Your IP Address

Your IP:
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What is an IP Address?

Every system connected to the Internet has a unique IP (Internet Protocol Address) address, which consists of a string of numbers that identifies a computer or server on the Internet. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers ( ) separated by periods, for example, is your IP address.

Computers have no problems with locating and remembering numeric addresses. In contrast, most humans have trouble remembering long, complicated sequences of numbers. So, to make surfing the web easier, the DNS domain name system was invented. This system allows people to use easy to remember names for web sites instead of those numbers.

Dynamic IPs vs Static IPs

There are two methods which assign IP addresses to computers: Dynamic and Static.

Static IP addresses are used primarily for servers so that they don't appear to move while non-servers are usually assigned Dynamic IP addresses. Most Dynamic IP address users are users of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) since not all the users of an ISP are online at one time and the ISPs can get away with not having enough IP addresses for each user.

In order to use a Dynamic IP address, a service such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is used to assign addresses dynamically to devices as they request them. If a static address is used, it must be manually programmed into parameters of the device's network interface. (It is also possible to "fake" static IP address assignments through DHCP by assigning the same IP address to a computer and no other each time it is requested.)

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