IP address or Internet Protocol Address is a unique numeric identifier that’s assigned to each device that is connected to a computer network
What is IP address?
IP Address or Internet Protocol Address is an identifier that’s used to pinpoint exact senders and receivers of information packets that are being sent across the internet.
As an example, to load this article, you sent a request to a certain IP address and included your IP address in the request. Your included IP address was then used to send back information that allowed you to render and show this article/page in your web browser.
Local vs Public IP Adress
Public IP Address
Each household has a Public IP address that’s set by the ISP – Internet Service Provider.
This is how they determine which household is requesting the specific data and know which way to send it.
Private IP Address
Private IP Address is a unique identifier of each device that’s in your local network. As an example, your Macbook Pro, iPhone, or your Android Tablet each have its own Local IP address
Internet Protocol Versions
Today there are two Internet Protocol Versions – IPv4 and IPv6.
IPv6 IP Address is a 32-bit address
It’s typically composed of decimal digits and formatted in four sections that are divided with a period.
See a an ipV4 IP address sample – 22.214.171.124
How many unique 32-bit IP addresses are possible? That’s (232) or 4,294,967,296 IPv4 addresses
IPv6 is the more advanced version of IPv4. And it offers long term solutions for most of the problems we currently have with IPv4.
IPv6 IP Address is a 128-bit address
See a an ipV6 IP address sample –fe80::b18f:6baa:8b71:7dd0%5
How many unique 128-bit IP addresses are possible? Thats (2128) or 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456
Yes, that’s right! That’s 340 billion billion billion billion (3.4×1038) unique IP addresses
Why are we moving from IPv4 to IPv6 Address?
The increasing amount of IoT devices and a hard limit of 4.3 billion unique IP addresses with the IPv4 32-bit IP address has fueled the adoption of the new Internet Protocol Version – IPv6
There are of course other benefits, like:
- Simplified header structure
- Faster Routing
- Ability to autoconfigure more efficiently – DHCPv6
- Increased security
- Better End to End connectivity
But the main driver has always been the lack of IPv4 scalability
IoT Device trends and IPv6 adoption
IPv4 address was published in 1981 and at that time 4 Billion IP addresses were provisioned!
Compared to the number of computers in 1981 circulation, 4.3 billion seemed like a huge number!
And while this has worked well for decades, the 4,3 billion address threshold will soon be reached.
Today we are looking at more than 26.66 billion IoT devices. And as per Cisco, in 2023 there will be 3x more connected devices than humans on earth.
That’s why the adoption of IPv6 is so important for our modern Internet infrastructure and as of today approximately 30% of devices are using the more advanced version. This can visualized in the following google collected statistic
How to Find out your Private IP Adress
You can find your iPhones IP address by opening Setting > Wi-Fi > Your Wi-Fi see the screenshot
This might differ based on the device Make, Android version or launcher, but the IP information is always available in your WiFi settings menu.
As an example, I could access IP information from Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > WiFi Settings see the screenshot
You can find your IP address on Mac by opening System Preferences > Network > see the screenshot
You can find your IP address on windows by right-clicking the “windows logo” and selecting Network Connections then View Hardware and connection properties
How to Find out your Public IP Adress
You can view your Public IP address in a browser by visiting an IP address detection website. To name a few:
- Type in google search – “what is my IP address” and view the info block