CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
Internet Protocol address
This address is a 32-bit, unique string of numbers that identifies a computer, a printer, or another device on the Internet. The IP address consists of a quartet of numbers separated by periods. Each number can be anything from 0 to 255, for example: 184.108.40.206. An IP address can be either static, meaning it never changes, or dynamic, meaning the address is assigned randomly to a computer for only as long as the Internet session lasts. Dynamic IP addresses are commonly used in large corporations and online services for efficiency. For instance, AOL, which uses proxy servers, assigns its users IP addresses dynamically from an existing set of IP addresses; each time an AOL user logs on, he or she gets a different IP address.
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