An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique number that computers use to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network using the Internet Protocol standard. Any participating network device — including computers, routers, time-servers, printers, internet fax machines, and some telephones — must have its own unique address.
You can think of an IP address as a street address or a phone number for a computer (or other network device) on the internet. Just as each street address and phone number uniquely identifies a building or telephone, an IP address can uniquely identify a specific computer on a network.
Dynamic IP addresses are issued to identify non-permanent devices such as personal computers or clients. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use dynamic allocation to assign addresses from a small pool to a larger number of customers. This is used for dial-up access, WiFi and other temporary connections, allowing a portable computer user to automatically connect to a variety of services without needing to know the addressing details of each network.
The most common way dynamic IPs are assigned is Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP includes a lease time which determines how long the requester can use an address before requesting its renewal, allowing addresses to be reclaimed if the requester goes offline.
A Static IP address is where a computer uses the same address every time a user logs on to a network, for example the Internet. With a static IP address, a computer's identity can be easily identified by others, and users can easily connect with it. That way, for example, a website, email server, or other type of server connection can be hosted.
Dedicated IP is the term commonly used for a Static IP address on a shared web hosting service. A dedicated IP is required to install an SSL Certificate on your web site.
Examples of IP addresses
For format of an IP address is four numbers separated by dots, with each number in the range 0 to 255. For example, these are all valid IP addresses:
The special IP address 127.0.0.1 is used by a computer to refer to itself, and is also known by the name "localhost".