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What is an IP Address

by ianadmin on December 19, 2011

The “IP” in “IP Address” stands for Internet Protocol.

A domain IP address is a unique numerical tag allocated to each computer which is connected to a network and follows the Internet Protocol. The Internet Protocol is used to route data packets between networks. It is unique in nature and is usually in XXX.XX.XXX.X format. An organization named Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocates the global IP address allocations, which co-ordinates with many Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) to assign IP address blocks to Local Internet Registries (Internet service providers) and other entities like broadband service providers. Take any computer which is connected to a network, it will be assigned with a number which is different from the rest of the computers on that network or anywhere else.

Basically, an IP address is an “internet address. This address can be for both domains AND computers, and it basically ‘parks’ the domain on the world wide web at that particular address.

One can check a domain’s IP address by going to the websites which will show the IP address details now a days which is an easy method of knowing the IP address. One can determine the IP address by following a command like nslookup for windows or dig in the DOS environment. By the IP address one can know the Geological location, Network provider of the hosting service.

Since IP addresses are like address, when it pertains to computer IP addresses, most police departments locate criminals using the IP address when they participate in a serious social crimes i.e. terrorism, hacking etc. The IP address is some thing which nobody can change. They are various kinds of assigning an IP addresses in practice. Two important kinds of addressing of IP address are Static addressing and Dynamic addressing.

Static addressing: It is a type of assignment of IP address by a network administrator manually in which a device is having unique IP address. If a device is configured to use the same IP address every time it starts up, it is called the Static addressing.

Dynamic addressing: It means having the same IP address for many computers which are under a particular LAN or a broadband connection. Usually broadband service providers use this kind of assignment to minimize the task of assigning millions of IP addresses when they give connections.

When devices are under Dynamic addressing, they all share the same address space.

Sticky dynamic IP address: Another concept of Dynamic assigning of an IP address by broadband network providers in which the IP address cannot be changed when the device connects. It follows the Dynamic Host Control Protocol DHCP which is a computer networking protocol used by hosts.

Now having documented the IP address for a computer, let us go back to IP address for a domain. Each domain CAN be accessed by the IP address in addition to their domain name. Domains can have their IP addresses changed, only if they move to a different web host provider. This effectively changes their “address”.

In such a case, the domain name (website.com) will remain the same, but the internet protocol address will now be different. This will now remain as the new IP address unless it is changed by the web host or it is moved once again to another web service provider.

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