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IP Addresses: What Are Their Purposes?

IP addresses are numbers that identify your computer or network on the Internet. It will depend on your Internet service provider how many other computers have the same IP address and how often yours will change. The main purpose of this number is to allow you to request information from websites and have them send it to you. It is your cyberspace address discoverable with an IP address search.

Does Every Device Have A Unique IP Address?

Most ISP’s will assign an IP address to a whole region. It might be your whole street or it could be bigger than that. If you have the same ISP as your neighbor, odds are good you are sharing an IP address.

Dynamic vs. Static IP Addresses

Unless you request it special from your ISP or go into your system and change the configuration, your IP address will change over time. This is a dynamic address. Your ISP will change it either on a routine basis or every time you log into the Internet. While this may keep your computer safer from hackers than having the same IP address, a static one, all the time, it does create a few connection and speed issues. A changing IP address means a website may not be able to find you again if you have removed the cookies, or little traces, from your computer. There are times when it is best for you to have a static address though, such as:

  • If you use VOIP for your telephone – dynamic IP addresses are not as stable as static ones, you will drop more calls and your calls may fade in and out.
  • If you are an avid online gamer – To make sure you do not lose connection in the middle of battle, a static IP address is best.
  • If your internal network does a lot of interacting and you need it to be secure from any other networks – You do not want outsiders on your IP address making it easier for them to hack into your network.

Think of everything you do online as being in a different world, in cyberspace, that can connect back to you in this world. Your IP address is simply the way you are contacted in cyberspace. Without it you could look in on websites, but not interact with them in any way. Some websites would not even recognize you and not let you browse their pages. It would be very lonely in cyberspace without an IP address.

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  1. Tracyann0312

    March 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

    IP address is very important to Internet servers because it can give appropriate location where the computer is assigned. In addition it can also help you track the person you are looking for using their address. Thanks for sharing this well detailed information on how importan IP addresses is.

  2. Anita

    March 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Whatever happened with the scares that we’ll soon *run out* of ip addresses in the future? That sounds pretty unbelievable :/

  3. Julie

    March 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for posting this helpful and informational article! I haven’t known about the difference between static and dynamic IP addresses before. And what about the IP changer apps, which are widely used by SEO workers?

  4. Vestuvine Sukuosena

    March 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I used to wonder why they have static & dynamic IP addresses. Thanks for highlighting scenarios where each one dominates.. You’ve clarified complex technical terms in simple jargon. Appreciated.

  5. Bishwajeet

    March 30, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Nice little tutorial for the newbies who haven’t read about this

  6. Maja

    March 30, 2012 at 3:10 am

    I have always preferred dynamic IP addresses for my work and have no experience with static IP address.

  7. Jenny Brown

    March 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you for posting a useful information. Now I know the difference between dynamic and static IP adress.

  8. Peter Lee

    March 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I check on my blog commenters IPs to determine if those comments are legit. My blog is dofollow, some commenters are very cunning, they use different names and keywords to leave one comment, then they use another name and keywords to reply to the previous comment which was actually from the same IP. I usually only approve only the first comment and delete the rest!

  9. Mario Bale

    March 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I always use to wonder what exactly does the IP address do. I never knew the differences between static and dynamic IP addresses.
    Thanks for this post. It was very helpful.


  10. Cindy

    March 31, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Sometimes ISP providers change the IP’s to prevent users from hosting websites on their computers.

  11. Florence18Moore

    March 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    IP address is a big help to retract the users. I’m just wondering on how to prevent IP address be found? And how IP address be banned from using it.
    Thanks for sharing some information regarding this topic. I just hope you could give answer to my question. Thank you so much!

  12. Azam

    March 31, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I only configured my system by feeding IP address providing by the broad band company but never bothered either it is static or dynamic.

  13. David

    April 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    According to my knowledge, websites track visitors by IP address to see what pages are of interest. Identities can be linked to IP addresses when registration and cookies come into play. A cookie can “tell the site” who the user is, despite a changing IP address.To surf anonymously, one can choose to “hide” their IP address by using a website that substitutes its own IP address for the user’s.

  14. Cristina

    April 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm


    Great article, now I know that IP addresses are for. I’ve always wondered why our technical team would always ask for my IP address whenever they need to fix something in my computer. Obviously, I’m not a very techie person so articles like these are very helpful.

    – Cristina

  15. Danny

    April 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I did not know that a static IP was better for VOIP. Maybe changing from a dynamic ip will help me have less dropped calls on Skype.

  16. Kaitlin Stoppel

    April 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    IP address is a 32-bit number that identifies each client or server on the Internet.

  17. Brain

    April 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    IP address is the most common thing for all internet users. It is the unique part of each user of internet. As above said, IP address has two types as Static and dynamic IP. It is better to use dynamic IP for any business purpose.

  18. alex

    April 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    IP address providing by the broad band company but never bothered either it is static or dynamic.

  19. Roy Fernandez

    May 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I must confess that I\’ve been using the internet all these days without knowing what ip address was for. Thanks for the article.

  20. Howard Stow

    May 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    This is a great post. It was great to know about the purposes of IP addresses. I just knew that my pc had a IP address but never knew what its function was.
    Thanks for sharing this valuable information.


  21. sathish

    August 22, 2012 at 7:09 am

    As discussed above, IP address is a key role in today’s internet and IT related task. Primarily, it would be of great help to those sites who are in constant hunt for visitors’ desire and preference on the purpose of their internet usage and identify each based on IP address only. Also, in case of situational needs one can reach the particular person with the help of IP address though it is less possible in normal cases. Besides, various online services like render IP finding services free

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