Every device which is attached to a computer network and internet has an IP address.
It is a numeric address. It is an identifier for computer or devices like printers on a network. In simple words, we can say that it is like having your house address. Every computer or device on the network has a unique address which is required while communicating with each other. Every device has to have an IP address for communication purposes. It consists of 2 parts: –

1. A network address and 2. A host address.

There are 2 versions of the IP address.

1) IP version 4 i.e. IPv4  2) IP version 6 i.e. IPv6.

The important thing to note about IP addresses is that they are not fixed. So today if you have one IP address then tomorrow you could have a different IP address. The IP addresses are classified into Private IP address and Public IP address.
IPv4:
It is the most widely used IP address. It has been in use since the start of the Internet and it is deployed across the internet, home, and corporate networks. If you are reading this blog that means you are using the IPv4 address.
This address uses 32 bits for addressing. A 32-bit address was considered adequate at the start of the Internet or when the internet was evolving. But due to the rapid growth of the internet, all IPv4 addresses have been allocated since 2013 and there were no free IP addresses left. But that didn’t stop the growth of the Internet. There is one technique called NAT( Network Address Translation) have extended the life of IPv4 by allocating the use of private IP addresses inside the networks, home networks or corporate networks.
IPV4 addresses are logical addresses and they are developed by network administrators. Static addresses are more commonly assigned by using DHCP which stands for – Dynamic Host Configuration protocol.
IPv4 address uses 32 bits and it is split into 4 blocks of eights and is separated by a decimal number, therefore, it is used as a decimal format.
For ex. suppose the following is an IP address
66.94.234.13 ==> Each number separated by a period is called as an Octet. Its range is between 0 to 255. It can create around 4 million possible unique addresses.
But computers in the networks cannot read these addresses as they are in a standard numeric format and computer’s don’t understand decimal numbers, they understand only numbers in binary format. The binary format numbers mean 0’s and 1’s. Thus these standard IP address is converted into binary format by the computers.

Let’s see how this conversion takes place:

IPv4 addresses consist of 4 sets of 8 binary bits. Each set is called as Octet and the bits in each octet are represented by a number. So starting from left the following is the range :
128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
second bit has a value….. like this all the way down to the 1.
thus first bit has a value
Each bit in the octet can be either a 1 or a 0. If the number is a 1 then, the number it represents counts and if a number is 0 then, the number it represents does not count. So by manipulating 1’s and 0’s in the octet, you can come up to a range between 0 to 255.
For Ex. 66.94.234.13 ==> In this address 1st octet is 66.
now, 128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1

1 1 ==> and all the other bits will be 0
i.e. 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
We will get 64 + 2 = 66
So we will get a binary format of 66 as 01000010. Like this all the remaining octets are converted into their respective binary formats.

IPv6:
When the internet was initially developed, the developers never thought that the internet will evolve so much and so the IPv4 address. They thought that IPv4 addresses which were developed earlier would be enough but they were wrong.
But these IPv4 addresses will eventually be replaced by the IPv6 which uses 128 bits for the address and so can accommodate many more hosts i.e. computers and its related devices. IPv6 address is the next generation of IP addresses. IPv6 address uses 128 bits and it is shown as a Hexadecimal number which is split into blocks of 4, each separated by a colon (:).
The main difference between IPv4 and IPv6 is the length of these address. IPv6 is 128-bit hexadecimal address. It has both numbers and alphabets in the address. So with this type of address IPv6 can generate around 340 million addresses. So IPv6 is more than enough for the future use.
So as stated before IPv6 is made up of 128-bit hexadecimal numbers with 8 sets of 16 bits separated by a colon (:).
Let’s see how each hexadecimal number is converted into its equivalent binary format:

IPv6 address each hexadecimal character represents 4 bits so we have to convert 4 bits at a time to get one hexadecimal character, so starting from the beginning we convert the first 4 bits and put those bits up against a 4 bit chart which contains and if the first hexadecimal number is 2 then following will be the steps for converting it.
8 4 2 1
0 0 1 0
= 2
if we consider 2 as the 1st hexadecimal number then it will be represented in IPv6 as = 0010
Like this the remaining nos. get converted.
If the 2nd hexadecimal no. in IPv6 is 13. We cannot use a double-digit number to represent a 4 bit that’s because in hexadecimal format double digit numbers are represented with a single alphabet (A – F) So in this, we have to use another chart.
11 = A
12 = B
13 = C
14 = D
15 = E
16 = F

If the sum is 10 then we use this chart. In our case, the number is 13 so we will use “D” in the binary number and if the next number is 11 then, it converts to “B”. So first 16 bit of this binary IPv6 address will be ==> 26DB

ip address

Conclusion:
⦁ All devices on a computer network have an IP address.
⦁ An IP address is simply a number.
⦁ There are two IP address versions in current use: IPv4 and IPv6.
⦁ IPv4 is currently the one being used on all the computer networks that can be at home or on corporate networks.