IP Addresses

ip address

IP Addresses

Remember posting letters before emails became popular?

Writing a letter, noting the sender’s and receiver’s address on it and then putting it in that red mailbox. Ever thought of how it reaches to the person across state lines?

Very simple! The posting management reads the address and sends it to the city and the local postman delivers it to the receiver’s address.

The IP address functions in a similar way.

  • Data packets are Envelops
  • IP addresses are the receiver’s address and sender’s address
  • Network is the Postman

An IP address is one of the commonly used terms when it comes to the internet and computers. It is the address given to a computer when it is connected to a network. It is a 32-bit number which signifies the address of both sender and receiver. It is basically a computer’s identification on the network.

No networks exist without this address. (IPv4 is numeric and IPv6 is Alphanumeric)

Static and Dynamic are the two ways in which IP can be assigned.

Static IP: As the name speaks, the static IP is those types of IP address that never change once they are assigned to a device on a network. This type of addressing is cost-effective but could have a high-security risk.

It is manually configured for devices.

Dynamic IP: In this arrangement, the IP address changes every time the computer starts. It is generated automatically by the server and is allocated in the computer.  

From time and again, it is possible that the IP might get blacklisted. This happens if a large number of users mark it as SPAM.

Both Static and Dynamic IP have their share of pros and cons.

Static IP:

Pros:

  • Stability: For any function on the internet to run smoothly, the internet connection should be stable.  In static IP a small interruption in the connection usually does not terminate the packet exchange with the service.
  • Hosting: Since there is no change of IP address, this is suitable for applications which use Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), gaming applications, and Virtual Private Network(VPN).
  • Preferred address for servers: Static IP addresses is ideal if your computer acts as a server. The reason is it gives your file server relatively faster file uploads and downloads.
  • Convenient remote access: Even if you connect to any other computer, remotely, the IP address will not change during the session.
  • Reduced downtime: The IP never resets. In other words, your computer need not send any request for renewal. This makes it an ideal choice for seamless connectivity.

Cons:

  • Security: Static IP Address could be a security risk as the IP address is constant. There is a greater chance of hacking the website. Also, you cannot easily change the Static IP once it has been hacked. This makes your system very susceptible to continuous attack. It is imperative to put preventive measures in place before obtaining a static IP such as Internet security suites and router firewalls.
  • Uptime: static IPs are preferred for hosting servers and file transfer protocol sites. So the servers have to be on all the time to host these functions. The cost of constantly running a server is exorbitant.
  • Configuration: The process to set a static IP is manual and relatively complex. Occasionally, external software is required for this purpose. Also, several consumer-level ISPs lack support for static IPs.
  • Keeping pace with technology: The field of computers is rapidly changing. It is possible that a static IP computer running a server becomes obsolete in the near future. It is relatively complex to transfer the server settings from a static IP computer to a new computer. It is wise to invest in an easily upgradable computer to run a static IP server.

Dynamic:

Pros:

  • Security: Computers with Dynamic IP address have relatively lower security risk (as your computer is assigned a new IP address each time you log on).
  • Lower cost: Cost effective as compared to the static kind of address
  • Automatic network configuration: The user does not have to do the network configuration. It’s done by DHCP.

Cons:

  • Security issues: DHCP automation can be a significant security threat in case of a rogue DHCP server. This server is not in the control of the network personnel. If any user connects to it, information over that connection can be intercepted and looked at. Thus network security and user privacy are violated.
  • Network Failure: If only a single DHCP server is in place, it’s failure causes a system-wide issue. In the case of server failure, any connected computers that don’t already have an IP address will try and fail to obtain one. Computers which already have an IP address before the server’s failure will try to renew it, which will cause the computer losing its IP address.
  • Less Reliable:  Note that Dynamic IP address should not be used for VOIP, VPN, playing online games as Dynamic IP addressing is less reliable then Static IP addressing and could cause the service to disconnect while you are on a VOIP, VPN or gaming.

Even though IP addresses are not given too much importance, they are the core of the Internet. The IP addresses help your customers in finding your website online. They should not be taken lightly since they can affect the accessibility of the website for your customers. Most of the hosting providers give the option of shared IP addresses to multiple websites which are managed and controlled by them. Some of the hosting providers have the option of dedicated IP address which gives more control to you for managing your website and web applications. <End it with it’s your choice when it comes to choosing dedicated IP and shared IP for your website>

The user is free to choose from dedicated and shared IP depending on the requirement.


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