The two main functions of an IP address are identifying the system

Just like your physical address is a marker for the real-world location of your house, work, or business, an IP address is a marker for your digital location. It identifies your own computer, a favorite website, or even a network device (such as a webcam). And it is a crucial part of how the internet works.

The two main functions of an IP address are identifying the system and locating the system on the network. The first function allows you to connect with other computers over the Internet and mark the real-world location of your network device, which helps the sites you visit know how to serve you. This can include providing you with content in your native language, showing products and services that are available near you, and enabling you to interact with social media sites that know which country you live in.

Your Internet service provider will usually assign a dynamic IP address to your home router or small network. These addresses change over time, and your ISP may rotate and reuse them to save money on network infrastructure. This is known as a shared pool, and it offers security benefits by making it more difficult for cybercriminals to target specific systems on your network.

Dynamic IP addresses are assigned to network devices by the DHCP 192.168.l.0.1 protocol or a similar method. These addresses are on a lease basis, and the addresses are usually set to expire after a certain amount of time. This is the default configuration used by many ISPs to provide their residential or small business customers with a connection to the Internet.

When you use a public or open WiFi network, your device will have a dynamic IP address. These addresses are visible to anyone who connects to the WiFi, and they can be used to identify you on websites that store server logs or by other malicious actors to steal your personal information.

As the internet continues to evolve, we are transitioning from the original Internet protocol (IPv4) to its successor, IPv6. IPv6 provides a massive pool of 2128 uniquely identifying addresses, using a 128-bit address space with four sets of eight bits each separated by colons rather than periods (.).

If you have a dynamic IP address, it will likely change frequently as you move from one network to another, and the changes will be noticeable when you use different online services. This can be a problem because your IP address can be stored in the server logs of sites you visit and used to track your activity on those sites, including any comments or other identifying information you might share. This can be helpful for businesses, but it can also expose individuals to hackers and other unscrupulous activities that may violate your privacy. To avoid this, consider upgrading your home or office router to a static IP address. You can also take Simplilearn’s Advanced Executive Program in Cyber Security to get more in-depth training on these topics.