Most people who are only moderately tech-savvy will have heard of IP. However, less know about IPX. IP and IPX Networks are both very similar but at the same time they also have a lot of differences as well.
Before we just jump on in, we will tell you a few things about each of them individually first. You do not need to be a tech wizard to know about IP and IPX (although it does make it easier).
It is not so easy as to just say ‘well, are they the same thing or not?’, there is more to it than that, so, we will explain exactly what each of these are, and their differences.
Furthermore, we will also let you know if there is one that takes the cake. So, let’s get started!
What Is An IP?
Most people will know what IP is, but in case you do not, IP stands for Internet Protocol address. You will have likely heard or seen the phrase ‘your IP address’.
It is a number based label that is designed to every device that has a computer network associated with it. Basically every bit of technology in your home, work and anywhere else will have its own IP address.
What Does An IP Do?
So, what do IP addresses do? They primarily host and/or network interface identification and are an address for location.
They will be divided into 2 subnetworks which are known as IPv4 and IPv6. Thanks to this, IP addresses are recognized as having 2 parts, inside which you will find the network prefixes in the highest-order parts as well as the rest of the field.
In the remaining parts you will then find the IPv6 (the interface identifier) or the identifier of host.
What Is An IPX?
IPX on the other hand stands for ‘Internetwork Packet Exchange’, we know this as being an IPX Network.
This is a protocol for networking which used to be used by Novell NetWare, which was an operating system, however it was later adopted by Windows. It is a network layer for IPX/SPX protocols.
It functions similarly to an IP Protocol. It will also define how data is sent and received through systems. Although it has no need for connection to be able to maintain packets being sent from system to system.
However, It will only load when a network connection is attempted, so it does not consume any resources unnecessarily.
IPX will give you person to person connectivity just like IP does, and also, just like IP it also has end-user data as well as being connectionless, much like network addressing. The original client of this, Novell’s, was written for DOS.
In fact, video games like WarCraft 2, Quake and so on, were actually supported with IPX protocols for gaming networks. So, you may well have used IPX before and not known it!
How IPX Is Used
IPX protocols are nothing more than basically just redundant at the current stage in their life. It is totally possible to be able to run Novell products without IPX Protocol assistance, as they are all compatible with TCP and IP, as well as IPX since 1998.
As well as how no one but Novell really uses IPX, it is a bit of an artifact these days and its best days are definitely long in the past.
Of course, there are game systems that used IPX, however, this is not really current anymore, so IPX at the height of its use is basically just a part of tech history at this point.
Differentiating IP & IPX
So, in spite of this, how does one differentiate between IP and IPX? Well, IPX is a networking protocol, conducting a variety of activities in an end-to-end encryption process that is secured, and managed with timely data.
It was made for use by Novell Network, but got adapted by Windows. Since this, NetWare LANS got replaced and were more highly used in networks that deployed MS Windows LANS.
IPX and SPX were both networks and transport layers, which were equivalent to IP and TCP in their network. If you were to compare these two, then the clearest difference you are likely to find is in the LSL layer.
The LSL layer which offers the interface commonly used to network drivers. ODI and NDIS are both commonly used LSL implementations.
You can see here how similar these two actually are, however IP seemed to stay around while IPX just got lost in the evolution of technology, or seemingly so.
Is One Better Than The Other?
Both IP and IPX do very similar work for the network protocol, the only real difference between their functionality is that the way in which they do this is different. But, is one really better than the other?
Well, we all know that IP and IPX both provide those who use them with connective services that are very alike to one another.
IPX was first optimized for LANS, and IPX was created with the assistance of Ethernet MAC addresses and a 32-bit, 4-byte network. IP uses IPv6 which does actually have the same properties.
IPX was never ideal for WANS as it was totally incapable of coping with varying frame sizes, however IP addresses can work with different frame sizes.
Not many people actually use IPX anymore, simply due to the services that they gave people became outdated, and as technology grew but IPX did not, it was not doing its job properly anymore.
Now, in today’s highly technological world, everyone has their own IP address, and a majority of people will use this now, in the place of IPX.
IP is also generally considered to be the better version of IPX by most people as well. IPX is generally seen as a part of history for those in tech.
IP is technically better than IPX, but we cannot hate it because it was a part of the building block that made up the foundation of online functionality today.