We have talked about IP address and how to configure them and we have briefly explained why you need one for the Raspberry Pi. A more in depth explanation of IP addresses are needed so you can really understand the network around you and the type of devices that require an IP address.
Every device from a computer to a phone requires a unique identifier to communicate with other devices on a network or the internet. If you are to address a letter in the mail, then you need to address with an exact address so that the post office know where house address this id destined for. Most networks on the internet use something called TCP/IP protocol to communicate. This is a common standard which allows all devices to abide by these rules so that each device can communicate with each other. This is no different from learning the French language so that you are able to communicate with a French speaking person.
Currently, two standards for IP addresses exist and they are IPv4 and IPv6. The main different between the two is that IPv6 is a new addition which allows more devices to be connected to the internet and at the same time be unique. With IPv4 this would not be possible because there isn’t enough IP address available with IPv4. Another difference is the way in which the IP addresses are represented.
IPv4 looks like this 192.168.100.100.
IPv6 is expressed like this 201c:cab7:0000:9832:0000:0000:ad01:fffa
This early part of course will only look at IPv4.
How can you get an IP address?
An IP address can either be dynamic of static. Dynamic means that the Raspberry Pi will automatically get an IP address from a server of router. Static means that the IP address has to be allocated to the Raspberry Pi manually.
Open a terminal window and type the following.
The following information will be returned although your IP address and device may be different.
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 08:10:27:ff:65:cc
inet addr:10.0.2.15 Bcast:10.0.2.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
inet6 addr: fe80::a00:27ff:feef:65bc/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:19 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:52 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:2372 (2.3 KiB) TX bytes:7776 (7.5 KiB)
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