Basics of IP address

What an IP address is?

Well imagine you have to contact your friend via your mobile phone, what will you do? Surely if you know her/his number you will dial the number and get in contact with her or you will simply use your phonebook which stores all the number and thus reach the person. Similarly the same apply to computer network. An Internet Protocol, in short (IP) is just to identify uniquely a computer over a network.

Just imagine you are connecting to www.itcuties.com, your friend does the same and likewise there is thousand users who are connecting to the website to see different tutorial out there by the lovely ladies. As a server, just imagine, how will you know which computer is asking which page… it is via the IP address. Another example is an ice cream seller on a beach and lots of people are rushing to buy the ice cream so how will he able to handle all these request or how will he able to know who has asked what, if all the people are wearing the same color of shirt and shorts. It would be a mess… Now imagine the Internet where millions of users are connected, and still how will the server know, who is who. It is the IP address that come in handy thus. It is probably the most important protocol on the network.
When your personal computer or devices are connected to the Internet what happen in the background. Your ISP assign a unique IP address and say to it: this is your IP for now.

The basics of IP address - Assigning IP address

The basics of IP address – Assigning IP address

How does it look like in practice

Windows users

If you using Windows, run the cmd command.

The basics of IP address - Running the cmd command under Windows

The basics of IP address – Running the cmd command under Windows

Type ipconfig and you can get your ip address information.

The basics of IP address - ipconfig command

The basics of IP address – ipconfig command

The current IP address is 192.168.1.34 and the router IP address is 192.168.1.1 (most common IP for a home network).

Static vs. Dynamic IP

Your IP address may vary from time to time or remain the same. If your IP address changes after 24 hours the chances are, that you are using a Dynamic IP, and if you continue using the same IP address for a long period of time then you are using a Static IP address (which was assigned to your machine).

Linux users

You can use the Graphical User Interface method just by clicking on the network icon and selecting the Connection Information.

The basics of IP address - Gnome - Connection Information

The basics of IP address – Gnome – Connection Information

A similar window to the one shown below will be displayed.

The basics of IP address - Gnome - Connection Information - Details

The basics of IP address – Gnome – Connection Information – Details

The second location, where you can get IP address information in Ubuntu is System > Administration > Network Tools

The basics of IP address - System - Administration - Network Tools

The basics of IP address – System – Administration – Network Tools

You will have to select the interface you want to get IP address information for.

The basics of IP address - Network Tools - Devices

The basics of IP address – Network Tools – Devices

When using Linux’s terminal just type ifconfig command.

The basics of IP address - ifconfig

The basics of IP address – ifconfig

For our example, you will find that the IP address here 192.168.1.107.

In the next posts you will learn what are the type of IP addresses and what are the different classes of IP address. Stay tuned!

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