IP address

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) is an identifier assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. It uniquely identifies each node of a network, allowing it to communicate with other nodes and systems, while being identified and addressed by other nodes.

An IP address consists of a combination of four numbers from 0 to 255, separated by periods. It is represented either in the form of a 32-bit IPv4 address (example: or 128-bit IPv6 address (example: 2001:db8:85a3:0:0:8a2e:370:7334). An IPv4 address is only four numbers whereas an IPv6 address is eight groups of four hexadecimal digits (which is separated by colons).

IP addresses are used mainly for two purposes: routing and identification. To send data, routers and switches use the IP address information to identify where the data must go. The IP address can also be used for identification of a device or user if the data is associated with a specific person or computer.

IP addresses can be static or dynamic. Static IP addresses remain the same and are assigned manually, while dynamic IP addresses are assigned by the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) and may change over time.

A public IP address is a unique address on the Internet that can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. These IPs are assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Every device connected to the Internet needs an IP address to communicate with other systems on the Internet.

On the other hand, a private IP address is usually located inside a local area network (LAN) and identifies devices (servers, printers, etc.) within the internal network. Every device connected to the same LAN has a private IP address. Users can also have private (or local) IP addresses, which are only valid on one LAN.

Overall, IP address plays an important role in the functioning of a computer network. It helps to differentiate between devices and helps route data between computers. Everyone should also be aware of public and private IP addresses to protect their data and maintain their network security.

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