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Learn IPv4 with online courses and programs

IPv4 is an Internet Protocol that allows devices to receive and send data using a unique address. Learn IPv4 with online courses delivered through edX.

What is Internet Service Protocol 4 (IPv4)?

The U.S. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) adopted IP (Internet Protocol) in the 1970s and it has since become the standard used for all internet communications. IPv4 uses a 32-bit address space that serves to identify a specific device on the vast internet network. When your device communicates with another device over the Internet, it sends your data to the IP address of the destination server, then returns data to your device’s IP. 

When you connect to the internet, your internet service provider gives you a router with a public IP address. Private IP addresses are typically used on closed private networks.Footnote 1 An example of an IPv4 address is 185.107.80.231. Using 32 bits allows for 4.2 billion unique IP addresses.

IPv6 is the newest IP and uses 128-bit addresses, providing more variety than the 32-bit addresses of IPv4. This is especially important as the number of Internet-connected devices continues to grow.

IPv4 is still the most widely used protocol and is supported on all network devices. However, IPv6 is gradually being adopted and will eventually replace IPv4.Footnote 2 Besides the problem of limited availability in IPv4 addresses, their protocol can also cut up large pieces of data in order to pass it through to the network destination. This can result in fragmentation.Footnote 3

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IPv4 tutorial curriculum

Instead of a standalone course, learning IPv4 is often included when you take a networking class that deals with Transmission Control Protocol (TP) and IP. A TCP/IP class may include the following subjects:

  • IP address configuration and routing

  • Internet address architecture (IPv4 and IPv6) with static and dynamic IP addressing

  • Security and IP attacks

  • Internet Control Message Protocol

  • Domain name server (DNS) design and implementation

  • Network management utilities and troubleshootingFootnote 4

edX offers a variety of educational pathways, including boot camps as well as bachelor's degree programs and even master’s degree programs, for learners interested in advancing their knowledge in a variety of subjects. Find the right course for you. 

Explore IPv4 jobs

IPv4 is included under the umbrella of TCP/IP. When searching for related jobs, you may want to seek out a description that includes TCP/IP within it and aligns with your experience level. 

Jobs that could require TCP/IP knowledge include:

  • Technical support engineer

  • Network device validation engineer

  • Computer network engineer

  • Embedded software engineer

How to begin a career with IPv4

Besides taking courses in TCP/IP, you might need to master additional subjects in order to have a computer networking career. Related to TCP/IP, you could consider taking Wireshark classes, network engineering courses, and perhaps IT security coursesFootnote 5

If you are interested in adding new skills to your resume, explore how online learning opportunities such as a coding boot camp or even a bachelor’s degree in computer science can help you build the expertise and experience you need to pursue roles in this field.