IP Address Lookup
Whether it's your smartphone, tablet, PC, or laptop, all internet-connected devices have what's known as an internet protocol address or IP address. Your IP address helps your network distinguish different devices from one another and lets other networks identify your network during information exchanges.
Within these addresses are two important subtypes: static IPs and dynamic IPs. Both of these address types have their own separate definition, purpose, and benefits. Which type of IP you choose will depend on your intended use of the internet and whether you are using the IP for business-related matters.
When it comes to IP addresses, you will have both a private and public IP. Your public IP, or global IP, is how the rest of the internet recognizes your network. A private IP is for each device, allowing your network to tell each one apart. Your public IP will be what falls into the static and dynamic categories. The specific category is primarily determined by how the address changes during connections.
A dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) server doesn't assign a static IP address but instead is manually configured and set for one device. These addresses are kept the same to make them easier to identify and are especially helpful for those that regularly access a specific server or device. This could be a server hosted on your network, a personal website, or if you intend to use a remote access program.
Static IP addresses have several uses and benefits, including:
Static IPs also have their disadvantages, primarily in their cost difference. Because there are only so many static IPs to assign, there is a smaller supply than dynamic IPs. This means that ISPs will charge static IP users more. They also are more susceptible to cyberattacks because they do not change. While an IP staying the same is convenient for those needing constant access, it also means that once a hacker gets an IP, they don't need to find it again.
Dynamic IP addresses aren't tied to a single device and automatically change after a set time. While there is more downtime during a switch compared to a static IP, you have more security. Because the address is constantly changing, it's not as vulnerable to hackers. A hacker doesn't need to shift their strategy to adjust for new addresses with a static IP. To get a dynamic IP address, they need to change how they communicate with the network or device.
Benefits and uses of a dynamic IP address include:
Neither static nor dynamic IP is necessarily better; however, they have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Which is better for you will depend on the nature of your internet use and whether you need online access for business or personal reasons. A static IP is generally better for those who host websites or online business-related services. For your average internet user, a dynamic address is usually preferable.
Which type of address you use will depend on what you are doing online and what facets of internet access are most important to you. A dynamic IP would be better if you don't need an easily identifiable IP and want better cybersecurity. If you need a constant connection, say for teleconferencing or a similar form of communication, a static IP would be the more efficient choice.
There are two simple ways to find an IP address:
Unfortunately, others can also get your IP easily by taking these steps. With an IP address, you can conduct an IP address lookup, also known as a reverse IP address lookup. These can give you, or someone who has somehow gotten your IP, many details about your digital footprint, including:
You can use these searches to see what information is available about you online. If you believe an IP has accessed your network illegally, you can use a reverse IP address lookup to see who that address belongs to.