What is an IP address? Why is it important?
An IP address is a unique identification code used to assign a device and shares the location and address of the device with the IP address. The IP address has been used for decades now with the first being created in 1980 in IPv4 and was defined in RFC 760. IPv4 has been the traditional one with 32-bit addresses and limited to a very small amount of actual addresses that have been assigned hence, a change and an upgrade were required which resulted in the birth of IPv6 which stores 128-bit addresses. These are assigned to various amount of devices which include computers, mobile devices, IP phones, servers, websites, or anything that is connected to the vast network of the internet.
IP addresses are given according to various servers and the number of devices that are connected to them, there can be dynamic or static ones. IP addresses can not be replicated, which means if the server overloads some of the devices get kicked out, resulting in a crash screen as the server tries to make room for the device that is trying to connect the latest. Hence, you may sometimes get disconnected or timed out when accessing a website that has a low traffic capacity.
Also Read: What is IPv6? A general guide all about it
IP address management
As we discussed above how IP addresses are located dynamically as well as statically. Manually allocating a device with an IP address on a subnet can be considered the static form of assigning an IP address. Whereas one can use a DHCP server that assigns an IP address that is stored dynamically as a device joins in on the network. Generally, IP addresses can be masked by using a VPN service but if not, one can track down the location and the information regarding the PC that holds that certain IP address. When a PC leaves the server the DHCP server then has that void for other devices to connect to that IP address and the process just goes on and on as the cycle continues.
Why are IP addresses used?
Well, it’s not that deep of a cause but as it was mentioned earlier, it is used as a unique identification that stores the location and details regarding the system that holds the address. It is also been used as a security system that helps in identifying intruders in your system and troubleshooting various network errors. Certain facilities have been provided for various website hosting which allows access to only certain static IP addresses into their webpages to maximize security and help with access to the website which helps in keeping the web page secure and not letting any malicious or suspicious activity in the system of the users who access the site.
With the ever-growing community of internet users every single day it is necessary to maintain security and trackage of traffic on the websites and IP addresses just do that and more. Keeps everything secure from websites regarding bank or financial information or be it educational sites that need attention as well, IP addresses function as a key to the house and can access a whole lot of information that you may not be aware of. It is always important to be managing your work in the safest way possible and is suggested to keep check of identification not being stolen or misused.
Although there may be some drawbacks let’s be honest everything that comes under the domain of the internet is a sweet poison or can be considered a double-edged sword. It can benefit you in great ways only if you can use it correctly and wisely whereas if it is misused or not properly used under the intent of what it was supposed to be used, it can cause great damage to a variety of things.
With the ever-growing technology of the world wide web, it is important to maintain utmost safety and security as doxxing and breaching of your personal information is very common. Although IP addresses may not provide the best security it does provide a blanket to your information that it needs and may help you at least catch the intruders who are trying to breach your system. Using a VPN is very much advised for web surfing as although it may cost a bit for now, it does provide great amounts of safety and security by not revealing your identity to any of the servers. Hope this article helped you understand the importance of an IP address. Happy surfing!