An IP address is an address assigned to a device on the Internet. It is analogous to postal address where a letter is delivered, and an IP address is computer's address where internet traffic is delivered. An IP address is assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). When you signup with your ISP, your ISP either assigns you a static IP address or a dynamic IP address depending on the contract. If you need to setup a web server or an email service, you'll need a static IP address. If you are just browsing an Internet, you may just get by with a dynamic IP address.
A static IP address is an address that is permanently assigned to you by your ISP (as long as your contract is in good standing), and does not change even if your computer reboots. A static IP address is usually assigned to a server hosting websites, and providing email, database and FTP services. A static IP address is also assigned to a commercial leased line, or public organization requiring same IP address each and every time. Since static IP address is assigned to you, you'll have to manually configure your machine (router or server) to use the static IP address assigned to you.
Static IP address Advantages
Static IP address Disadvantages
A dynamic IP address is an IP address dynamically assigned to your computer by your ISP. Each time your computer (or router) is rebooted, your ISP dynamically assigns an IP address to your networking device using DHCP protocol. Since your ISP dynamically assigns an IP address to a computing device on reboot, your device may not always receive the same IP address previous assigned to it. Even if your machine is always on and permanently connected, some ISPs do change IP address on-the-fly even though this is very rare. A sticky nature of DHCP generally reassigns same IP address to the same machine, it is not guaranteed to receive same IP address as IP pool may exhaust at times and lease time may expire. To find your dynamic IP address, you may visit What is my IP address page.
Dynamic IP address Advantages
Dynamic IP address Disadvantages
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