Definition:An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a number automatically assigned to every Internet-connected device via the software in its server/router. IP addresses consist of four sets of numerals segmented by three periods, with each set containing one to three digits, which range from 0 to 255.

Why Are IP Addresses Needed?

Internet Protocol (IP) enables two-way communication between any two Web-connected devices, regardless of physical location, based upon "location" within the systematic network-grid of rules, known as Internet Protocol (IP), by which the entire Internet is governed. Both sending and receiving IP addresses are identified on the IP grid every time two devices interact online, thus enabling point-to-point communication processes.

Since the formatting for IP addresses is globally standardized, there are no communication restrictions based on which countries two devices are located in. However, sheer geographic distance and the number of connected devices simultaneously seeking to use the same servers can sometimes slow transmission of data.

Static and Dynamic IP Addresses

Using a static (dedicated) IP address, one that remains the same with each usage, alerts you to the geographical point of origin and the service provider of devices contacted, thus enabling tracking. Situations where tracking is key to functioning efficiently include VoIP phone systems and online gaming sites. Static addresses also give access to the best online security technology, have faster page load times, and suffer from far fewer service interruptions.

Dynamic IP addresses change with each new connection, since they generally provide better bandwidth to users. It is often best to give out dynamic IPs to subscribers and visitors since they do not consume permanent "space."

Delivering web content to users

Online merchants using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), it is positioned in multiple geographic locations so that the closest server is utilized by those seeking to access your website. CDNs are also better suited for transmitting audio-visual content and are much more efficient and reliable than distant, single-location servers.

Online merchants will sometimes need to know their IP addresses in order to troubleshoot network connection issues or to improve SEO results. Using a customized ecommerce platform, however, will effectively outsource much of this work and reduce the need to look up and/or change your ecommerce IP address.

Learn more about IP Addresses on BigCommerce stores: Finding Your Store's IP Address


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