STATIC and DYNAMIC IP Addresses
An IP address is a series of numbers that are given to any machine that wants to go onto the Internet. Every IP address is unto its self; there is only one in the world. If there were more than one, it would cause a conflict and the computers with the same IP address would not work on the Internet. So lets just think about it. There are millions and millions of computers in the world that are on the internet so it is a huge job to keep track of all the IP addresses that are out there. So each ISP or large corporation is assigned a block (a specific number of IP addresses) and it is up to them to make certain they control them.
There are two ways that your home computer/office computer can get an IP address:
1. A Static IP address is the manual entering of all the information into the computer by the individual. There are three things that need to be entered: the IP address, the subnet mask, and the gateway. Each of these is supplied by the ISP and/or whoever gave you the Static IP. Static IP’s are normally assigned to machines that always need to have the same address (e.g. Mail Servers – if the IP changed on your mail server, you would have to enter in a new setting every time you went to check for mail. And/or your ISP would have to keep on top of DNS changes. So this way the static IP Address always the ISP not to have to do a lot of work to keep up with a changing IP address.)
2. A Dynamic IP address is by far the most popular way of giving out IP addresses. A computer gives your computer all of the information (IP address/subnet mask/gateway/DNS servers) every time you go onto the Internet/network. Here’s how it works: normally there is one or there may be multiple computers set aside to hand out dynamic IP’s to computers that connect to the network (internet). These computers hold a list of IP addresses that it can distribute and a list of IP the addresses that it have been distributed. It also checks periodically for computers that have left the network (internet), if it finds any that have left, it will put the IP address back into the available list. Because there are people popping in and out of the network/internet constantly, the list is always changing so the next time you go onto the network/internet you might get a different IP address or Dynamic IP address. This is a very simple explanation. The computers that have these lists are called DHCP servers (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).