What is called Internet Protocol IP ?


An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that usest he Internet Protocol for communication.An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.
Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) defines an IP address as a 32-bitnumber.However, because of the growth of the Internet and the depletion of available IPv4 addresses, a new version of IP using 128 bits for the IP address, was developed in 1995 and standardized in December 1998. In July 2017, a final definition of the protocol was published. IPv6 deployment has been ongoing since the mid-2000s.
IP addresses are usually written and displayed in human-unreadable notations, such as in IPv4, and2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1 in IPv6. The size of the routing prefix of the address is designated in CIDR notation by suffixing the address with the number of significant bits, e.g.,, which is equivalent to the historically used subnet mask
The IP address space is managed globally by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and by fiveregional Internet registries (RIRs) responsible in their designated territories for assignment to end users and local Internet registries, such asInternet service providers. IPv4 addresses have been distributed by IANA to the RIRs in blocks of approximately 16.8 million addresses each. Each ISP or private network administrator assigns an IP address to each device connected to its network. Such assignments may be on a static(fixed or permanent) or dynamic basis, depending on its software and practices.

An IP address serves two principal functions. It identifies the host, or more specifically its network interface, and it provides the location of the host in the network, and thus the capability of establishing a path to that host. Its role has been characterized as follows: "A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there."Theheader of each IP packet contains the IP address of the sending host, and that of the destination host.
IP version

Two versions of the Internet Protocolare in common use in the Internet today. The original version of the Internet Protocol that was first deployed in 1983 in the ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet, is Internet Protocol version 4(IPv4).
The rapid exhaustion of IPv4 address space available for assignment toInternet service providers and end user organizations by the early 1990s, prompted the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to explore new technologies to expand the addressing capability in the Internet. The result was a redesign of the Internet Protocol which became eventually known asInternet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) in 1995. IPv6 technology was in various testing stages until the mid-2000s, when commercial production deployment commenced.
Today, these two versions of the Internet Protocol are in simultaneous use. Among other technical changes, each version defines the format of addresses differently. Because of the historical prevalence of IPv4, the generic term IP address typically still refers to the addresses defined by IPv4. The gap in version sequence between IPv4 and IPv6 resulted from the assignment of version 5 to the experimental Internet Stream Protocol in 1979, which however was never referred to as IPv5.

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