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Understanding the Different Types of IP Addresses


While most people know what an IP address is, only a few really know that there are different types. There indeed are, and the two types are a static IP address and a shared IP address.

An IP address is a unique 32-bit digit signature that your computer holds when it is logged on to the internet. When you search for a particular website online, it is not its domain name that is used to retrieve it but, rather, its IP address. Every domain name, or basically the web address that you type into your browser, is transcribed into an IP address, and then your computer is redirected to that particular address to retrieve the website.

Each website has a unique IP address. This, of course, introduces the risk of running out of IP addresses if every website on the internet had a unique one. Therefore, websites hosted on a single server might share an IP address. In such a situation, where one IP address is shared among different websites, it is called a shared IP address. If, however, only one site holds that unique IP address, then it is called a static IP Address.

The advantage with a static IP address is that it can be used to access the particular website it represents, instead of the domain name. This is not possible with shared IP addresses because when used, they redirect to the server, instead of the particular website that you wish.

How to get a Static IP address

The first requirement is the use of SSL encryption. The use of this security certificate enables the transmission of sensitive data as the encryption ensures that no third party can access it.

A site that wishes to enable all its users to download files from the site needs to have a static IP address. This basically makes it possible to enable anonymous FTP access. If your site has no requirement for these two, then a static IP address is not really necessary.

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