What is IP address ?
An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. It serves two main functions: identification of host or network interfaces, and location addressing.
An IP address serves two main functions in a networked computing environment: identification of host or network interfaces, and location addressing.
In a device connected to the Internet, an IP address can be either static (fixed) or dynamic (temporary). A static IP address is one that never changes and is assigned to a device by an administrator, while a dynamic IP address is assigned to a device by a DHCP server and may change over time.
There are two types of IP address: IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 addresses are represented by four sets of numbers separated by periods, such as 192.168.1.1. IPv6 addresses are represented by eight sets of numbers separated by colons, such as 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.
The main function of IP address is to provide the means to identify a device on the network and to locate it so that data can be sent and received.
In summary, an IP address is a unique number assigned to each device that connects to a network, it is used to identify and locate devices on a network and allows data to be sent and received.
How to Find My IP Address ?
There are a few ways to find your IP address. One of the most straightforward is to go to a website that displays your IP address, such as whatismyip.com or ip4.me. Simply visit the website in a web browser, and it will show you your IP address.
Another way to find your IP address is to use the command prompt on a Windows or Linux computer. On Windows, you can open the command prompt by pressing the Windows key + R and then typing “cmd” and pressing Enter. On Linux, you can open the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T. Once the command prompt or terminal is open, type the command “ipconfig” (without quotes) on Windows or “ifconfig” (without quotes) on Linux and press Enter. This will show you your IP address, as well as other network information.
On Mac or iPhone you can go to settings app and check Network settings or use spotlight and type terminal and use the command ipconfig or ifconfig as well
Finally, you can also find your IP address by going to your router’s configuration page. The instructions for doing this vary depending on the router you have, but typically you can find it by opening a web browser and entering the router’s IP address (such as 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1) into the address bar. This should bring up the router’s configuration page, where you can find your IP address.
Keep in mind that the IP address provided here is your Local IP address and if you are behind a router it will be different than the Public IP address. The public IP address is the one you would use to connect to the internet and would be provided by your ISP.
What’s the difference between public and private IP ?
The main difference between a public IP and a private IP address is that public IP addresses are used to communicate over the internet, while private IP addresses are used to communicate within a private network, such as a home or office network.
A public IP address is assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to a device that connects to the internet. These IP addresses are globally unique and can be used to identify a specific device over the internet. Public IP addresses are used to communicate with servers and other devices over the internet, and are visible to other devices on the internet.
On the other hand, a private IP address is used within a private network, such as a home or office network. These IP addresses are not unique across the entire internet and are assigned by a router to devices within the private network. Private IP addresses are used to communicate with other devices within the same network, and are not visible to devices outside of that network.
There are some reserved IP address range for private IP which are defined by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255
172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255
When a device on a private network wants to communicate with a device on a public network, such as the internet, it uses Network Address Translation (NAT) to change its private IP address to its public IP address, in order for the communication to occur.
In summary: Public IP addresses are unique addresses assigned by an ISP and are used for communication over the Internet, while private IP addresses are not unique, assigned by a router and used for communication within a private network.