What is IP Address?

what is ip address

Updated on July 13, 2021: From now on, traffic filtering, malware protection, and suspicious DNS activity blocking are available as a part of the separate DNS Firewall app.

Many people have heard the expression ‘IP address’ a hundred times. Though, unless your work is related to IT field, and you aren’t a tech-minded person, we suppose you have a superficial knowledge about it. But for those who are tired of being incompetent in this theme and want to learn more, this article will be a thrilling find.

An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a unique identifying number that allows a device to communicate with another one via the web. It is assigned to companies and ISP’s by ICANN, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, for further distribution among gadgets. In spite of the fact that all IP addresses look the same and consist of a string of numbers, separated by dots, they can be used for different purposes. IP’s can be classified into 2 pairs: private and public, static and dynamic.  

Static vs dynamic IP address

Let’s walk through the basics about a static and dynamic IP addresses, including their strengths and weaknesses. The first in the list is a static one. This address is assigned to you by an ISP and no one else can use it. Below, there are some advantages and disadvantages of it:

Advantages Disadvantages
Stable connection and inconsiderable interruptions Subject to attacks, hacks, and data tracking
Suitable option for remote access from anywhere Limited number of available IP addresses
Low downtime and seamless connectivity Extra fees
Privileged to download files faster Impossibility to access previously blocked sites
Browsing history is under your control
A good choice for a business entity

Well, a dynamic IP is an ever-changing address randomly assigned from a pool of the available addresses every time when a user connects to the internet. Learn here what you will get using a dynamic IP:

Advantages Disadvantages
No necessity to pay extra fees Slow download speeds
Higher chance to get access to blocked content Inappropriate option for a web hosting
Relatively lower security risk Frequent disconnections from the internet

Private vs public IP address

A private IP is a special address or a numerical label reserved for use only within private or corporate network that will not be seen directly on the web. Look through some pluses and minuses of its using.

Advantages Disadvantages
High level of security and confidentiality. Protection from cyber attacks Significant monthly fees
Invulnerability to technical problems outside the network In case of wrongdoing it will be immediately banned
Full isolation without connection to other networks
Flexibility in designing your local network

A public IP is a unique address that user gets from their ISP, and unlike a private one, is available over the internet or other WAN, or Wide Area Network, (a communications network that exists over a large-scale geographical area). For a broader understanding of its using, check pros and cons below.

Advantages Disadvantages
Access to online resources from anywhere in the world Data is reachable for any concerned party. This can threaten your online privacy
The opportunity to run a web server, an FTP server, a public e-mail server, a VPN, etc. Implies specific skills for its configurations
Low monthly fee and absence of setup cost Sending your data across public networks

So, what type is better for you?

We hope you’ve received an irrefragable answer about what IP address is, its types, and their pros and cons to make the right choice. But before we wrap up here, let us give you an advice how to take the online privacy and security into your own hands. Regardless what type of IP address you choose, a good idea would be to use a trusted VPN service, like VPN Unlimited. Try it in order to hide your real IP address, and make it harder for scammers to define your location and sensitive data.

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