What is Internet Protocol (IP)?

Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules that govern how data is transmiting across a network, and is the primary protocol used for communication on the Internet. It is uses to identify devices on a network, route traffic between networks, and provide a reliable end-to-end connection for applications. IP is a connectionless protocol, meaning that data is sending without requiring an acknowledgement of receipt from the destination.

History of Internet Protocol (IP)

The history of Internet Protocols can trace back to the early 1960s when the ARPANET was establish as a research and development program of the US Department of Defense. This was followed by the development of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) in the early 1970s.

TCP was designed to provide a reliable, secure and efficient way of transmitting data over networks. The development of TCP was followed by the development of the Internet Protocol (IP) which established the basic framework for the Internet. In the 1980s, the development of the Domain Name System (DNS) and the World Wide Web (WWW) enabled users to access information on the Internet.

In the 1990s, the development of protocols such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP and POP3 enabled the creation of web browsers, email applications and other Internet-based applications. This was followed by the development of Voice over IP (VoIP) and streaming media technologies which enabled real-time audio and video communication over the Internet.

Today, the Internet is based on the suite of Internet Protocols known as TCP/IP which is used by millions of users around the world. This suite of protocols provides the basic framework for the Internet and enables the transmission of data between two or more computers over the Internet.

Examples of Internet Protocol

  1. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP): A connection-oriented transport protocol that helps in establishing and maintaining a connection between two computers over an IP network. It is responsible for reliable transmission of data, flow control, and error detection.
  2. Internet Protocol (IP): A network layer protocol that helps in addressing and routing data packets to their destination. It enables hosts on the internet to communicate with each other by providing an address to each device.
  3. User Datagram Protocol (UDP): A connectionless protocol that is used for sending and receiving data over an IP network. It is a lightweight protocol that provides best-effort delivery of data packets with no guarantee of delivery or data order.
  4. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): A protocol used for transferring web pages between clients and servers over the internet. It is used to request and receive HTML documents, images, and other web resources.
  5. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP): A protocol used for transferring emails between two hosts over the internet. It is responsible for delivering emails from the sender to the recipient’s mail server.

How does IP routing work?

IP routing works by sending packets of data from one place to another. When a packet is sent, it contains information about the source, destination, and a payload. The packet is then routed through the network to its destination. Along the way, routers examine the packet to determine where to send it next. Routers use a routing table to decide which route is the most efficient, based on factors such as cost, distance, or other criteria. The packet is then sent to the next router until it reaches its destination. As the packet moves through the network, each router adds its own IP address to the packet, allowing the sender to track its progress.

IP packets

IP packets are data packets that are used to transmit information over a network using the Internet Protocol (IP). They are composed of a header, which contains information about the source and destination of the packet, as well as the data contained within it. The data is broken down into smaller sections called “packets” which are then sent over the network and reassembled into the original data at the receiving end.

Importance of Internet Protocol

Internet Protocol (IP) is an important communication protocol used for connecting computers and other devices to the internet. It is responsible for the delivery of data packets from one computer to another and for providing them with an address so the destination can be identified. Without IP, the internet would not be able to function properly, as data would not be able to be routed correctly between networks and devices. IP is also responsible for ensuring data integrity and security by using encryption and authentication methods. IP is an essential part of the internet and it is necessary for the continued success of the internet.

what is ip

Types of IP addresses


IPv4 is the fourth version of Internet Protocol (IP) and is the most widely used version. It is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a network. It is a 32-bit address made up of four numbers separated by periods.


IPv6 is the sixth version of Internet Protocol (IP) and is the successor of IPv4. It is a 128-bit address made up of eight hexadecimal numbers separated by colons. It is capable of supporting about 340 undecillion addresses.

Private IP Addresses:

Private IP addresses are used within private networks and are not routable to the Internet. They are used by routers and network devices to communicate with each other. They are usually in the form of 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x.

Public IP Addresses:

Public IP addresses are used by devices that are visible on the Internet. They are used by websites, online applications, and services. They are usually in the form of 78.x.x.x or 12.x.x.x.

Differences between IPv4 and IPv6

IPv4 and IPv6 are two versions of the Internet Protocol (IP)


  • Uses 32-bit addresses
  • 4,294,967,296 possible addresses
  • Supports only basic security features
  • Limited header options
  • Uses Network Address Translation (NAT) to reduce address space


  • Uses 128-bit addresses
  • 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 possible addresses
  • Supports more advanced security features
  • Expanded header options
  • Does not require NAT to reduce address space

Public IP addresses come in two forms – dynamic and static.

Dynamic IP addresses

Dynamic IP addresses are IP addresses that are assigned to a device or computer by a network, such as a router, on a temporary basis. Each time a device or computer connects to the network, it is assigned a different IP address. Dynamic IP addresses are typically used for home networks, but can also be used for business networks.

Static IP addresses

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a numerical label that is assigned to a device that is connected to a computer network, such as the internet. It is used to identify and locate a device on the network. A static IP address is a unique, permanent address that is assigned to a device, such as a computer or printer, by an administrator. Unlike dynamic IP addresses, which are automatically assigned, static IP addresses remain the same each time a device connects to the network. Static IP addresses are helpful for network administration, as they allow for easier identification and configuration of devices.

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One thought on “What is Internet Protocol (IP)?

  • February 7, 2023 at 10:34 am

    thanks for sharing
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