IP Address Definition and Types
IP Address (Internet Protocol address) is identified as a unique address for computing devices (personal computers, smartphones, tablets etc.) and serves for communication in the IP network. This means that any device that is connected to the IP network must be identified as an entity and have its unique IP. When sending data over the Internet the sender looks up for the receiver’s IP address.
Traditional IP address (also known as IPv4) uses 32-bit number that identifies both network and host address. 32-bit number has the capability to provide approximately 4 billion unique identifiers. The example of IPv4 address is 188.8.131.52. However, IPv4 is running out of free addresses as more and more devices are being connected to the network. So a new Internet Protocol version IPv6 was developed. It offers virtually limitless number of unique IP addresses.
Types of IP addresses
There exist various types of Internet Protocol addresses such as private and public, static and dynamic IP addresses etc. Also each type can be IPv4 or IPv6 protocol type. Speaking in general, we can say that private addresses are used in the internal network (like home or office) to connect with the devices in the same network. Such type of address can be set manually or automatically by the internal network router.
Public IP addresses are usually assigned by the Internet Service Provider. They represent the main home, office or business address that is used for the communication in the global network (Internet communication, access web sites and devices in the worldwide net).
Private and public Internet Protocol addresses can be either static or dynamic. A device with a static IP address does not have DHCP enabled or does not support it. An IP address that is assigned by a DHCP server is called a dynamic address.