The world of the Internet revolves around IP addresses. Thanks to them, the places and devices from which you connect are identified. Also, with IPs you can make video calls or share information from almost anywhere. There are 43 billion IPv4 addresses, which is enough for all existing computers.
Maybe sometimes you have seen the word IP on your computer and you don’t know what it means. Also, you may not know the meaning of IP addressing, therefore, in this article we will tell you. Please note that we have used simple words (less technical) so that all the text is more easily understood.
What is IP addressing and who performs it?
It is the process that occurs when there are several computers connected to a network and each of them has a specific address. For example, in your house you may have a modem that receives and transmits the Internet signal to several devices (computer, Smart TV, PS4, telephone, etc.). Each of these devices are connected to the same network and can communicate with each other, thanks to IP addressing, a process that your Internet modem does automatically . In other words, we do not have to know binary or hexadecimal data to configure a work or home network, since both the modem and the router are the ones that perform this task.
On the other hand, it should be noted that IP addressing is made up of two very important aspects. By this we mean the IP address and subnet mask.
What is IP?
The IP or Internet Protocol is the address of a Web server , computer, printer, telephone, etc., within a network, whether internal or external. That’s why some security entities track IP addresses to find out where a certain individual is connecting from. Also, there are companies or programs that track IP addresses, for example, to determine from which part of the world users visit a certain web page.
An example of an IP address could be 192.168.1.0, since it is more common to see it in computers, telephones and other current devices with the decimal format. In addition, the most used version of IP is IPv4, which is made up of 32 bits (32-digit binary code), 11000000 10101000 10110010 00011111. However, this figure is represented in decimals divided by points. That is, the previous example in binary becomes 192.168.178.31, being much easier to read.
What is the IP address for?
There are different uses for the IP address, but its main function is the communication or transfer of information between devices and people. Of course, it also serves to find a criminal (hacker or scammer).
Likewise, we can say that IP addresses are used to organize the distribution of the Internet among different clients. That is, Internet providers give different IP addresses to each user. In fact, this address is almost always changed between one session and another, for example, when you turn off your computer and turn it on again. The good news is that this does not affect the user, even, normally he does not find out that his IP address has been changed, unless he checks his own account in the computer settings.
How does the IP address work?
The IP address works by sending and receiving information between two or more devices at the same time. If you send an email to another person, your IP address and the one receiving the message are connected. It is as if they look for each other to be able to communicate, no matter that you are on the other side of the world. This makes it possible for the internet to work well and you can make a video call with your cousin who is out of the country.
In other words, the IP address works not only as a device identifier, but also as a place identifier. If you make a call via WhatsApp, the IPs are responsible for finding the recipient’s address and device.
Differences between public and private IPs
Public IPs are visible to the whole world and are used to identify our network from the outside. Instead, private IPs are used only to identify a device connected to the internal network. In other words, thanks to the public IP address, other people can detect from which part of the country or the world you are connecting. Also, with the public IP someone could look up the name of your service provider. Also, it should be noted that tracking your public IP can be very easy for someone else, which is why some users use IPs from other countries, thanks to paid VPN applications. With these programs you can change the IP of the computer as many times as you want. What you cannot do is hide the IP, since there must always be one to show.
On the other hand, an example of a private IP would be the IP address of the phone that you connect through your home router.
How to know my IP on Windows and Mac?
Locating the IP on your device is not a difficult task. On PC press the Windows and R keys at the same time. A command window will open; in it put the word “ipconfig”. Done, so you can see your current IP address.
On the other hand, if you want to look up the IP on Mac, go to the home menu, then click “System Preferences”. Next, enter “Network” and you will see your IP in use. Remember that the IP can change if you contracted an Internet provider with a dynamic IP. This type of IP normally changes every 24 hours.
What is the IP address of the router?
If you don’t know the IP address of the router you have at home, don’t worry, because almost all models come with the following numbers: 192.168.1.1, 192.168. ll and 192.168.0.1. Try these addresses in any browser, Edge, Chrome, Safari or Mozilla Firefox. You just have to copy and paste these IPs in the address bar of your preferred browser to access the settings of your router.
Finally, you will have configured your home network with a new key to connect to WiFi. Don’t connect too many devices to the network, as this could slow down your internet speed.