IP Address – What Is It?

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The IP address enables us to connect all our devices in a network. You cannot send or receive messages from another device if you don’t know its IP. Every computer or other device connected to a network and using the Internet Protocol is given a unique number identifying where it is located in that network – what is its IP address. All addresses are managed and assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which delegates its rights to the five Regional Internet Registries that are globally coordinated and responsible for the registrations of IP addresses over the world. The RIRs allocate the addresses to local ISPs and other organizations.

Types of IP Addresses

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There are two basic types of IP addresses: static and dynamic addresses. The static IP address is usually permanent unless it is configured by an administrator. Computers and other devices are usually assigned a temporary dynamic IP address generated by a DHCP server when they are connected to the Internet. When it’s online your personal computer usually gets its IP address from your Internet Service Provider. The IP address is written in binary digits, but it is usually represented in the easier to read decimal (for IPv4) or hexadecimal (for IPv6) system. IPv4 and IPv6 are the latest two versions of the Internet Protocol and present standards. All devices support the widely used IPv4 and some already support both.

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