Understanding IP Addresses

by Barry Dysert
(last updated July 10, 2017)

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is required for every device connected to an IP-governed network. IP addresses are part of the "conversation" that occurs between clients and servers over DHCP. (See the tip titled Understanding DHCP for more information.)

There are two types of IP addresses: IPv4, which uses 32-bit numbers to store the address, and IPv6, which uses 128-bit numbers to store the address. IPv6 was established because it was predicted in the 1990's that all 32-bit addresses would soon be spoken for.

An IPv4 address is a sequence of four groups of numbers separated by periods (called the dot-decimal notation). For example, the "google.com" domain uses (among others) an IPv4 address of 74.125.225.114. Behind each of the four groups of an IPv4 address is an eight-bit number, so each group can range from 0 to 255. This implies that a little over four billion unique addresses (256 x 256 x 256 x 256) can be represented by an IPv4 address. Because of the IPv4 specification and reserved addresses, though, not all potential addresses are actually available.

An IPv6 address is a sequence of eight groups of numbers separated by colons. Behind each of the eight groups is a 16-bit number, so each group can range from 0 to FFFF (hex). Hex numbers can appear as part of an IPv6 address, so a theoretical IPv6 address may look something like this: 2002:0715:44D5:C4AE:2910:0AE7:D29F:948D.

 This tip (13104) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Changing User Permissions for a File

All objects on your computer (e.g., files) have permissions that allow or deny various types of access. This tip shows ...

Discover More

Displaying Details about a Graphics File

Graphics files have additional attributes that other files don't have. This tip describes how you can display these ...

Discover More

Removing Locations from the Search Index

You can fine-tune Indexed Searches by removing locations from the search index. This tip tells you how.

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Displaying the Home Button in Microsoft Edge

By default, Microsoft Edge does not display a Home button on its toolbar. If you like having the Home button visible, ...

Discover More

Setting the Default Search Engine in Microsoft Edge

For some people, search engines are a religious issue. Fortunately, Microsoft Edge has left the door open for you to ...

Discover More

Understanding Your Hosts File

Your system's Hosts file is an important file that can be used to increase the speed of you network connections, let you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.