IP addresses are the unique numbers used by computers, routers, and other devices to communicate over the internet. They are a vital part of the internet, which is why they must be properly assigned and managed.
How IP Addresses Are Created
An IP address 192.168.l00.1 is a unique number that can be used to identify any device connected to the internet, including your computer, phone, or other device. These addresses can be static, or they can change every time you connect to the internet.
They are created by IANA, which is a division of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Your IP address is the identifier that your device uses to communicate with other devices on your network or with the wider internet. It is also the identifying number that can be used by websites to track your location and show you relevant content based on where you live.
The address is divided into two parts: a network prefix and a host identifier, which is often called an interface identifier in IPv6. In the past, these were separated by a subnet mask, but this system is now obsolete.
How IP Addresses Are Assigned
The IP address is assigned to you by your ISP, business administrator, or home router. Broadly speaking, this is done automatically via a system called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP. This protocol allows your device to automatically get an IP address from a pool of addresses that is constantly changing and being revolving, so it never gets an identical one again.
There are many different types of IP addresses, but most networks use packet-switched addressing, which means that small units of data, or packets, are sent over the network. These packets are then delivered to a host, or other device, based on the information in their packet headers.
This allows several users on a network to share the same data path, which reduces transmission costs and improves efficiency. This is the same system that allows your computer to connect to a website or other host, as well as send and receive email from a mail server.
How IP Addresses Are Managed
There is a global process for assigning and managing IP addresses, but it is largely controlled locally by your ISP or business administrator. Your ISP typically buys large pools of IP addresses and revolves them, so they can be assigned to multiple devices at once.
Your ISP can then pass your address on to you if you want to access the internet from somewhere else. If you choose to do so, however, you may need to provide your ISP with some additional details, such as your home or office address.
Ultimately, your ISP will route all of the traffic that you send to and from your computer to the internet and to other devices on your local network. This is how you communicate with your friends, family, and other users online.
Your ISP can also use your IP address to help troubleshoot any issues that you may be having with your device or with your internet connection. They can tell you if the problem is related to your network or the internet itself, and they can even help you troubleshoot issues that aren’t related to your device or network.