How do we get around the Internet? The answer to this question has a lot to do with static IP addresses and how they work to help computers "find" each other.
Static vs. Dynamic
When a computer connects to the Internet, it is assigned a unique numerical identifier called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. A static IP address is permanently associated with a particular computer, as opposed to a dynamic IP address, which is assigned at the beginning of each browsing session.
A static IP with 24-hour broadband access allows your computer to act as a server that hosts websites. This is the most common use of static IP addresses.
All websites have a static IP address, known as its Uniform Resource Locator (URL). This ensures that the website maintains a "permanent place of residence."
Placing a Call
A static IP address works more or less like a telephone number for computers. Your computer connects to the Internet and lets the DNS service know what IP address you want to connect to -- and, voila, you arrive at the desired location.
IP address are assigned by your Internet service provider, which is provided with a designated block of IP addresses. Since the number of IPs is finite, providers limit the number of static IP addresses they allocate.
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