Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What is the IP address?

Subscriber Joseph Murphy has written request:

I wonder how an IP address is determined and whether it can be modified and how?

Thank you, j. P. Murphy.

It is a good question, Joseph. The response can be simple or it can be used to educate.

If you access your home network or your provider network Service Internet access as a method to get to the Internet, the basic answer is that the IP address that you use to access a network is assigned by the network administrator or the DHCP (Dynamic Host Control Protocol) server.

You can get assigned a static IP address, in which case you're told to set your computer or your router to use the specific IP address assigned to you. You are also provided with the netmask to use and, perhaps, the specific use computer name.

Your ISP may also require the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the piece of equipment that connects to their system. In this case, they are usually control access to their network address MAC address, or the combination of IP address and MAC address.

Most often, you will get your IP address assigned by DHCP, in which case you're told to set the connection to the network from your computer (or router) If you have to obtain its IP address in the network via DHCP ISP, then it will be automatically assigned.

At first blush, DHCP may seem to be a way to get different IP addresses. After all, the really "leases" DHCP server the IP address to a specific MAC address for a specified period, often 24 hours. However, at the end of this period, the computer (or router) with the IP address will be apply for a renewal of its IP address. If this address is not currently in use, the DHCP server will assign it for a new period of rental.

In the same way, the DHCP protocol often give the same specific (or router) computer IP over and over - simply because the license has expired and this computer was the first to say "I want to renew my permit to address IP XXX."YYY.ZZZ.AAA, or give me a new if this one is used. "Although of course, the computer (or router) really does not mean all that it simply sends the signal saying that he wished to renew its lease.

Then, how you get a different IP address?

First of all, if you have a static IP address, you can contact your ISP and ask a different. They you probably want to know why. They may or may not be interested in giving you a different IP address.

If you have a dynamic IP address, I believe that the best way to do that may be for a different network card (if you are not using a router - and you should use a router for security purposes), so it will have a different MAC address (they are unique to each piece to individual network equipment).

If you use a router, most routers will allow you to specify the MAC address which is presented on the side of the Internet of the router (rather than the side home network). Which was intended to allow the user to modify the hardware without having to go through efforts of reconnecting with the cable or DSL Internet service provider.

What happens if you have a combination Modem DSL + router? In this case, you may not be unable to change the MAC address of the router. Since the router gets the IP address of the Internet, or what IP address is assigned by the ISP, you are stuck with what they will do you for you.

This seems confusing, which is why most ISPs use DHCP for the allocation of IP addresses - so that they will not have to debug as often for their clients.

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