With hundreds of millions of computers connected to the World-Wide Web or Internet, there needs to be some means of identifying a particular computer. This is done by means of it's IP address.
Say, for example you want to log on to our home-page at swuklink.com. Your computer has to compile a message asking for the page and send it to the computer of your Internet Service Provider at the other end of the line:-
Send me www.swuklink.com's home page
Your Internet Service Provider (AOL, BT, NTL, etc) does not store all the web pages on the internet - it passes the request to our web server which attempts to find the page and send it back to you.
To find our web server, a DNS server is used. The function of the DNS server is very much like that of an electronic telephone directory - it converts the 'human' name of the domain (swuklink.com) into a numerical address identifying the web-site connection of the sort 22.214.171.124.
Once your ISP's server has passed on the request, it goes about its other business until the page is returned for you. The problem is, now the page has come back, it needs a way of identifying you so that it can be delivered. This is why the message sent by your computer is more complicated;-
My internet address is 126.96.36.199|
Send me www.swuklink.com's home page
|. . . by the way, the IP address above is the one you are currently using - you having asked for this page, when sending this page to you our server needed to know who to send it to.|
OK, granted, in real life it is a bit more complicated and technical, but "in a nutshell", that's IP Addresses and DNS servers for you - excepting for one important point; read the note above and you will see . . . the IP address above is the one you are currently using . . ., which brings us to "Dynamic" and "Static" IP Addresses, so just a little bit more to read;-
|Dynamic and Static IP Addresses|
Two simple cases to illustrate a point; you have a permanent broadband connection, your neighbour has a dial-up modem.
Your borad-band is usually connected 24/7, your neighbour might use his or her dial-up connection for only a few minutes or hours a month so, in general, web servers, broadband connections, etc., have a permanent IP Address assigned to them while more temporary (usually 'dial-up') users are assigned an IP Address from a 'pool' of addresses reserved for their Internet Server Provider which are allocated as and when needed.
How do you check whether YOUR IP Address is dynamic or static?
one way is to break off your internet connection and look at this page again - if your IP Address (188.8.131.52) has changed, then it is dynamic. However, getting back the same IP Address is no guarantee that it is static - having freed it up for use by logging of the internet, it might have just been the next address available. If this is an issue for you, check your IP address by connecting to the internet over a period of time or contact your Internet Service Provider.
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