What is an IP Address?

 Internet Protocol (IP) Address
An IP address is a unique location on the Internet.

So what does that mean?

Your home or business has a unique address.  Your phone number has a unique address.  Your driver's license has a unique ID.  Your social security number has a unique ID.

The Internet uses an IP address much like the examples above as a way to locate a website.

An IP address is composed of numbers and periods.  An example of an IP address could be 66.227.67.97 and this would be a specific address on the Internet.

 An IP Address in Action
Let's say you want to visit activewebhost.com.
  1. First, you type activewebhost.com into your browser.
  2. Second, your browser then accesses the "Internet Directory" and finds activewebhost.com listed in the directory.
  3. Third, the directory lists the IP address associated with activewebhost.com's nameserver as 66.227.67.97 (it's unique IP).
  4. Finally, your browser connects you to the computer where the activewebhost.com website "lives."

The advantage of this process is that you don't have to remember the IP address, but instead, you can use a domain name instead.  Thank goodness!

 What is a dynamic IP?
A dynamic IP address is an IP address that changes.

One of the best examples of a dynamic IP address is your Internet connection.  For example, you have an IP address when you connect to the Internet.  Most of the time, when you connect to the Internet, your IP address changes (it is dynamic).  Not everyone has a dynamic IP Internet connection IP, but the majority of Internet users use an automatically generated dynamic IP.

The IP address is automatically assigned to you each time you log on to the Internet.

Why do you need an IP?  It's necessary so that when you "click" on a link or watch online videos, or download files, all of these things need to know how to find your computer.  They are aided by your IP address.

Dynamic IP Address Advantages

More secure since hackers have a hard time tracking your IP address.

Dynamic IP Address Disadvantages

It's tough hosting a website with a dynamic IP since it would be changing and after each change, it would be challenging for the Internet to keep up with these changes.  While it can be done, it is usually not done by professional website hosts given the nature of errors and associated problems.

 What is a static IP?
A static IP is an IP address that doesn't change.

For example, if the IP address for ActiveWebHost.com is 66.227.67.97 then it won't change from this IP address so that web visitors can easily obtain this information.

Static IP Address Advantages

A static IP address allows to add a SSL Certificate, which is your own https://yoursite.com, to your site instead of using our shared SSL Certificate.  For more details, click here.

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