What is an IP address?

Tips & Tricks
< | 3-minute read | Pavel />
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Do you know what an IP address is? What is it used for and what types of IP addresses exist? What is the difference between IPv4 and IPv6? Find all the answers in our article!

What is an IP Address and What Types Exist?

The abbreviation IP stands for "Internet Protocol." An IP address is a unique numerical combination used to identify devices on a network, such as computers, laptops, printers, smart plugs, or televisions. The original version, IPv4, uses four numbers ranging from 0 to 255 separated by dots. An IP address is often accompanied by a subnet mask, which indicates how many bits of the IP address are fixed.

Example: IP address

  • is the IP address
  • 24 is the subnet mask (indicating that the first 24 bits are fixed)

Types of IP Addresses

Private IP Addresses (IPv4): Used in home and corporate networks:

  • to (16,777,216 addresses)
  • to (1,048,576 addresses)
  • to (65,536 addresses)

Private IP addresses are automatically assigned by a DHCP server. The range is often used in companies and schools, while is common in home networks.

Public IP Addresses (IPv4): Public IP addresses allow devices with private IP addresses to communicate over the internet. Multiple private IP addresses can communicate through one public IP address using NAT (Network Address Translation). If you run a public web server, it will have a public IP address, which is recorded in a DNS record.

Does My IP Address Change?

  • Private IP Address: This can change based on your DHCP server settings. To keep it constant, you can set a static IP address in your operating system or configure the DHCP server to always assign the same IP address to a specific MAC address.
  • Public IP Address: This depends on your internet service provider. If you have a public static IP address, it will remain the same.

Can IP Addresses Run Out?

The original IPv4 system allows for 4.2 billion IP addresses, which initially seemed sufficient. However, with the increase in internet-connected devices, these addresses started to run out. The solution is IPv6, which uses 128 bits and allows for many more addresses. The problem is the incompatibility between IPv4 and IPv6, which can be resolved with dual addressing or tunneling between the two systems.

Learn more about how IP addresses work and how they are used in our articles!

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