An IP-address, or IP-number, is an address that identifies a certain Internet connection.
All computers connected to the Internet has an IP-address but many computer can share the same IP-address. An example of an IP-address is 126.96.36.199.
An IP-address can be dynamic or static. A connection with a dynamic IP-address is given to the user by a server at the Internet service provider (ISP) and can vary over time. A static IP-address is always the same. Sometimes a static IP is called a fixed IP.
Most private customers and small businesses are using dynamic IP-addresses. In some regions you can pay an extra fee to get a static IP-address. Larger companies are almost always using static IP-addresses.
There are both private and public IP-addresses. Private IP-addresses are only used in local networks and is never used in traffic sent over the Internet. An example of an private IP-address is 192.168.1.83 or 172.16.3.46.
The current stadard handeling IP-addresses is called IPv4. Unfortunately the number of available IP-addresses in IPv4 are rapidly decreasing. During the upcoming 5-10 years will most businesses, organizations and ISP start using the new standard IPv6. IPv6 will have support for almost unlimited number of IP-addresses.
Private users will probably not need to invest in new hardware or software when this upgrade is being made since the old standard IPv4 will work side-by-side with IPv6 for many year.
Read more about IP-address | IPv6
What is an IP-address? | Can I trace an IP-address? | How do a change my IP-address?
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