Dynamic IP address

A Dynamic IP address is one that changes each time you go online. All computers need an IP address when they connect to the internet, so they can be identified by other computers. Websites need fixed IP addresses. However casual web browsers don’t – so they are often allocated a dynamic IP address by their internet service provider (ISP) which changes each time they go online.

An IP address is made up of four sets of numbers with each set separated by a dot. Each set of numbers is between 0 and 255. With the extraordinary growth in the numbers of people going online around the world, it is easy to see that IP addresses based on number combinations could run out.

So if an internet service provider gives a web user a dynamic IP address, it reduces the need for IP addresses in general as the IP adresses a provider owns can be re-used. The internet service provider also saves money as it only needs enough IP addresses for the number of people likely to be going online at one time, rather than having to ensure that each subscriber has a specific IP address available to them at all times (which is what it would have to do if they gave each subscriber a fixed IP address when they signed up).

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

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