The Internet has become an indispensable part of today’s modern communication. However, when having trouble with the network connection, you may not know what to do. Understanding IP addresses helps you fix simple network problems yourself or install a shared data storage server for your family.
Indeed, when surfing the Internet, you will often encounter IP or TPC terms. Are you wondering what an IP is? What is the purpose of an internet protocol address (IP address)? What are its features? In the article below, your questions will be resolved.
What is an Internet Protocol Address?
An Internet protocol address is often called an IP address in short. It is a unique address that electronic devices are using to identify and communicate with one another on a computer network. In other words, IP is a computer’s address joining the system to help computers transfer information back and forth accurately.
Any network device, such as routers, computers, network switches, Internet fax machines, printers, and smartphones that enter the network, has its address. This address is sole within a particular system. For instance, some IP addresses are unique inside the global Internet, while some are obliged to be unique within one organization.
How Many Classes does an IP Address Have?
There are five separate classes in an IP address.
- Class A: It includes the first octet IP addresses between 1 and 126, specifically, ranging from 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52.
- Class B: It involves the beginning octet IP addresses that are between 128 and 191. Class B will be for the middle-class group in the world. It has addresses ranging from 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11.
- Class C: Class C combines the initial octet IP addresses with values between 192 and 223, ranging from 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124. It is used in small systems, mostly private networks.
- Class D: Class D comprises the original octet IP addresses with values between 224 and 239. It has the first 4 bits, which is always 1110. In particular, it is reserved for broadcasting information. This class will have addresses from 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52.
- Class E: Class E carries the first octet IP addresses with a value between 240 and 255, specifically, ranging from 240.0.0.0 to 254.255.255.255.
Besides, there is a Loopback class. This layer has address 127.x.x.x and is used exclusively to test the regression loop.
In reality, only Class A, B, and C addresses are used to implement network nodes. Class D is used in some multimedia applications, such as streaming video in the network. Class E is still in the lab and backup!
What are the Characteristics of the IP Protocol?
- IP is one of the most important protocols of the TPC / IP protocol suite.
- IP is the linkless directional protocol, which means IP data can be transferred without any attachment verification mechanism.
- Each IP packet is handled independently of the other IP packages.
- The IP protocol uses a hierarchical addressing tool.
- There is no mechanism to recover lost parcels on the transmission routing.
What is the Purpose of an Internet Protocol Address?
IP makes it easier and faster for users of separate networks of different cities, countries, or continents to connect. The reason is because IP approaches different routings and handles them.
For example, when requesting information from a website, you enter a URL. For computers, to access these pages, the URL must be converted to an IP address managed by DNS. Then, DNS changes the URL to the router’s IP address on the Internet to route your IP network.
Moreover, routing is one of the essential elements of the Internet identified by unique IP addresses. In other words, IP becomes the bridge that makes it possible for these routers to access a particular network through them.
Classify Different Types of Networks
As mentioned above, an IP address usually has five classes. Each network operates at a different level and contains client-servers in computers, switches, and routers. Also, IP has a fixed number of clients per network class.
For example, a typical Class C network can hold up to 65,536 client-servers, Class B can own more than 1 million client-servers, and Class A can include more than 16 million nodes in a single network.
Locate Network Addresses
IP is a protocol used to form a heterogeneous network. What is a heterogeneous network? It is a large set of different systems like Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and WiMAX that are interconnected via IP and other extra protocols such as the Address Resolution Protocol or Network Discovery Protocol. As a result, this connectivity locates a connection interface for users around the world.
Divide the Network Into Many Segments
IP gives a facility for splitting the network into multiple sections. These segments will create subnets. The purpose of this division is to maximize the number of computers that can be connected.
Through segmentation, different subnets can be generated within a single network to increase overall network size and security. Furthermore, this can also significantly reduce network congestion. One benefit of network splitting is that when one computer encounters errors, it doesn’t affect others.
Provide a Network Address
This is the most critical purpose of an IP address. It helps provide a unique address for the entire network and its components because internet handlers require each network to possess an individual address.
Moreover, IP also benefits networks with different addresses to connect with each other. Therefore, IP is considered the addressing platform to build the global Internet network.
What are the Pros and Cons of Internet Protocol Addresses?
Although IP has many advantages, it also has some disadvantages. In particular, users will easily be exploited for personal information through IP addresses if hackers intrude. Besides, all user access activities will be subject to an IP address.
- Help for connecting, communicating between network devices over the Internet.
- Make internet access easier.
- Help users to manage the network closely.
- Allow the network to be added without interrupting the existing service.
- Assign an IP address to each computer in the network
- Attach a domain title to each website.
- Provide name and address resolution services.
- Cannot represent any protocol stack except for the TCP / IP suite.
- Not clearly distinguish the concepts of services, interfaces, and protocols.
- Cannot differentiate between the data link and the physical class.
- Not yet optimized for small networks like LAN and PAN.
- Personal information is easily abused if hackers access and sabotage.
- User access activities will be recorded with the IP addresses.
In a Nutshell
Through the article, I have introduced the necessary knowledge to understand the IP protocol in terms of definition, characteristics, purposes, advantages, and disadvantages of the IP protocol.
In short, what is the purpose of an internet protocol address (IP address)? As mentioned above, IP has five primary goals: routing network, classifying different types of networks, locating network addresses, dividing the network into many segments, and providing a network address.
Hopefully, this article will help those who are learning about computer networks.