In the early days of the internet, there were only a handful of computers connected to the network. This meant that each computer had its own unique address, which made it easy for data to be routed between them.
However, as the internet grew and more and more devices were added to the network, it became clear that this system was not sustainable. This is where IPV4 comes in.
What is IPV4? It is a system that was designed to provide every device on the internet with its own unique address.
This address is made up of four numbers, each of which can range from 0 to 255. Devices are assigned addresses by their internet service provider (ISP), and these addresses are then used to route data between devices.
IPV4 has been in use for a long time now, and it has proven to be a very effective way of managing the internet. However, it is not without its flaws.
The biggest problem with IPV4 is that there are only 4 billion possible addresses. This might sound like a lot, but with the ever-growing number of devices that are connecting to the internet, it is estimated that we will run out of IPV4 addresses eventually.
This is where IPV6 comes in. IPV6 is a newer system that has been designed to address the shortcomings of IPV4. It uses a much larger address space, which means that there are virtually unlimited addresses available. This will allow us to keep adding new devices to the internet without having to worry about running out of addresses.
In this guide, we’ll tell you all about IPV4 addresses, how they work, and why we need to start using IPV6.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
What Is IPV4?
IPV4 is the fourth version of the Internet Protocol (IP), which is a digital communications protocol that identifies devices on a network. IPV4 is the most common form of IP and is used by most Internet service providers (ISPs).
It uses a 32-bit addressing scheme, which limits the number of addresses that can be assigned to devices on a network.
IPV4 is being replaced by IPV6, which uses a 128-bit addressing scheme and can support a virtually unlimited number of addresses.
History of IPV4
IPV4 was developed in the early 1980s when the Internet was still in its infancy. It was designed to replace the earlier Network Control Protocol (NCP), which was used on the ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet. IPV4 was first deployed on the ARPANET in 1983 and became the standard protocol for the Internet in 1986.
IPV4 has been in use for over three decades and is the most widely used version of IP. However, it is slowly being replaced by IPV6, which was designed to address the problem of address exhaustion.
The Problem of Address Exhaustion
IPV4 uses a 32-bit addressing scheme, which allows for a maximum of 4,294,967,296 (2^32) addresses. However, the number of devices connected to the Internet has been growing at a rapid pace and is now approaching this limit.
In order to accommodate the increasing number of devices, ISPs have been using network address translation (NAT), which allows multiple devices to share a single IP address.
However, NAT has limitations and cannot be used to connect to certain services, such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and peer-to-peer file sharing.
IPV6 was developed to address the problem of address exhaustion and uses a 128-bit addressing scheme, which allows for a virtually unlimited number of addresses. IPV6 is slowly being adopted by ISPs and is expected to eventually replace IPV4.
IPV4 Address Format
An IPV4 address is typically written in dotted-decimal notation, which consists of four octets (8-bit bytes) separated by periods. Each octet represents a number between 0 and 255.
For example, the IPV4 address 192.168.0.66 can be represented as 11000000.10101000.00000000.01000010 in binary.
An IPV4 address can also be represented in hexadecimal or octal notation.
The hexadecimal notation uses the digits 0-9 and the letters A-F, while octal notation uses the digits 0-7.
For example, the IPV4 address 192.168.0.1 can be represented as 0xC0A80001 in hexadecimal or 030100000000001 in octal.
IPV4 Addresses and Subnets
An IP address can be divided into two parts: the network part and the host part. The network part identifies the network to which the address belongs, while the host part identifies the specific host on that network.
The network part of an IP address is also known as the network prefix, while the host part is known as the host identifier. The network prefix can be further divided into a subnet mask and a subnet ID.
The subnet mask is used to determine which portion of the address belongs to the network prefix, while the subnet ID is used to identify the specific subnet within the network.
For example, consider the IP address 192.168.0.66/24. The /24 indicates that the first 24 bits of the address are part of the network prefix, while the last 8 bits are part of the host identifier. This means that there are 256 (2^8) possible addresses in the 192.168.0.0/24 subnet, of which 192.168.0.66 is one.
IPV4 addresses are divided into five classes: A, B, C, D, and E.
IPV4 Addressing Schemes
There are two types of IPV4 addressing schemes: private and public.
- Private addresses are typically used on local area networks (LANs) and cannot be routed on the Internet.
- Public addresses can be routed on the Internet and are typically used on wide area networks (WANs).
Types Of IPV4 Addresses
There are three types of IPV4 addresses: unicast, multicast, and broadcast.
- Unicast addresses are used to send data to a single host. A unicast address can be either an IPv4 address or an IPv6 address.
- Multicast addresses are used to send data to a group of hosts. A multicast address must be an IPv4 address.
- Broadcast addresses are used to send data to all hosts on a network. A broadcast address must be an IPv4 address.
IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses
IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are not compatible with each other and cannot be used interchangeably. Devices that use IPv4 addresses will not be able to communicate with devices that use IPv6 addresses and vice versa.
IPv4 addresses are slowly being replaced by IPv6 addresses, which are designed to address the problem of address exhaustion. IPv6 uses a 128-bit addressing scheme, which allows for a virtually unlimited number of addresses. Additionally, IPv6 is more efficient and provides better security than IPv4.
While IPv4 is still the most widely used version of IP, it is slowly being replaced by IPv6.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an IP address?
What is the difference between an IPv4 and an IPv6 address?
What is the difference between a public and a private address?
What is the difference between a network prefix and a subnet ID?
How are IPv4 addresses allocated?