IP Addresses can seem like hugely complex entities and many people do not understand correctly how they are created, how they are distributed, and how they change over time. An IP Address denotes your device’s physical location and is used to facilitate communication between different nodes on the internet. Think of an IP Address in the same way as a Zip Code – A mailman or woman uses a Zip Code to find the location of your house to be able to deliver your mail; the internet uses your IP Address to find the location of your device to be able to transfer and receive data.
One recurring question that people ask is “Will my IP address change if I move?” – This is a perfectly reasonable question and it is easy to see why there could be confusion. To understand the answer to this question, you should understand how IP Addresses are assigned and distributed – Once you understand this, you will then see why they do actually change depending on your geographical location.
IP Addresses are initially created, controlled and assigned via an organization called ICANN – This stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and this business is responsible for a variety of functions relating to namespaces concerning the internet. ICANN distributes IP Addresses to secondary organizations such as government bodies and Internet Service Providers – These organizations will then distribute their allocated IP Addresses to their customers and members of the public.
From what we can see from the above, it is clear that we receive our designated IP Address from our Internet Service Provider. Your ISP is responsible for distributing and maintaining a block of dynamic IP addresses that are continually circulated throughout their customer base. It stands to reason, therefore, that if you move house and change broadband providers, you IP Address will also change. Even if you keep the same ISP, because you are moving to a new location, and different cables and connection method may be used, it is a very rare instance to keep the same IP Address.
Even if you don’t move house or change your physical location, your IP Address may still change over time – This is because dynamic IP addresses are distributed and this type of address can be changed based on your circumstance – For example, if your contract with an ISP expires or your terms change, your IP address may be changed.
The only instance where you may keep the same IP Address is if you have purchased a static IP Address – This type of address does not change and large businesses often make use of static IP addresses to maintain a degree of continuity.
In short, try not to become fixated on one single IP Address as you may not keep it forever! The main point is that you have a working IP Address that allows you to communicate with others other the internet and transfer data securely.
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