IP Address Management

Internet popularity requires competent IP address management. In the past several years, customers have become increasingly comfortable with making purchases over the internet. This has created a positive business environment for both established companies and numerous start-ups. Even the most narrow niche products can be advertised on a website by a sole proprietor or part-time entrepreneur. With the appropriate use of keywords or creative promotion, the seller of the niche items will usually find interested customers via the internet. Many people who have no interest in selling any types of products still register and maintain a website. Perhaps they have a passionate interest in a particular hobby or a specific subject. Their websites provide resource information to others sharing the same hobby or interest. In addition to the proliferation of business and personal computers, the popularity of wireless devices, even cell phones, that have internet access has created a demand for increased server IP address capabilities. New technologies are being explored to meet the growing demand for internet services. It's exciting to see all the tremendous advances that have occurred in just a few years. But even these great inventions can't compare to the wonders of God's creation. The psalmist writes: "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people." (Psalm 77:13-14).

Many people use their computers, both at home and at work, without paying much attention to the technological terminology. For these folks, all that matters is that the internet service provider does its job of providing web access any time someone logs on. But behind the simple act of clicking a button on a mouse to immediately check email or go shopping online or research an important topic for an assignment is an entire technological hive of activity. For example, each hardware device is assigned a server IP address. For internet purposes, the initials IP stand for internet protocol. This address is actually a set of four octets; in other words, four eight-bit number segments create a thirty-two-bit binary number which is the fixed hardware address. Even small companies often create a local area network, or LAN, when setting up their computer equipment. A LAN is simply a network that connects two or more computers so that certain applications, files, and resources can be shared. For example, the office of a real estate agent may contain only two computers, one for the agent and one for the assistant. By networking the two workstations, appointments entered on a shared calendar by the assistant can be accessed by the agent. Other documents may also be stored in a directory that both the agent and the assistant can access. One computer is designated as the server and any other computers in the LAN are often referred to as clients.

When companies set up a network, they are allocated a set of internet protocol addresses. However, the business may not receive enough addresses for each piece of hardware that requires one. When this occurs, the company's IP address management administrator and staff need to come up with a workable and cost-effective solution so that each workstation can be utilized. One solution is to create a centralized management and storage system. Another possibility is to set up a type of server IP address gateway that allows address pooling and sharing. A centralized management system allows the IP address management administrator to assign and change internet protocol addresses as needed. This can be a time-consuming endeavor if several hardware devices need to be reconfigured. In addition, any changes can require a reconfiguration of the DNS (Domain Name System) so that applications will continue to function properly with the server. Such changes can also affect the routing software and the security precautions that have been put in place.

An IP address management gateway system may utilize a dynamic allocation process. Several users can share a limited number of internet protocol addresses as long as they don't try to do so at the same time. Administrators differentiate between server IP address pooling and sharing. They are not the same. In pooling, users log in to a workstation that pulls an internet protocol address from a pool of addresses. Each time the user logs in to the workstation, a different binary number may be assigned. With sharing, several workstations can use the same identification number, but separate port numbers allow the server to separate information and route it to the correct workstation. This can be likened to a college dormitory. All incoming mail lists the dormitory street address and the bags of correspondence are dropped off at the building's front desk. But then a student on the work-study program sorts the bag of letters into the individual mailboxes of the dorm's residents. This is a simplistic explanation of sharing.

The gateway system provides more flexibility for administrators and simplifies the task of assigning and changing internet protocol addresses since all the configuration information is on the main file server. With a gateway solution, the user maintains the same identification, in the form of a log-in name and password, no matter which workstation is being used. This allows the IP address management administrator to track the usage, including what websites were accessed, for each user. This can be an important feature for companies that have strict policies against accessing certain prohibited sites on a company computer. Law enforcement officials particularly appreciate this type of tracking when investigating cases involving fraudulent activities and child pornography. Naturally, the tracking also raises privacy concerns. Such issues are often discussed both in Congress and in state legislatures across the country.

Static IP Address

A static IP address is issued by Internet service providers as a means to provide individual recognition for web pages. A provider designates specific numbers for every computer for the purpose of a permanent Internet address, the very word 'static' means unchanging. The designated numbers are represented in the form of dotted quads, which are a sequence of four decimal numbers that are separated by decimal points, or dots. The act of separating numbers by dots is so that those who need to can more easily read an address, as opposed to the more common domain name.

Occasionally, the dot address must be used when performing tasks such as reconfiguring a Web browser or when one must conduct business with provider. A static IP address works much like a telephone number. When computers share information they are able to recognize each other by reading and recognizing an address. The act of visiting various web pages incorporates the use of the dotted quad. Every time one visits a website the computer in use seeks out the sites address, and once recognized, accesses the proper server and ultimately downloads the correct page. Such as system is able to provide visitors to sites the access they expect and the assurance that they will be able to access the information, "... and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever" (Isaiah 32:17).

The system behind designating specific individual number sequences for every web page was not a bad idea when the Internet was instituted. However, with the explosion of popularity and the rapid growth of the World Wide Web, there simply are not enough unique number systems to go round. Something had to be done concerning the fact that there needed to be more numbers sequences than had originally been issued. The solution to the problem was found with the invention of the dynamic IP address. The word 'dynamic' means always changing, which is exactly what the number sequence does. Instead of one specific number for a computer, the numeric sequences are shared. For example, instead of issuing a unique number for every computer, there is a virtual pool of addresses contained by various providers. When one logs on to the Internet, a number is assigned to them, then once they have disconnected, the number goes back into the pool, allowing it to be made available to another user.

Many people incorporate the use of networks into home offices and many through the Internet. An address that is always changing does allow for better mobility when moving about within a network, however, there are a few advantages to having a static IP address verses a dynamic IP address. When in regards to a home network, addresses that remain fixed provide a better level of security versus a sequence which is apt to change from time to time. Confusion resulting from conflicts of addresses can be caused occasionally on a network that is constantly having to recognize new number sequences, hence, one that is fixed allows for smoother transitions and faster speeds.

In order to best fit the needs of users, there are options available for picking a specific static IP address. This is helpful for those who have set up personal networks and desire to have systems run as smoothly as possible. There are some tips that should be kept in mind when deciding on a number sequence, specifically that a sequence that begins with a decimal point and a zero should be avoided as they are mainly used for specific procedures on Internet. Users are also cautioned to use only sequences that will be recognized within the range of their network. Many websites offer tips and techniques for discerning what one's unchanging address is for networking needs.

A dynamic IP address can be beneficial. A way in which having a specific number identification that is not fixed is that someone is able to easily add more processors on to a pre-existing network. There are many servers in use that have addresses which rarely or never change, therefore, changing IP addresses can make sense as fewer changes will need to be made if the server ever happens to gain a new description of origin. Those who are assigned random number sequences are people who connect to the Internet via a cable modem, dial-up or DSL. There are advantages to having a number sequence that changes, mainly to allow for convenience and to prevent the overloading of a system.

All IP addresses are intended to allow computers detect not only one another, but any and all information that is transferred along the line of the World Wide Web. Advancements in technology have allowed for the smooth progression and relatively easy transition from one set of operating procedures to the next. The creators of the Internet obviously could not see into the future and perceive the importance and impact it would have on the world. The world has shrunk in terms of communication as information can be shared within seconds from virtually everywhere in the world. With the immense amounts of users that log onto cyber space the invention of a dynamic IP address was well thought out. Those with private networks do have the ability to have specific and fix numerical origins, and everyone can still benefit due to the plethora of dotted quads that swim about pools of availability just waiting for the next user to log on and surf away.

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