Saturday, May 04, 2013

What Is IP Address, Types and Address On Internet

What Is IP Address, Types and Address On Internet

This is a very detailed subject, but I will try my best to explain you in the easiest way as possible. Every device which connects to the Internet is assigned with a unique number known as an Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses consist of four numbers separated by periods (also called a 'dotted-quad') and look something like From an IP address, you can identify the region or country from which a computer is connected to the Internet.

Typical Home Networks

Before going into the topic, it's essential to understand the basics and how you connect to the Internet. When more than one device are connected to each other, then this kind of setup is called a LAN - Local Area Network. PC to Router, PC to Switch, PC to PC etc. all these kind of setups are known as LAN.

(Pic Ref: CDR)
In most of the Home Networks :

1. Either your PC connects directly to the Internet using a modem.

2. Your PC connects to the Router (which you received from ISP) via Cable and then the Router connects you to the Internet.

3. Your PC connects to the Switch (which your Network Cable Operator has placed either inside your house or outside somewhere), from Switch the cable goes to the Network Cable Operator's office, where the cable connects to the Router (In his office he would be having a Router) and then the Router connects to the Internet.

4. Your Laptop, Mobile etc. connects Wirelessly to the Wireless Router and then the Router connects to the Internet.

Types Of IP Addresses And How You Get One

After knowing the basics of Home Networks, now let me explain you the things in steps, so that it will become easier for you to digest the stuff.

1. If your PC / Device is connected to a Router, then your Router will assign a unique LAN address to each device which is connected to it. That address will look like also known as Private IP Address. This address uniquely identifies your device on that LAN only. You cannot use this IP address to connect to the Internet.

2. If your PC / Device / Router is directly connected to the Internet (for example, DSL modem), then it will have an IP address, which will be assigned by your ISP and will be unique, which is also known as a Public IP Address. Each time you connect to the Internet, your ISP will assign you a different Public IP Address.

3. In most of the Home networks where you have a Router in placed, the Router will then have a Public IP address which your ISP will assign it (automatically) and all the devices which are connected to the Router (your PC, mobile, printer etc) will then have a different Private IP address which your Router will assign it.

Now get ready for the confusion :)

4. The devices which are part of the LAN (PC, Mobile etc.), all will have a similar Public IP Address but different Private IP Address. As already said above, the Router will assign each device (which is connected to it) a different Private IP Address, but when the device (which is connected to Router) try to check its Public IP Address, it will see the same Public IP as Router has it from the ISP. It's because the Router acts like a Gate of your House, all of your Internet queries passes through it only. That's why Router replaces the device's Private IP Address with its own Public IP Address and same info you get it when you try to look your device's Public IP address on Internet. (Yea Yea I know, I am not going into the depth of networking. Just trying to give you the basic idea of it)

How To Check My Public IP / Internet Address

There are tons of websites on the Internet where you can check your PC's Public IP address along with other useful details, but the quickest and easiest way is to GOOGLE it. Yea... Simply type WHAT IS MY IP ADDRESS or WHAT IS MY IP or WHAT IS IP or just type IP in the search bar and press Enter key. It will immediately show your PC's Public IP Address.

After doing my own research, I found this pretty interesting website where you can see how much information anyone can simply obtain from your IP address.

IP Address Location

Clicking this link will immediately open the IP Address Location website, where you may find details like your current Operating System, DNS, IP country, Country Code etc. The website was able to fetch all of this information from your IP and Computer. This happens when you don't use a proper firewall and other security software in your PCs. Just imagine, if a simple website can obtain this much of information, how much damage a hacker can cause to those people who don't protect their information and their PCs with proper security tools.
If you click the link given under the Country Name, then it will also show your current location on the MAP from where you are using the PC from (Well the location may not be 100% accurate, but you may find it interesting). At this website, you can also search and dig out these details about any other Public IP Address. Just enter anyone's Public IP Address and perform a search without any limitation.

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