What is an IP Address?
An IP address is a modern technology computing term that designates number to a computer or other digital device and allows it to communicate with another computer or device across the Internet. IP addresses create the ability to locate and connect billions of digital devices and differentiated from other devices. A computer needs an IP address to connect and communicate to remote devices like a person needs a mailing address to receive mail.
What does IP stand for?
The term “IP” stands for Internet Protocol, making the “IP address” short for “Internet Protocol address.” The Internet Protocol is a set of rules that dictate activity, to complete tasks and perform actions across the web. Two-way communication is made possible by the Internet Protocol address because the IP address’s ability to connect digital devices across the vast interconnected grid of the Internet.
An IP address consists of four sets of numbers, separated with a single dot. Each set of the numbers can range from 0 to 255, for example an IP address may look like: 18.104.22.168. This set of numbers is very important because it is what allows information and data to be sent and received across the Internet, ensuring Facebook status updates, messages or images arrive to their correct destination. Without the power of the IP address, sending or receiving anything across the web would not be possible.
An IP address is either static or dynamic. A static IP address never changes and serves as a permanent Internet address so remote computers and other digital devices can contact that IP address. A static IP address reveals information about the physical location of the computer such as the continent, country, city and city. The IP address of the computer being used to view this article is posted at the top of the page.
A dynamic IP address is temporary and is assigned at the time a computer or digital device connects to the Internet. Essentially a dynamic IP address is borrowed from a pool of IP addressed shared among different devices. Only a limited number of static IP addresses so most Internet service providers reserve assigned IP addresses to share among multiple subscribers as a dynamic IP address. This makes for lower cost and the availability to serve more subscribers.Static IP addresses are typically preferred for voice over the Internet protocol (VOIP), this is when the IP address over the Internet is used to transmit phone calls instead of traditional circuit transmissions, typically to save money on long-distance charges. Static IP addresses are also preferred for data intense applications such as online gaming. This is because it makes it easy to locate and connect to computers with a stable, static IP address. Dynamic DNS service makes it easy to connect to dynamic IP addresses since it enables other devices to locate the device using the dynamic IP address.Since static IP addresses are easier to track for data mining purposes they are considered somewhat less secure than dynamic IP addresses. However, practicing safe Internet use can reduce this security issue and keep a computer secure irregardless of what type of IP address is being used.