What is an IP address?

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What is an IP address?

Post  Admin on Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:47 am

Every computer connected to the Internet is assigned a unique number known as an Internet Protocol (IP) address.

IP addresses consist of four numbers separated by periods (also called a "dotted-quad") and look something like 127.0.0.1.

Since these numbers are usually assigned to internet service providers within country-based blocks, an IP address can often be used to identify the country from which a computer is connecting to the Internet.

Because the numbers may be tedious to deal with, an IP address may also be assigned to a Host name, which is sometimes easier to remember. Hostnames may be looked up to find IP addresses, and visa-versa.

At one time ISPs issued one IP address to each user. These are called static IP addresses. Because there is a limited number of IP addresses and with increased usage of the internet ISPs now issue IP addresses in a dynamic fashion out of a pool of IP addresses (Using DHCP). These are referred to as dynamic IP addresses. This also limits the ability of the user to host websites, mail servers, ftp servers, and DNS servers. Dynamic DNS services can be used to provide DNS records for servers running on dynamic assigned IP addresses.

In addition to users connecting to the internet, with virtual hosting, a single machine can act like multiple machines (with multiple domain names and IP addresses).

An IP address can sometimes be used to determine the user's general location.

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