A question regarding the workings of IP addresses

Mavix

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
759
#1
I wasn't to sure where to post this, so mods please move if it's in the wrong place.

OK, so this is my situation. Me and my dad had a debate on how IP addresses and the internet in general works. Now, not being much a network fundie, I am quite mystified by the workings of networks. And my dad, well let's just say that he belong's to an age long past that still thinks in terms of dial-up.

My argument is that the IP address of a computer or device is a direct link to that device. By using it, you have a direct link to it, no searching around to find the correct device.

My dads argues that this cannot be possible, that there has to be some kind of database contained somewhere that has said IP address and a way to dial in to it's computer. Which sounds rather absurd to me.

Can someone please explain to me how this all works? Then I can, in turn, explain it to my dad.
 

JazzeD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2006
Messages
475
#2
Well in a nut shell if only speaking about the IP part of the internet, then ure dad is mostly right.
IP's in different network(subnets) can not see each other and need to go through a device called a "Router" to do the routing for ure PC and it looks at a Routing table(database) for where to go next(to which router next if IP not close to that router)

You're PC also got a small routing table on it.

Thats just a quick explanation, very quick..
 

Mavix

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
759
#3
Well in a nut shell if only speaking about the IP part of the internet, then ure dad is mostly right.
IP's in different network(subnets) can not see each other and need to go through a device called a "Router" to do the routing for ure PC and it looks at a Routing table(database) for where to go next(to which router next if IP not close to that router)

You're PC also got a small routing table on it.

Thats just a quick explanation, very quick..
Oh OK I see. I'm busy looking up routing tables on Wikipedia now. Always keen to learn something new! Another quick question which bothers me: How does one PC send a packet to another PC? Does it just send it through various routers till it reaches one that matches the packet's destination IP?
 

cb22

Active Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2005
Messages
69
#4
Yep, I was going to type out a long explanation, but I'm too tired :) For fun, check out tracert in Windows and traceroute in Linux. It will show you the path a packet takes to get to its destination.

Try tracert google.com for an international site, and tracert ftp.is.co.za for a local site.
 

davemc

Executive Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
6,519
#7
You dad is 100% correct.
Your ISP knows exactly who you are and they have the database that gave you that address.

i.e. Your pirating is not anonymous.
 

Mavix

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
759
#8
Thanks for all the info guys. I have a mild understanding of it now, although to be honest most of it is way beyond my understanding.
 
Top