IP Address

The IP address is the unique address given to a computer running on a TCP/IP network. It allows one computer to commmunicate with another one by sending data packets containing the destination IP address.

An IP address looks like this

Brilliant for computers but pretty useless as an address for a person to remember. Which is why URLs were developed... but that is another glossary item.

There are two types of IP address methods

1. Static IP address
Every machine on the network is given a permanent IP address. This is fine for small, well defined computer networks, but it is less practical when computers are constantly connecting and disconnecting from the network. As you will find with people connecting to the Internet. Assigning a permament address to a computer that may or may not be connected is too inefficient.

2. Dynamic IP address
In this arrangement, a server has the task of providing an IP address on request This machine is called the DHCP server. As computers log on, they are given a temporary IP address. When they disconnect, the IP address is put back in the 'available' pool.

At home, the wireless router is often given the task of being the DHCP server for the local area network. Home computers boot up and are given an IP address.

At the Internet Service Provider, each home user is usually given a temporary IP address for the duration of a connection to the Internet. Once they log off, the IP address is available for someone else to use.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: IP address


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