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IP Address, What is an IP Address?

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IP Address, What is an IP Address?

Contents:

What is an IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)
The Format of an IP Address
Dotted-Decimal Notation (Human-Readable)
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
Domain Name System (DNS)
What is a Static and Dynamic IP Address
What is My IP Address?
Your IP Address is Not the Same As Your Domain Name
Where is this IP Address Location
How Do I Hide My IP Address?
How Do I Change My IP Address?
Conclusion

What is an IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical designation assigned to any device participating in a computer network which uses the Internet Protocol for communication between its nodes.

  • In simple terms, the address of each server, computer, printer, web cam etc. connected to the Internet (network) and using the Internet Protocol for passing data. Just like a car license plate, an IP address is a special serial number used for identification.

The Format of an IP Address

Dotted-Decimal Notation (Human-Readable)

The designers of TCP/IP defined an IP address as a 32-bit number, known as IPv4. This provides the potential for a maximum of 2^32 (4,294,967,296) unique addresses. These addresses are usually displayed in the dotted-decimal (human-readable) notation form, i.e. 205.74.143.122. Each number can be zero to 255.

However, due to the enormous growth of the Internet and the resulting depletion of available addresses, a new addressing system IPv6 using 128 bits for the address, was developed and standardized by RFC 2460 in 1998. This provides the potential for a maximum of 2^128 (3.403 × 10^38 approx) unique addresses.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) manages the IP address space allocations globally and delegates five regional Internet registries (RIRs) to allocate IP address blocks to local Internet registries (Internet service providers) and other entities.

Domain Name System (DNS)

The domain name system allows the numeric IP address to be translated into words so that it is easier for humans to remember. This also applies for email addresses.

Example: It’s much easier for humans remember a web address name such as KingSolutions.org.uk than it is to remember 192.168.1.21 or in the case of email it is much easier to remember jimmy@kingsolutions.org.uk than email@192.168.1.21

What is a Static and Dynamic IP Address

A static IP address is an IP address which is fixed and never changes. If you need to run your own email or web server, it would be best to have a static IP address.

A dynamic IP address is a temporary IP address which is assigned each time a computer or device accesses the internet. This IP address is issued to you from a pool of IP addresses allocated by your web hosting provider or DHCP Server and can be assigned to anyone using a dial-up connection, wireless or high speed internet connection.

What is My IP Address?

Windows users can view their IP address using the ipconfig (IPCONFIG) command line tool. Ipconfig displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings.

  • Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.Type ipconfig and hit enter.

You can also use Google search to find your IP address. In the search box type the query:

  • what is my IP address

Google will show the IP address of the computer from which the query was received as the top search result.

Your IP Address is Not the Same As Your Domain Name

For almost every user, the IP address is invisibly translated into a natural English “domain name” for ease of use. Technically, the IP address is the true identifier of each network device whilst the domain name is simply a redirector or pointer to help humans find the web service they desire.

Where is this IP Address Location

A question often asked is, ‘where is this IP address located’. It is possible to roughly identify where a user is in the world by their IP address. Web sites like www.whatismyipaddress.com/ can read your computer’s IP address, compare it to its database of web hosting providers, and attempt to guess your location on the planet.

How Do I Hide My IP Address?

The most common method to hide your IP address is to use a proxy server. A proxy server is a computer that offers a computer network service that allow clients to make indirect (hidden) network connections to other network services. A client system connects to the proxy server and then requests a resource available on a different server. The proxy server then provides the resource by connecting to the required server.

There are several implementations of proxy servers that you can use to hide your IP address (in an attempt to remain anonymous on the internet): but that’s another story.

How Do I Change My IP Address?

How do I change my IP address? and Can I change my IP address? are strangely, very commonly asked questions and I’m very curious to know why. Considering I have never changed my IP address or even considered it, I would really like to know the answer to this puzzle. If you know then please comment is the message box below. Thanks.

Ok, back to the question, How do I change my IP address? Well then answer for almost every dynamically hosted internet user is quite simple, turn off (remove the power) to your Cable/DSL modem and disconnect from the web hosting providers network point (remove the telephone cable) for ten minutes. In 90% of cases this will change your IP address. However, if this does not change your IP address, repeat the process for 8 hours (overnight works well) instead of 10 minutes. This should definitely result in a change IP address.

  • If this doesn’t work and you are not able to get your IP address to change, then it is being determined by your web hosting providers DHCP configuration, i.e. you may have a static IP address.

What is an IP Address Conclusion

You can research your domain name choices at any of the registrars listed in my article, Where to Register Domain Names. Most of these registrars provide domain name registration, domain name hosting, free domain name search facilities and some even give you a FREE domain name.

Well, I hope you found something useful and enjoyed this article, What is an IP Address? Don’t forget to let me have your thoughts in the comment box below. See you soon.


KingSolutions.org.uk is hosted on JustHost

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