When we ask clients for their IP address and they look it up, they sometimes get confused and ask us to clarify the differences between IPv4 & IPv6. So, you know what an Internet Protocol Address (IP) is. But do you know that there are two versions of what is known as an IP address? Before we clear that up, we think a little background should help.
About three decades ago, what is now referred to as an IP was first used privately by the US Department of Defense before it was made public. As the internet expanded and more people started to connect to it, there was even more demand for IP addresses to be assigned to devices connected to a network. This earlier set of IP addresses assigned belonged to the IPv4, which means Internet Protocol Version 4. Over time, due to excessive demand, we started running out of addresses for the earlier version of IP. Because everyone connected to a network must get assigned an IP, there was a need to provide an alternative solution to ensure a continuous supply of IPs; everybody who connects to the internet via any network gets assigned an IP. This brought about the second version of the Internet Protocol, IPv6 – Internet Protocol version 6.
What is IPv4?
The fourth version of IP uses a 32-bit system. The IPv4 address is made up of four numbers. These numbers are separated with a single dot containing between one to three digits. These four numbers must not exceed 255 and should not be less than 0. If they are, the IP becomes invalid. For example, 188.8.131.52 is a valid IPv4 address because all four numbers fall within 0 and 255. But 251.25.267.288 is not a valid IPv4 address. Version 4 IP powers a large percentage of Internet traffic. While it was not thought possible at the onset that the IPv4 would run out of addresses, it has. And this created an urgent need for another version to be developed. The IPv4 can either be public or private. A private IPv4 means that your IP is restricted to a private network and cannot be found on the broader internet. A public IPv4 means you can be found on the internet.
What is IPv6?
IPv6 was developed as a solution to the limitations of IPv4 : there were just not enough addresses on it to be assigned to every internet user. It is known as Internet Protocol version 6. This version of IP is quite new as it was developed in 1998. Unlike IPv4, IPv6 operates a 128-bit system. It is made up of eight parts which are separated by a colon . Each of these eight parts contains four unique digits. An IPv6 address will resemble something like this: 4001:0da7:75a3:0000:0000:7a2e:0370:7443. There are three types of IPv6 addresses: unicast addresses, multicast addresses, and anycast addresses. The unicast addresses are IPv6 addresses that refer to a single sender or a single receiver by identifying a unique node on a network. The multicast address is an address that embodies a group of IP devices. This type of IPv6 can only be used as a destination. Lastly, the anycast type of address is the IPv6 address provided for interfaces belonging to distinct network nodes.
Why we need to know your IP address?Steven Clarke2022-08-04T18:51:18-04:00
We frequently get asked why it is crucial to request your IP addresses. This section will enlighten you better on why we request it and what we use it for. These are some of the fundamental reasons why we request your IP Addres
When we help you secure your servers/websites, we put firewalls in place to block malicious actors. Sometimes these firewalls can block legitimate users. If you put your password wrong multiple times, fail to log into email correctly, and take actions on the site that the server deems to be suspicious, it may block you. Your website would then appear down to you because the firewall won’t let you access it. To fix this, we need your IP address to unblock you or whitelist you in the firewall rules.
Privileged & Administrative Access
For sensitive admin ports, services & portals, we will purposely use the firewall to block ALL traffic. When doing so, we need your IP address to allow you, the site/server owner, to bypass the firewall and access your systems.
Exclude Internal Traffic
There are times when we’ll want to prevent your activity from being picked up by analytics & metric trackers on your sites & servers. Stats can be skewed by site owners (and their internal team members/staff) who frequently visit their own sites. We have clients that check their pages every 10 minutes and more. This can throw off stats in applications such as Google Analytics, especially if you are testing order & form conversions. If we have your IP address we can properly exclude your activity from skewing your analytics.
The above are just a few reasons we need to know your IPs. Please keep in mind, it can get tricky when you have a dynamic IP instead of a static IP address. Because if it is dynamic, it can change often. So if we whitelist an IP and it changes, you could effectively get blocked again. If you do have a dynamic IP, we may advise you use to utilize a VPN.
What is a Static vs Dynamic IP address?Steven Clarke2023-04-19T16:29:25-04:00
A Static IP address is rigid and unchangeable, unlike a dynamic IP address that is flexible and subject to change. Static IP addresses are usually assigned by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and can be either IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. Some of the key features of a Static IP Address include:
Remote Accessibility: Static IP addresses can be accessed from any location and by most remote access programs such as VPN services.
Traceability: Static IP addresses are easy to trace from other computers because they do not change.
DNS Management: Setting up a static IP address with a Domain Name System is flexible and easy.
Vulnerability to Attacks: Static IP addresses are more susceptible to attacks from hackers because they cannot be disguised and can easily be found on the internet.
Suitability for Communication: Static IP addresses are more suitable for communication purposes.
Dynamic IP addresses are flexible and subject to change. They are usually assigned by a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server. Some of the key features of a Dynamic IP Address include:
Availability: Dynamic IP addresses are always available and can be assigned to a device at any time.
Hard to Trace: Dynamic IP addresses are almost impossible to trace, making them a challenging target for hackers.
Reusability: Dynamic IP addresses allow for redistribution and repeated usage of addresses.
Limited Remote Access: Dynamic IP addresses offer more security because they are subject to changes at any time, making remote access more difficult.
We Handle The Tech Headaches So You Can Focus On Business Growth.