Understanding IP Addresses
What are IP Addresses? An actual definition would be a series of numbers assigned to devices that connect to a network. To make this seem a little more relevant, imagine your computer as a home, every home needs an address or the mail man won’t know where to deliver it. An IP address is your computers address so we know where something was sent from and where to send it to through the network.
For most small businesses and homes you will have a public IP address that your Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) assigns you. This is what you will see when you go to sites like (www.whatismyipaddress.com). This allows two computers to identify each other; therefore when you type in a web address to your internet browser it knows “what address” to send the site back to. Your router will then give private IP address for your devices through a Dynamic Host Control Protocol (“DHCP”). When you have a laptop, wireless printer and tablet all connected to your Wi-Fi you have a small private network and these devices need each other’s “addresses” to talk amongst them. How else will your wireless printer know that your laptop wants it to print that recipe?
Your public IP address stays with your router, so if you go on vacation and connect to the World Wide Web through another internet provider you have a different IP address. Same holds true if you connect to a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi, you again have another temporary IP address.
Your public IP address is usually considered a Dynamic IP Address in that it is chosen from a pool of available addresses, it is the standard type of address that is assigned when using the services of an ISP. A static IP address does not change and is used mainly for services hosted over the internet, like a VoIP Telephone System.
By understanding a little bit more about how computers and devices talk to each other you may be able to troubleshoot some of your IT issues or at least understand the issue better. If they become a little too much to handle you can always reach out to an IT Professional Service like SDE-Tech that has years of experience in computer networking from small to large businesses.