What is an IP address?
An Internet Protocol address helps to identify devices on a network - for example, the Internet. Each device needs to have a unique address - you can't have two computers living at the same IP address!
There are two main versions of IP. The first (and most common) is IPv4 (or Internet Protocol version 4). IPv4 addresses look like this:
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. Some common IPv4 addresses are as follows:
- 192.168.001.001 (which can be shortened to just 192.168.1.1) - this is the default IP address for Slingshot-supplied modems.
- 010.001.001.001 (which can be shortened to just 10.1.1.1) - another common modem address (but not supplied by Slingshot!).
- 188.8.131.52 - this is the IP address for the Slingshot website!
- 202.180.064.010 (which can be shortened to just 184.108.40.206) - this is the IP address one of Slingshot's DNS servers.
Your home network will have an IP address assigned to it by Slingshot, and your modem will assign IP addresses to any device that connects to them (this process of assigning addresses is called DHCP, if you're interested).
IPv4 supports IP addresses from 0.0.0.0 all the way up to 255.255.255.255 - and although this allows for a very large number of IP addresses, it isn't unlimited and the world is quickly running out. This is where IPv6 comes in.
IPv6 is the newest IP standard, and it's much bigger:
xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx. As you can see, this will allow for even more numbers (approximately 3.4 x 1038 addresses).
At the moment, IPv6 is only just over 2% of all the traffic on the Internet, so it is still something that many Internet users don't need to worry about!