What is an IP Address ?
This series of numbers and periods represents the unique numeric address for each Internet user.
What Is an it Used For?
An IP address provides an identity to a networked device. Like a home or business address supplying that specific physical location with an identifiable address, devices on a network are differentiated from one another through IP addresses.
If I’m going to send a package to my friend in another country, I must know the exact destination. It’s not enough to just put a package with his name on it through the mail and expect it to reach him. I must instead attach a specific address to it, which you could do by looking it up in a phone book.
This same general process is used when sending data over the internet. However, instead of using a phone book to look up someone’s name to find their physical address, your computer uses DNS servers to look up a hostname to find its IP address.
For example, when I enter a website like www.MV3Marketing.com into my browser, my request to load that page is sent to DNS servers that look up that hostname (mv3marketing.com) to find its corresponding IP address.. Without the IP address attached, my computer will have no clue what it is that I’m after.
Even if you’ve heard of IP addresses before, you may not realize that there are specific types of IP addresses. While all IP addresses are made up of numbers or letters, not all addresses are used for the same purpose.
There are private, public , static , and dynamic . That’s quite a variety! Following those links will give you much more information on what they each mean. To add to the complexity, each type of IP address can be an IPv4 address or an IPv6 address — again, more on these at the bottom of this page.
In short, private are used “inside” a network, like the one you probably run at home. These types of IP addresses are used to provide a way for your devices to communicate with your router and all the other devices in your private network. Private can be set manually or assigned automatically by your router.
Public are used on the outside of your network and are assigned by your ISP. It’s the main address that your home or business network uses to communicate with the rest of the networked devices around the world (i.e. the internet). It provides a way for the devices in your home, for example, to reach your ISP, and therefore the outside world, allowing them to do things like access websites and communicate directly with other people’s computers.
Both private and public are either dynamic or static, which means that, respectively, they either change or they don’t.
An IP address that is assigned by a DHCP server is a dynamic IP address. If a device does not have DHCP enabled or does not support it then the IP address must be assigned manually, in which case it is called a static IP address.« Back to Glossary Index