Types of IP addresses
There are various types of IP addresses and different categories of IP addresses.
Consumer IP addresses
Every person or company with an internet service plan will have two types of IP addresses: private IP addresses and public IP addresses. The terms public and private refer to network location; for example, a private IP address is used within a network, whereas a public IP address is used outside of a network.
Private IP addresses
Each device that connects to your internet network is assigned a unique IP address. This includes not only computers, smartphones, and tablets, but any Bluetooth-enabled device such as speakers, printers, or smart TVs. The number of private IP addresses you have at home is probably increasing as the internet of things expands. Your router must be able to identify these items separately, and many items must be able to recognise one another. As a result, your router generates private IP addresses that are unique identifiers for each device on the network.
Public IP addresses
A public IP address is the primary address for your entire network. While each connected device has its own IP address, they are also included in your network’s main IP address. Your ISP provides your router with your public IP address, as described above. ISPs typically have a large pool of IP addresses from which they distribute to their customers. Your public IP address is the address used by all devices outside your internet network to identify your network.
Public IP addresses
There are two types of public IP addresses: dynamic and static.
Dynamic IP addresses
Dynamic IP addresses change on a regular and automatic basis. ISPs purchase a large pool of IP addresses and assign them to their customers automatically. They re-assign them on a regular basis and return the older IP addresses to the pool for use by other customers. The rationale for this approach is to save money for the ISP. By automating the regular movement of IP addresses, they avoid having to perform specific actions, such as re-establishing a customer’s IP address if they move home. There are also security benefits, as changing your IP address makes it more difficult for criminals to hack into your network interface.
Static IP addresses
Static IP addresses, in contrast to dynamic IP addresses, remain consistent. Once assigned by the network, an IP address does not change. Most individuals and businesses do not require a static IP address, but businesses that intend to host their own server must have one. This is because a static IP address ensures that websites and email addresses associated with it have a consistent IP address — essential if you want other devices to be able to find them on the web consistently.
This brings us to the next point: the two types of website IP addresses.
There are two types of website IP addresses
There are two types of website IP addresses for website owners who do not host their own server and instead rely on a web hosting package, which is the case for most websites. These are dedicated and shared.
Shared IP addresses
Websites that rely on shared hosting plans from web hosting providers are usually among many others hosted on the same server. This is more common for individual or small-business websites, where traffic volumes are manageable and the sites themselves are limited in terms of page count, etc. The IP addresses for websites hosted in this manner will be shared.
Dedicated IP addresses
A dedicated IP address can be purchased with some web hosting plans (or addresses). This simplifies the process of obtaining an SSL certificate and enables you to run your own File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server. This facilitates file sharing and transfer with multiple people within an organisation, as well as anonymous FTP sharing options. A dedicated IP address also allows you to access your website using only the IP address rather than the domain name, which is useful if you want to build and test your website before registering your domain.
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