IP addresses are among the fundamental building blocks of the World Wide Web. Anything that is connected to the Internet is assigned an IP address, and it helps identify intruders and troubleshoot network errors. In essence, the IP address is your unique identifier when browsing the web. However, it may become a security liability if your IP address falls into the wrong hands.
Also, your device’s IP address may prevent you from visiting certain websites, or you may want to hide your IP address. In such cases, you can use a VPN to mask your IP address so that nobody can trace the origin of your email or find your device’s location.
What Is An Ip Address?
An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a series of numbers that identifies devices on a network. It enables your device to send and receive data packets across the web. In addition, it makes devices available for two-way communication because it holds information about your device’s location.
How To Get An Ip Address?
If you are setting up a network or trying to resolve a connectivity problem, finding the IP address of your computer is one of the first steps. Here’s how you can find your device’s IP address.
Mac users wondering how to get IP address can do so in two ways.
- First, if you are connected to the modem through an Ethernet cable, you can find the IP address by going to the System Preferences app > Network > highlight the option on the left with a green dot, and on the right, you will see Connected. The IP address will be displayed under it.
- Second, if your Mac is connected to a router, you can use a special service called What’s My IP Address?
Windows users wondering how to find an IP address can do so in two ways.
- For a Wi-Fi connection, click Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > choose the Wi-Fi network you are connected to > click Properties and find the IP address listed next to IPv4 address.
- For an Ethernet connection, go to Network & Internet > Ethernet > click Properties and find the IP address next to IPv4 address.
What Are The Different Types of Ip Addresses?
The different types of IP addresses are as follows:
- Private IP address: A private IP address is assigned to all devices that are linked to the internal network, including smartphones, computers, laptops, Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets like speakers and printers, etc. Since the router requires a way to identify these devices, it produces a unique IP address.
- Public IP address: A public IP address represents the entire network of devices associated with the Internet service system. The ISP is responsible for providing public IP addresses to routers.
- Static IP address: It is an IP address that cannot be changed. It might be modified as part of routine network administration.
- Dynamic IP address: Dynamic IP addresses are constantly changing and are assigned to a device whenever it connects to the Internet.
Besides these, there are two types of website IP addresses – Shared and Dedicated IP addresses. The former is used by small business websites that don’t have any pages on their website or don’t get many visitors. The IP address isn’t unique and shared with other sites. The latter, on the other hand, is uniquely assigned to each website.
Furthermore, there are two versions of IP addresses – IPv4 and IPv6. The latter is replacing IPv4 to accommodate the growing number of networks and solve the problem of IP exhaustion. The differences between them are explained in the table below.
|IPv4 was the first version deployed for production on SATNET (1982) and on the ARPANET (1983).||IPv6 is based on IPv4 and introduced in December 1995.|
|It is a 32-bit address written in four numbers separated by dots or periods. The address is unique for each device. For instance, 192.0.2.146 is a valid IPv4 address.||It is a 128-bit address and the address space is way bigger than IPv4. It uses a hexa-decimal format separated by colon. For example, 1751:0000:3237:DEF1:0187:0000:0000:0165 is a valid IPv6 address.|
|The security feature is dependent on the application.||In the IPv6, IPSEC is a built-in security feature.|
|Packet flow identification is unavailable.||Packet flow identification is available.|
Why Is It Essential To Protect Your Ip Address?
It is vital to protect your IP address from falling into the wrong hands. If cybercriminals know your IP address, they can access or download illegal content, track your home address, spy on your Internet traffic, etc.
Therefore, to avoid getting in trouble, you must take steps to protect your IP address. A reliable VPN is one of the best ways to do this.
So, now you know all the basic things about IP addresses.