What is IP Address? Types of IP Address

An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. IP addresses serve two main purposes: identifying the host or network interface and providing a means for location addressing. IP addresses enable devices to communicate with each other within a network and facilitate the routing of data packets across the internet.

In the below PDF we discuss about IP Address  in detail in simple language, Hope this will help in better understanding.

Versions of IP Address:

There are two primary versions of IP addresses:

1.  IPv4 :

  • IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) addresses are 32-bit numerical labels represented in the form of four decimal numbers separated by periods. For example,
  • Each decimal number (0-255) in an IPv4 address represents an octet, allowing for approximately 4.3 billion unique addresses.
  • However, due to the rapid expansion of internet-connected devices, the pool of available IPv4 addresses has depleted significantly, leading to the adoption of IPv6.

2. IPv6 Address:

  • IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) addresses are 128-bit alphanumeric labels represented in hexadecimal notation, separated by colons. For example, 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.
  • The adoption of IPv6 was necessitated by the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses. IPv6 vastly expands the address space, accommodating approximately 340 undecillion unique addresses.
  • In addition to providing a larger address space, IPv6 offers improved security, better performance, and support for new technologies.

Types of IP Address:

  1. Public IP Address: Public IP addresses are globally unique addresses assigned to devices connected to the internet. These addresses are routable across the internet and are used for communication between devices on different networks. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) allocate public IP addresses to their customers to enable internet connectivity.
  2. Private IP Address: Private IP addresses are used for communication within a private network or local area network (LAN). These addresses are not routable over the internet and are reserved for use within private network environments. Private IP address ranges are defined in RFC 1918 and include addresses such as,, and
  3. Static IP Address: A static IP address is an IP address that remains fixed and does not change over time. Static IP addresses are manually configured and are often used for servers, network devices, or devices that require permanent, predictable addressing.
  4. Dynamic IP Address: A dynamic IP address is an IP address that is automatically assigned to a device by a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server. Dynamic IP addresses may change periodically as devices join or leave the network or during DHCP lease renewal.
  5. Loopback IP Address: The loopback IP address ( for IPv4 and ::1 for IPv6) is a special address used to test network connectivity on a device. Packets sent to the loopback address are routed back to the device itself and are commonly used for troubleshooting network issues.


In conclusion, IP addresses play a pivotal role in enabling communication and data transfer across networks. Understanding the types and functions of IP addresses is crucial for network administrators, developers, and anyone navigating the complexities of the internet. Whether it’s the familiar IPv4 addresses or the expansive capabilities of IPv6, IP addressing continues to evolve to meet the demands of an increasingly connected world.


Related Question

The primary purpose of an IP address is to facilitate communication between devices over a network. It allows devices to identify each other and exchange data packets, enabling tasks such as sending emails, browsing the web, and accessing various online services.

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. It serves as an identifier for locating and addressing devices on a network.

Yes, it is possible to spoof or fake an IP address using various techniques such as IP spoofing or proxy servers. This can be used for malicious purposes, such as bypassing network restrictions or launching cyber attacks, but it is generally considered illegal and unethical.

IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long and have a limited address space, leading to the depletion of available addresses. IPv6 addresses, on the other hand, are 128 bits long and offer a significantly larger address space, capable of accommodating the growing number of devices connected to the Internet.

Error correction techniques allow the receiver to not only detect errors but also correct them, thus ensuring the accuracy of the transmitted data. Examples of error correction techniques include automatic repeat request (ARQ) protocols and forward error correction (FEC) codes.


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