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Types of IP address

ACHONWA ALVAN

Overview

IP stands for internet protocol. It is a unique number given to every device identified in a network. Network-connected devices make use of IP addresses, which can be either public or private. An example of an IP address is 192.158.1.38. IP addresses can range from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255. In any instance, no two devices can have the same IP address when connected to a network.

Illustration of public and private IP addresses

Types of IP address

There are different types of IP addresses. These various types can be described as follows.

Consumer IP address

Consumer IP addresses are the IP addresses of individuals who use the internet. These could be either public or private in nature. While a private IP address can be used within a network, outside a network, public IP addresses are used. These two are basically the primary types of IP addresses.

Public IP address

A public IP address is a unique IP address for the identification of a particular network. Internet service providers assign a public IP address to the router of a network, and each device connected to the network gets assigned its own IP address. Every device outside this network recognizes the network with its IP address. A public address is a primary address that is associated with a whole network. Public IP addresses are either static or dynamic in nature. These are described below.

Static IP address

A static IP address is the IP address of a network that remains the same. Static IP addresses are costly to afford and only tend to change when the architecture of the network changes. They are stable and very good for hosting computer servers, as well as dedicated services like mailing, FTP, and web services. Everyone does not need a static IP address as it is only essential for specific uses.

Dynamic IP address

A dynamic IP address is a temporary type of IP address. Dynamic IP addresses are automatically assigned by internet service providers to devices that are connected to a network. Dynamic IP addresses are cheap and do not require special skills to set up. Dynamic IP addresses help save cost and reduce the idle times of available IP addresses, as they can easily be assigned to other devices when the current devices using them are no longer active.

Private IP address

Private IP addresses are unique addresses that belong to internet-connected devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. The router in a network generates a unique private IP address for every device that is connected to a network. This is also tied to the growth of the internet of things.

How to identify an IP address

This section contains instructions about identifying the IP address in Windows and Linux OS devices.

Windows OS

  • In the menu bar of a Windows computer, locate the command prompt and enter:
  cmd
  • After the window pops up, enter:
ipconfig

The IP address of the computer will be displayed on the screen.

Linux OS

  • To identify the IP address of a computer running on the Linux OS, access the command line by pressing Ctrl-Alt-T or Ctrl-Alt-F2.
  • Then, enter either of the following commands:
hostname -I

or

ip addr

The IP address of the device will be displayed on the screen.

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