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What is my IP:

Internet Protocol ( IP ) is a protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched internetwork using the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).

Every device connected to the public Internet is assigned a unique number known as an Internet Protocol IP address. IP addresses consist of four numbers separated by periods (also called a 'dotted-quad') and look something like


Since these numbers are usually assigned to internet service providers within region-based blocks, an IP address can often be used to identify the region or country from which a computer is connecting to the Internet. An IP address can sometimes be used to show the user's general location .

Because the numbers may be tedious to deal with, an IP address may also be assigned to a Host name, which is sometimes easier to remember. Hostnames may be looked up to find IP addresses, and vice-versa. At one time ISPs issued one IP address to each user. These are called static IP addresses . Because there is a limited number of IP addresses and with increased usage of the internet ISPs now issue IP addresses in a dynamic fashion out of a pool of IP addresses (Using DHCP ). These are referred to as dynamic IP addresses . This also limits the ability of the user to host websites, mail servers, ftp servers, etc. In addition to users connecting to the internet, with virtual hosting, a single machine can act like multiple machines (with multiple domain names and IP addresses).

IP Address Portability:


IP addresses identify individual hosts or services on your network. Hosts can be servers or clients or network equipment that requires globally routable IP address.

In Autonomous Routing a block of globally unique IP addresses (IP Space) is required in order to be able to route traffic from and to your network on the Internet independently.


Minimum Size

Blocks of less then 256 addresses (a /24) are not globally reachable, as such blocks are generally filtered out on the Internet. Therefor Autonomous Routing is only possible with a block of at least this size.


The block of IP addresses used, needs to be registered in a routing registry (for example in the RIPE database) under your the name. In RIPE this is identified by the 'Netname' field, which has to refer to your company name.

Registration status

The block of IP addresses has to have an assigned 'Status' field which means it can be used for production, and not an allocated status, which only means it is reserved as a resource to make future assignment from.

Number portability defined by Provider Type of address space

IP addresses can either be of two different types, which have different number portability characteristics:

- Provider Aggregatable (PA)

PA address assignments made by a Provider come from a large block allocated to a Provider by RIPE. All assigned sub-blocks under such an allocation can be aggregated by the provider, and announced on the by him Internet as one single large overlapping route. This aggregation keeps the global BGP4 routing table small. In order to prevent 'breakup' of this single large announcement, providers generally do not allow customers to route the PA IP addresses assigned to them on the Internet independently. When moving to a different provider, generally customers are required to return the assigned PA IP space, and inherently renumber their network to new IP addresses. It is generally not possible to keep the same PA IP addresses after/during a provider change; they are not portable.

- Provider Independent (PI)

PI addresses are individually assigned, do not have a specific provider relation and are always routed independently on the global Internet by themselves as a separate block.

Inherently, each PA block does make the global BGP4 routing table grow larger, which in the end requires more expensive larger and faster routers to process, on a global scale.

The local advantage however is that PI addresses don't need to be returned when moving to a different (transit) provider (no renumbering), and can be used on services of multiple providers at the same time; they are completely portable.

A potential disadvantage of PI adresses is that a request to assign a block of PI space always has to be done with an advance approval of the justification for that request by RIPE, whereas with PA space this justification is generally only checked by the provider in advance, and by RIPE only afterwards in random samples.

In theory a provider should follow exactly the same rules for justification as RIPE, but in practice many providers interpret the RIPE rules (very) liberally. This can make a PI registration less easy then a PA registration.


In the European region, IP addresses need to be officially requested with, and assigned by, the RIPE Network Coordination Center (NCC). The RIPE NCC is one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) providing Internet resource allocations, registration services and co-ordination activities that support the operation of the Internet globally.

RIPE database

After assignment, the IP addresses need to be registered in the public RIPE database, and maintained (kept up to date), along with other database objects that glue the addresses to your company ('organization' and 'person' objects) and to the AS Number they are announced under ('route' object).


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