What is an IP
Each machine on a network has a unique identifier. Computers use this unique ID for sending data to a specific computer on the network. Most networks today, including all computers on the Internet, use the TCP/IP protocol as the standard for communicating on the network. Within the TCP/IP protocol is the unique identifier for a computer's IP address.

There are two standards for IP addresses: IPv4 (IP version 4) and IPv6 (IP version 6). All computers with IP addresses have an IPv4 address, and increasingly begin to use the IPv6 address.

  • IPv4 uses 32 bits to a unique address on the network. An IPv4 address is expressed by four numbers separated by periods. Each number is the decimal (base 10) representation for an eight-digit binary (base 2) number, also called an octet. For example:
  • IPv6 uses 128 bits which have a unique address on the network is created. An IPv6 address is expressed by eight groups of hexadecimal (base 16) numbers separated by colons, as in 2002: ceaa: 0000:0000:0000:1515:3357:4752. Groups of numbers containing zeros contain are often omitted to save space, host for an extra colon put down as separator stabbing acts (as in 2001: 3257:9652 :: CDBA).

When the Internet was still young and not nearly as large as today was chosen to the networks linking using the IPv4 standard. The internet has become so great that the creators quickly saw a problem, namely the number of IPv4 addresses is finite. The number of potential addresses of IPv4 is over 4.2 billion unique addresses. Ipv6 does this number to rise to 3.4 x 10 ^ 38.

An IP address can be dynamically and statically assigned to a computer. A static IP address is an address that you configured by itself in your computer's network settings. In practice, its use but rare. Dynamic addresses are the most common. These are assigned by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol or for short the DHCP service running on the network. When a computer is reporting on the network, a request made by the DHCP to obtain an IP address. This task is usually performed by a router.

A Dynamic IP address is issued by a leasing system, this means that an IP address is issued for a certain time. When the lease time expires, the computer to automatically create a new DHCP lease requests.