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An IPv4 address - What is IP

An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. Its role has been characterized as follows: "A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there."

The designers of the Internet Protocol defined an IP address as a 32-bit number and this system, known as Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), is still in use today. The current version of the Internet protocol (IPv4) allows about four billion unique addresses. However, due to the enormous growth of the Internet and the predicted depletion of available addresses, a new version of IP (IPv6), using 128 bits for the address, was developed in 1995. IPv6 was standardized as RFC 2460 in 1998 and its deployment has been ongoing since the mid-2000s.

IP addresses are binary numbers, but they are usually stored in text files and displayed in human-readable notations, such as 172.16.254.1 (for IPv4), and 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1 (for IPv6).

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) manages the IP address space allocations globally and delegates five regional Internet registries (RIRs) to allocate IP address blocks to local Internet registries (Internet service providers) and other entities.
 
IP adress blocks

TCP/IP

TCP/IP model - What is IP

The Internet protocol suite is the set of communications protocols used for the Internet and similar networks, and generally the most popular protocol stack for wide area networks. It is commonly known as TCP/IP, because of its most important protocols: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), which were the first networking protocols defined in this standard.

TCP/IP provides end-to-end connectivity specifying how data should be formatted, addressed, transmitted, routed and received at the destination. It has four abstraction layers, each with its own protocols.

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(What is IP - what is ip)

(What is IP - what is ip)

(What is IP - what is ip)

(What is IP - what is ip)

(What is IP - what is ip)

(What is IP - what is ip)

IPv6

An IPv6 address - What is IP

The rapid exhaustion of IPv4 address space, despite conservation techniques, prompted the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to explore new technologies to expand the Internet's addressing capability. The permanent solution was deemed to be a redesign of the Internet Protocol itself.

This next generation of the Internet Protocol, intended to replace IPv4 on the Internet, was eventually named Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) in 1995. The address size was increased from 32 to 128 bits or 16 octets. This, even with a generous assignment of network blocks, is deemed sufficient for the foreseeable future.

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