Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are numeric tags used to identify each of the computers or other devices that are connected to a network, either a private network or a public network such as the World Wide Web. By using these identification tags it is possible for network devices to be able to locate each other and share information. A public IP address is assigned to each device that connects to the Internet or another public network. Private IPs, on the other hand, are allocated within a local area network (LAN).
It could be compared to the telephone numbers of a company. There may be a public telephone number (public IP) for communications from outside the company and a number of extensions to call other phones within the same company (private IPs). These extensions can be used for internal communication or to divert a call from outside to the appropriate employee or department. Likewise, several computers can connect to the internet using the same public IP through the same router and the router, through the private IP of the local network, divert traffic to the appropriate computer.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a series of binary numbers that provides information about the network and host (computer or device). There are currently two versions of IP, IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) and IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). IPv4 consists of four numerical groups of three digits maximum each, separated by a dot. For example, 18.104.22.168. The capacity of the IPv4 addresses is 4,294,967,296 (it comes from 2 32 since they are binary 32-bit addresses). This amount officially ran out on February 3, 2011 although there are reservations of IPv4 in regional registries that still continue to be assigned and using IPv4.
To solve the depletion of IPv4 addresses, the IPv6 system was developed. This format was devised during the 1990s and contains 8 groups of binary numbers in hexadecimal notation separated by two points. Groups with a zero value can be left empty or skipped if they are at the ends. For example: 2j01: 0eb6: 84c7: 0000: 2136: 4e8a: 0734: 4374. The group of 4 zeros can be blanked and left 2j01: 0eb6: 84c7 :: 2136: 4e8a: 0734: 4374. IPv6 addresses are binary 128-bit addresses and thus support 2 128 , that is more than 340 sextile addresses .
Public IP addresses
Public IP addresses are those that allow each device connected to a network to be identified. When a device connects to the Internet, it is assigned an IP address that is available to its ISP (Internet Service Provider). When this person writes the name of a domain in the browser, this name is converted to the IP address of the server where the web is hosted with that name (a server is nothing more than a computer connected to the internet that houses the web pages and sends users requesting them). The IP address of the server is a public IP address and the server uses the user’s public IP address to know where to send the information back.
If you want to know your public IP performs a simple search in any internet search engine, there are many web pages that allow the user to see his public IP address.
Private IP addresses
When a local area network (LAN) is created in which several computers and devices are connected to each other , either wired or via WiFi, they are forming a private network. Within this network each connected device has an IP address to be recognized within the network and thus share information and resources. The devices in this network do not communicate with the devices of another network directly, so several networks can use the same internal IP addresses , these are private IP. A router or router is responsible for assigning the private IP to each device in the network and directing the data and communication between them according to the assigned private IP.
The local network can be connected in turn to a public network like internet. This internet connection is usually done through the same router and it is the router that is assigned a public IP address by the internet access provider. In this way the information between the public network (internet) and the private network is produced between the internet and the router using the public IP address. The router directs the information it receives from the internet to the appropriate computer through the private IP address . In other words, a local network is identified on the internet with a single public IP address and the devices that make up the local network are identified by private IP. The smallest local network consists of a single device connected to a router.
To view the private IP address, the easiest way is to access the router’s configuration interface. If you do not have experience you can consult the manual of the router or consult the technical service of your provider of Internet access.
Fixed and dynamic allocation
Public IP addresses can be fixed or dynamic . A fixed IP address, also known as static or dedicated IP, is assigned by the ISP to a client on a permanent basis. The customer will always have the same IP address for the duration of his contract with the company. Static public IP addresses are mainly used by hosting companies or other internet services. They are also often preferred by people using VOIP services (voice-over-IP services).
The dynamic public IP address is assigned by choosing one that is available in the ISP directory at the time the internet connection is established . The client, therefore, does not always have the same public IP address, but it changes if it disconnects from itnernet and reconnects (for example, when the router is shut down and it is returned to encenter). Most home internet connections use dynamic IP addresses.
IANA: Internet Assigned Number Authority
IANA ( Internet Assigned Numbers Authority ) is the entity responsible for overseeing the global allocation of IP addresses and other related protocols. IANA was formerly an autonomous organization but now works with ICANN ( Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN is the organization responsible for assigning IP addresses and domain names and other identifiers on the Internet.