An IP (Internet Protocol) address is an address that is assigned to a piece of hardware which is connected in a newtwork to communicate with eachother. Each IP address is unique for every device (phones, tablets, computers, modems etc).
There are 2 versions of IP. 1) IPv4 2)IPv6
It is an older version of protocol. It uses 32-bit binary number to produce single unique address. E.g. 126.96.36.199. As the maximum value of a 32-bit number is 232= 4,294,967,296. So it can produce upto 4.3 billion unique addresses.
|Class A||188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206||16 million hosts on each of 127 networks.|
|Class B||220.127.116.11 to 18.104.22.168||65,000 hosts on each of 16,000 networks.|
|Class C||22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199||254 hosts on each of 2 million networks.|
|Class D||188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206||Reserved for multicasting.|
|Class E||240.0.0.0 to 254.255.255.254||Reserved for future purpose (Research and development).|
Ranges 127.x.x.x are reserved for the loopback or localhost.A loopback address is nothing but a special IP address ranges 127.0.0.1 to 127.255.255.255 and it doesn't require a physical connection to a network. Range 255.255.255.255 broadcasts to all hosts in local network.
It is replacement of IPv4. As IPv4 exceeded its limit, IPv6 originated as a solution. It uses 128-bit binary number to produce single unique address. It uses 8 sets of hexadecimal (base-16) number to produce unique address. Each set is separated by colon. E.g. 2020:dcba:0000:0000:0000:0000:1010:9876 (can be written as 2020:dcba::1010:9876).