Ethical Hacking Tutorial

What is IP Address in Networking? Full Form, Meaning, Working, Uses, Format, Example

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What is IP Address Full Form?
  • What is IP Address in Networking?
  • IP Address Format
  • IP Address Example
  • How does an IP Address Work? (Process Explained)
  • What Are Uses of IP Addresses?
  • What Are Different Types of IP Address?
  • What is IPv4 Address?
  • What is IPv6 Address?
  • What is Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses?
  • What is IP Address Class and Its Types?
  • What is IP Address Lookup?
  • What is IP Address Spoofing?
  • FAQs Related to IP Address in Networking


Most of you might know that every computer has an IP address attached to it. But it’s not merely a way to identify a system but a lot more than that. If you are looking for all the details associated with IP addresses and their uses, this blog is for you. 

In this write-up (part of our comprehensive Ethical Hacking Tutorial for beginners), we have answered all your common questions related to Internet Protocol, including:

  • What is IP Address in networking?

  • What does IP address stand for?

  • Format of IP address with example

  • How does IP address work?

  • Uses of IP address

  • What are the different types of IP address?

  • Difference between IPv4 and IPv6

  • IP address classes and types

Have a look:

What is IP Address Full Form?

The full form of an IP address is an Internet Protocol address, also known as an IP number or internet address. This unique number represents the technical format of the addressing scheme.

What is IP Address in Networking?

An IP address is a series of numbers used to identify a device over the network. This unique address is assigned to servers, computers, routers, and other systems connected to the internet. Similar to a regular address, it shows the location of a device in the network worldwide. 

An IP address works like a set of rules governing the information shared over the internet or through a local network. It is like a machine identifier that distinguishes between websites, computers, and servers. Also, it improves visual communication between the source and the destination. 

To know what is networking in computer and the different types of networking, check the linked write-up.

IP Address Format

An IP address is a string of numbers ranging from 0 to 255. The IP address range in a network is from to 

This set of four digits is separated by periods. For example

An IP address is divided into two parts: A network ID and a Host ID.

For example:

X1. X2. X3. X4 is the IP address, then:

1. X1. X2. X3 represents the Network ID

2. X4 is the Host ID

IP Address Example

The given IP address example will help you understand better:

Here, the four digits are separated by periods. The first three (192.168.2) signify network IP, while the last one (35) shows host ID.

How does an IP Address Work? (Process Explained)

At times, you may face issues with computer networks, or a device may not connect as expected. In such situations, a fair understanding of what is IP address and how it works may come in handy to troubleshoot the problem.

Internet Protocol works the same way as any other protocol. It uses a common language and a set of guidelines to exchange information between connected devices. 

Here is a sneak peek into how an IP address works and the steps involved in sharing or receiving data over the internet:

  • When your device is connected to a network, it gets access to the internet. At home, the network is the ISP (Internet Service Provider); at work, it’s the company network. 

  • The ISP assigns an IP address to a device. When you perform an activity or request data, such as playing a video or opening a website, it is routed through the ISP using the IP address. 

  • The assigned IP address is not constant and can change under certain circumstances. For example, turning the router on/off or requesting the ISP to change the IP address. 

When you are travelling and using the internet from a hotel or airport on your device, the process repeats itself as it connects to a new network. 

What Are Uses of IP Addresses?

A network of computers (and the internet) needs to distinguish between each connected device and track their locations. An IP address makes it possible to identify routers, computers, Bluetooth devices, and other connected hardware on a network. 

An IP address assigned to each device allows them to exchange data over the internet or a local network.

So, the uses of IP address in a network are:

  • Differentiate between each connected device

  • Tracking location of connected device

  • Identify routers

  • Identify computers

  • Identify devices or hardware connected

  • Data transmission between devices

What Are Different Types of IP Address?

After learning what is IP address in a computer network is, how it works, and its uses, it’s time to know about the types of IP addresses.

1. Dynamic IP Address

Dynamic IP addresses change constantly and are assigned to a device each time it connects to the internet. The ISPs buy a pool of IP addresses for internet users. They keep pushing the old ones back into the pool and reassigning them to other customers. 

This process is not only cost-efficient but also ensures security by making it difficult for hackers to penetrate the network. Dynamic IP addresses are active for a specific time and expire after that. 

2. Static IP Address

Static IP addresses don’t change once assigned. They remain the same until the device connected to the network is decommissioned. They are assigned by the ISP and are costlier than dynamic addresses. 

A static IP address is assigned to servers and large network systems. However, it has high-security risks. Hence, it demands extensive tech experience to ensure safety. 

3. Public IP Address

A public IP address is not assigned to one device but to an entire network. So, all the connected devices have the same IP address. It is assigned by the ISP to communicate outside the network. 

4. Private IP Address

Every device connected to the home internet has a private IP address. It can be your computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, and even Bluetooth-connected devices, such as printers, speakers, and smart TV. As a router needs to identify every device separately, it generates a private IP address to differentiate each of them. 

5. Shared IP Address

Websites with shared hosting plans from web hosting providers share the server resources with many other websites. This is common for small business websites and personal websites, where traffic is low and manageable. Also, these websites have a limited number of pages. So, the websites hosted on a single or shared server have shared IP addresses. 

What is IPv4 Address?

IPv4 was deployed in 1983 for production in the ARPANET. It is the first-ever version of the IP address and is now the most commonly used one. 

IPv4 uses an addressing system to identify devices on a network. It uses a 32-bit address scheme that allows to store 2^32 addresses. It is the primary internet protocol to date and carries 94% of online traffic. 

What is IPv6 Address?

IPv6 is the latest version of the IP address, initiated by the Internet Engineer Taskforce in 1994. It was deployed to meet the increasing demands for internet addresses. 

Also, it aimed to resolve issues of IPv4. It has 128-bit address space, which is equal to 340 undecillion unique address space.

What is Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses?

Now that you have a good idea of what is IP address meaning in networking and its different types, it’s time to talk about the primary differences between IPv4 vs IPv6 addresses.



32-bit address length.

128-bit address length.

Supports Manual and DHCP address configuration.

Supports Auto and renumbering address configuration.

End-to-end connection integrity is unachievable.

End-to-end connection integrity is achievable.

Security is based on the application.

Has an inbuilt security feature- IPSEC. 

Address representation is in decimal.

The address is represented in hexadecimal.

An IP address is divided into five classes namely Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E.

No classes of IP address.

Comprises 4 fields separated by a dot (.).

Contains 8 fields separated by a colon (:).

Encryption and authentication facilities are not available.

Encryption and authentication are available.


Example- 200:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334

What is IP Address Class and Its Types?

The IP address class is an addressing method that divides an IP address into five classes based on four address bits. 

It determines the bits used for network and host ID and the number of networks and hosts in that class. 

Different Types of IP Address Classes

A 32-bit IP address is divided into five classes, namely:

  • Class A

  • Class B

  • Class C

  • Class D

  • Class E

All these classes have a valid range of IP addresses. IP address classes A, B, and C are the network addresses of different network sizes. Whereas class D is used for multicast, and class E is reserved for experimental purposes. 

What is IP Address Lookup?

The IP address lookup means finding any IP address's geographical location and other information. The information includes:

  • City

  • State/Region

  • Postal/Zip Code

  • Country Name

  • Internet Service Provider (ISP)

  • Time Zone

What is IP Address Spoofing?

It is a technique used by black hat hackers to gain unauthorized access to systems. IP address spoofing means creating Internet Protocol (IP) packets with a modified or false source address to hide the sender’s identity, impersonate another system, or both. 

Cybercriminals use IP spoofing to carry out their malicious activities, such as stealing data, infecting a device, or crashing a server, without being detected. 

FAQs Related to IP Address in Networking

Here is some of the most common questions asked about IP address.

1. What is the full form of the IP address?

IP address stands for Internet Protocol address.

2. How many types of IP addresses are there?

There are primarily four types of IP addresses:

  • Public

  • Private

  • Static

  • Dynamic

3. An IP address is of how many bits?

An IP address is a 32-bit number further divided into four bytes.

4. What is IP address

The IP address is a common address to access wireless home routers on the network. Some IP address ranges are reserved for various types of networks, and is reserved for home LAN. 

5. What is IP address

The IP address is the localhost, a default name for the local computer you work on. Every computer uses this as its own address, but it doesn’t enable it to connect with other devices the way a real IP address does. Using as an IP address, the device connects and communicates with itself. 

6. Can an IP address be changed?

Yes, one can change an IP address manually, automatically, and with a VPN. However, each option follows different steps for Android, Windows, and Mac devices. Depending on the device you own, the process to change an IP address may vary, so make sure you have the right guide. 

7. Can an IP address be traced?

Yes, one can trace your IP address. Tracing an IP address is legal, provided it is not used for criminal activities.

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