Finding Your IP Address DNS Address . IPv4 . IPv6
In most short words, an IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a specific address that certain electronic devices use to identify and interact with one another on a computer network using the Internet Protocol standard (IP). Any participating network equipment, such as a router, computer, time server, printer, Internet fax machine, or some telephones, is capable of having a different address.
For a computer or other network device on the Internet, an IP address may be compared to a street address or a phone number (contrast VoIP, voice over (the) internet protocol). An IP address may uniquely identify a particular computer or another network device on a network, much as each street address and phone number uniquely identifies a specific building or telephone. However, an IP address is distinct from other contact information since the connection between a user's IP address and the name is not made public.
Because they are a part of a shared hosting web server environment or because a network address translator (NAT) or proxy server acts as an intermediary agent on behalf of its clients, IP addresses may appear to be shared by multiple client devices. In these situations, the actual originating IP addresses may be concealed from the server receiving a request. Using a NAT to hide many IP addresses in a private address space, as described by RFC 1918, is a frequent technique. This address space is a block that cannot be routed on the open Internet. Only the "outside" interface(s) of the NAT must have addresses that may be routed via the Internet.
The NAT device typically translates individual private addresses to TCP or UDP port numbers on the outside. The port numbers are site-specific extensions to an IP address, just as there may be site-specific extensions on a phone number.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority manages and assigns IP numbers (IANA). The IANA often gives superblocks to Regional Internet Registries, who then give out smaller blocks to businesses and Internet service providers.
The Domain Name System (DNS) on the Internet links various types of information to so-called domain names; most significantly, it acts as the Internet's "phone book" by translating human-readable computer hostnames, such as en.wikipedia.org, into the IP addresses required by networking hardware for information delivery. Additionally, it keeps a list of mail exchange servers that accept email for a specific domain. The Domain Name System is crucial to everyday Internet use since it offers a global keyword-based redirection service.
DNS's most fundamental function is to convert hostnames to IP addresses. In the simplest sense, it is similar to a phone book. The Domain Name System, for instance, may be used to inform you what the internet address is for en.wikipedia.org, which is 220.127.116.11. DNS is also used for other crucial things.
Before the physical routing hierarchy represented by the IP address, DNS enables the assignment of Internet destinations to the human organization or concern they represent. Due to the ability to utilize a human-readable form (such as "wikipedia.org") rather than an IP address, hyperlinks and Internet contact information may stay consistent regardless of the IP routing configuration in use (such as 18.104.22.168). People abuse this by reciting relevant URLs and email addresses without considering how the computer will find them.
The Domain Name System divides up the job of issuing domain names and mapping them to IP networks by letting each domain's authoritative server maintain track of its modifications, reducing the need to check with a central registrar constantly.
Even before TCP/IP, back in the days of the ARPAnet, it was common practice to use a name as a more readable abstraction of a machine's network address. However, a different method was used since DNS was not created until 1983, just after TCP/IP was used. With the previous setup, every computer on the network would download a file from an SRI computer named HOSTS.TXT (now SRI International).
The HOSTS.TXT file converted names to numerical addresses. On most modern operating systems, a host file still exists by default or may be configured, allowing users to provide an IP address (such as 22.214.171.124) for a hostname (such as www.example.net) without consulting DNS. As of 2006, the host file is mainly used to diagnose DNS issues or to translate local addresses to more natural names. Systems based on a host's file have inherent restrictions since it is evident that any computer that wants to connect with another laptop must update its host's file whenever the address of that machine changes.
A more scalable approach was required due to the expansion of networking, which simply kept track of changes to a host's address in one location. A network of all hosts' names and associated IP addresses would be completed by dynamically informing other hosts of the change through a notification system.
Paul Mockapetris created the Domain Name System in 1983 and built the initial implementation at Jon Postel's request. In RFC 882 and 883, the original requirements are documented. When RFC 1034 and RFC 1035 were published in 1987, they modified the DNS definition and rendered RFC 882 and RFC 883 obsolete. The fundamental DNS protocols have been extended in several more recent RFCs differently.
The initial UNIX implementation was created in 1984 by four Berkeley students: Songnian Zhou, Mark Painter, David Riggle,, and Douglas Terry. Ralph Campbell continued to develop it after that. The DNS system was considerably rewritten and given the new name BIND by DEC's Kevin Dunlap in 1985. (Berkeley Internet Name Domain, previously: Berkeley Internet Name Daemon). Since then, BIND has been maintained by Mike Karels, Phil Almquist,, and Paul Vixie. In the early 1990s, BIND was converted to the Windows NT operating system.
Since BIND has a lengthy history of vulnerabilities and exploits, various substitute nameserver/resolver applications have been developed and made available.
Theoretically, a tree of domain names makes up the domain name space, which is how DNS functions. Each node or branch in the tree includes one or more resource records containing data pertaining to the domain name. Zones are divided inside the tree. A zone is made up of a group of linked nodes that are served authoritatively by a DNS nameserver. (Remember that one nameserver may host several zones.)
A system administrator may assign control to another administrator so that the latter may manage a portion of the domain name space within their sphere of influence. By doing this, a part of the previous zone is divided into a new location that is under the control of the nameservers of the second administrator. When anything falls into the purview of the new site, the old zone loses its authority.
A resolver searches for the data related to nodes. To connect with name servers, a resolver understands how to issue DNS queries and pays attention to DNS answers. Resolving often involves iterating over numerous name servers to find the required information.
Some resolvers perform rudimentary operations and can only connect to single-name servers. These straightforward resolvers depend on a recursing name server to make the information discovery.
The fourth version of the Internet Protocol (IP), known as version 4, is also the protocol's most extensively used iteration. Aside from IPv6, IPv4 is the sole protocol used on the Internet and is the dominating network layer protocol.
It is detailed in IETF RFC 791, which superseded RFC 760 in September 1981. (January 1980). As MIL-STD-1777, it was also standardized by the US Department of Defense.
A data-oriented protocol called IPv4 is intended for use with packet-switched networks (e.g., Ethernet). It is a best-effort protocol since delivery is not guaranteed. There are no assurances given on the accuracy of the data, and duplicate or out-of-order packets might occur. An upper layer protocol addresses these issues (e.g., TCP and partly UDP).
IP is designed to give unique global computer addressing for two computers to identify one another while interacting over the Internet uniquely.
There are only 4,294,967,296 unique addresses that may be used with IPv4 since it employs 32-bit (4-byte) addresses. Others, like the 18 million private network addresses and the 1 million multicast addresses, are allocated for specific uses. As a result, fewer addresses are available for use as public Internet addresses. An IPv4 address scarcity seems imminent as the available addresses are used up. However, Network Address Translation (NAT) has considerably postponed this inevitable.
This restriction has encouraged the drive for IPv6, the only IPv4 replacement candidate in use, and its early stages of implementation.
The IP address was first split into two parts:
* Host id: last three octets * Network id: first octet
The result was a cap of 256 networks. This was quickly seen to be insufficient when the networks were assigned.
Different networks were established to get around this restriction, and this technology subsequently became known as classful networking. Five classes were made (A, B, C, D, & E), three of which (A, B, & C) had various network field lengths. Each of these three network classes had a different maximum number of hosts because the remaining address field was utilized to identify a host on that network. As a result, there were specific networks with a large number of host addresses and many networks with few addresses. Class E was reserved, whereas class D was for multicast addresses.
Around 1993, a Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) method took the role of these classes, and the earlier one was called "classful." The main benefit of CIDR is that it enables the reorganization of Class A, B, and C networks, allowing for the allocation of smaller (or larger) blocks of addresses to different organizations, such as Internet service providers or their clients or Local Area Networks.
It is not random how an address is assigned. The cornerstone of routing is that an address contains data about a device's position inside a network. This suggests that a network address issued to one area won't operate in another area of the network. The assignment of Internet addresses globally is controlled by a hierarchical system developed by CIDR and supervised by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and its Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). Each RIR maintains a publicly accessible WHOIS database to give information on IP address assignments. Data from these databases is a critical component of many systems that try to find IP addresses geographically.
A network layer protocol for packet-switched internet operations is called Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). For widespread usage on the Internet, it is intended to replace IPv4, the most recent version of the Internet Protocol.
The primary enhancement provided by IPv6 is a significantly expanded address space that permits more flexibility in addressing. For each of the approximately 6.5 billion individuals living now, IPv6 could handle 2128 (or 3.41038) addresses or around 51028 addresses. However, the IPv6 inventors did not intend to provide a unique permanent address to each person or device. Instead, the increased address length reduces the need for network address translation to prevent address depletion. It also makes address assignment and renumbering when switching providers easier.
By the early 1990s, it was evident that more improvements to IPv4 were required since the switch to a classless network implemented a decade earlier was insufficient to avoid IPv4 address depletion.
 Several suggested systems were in circulation by the winter of 1992. By the autumn of 1993, the IETF had issued a call for white papers (RFC 1550) and established the working groups for "IP, the Next Generation" (IPng Area).
 On July 25, 1994, the Internet Engineering Task Force accepted IPng and established several "IP Next Generation" (IPng) working groups.
 Starting with RFC 2460, a series of RFCs defining IPv6 was published in 1996. (Incidentally, IPv5 was an experimental flow-oriented streaming protocol meant to accommodate both video and audio, not a replacement for IPv4)
For the foreseeable future, IPv4 and IPv6 support are anticipated to coexist. Clients and servers that only support IPv4 won't be able to interact with IPv6 nodes directly; instead, they will need to use an intermediate.
characteristics of IPv6
 In many ways, IPv6 is a cautious expansion of IPv4. Except for application protocols that include network-layer addresses, most transport- and application-layer protocols may be used with IPv6 without any modification (such as FTP or NTPv3).
To operate over IPv6, however, applications often need minor adjustments and a recompile.
Additional address space:
The more expansive address space of IPv6, which is 128 bits long compared to 32 bits in IPv4, is the primary aspect of IPv6 that is accelerating adoption at the moment.
The bigger address space prevents the IPv4 address space from potentially running out without the need for network address translation (NAT) or other devices that disrupt end-to-end Internet communication. Although NAT may sometimes still be required, Internet architects attempt to avoid it wherever feasible since they know it would be challenging with IPv6. Eliminating the need for complicated subnetting algorithms also makes managing medium and large networks more accessible. Subnetting should, in theory, return to its original function of logically segmenting an IP network for the best possible access and routing.
The disadvantage of the bigger address size is that IPv6 uses more bandwidth than IPv4, which may be detrimental to areas with restricted bandwidth (header compression can sometimes be used to alleviate this problem). Although IPv4 addresses are significantly more difficult to remember than DNS names, IPv6 addresses are more difficult to remember than IPv4 addresses. IPv6 and IPv4 compatibility has been added to DNS protocols.
Stateless host autoconfiguration:
When a host is linked to a routed IPv6 network, the host's configuration may be done automatically. When a host connects to a network for the first time, it makes a link-local multicast request for its configuration settings. If routers are set up correctly, they react to this request with a router advertising packet that includes network-layer configuration settings.
A host may employ stateful autoconfiguration (DHCPv6) or be manually configured if IPv6 autoconfiguration is inappropriate. Only hosts should use stateless autoconfiguration; routers must be set up manually or using another method.
IPv6 scope :
IPv6 specifies three unicast address scopes: global, site, and link.
Non-link-local addresses known as "site-local addresses" are valid only inside an administratively specified site and are not transferable outside of it.
Only link-local addresses may be used to create ICMP Redirect Messages [ND] and as next-hop addresses in most routing protocols, according to companion IPv6 standards.
Due to these limitations, an IPv6 router must have a link-local next-hop address for all directly linked routes (routes for which the given router and the next-hop router share a common subnet prefix).
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