An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a uniquely structured string of numbers separated by full stops that identifies the location of each digital device and allows for two-way communication via the Internet. An IP address is made of up four numbers each of which contain one to three digits that range from 0 to 255, for example 37.213.0196 – these specific numbers are then translated to words via Domain Name Systems (DNS).
The sequence of an IP address is a set of rules that govern Internet activity and facilitate the completion of the set about action on the World Wide Web (www). This ensures that both messages and requests for data and requested data will reach the designated Internet destination. The specified IP address sequence forms part of a systematically laid out interconnected grid which is able to initiate communication between both, devices and various Internet destinations which makes the two-way communication possible.

ipaddress

There are two variants of IP addresses:

  1. Static IP addresses 

    Static IP addresses never change and serve as a permanent Internet address, which are able to reveal computer location information such as: continent, country, province and city; the Internet Service Provider that supplies the computer with connection and precise technical information of longitude and latitude. Static IP addresses are preferable for users who need to make easy connections  for the in the use in instances such as online gaming and Voice Over Internet Protocol’s (VOIP). The use of Static IP addresses are considered to be less secure as they are easier to track for data mining purposes.

  2. Dynamic IP addresses 

    Dynamic IP addresses are only available for a limited period of time and are assigned each time a computer accesses the Internet. The leased system borrows IP addresses from various pools of addresses that are shared each time a computer or device accesses the Internet. With the limited number of Static IP addresses, Internet Service Providers tend to reserve a portion of their assigned addresses for sharing among their subscribers, thus inturn lowers costs and allows them to service far more subscribers.

IP-camera-IP-address-diagram

So what is the importance of an IP address?

IP addresses form an integral part of any corporate network and with the increase of application and devices – overlooking the importance of a getting a handle on IP address can prove disastrous. As a resource an IP address is the most critical due to the fact that every network and device depends on IP and requires address assignment.

The functioning and management of sound IP addresses are especially important for business owners running online communities. Business owners are therefore able to pinpoint the location of their frequent visitors, monitor and manage their sites against spammers.

The use of IP address records can help business owners employ marketing strategies specific to their visitors location as well as at the same time block abusive users.

As a reputable ISP in South Africa, Webafrica provides 24/7 technical support with regards to managing IP addresses and keeping detailed records of visitors that are clicking through to customer websites. Our servers are managed by professional well-trained staff to ensure that all address are constantly maintained for optimal performance.

Summary
Article Name
What is an IP address
Description
A basic introduction to what an IP address is, and why it forms as an integral part in the communication between devices via the Internet.
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