Features of Mobile IP

By Bryan Cohen

This wireless technology uses Mobile IP to connect to the Internet.
i wireless internet connection devices-clipping path image by Radu Razvan from Fotolia.com

Mobile Internet Protocol (Mobile IP) was created in order to provide better mobile connectivity without interrupting computers that are already connected to a network. When mobile devices were introduced, there was no network technology in place for these devices to connect to the Internet. Mobile IP created a new subset of IP connectivity that worked within the already established system, keeping network engineers from having to scrap and reinvent the way Internet connection works.

Roaming Connectivity

Mobile IP allows mobile devices to connect to the Internet when they are not at their home network. This lets laptops connect to hotspots and it lets phones connect through 3G and other Internet network sources. An IP address lets a network know where to send and receive information from on a network. Mobile IP uses an address that references its home network while finding a location on the new network. This keeps Mobile IP from knocking other computers off of a network, because each computer comes from a unique network and has a unique number.


Mobile IP is compatible with most networks that offer the Internet. This include the 3G network used for mobile televisions; Internet hotspots found in cafes, airports and book stores; and all home network devices. Early attempts at Mobile IP would only work with certain routers or certain types of networks. Mobile IP today has no special requirements because the system is universal and fits within the original IP infrastructure.

Tunneling and Reverse Tunneling

The method by which mobile IP receives information from a network is called tunneling. A network cannot directly send information to a mobile IP device. In order to get this information the mobile device must create an IP address within its new IP address. This allows the network to send information to the IP address through the “tunnel” of the two new IPs. Firewalls and routers can sometimes block tunneling by enabling what is called ingress filtering. Mobile IP also can use the process of reverse tunneling, which is a similar process that reverses the flow of information to achieve the same result as tunneling.


The greatest feature of Mobile IP is that there are no cords needed to complete the network connection. The standard IP required that networks be connected by a phone line or Ethernet cord. With Mobile IP, the device finds the network automatically and attempts to establish a connection. Some mobile capable devices like laptop computers have the ability to connect using the Mobile IP or using the standard IP with an Ethernet or phone cord.