4 stands for Internet Protocol version 4. IPv4 is the most commonly used IP address with a size of 32-bit and consists of four parts (octets) with a separator in the form of a dot. Each octet is 8 bits. An example of IPv4 is 192.168.43,212.

IP version 4 is divided into several classes, each class has a different number of hosts and networks. IP address class division is as follows:

Class

IP Range

Number of Host

Number of Network

Function

A0.0.0.0 - 127.255.255.25516.777.216128Large-scale computer network
B128.0.0.0 - 191.255.255.2551.048.57616.384Medium-scale computer network
C192.0.0.0 - 223.255.255.25565.4362.097.152Small-scale computer network
D224.0.0.0 - 239.255.255.255UndefinedUndefinedMulticast IP address (to send packets to the same multiple hosts)
E240.0.0.0 - 255.255.255.255UndefinedUndefinedIP address for experiment

Table 1: IP address class division in IPv4. It is divided into 5 classes, namely A, B, C, D, and E with different IP ranges, number of hosts, number of networks, and functions.

In its development, IP address class division using this method is no longer valid today. Now, many are turning to the Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) method, which is a way of allocating IP addresses through subnetting.

IP Address Version 6 (IPv6)

IPv6 is the result of earlier version development. The function of IPv6 is not much different from IPv4. IPv6 has a size of 128 bits written using numbers and letters consisting of eight parts separate with colons.

An example of IPv6 is: 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334. Writing IPv6 can also be shortened to 2001:0db8:85a3::8a2e:0370:7334.

IP Address Function

The function of IP address is to be used as a means of identifying hosts or network interfaces. Website owners usually use the IP address to access their site.

In a communication process, the IP address is analogous to a home address so that the packet (data) sent can reach the right destination (device). Based on this analogy, it can be seen that the function of the IP address is as a data transmission address to ensure that each device can establish communication.

How to View IP Address?

There are several ways to see the IP Address, one of them is by typing the search query "What is my IP" in the Google search engine. In no time, Google will display your public IP address.

For Windows users, here's how to see the IP address with cmd (command prompt):

  • Click the Windows logo in the lower-left corner or by pressing the Windows button on the keyboard.
  • Search for the Command Prompt program, then click on the program.
  • Type the command ipconfig at the command prompt screen, then press enter.
  • Next, the command prompt will display the IP address of your computer.

Types of IP Address

The types of IP Addresses are as follows:

Private IP

Private IP is a type that can only be used to communicate on a local network such as a Local Access Network (LAN) or Bluetooth. Some devices that have a private IP include laptops, PCs, and mobile phones. Devices with private IP will usually use the router's public IP as an intermediary in order to access a website.

Public IP

Public IP is a type of IP address that can be accessed publicly via the internet. Public IPs are assigned and managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). It is not available for free because they are controlled by internet service providers (ISPs). Examples of devices that use public IPs include web servers, email servers, and Wi-Fi routers.

Static IP

A static IP address is a set of IP addresses that are fixed and do not change unless there is a change in network administration. Usually, static IP users have reserved a specific IP address with an internet service provider (ISP). Examples of static IP users are web hosting service providers, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers.

Dynamic IP

A dynamic IP address is a type that an internet service provider (ISP) assigns to a user and has a variable nature. Dynamic IP is used to maintain security, making it difficult for hackers to access the network interface (host).

Shared IP

Shared IP address is a type that is used simultaneously by several domains at once. The advantages of shared IP addresses are that they can make it easier for you to manage traffic and search volume to be consistent, use relatively low costs, and help maintain the reputation of the IP address.

Dedicated IP

A dedicated IP address is a special type of IP that is only assigned to a website. It is easier for websites to get an SSL certificate. Besides, it also allows you to access websites via IP address, not just by the domain name.

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