IP

Joran Hofman
April 4, 2021

What is IP?

IP addresses are the identifier that allows information to be transmitted between devices on a network: they hold location information and make possible communication between devices.

Even so, the internet needs a way to differentiate between the different devices like computers, routers, and websites. IP addresses set a way of doing such tasks and form an important part of how the internet works.

What is the IP used for?

Like has been said, an IP address is a unique address that gives identity to a device on the internet or a local network. The acronym IP stands for "Internet Protocol," which might be known as a set of rules governing the data sent with the internet or a local network.

An IP address is a string of numbers that hold meaning. IP addresses are commonly expressed as a set of four numbers — as an example address, we have this hypothetical IP 193.158.1.38. Each number in the string can go from 0 to 255. So, the total IP addressing range goes from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255.

IP addresses are not numbers generated randomly. They are made using a mathematical process and designated by the Internet authority known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a branch of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is a non-profit organization that was developed in the United States in 1998 to help maintain the security of the internet and allow it to be free to everyone. Each time a domain is registered on the internet, they do a domain name register, which pays a fee to ICANN to register the domain.              

Internet Protocol works the same way as any other programming language, by communicating using set rules to pass information. All devices find, send, and trade data with other connected devices using this known protocol. By speaking the same language, any computer in any location can reach one another.

The use of IP addresses typically happens without being seen. This stealthy process works like this:

  • The device indirectly connects to the internet by connecting to a network connected to the internet, which then lets the device access the internet.
  • The IP address is assigned to the device by the Internet Service Provider.
  • The internet activity goes through the ISP, and they send it back to the device using the device’s IP address. Since they give the device access to the internet, it is their prerogative to assign an IP address to the device.

How to see the IP Address?

Locating the IP address of a computer is an easy and simple process that takes some clicks and some minutes:

  • Do a Right-click on the Windows logo in the left corner of your screen and choose the “Settings.” option.
  • To see the local IP address, start by right-clicking the Window icon and picking “Settings.”
  • Click the tab named “Network & Internet.”
  • In the Windows 10 Setting screen, click on the Network & Internet icon to see the device’s local IP address.
  • Select “Wi-Fi” or “Ethernet” in the menu at the left, depending on whether the device is connected wireless or via an ethernet cable.
  • In the left column, pick the network the device has to see the local IP address.
  • Click “Network” in the column at the center. The IP address will appear in the next window in the tab “IPv4 address.”
  • The local IP address will be shown, along with various network parameters.

Why is it important to protect the IP address?

The IP address is essential for the process of sending and receiving information online. However, if a malicious outsider knows the IP address of a device they want to access, they can use it to get information, including the location and navigation history. Using this kind of information as a beginning, they could potentially hack a personal device and steal the identity of the one being hacked.

Therefore it's pretty important to protect it.

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