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What Is an IP Address Anyway?

Internet Protocol (IP) was first created in the 1970’s to connect the first computers to each other and allow them to send and receive packets of information. Today, every device that connects to the internet requires an IP address. An example IP address that many people will recognize is:

192.168.0.1

However, that is not really your IP address, it is the IP address your router gives you. (I will explain later)

Every IP address is assigned to an endpoint device (routers, personal computers, tablets, wireless printers, smartphones, or any “smart” device that connects to a network) Basically, an IP address is like a home address; without one, the mailman wouldn’t know where to deliver your packages. Similarly, without an IP address, the network wouldn’t know which end device to deliver all the information from emails, webpages, or any other packets of data.

But did you know that there are different kinds of IP addresses, each of which offer specific benefits to different users? In order to decide which IP address is right for you, it is necessary to understand the basics of IP addressing.

What’s the Difference between a Private and Public Network?

These days, it is your router that usually assigns IP addresses to each of your devices. A router usually creates its own network called a Sub-Network (subnet). These IP addresses assigned by a router are called “internal IPs,” meaning they are only unique within your subnetwork.

Think of it this way, if you have the same name and street address as someone who lives in another town, the mailman still knows which person to deliver the package to, based on the zip codes. Each zip code is like its own subnetwork, where the post office is like your router. So, you can have the same internal IP address as someone else (like 192.168.0.1), if you both belong to a different sub-networks (created by your router).

If you did have the same name and street address as someone in the same zip code, then things would get confusing. The same thing is true for networks, if you want an IP that is nearly impossible to hack, you should look into getting a private IP address to protect your most important and secretive information.

What’s the Difference between a Static and Dynamic IP Address?

If you have never dealt with IPs, it means that you were probably assigned one by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). An ISP like Time Warner, Roadrunner, or Comcast usually handles all of your IP issues for you automatically.

You probably never even noticed that your IP address actually changes all the time. That’s because almost all home routers use a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) or a shared IP address. ISPs lease out a lot of IP addresses, but each IP address is only active for a limited time. When the lease expires, your router will automatically assign a new IP address out of the shared pool of IP addresses allocated.

This is why unplugging your router can resolve problems connecting to the internet; when you unplug your router, your ISP assigns you a new IP address dynamically.

ISPs use a dynamic IP address to increase the available number of IPs.

Using shared IP address can make things a lot easier. No one else can have the same IP, which means that if you use it for your website, you can actually type the IP address into the address bar of your browser instead of the website name. In that way, it is actually just a translated version of your URL address.

Buying a “static IP address,” usually only costs a few extra bucks a month.

Which IP Address Is Right for You?

Now that we have an idea about IP addresses, we can discuss which one is right for you.

  • EASE

However, if you do choose to use a static IP address, just know that it’s a major undertaking. Make sure to take the time to test and troubleshoot any problems that might occur.

DOWNTIME

Even though it is usually only for fractions of a second, it can add up over time. Having a static address eliminates this from the equation.

  • SSL

So, if you are selling something online, it is a very good idea to have an SSL certificate.

  • REMOTE ACCESS

With a static IP address, you can access your network from anywhere in the world. Using certain programs or an FTP, you can actually log into your home computer or other endpoint device. This is especially helpful for certain devices that need a static IP to connect to your network.

  • RESTRICTED CONTENT

Some countries ban certain IP address for content they deem unfit for their citizens.

  • EMAIL REPUTATION

With a static IP, you would never lose out on your readers due to someone else’s reputation.


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Understanding the Role of the Control Panel in VPS Hosting – SULSERV WEB HOSTING on 10 Dec, 2020

[…] not handled properly, can lead to serious consequences. Using your cPanel, it is possible to block IP addresses, set up access restrictions, add SSL/TLS, configure password-protected directories, and protect the […]

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