What is Internet Protocol | IPv4 | How to Work

What is Internet Protocol | IPv4 and IPv6 | How to Work Internet Protocol, What is the role in Internet

Short for Internet Protocol, IP is an address of a computer or other network device on a network using IP or TCP/IP. For example, the number "" is an example of such an address. These addresses are similar to an addresses used on a house and is what allows data to reach the appropriate destination on a network. 

There are five classes of available IP ranges: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D and Class E, while only A, B and C are commonly used. Each class allows for a range of valid IP addresses. Below is a listing of these address. Ranges 127.x.x.x are reserved for loopback or local host, for example, is the common loopback address. Range broadcasts to all hosts on the local network.

IP address breakdown
Every IP address is broke down into four sets of octets that break down into binary to represent the actual IP address. The below chart is an example of the IP If you are new to binary, we highly recommend reading our binary and hexadecimal conversions section to get a better understanding of what we're doing in the below charts.

Binary value: 
Octet value:




255 255
11111111 11111111
8 8

If we were to break down the IP "", you would get the below value. The below fist row is the IP address, the second row the binary values, and the third row the binary value calculated to equal the total of that section of the IP address.





Automatically assigned addresses

There are several IP addresses that are automatically assigned when you setup a home network. These default addresses are what allow your computer and other network devices to communicate and broadcast information over your network. Below is the most commonly assigned network addresses in a home network. - 254

0 is the automatically assigned network address.
1 is the commonly used address used as the gateway.
2 is also a commonly used address used for a gateway.
Addresses beyond 3 are assigned to computers and devices on the network.
255 is automatically assigned on most networks as the broadcast address.

Getting an IP address

By default the router you use will assign each of your computers their own IP address, often using NAT to forward the data coming from those computers to outside networks such as the Internet. If you need to register an IP address that can be seen on the Internet, you must register through InterNIC or use a web host that can assign you addresses.