Internet Video Series, Part 2
Episode 16, Segment 02 of 09
The value of a stable IP Address
Every computer in your home office or small office network that uses the Internet will need an IP address from a group of private, local IP addresses that are all managed by a NAT router.
Your local NAT router is probably
configured to manage a group of 256 private, local IP addresses. The usual
arrangement allocates the lowest and highest address numbers of that block for
various special IP situations, and your router will also consume one address.
This leaves 253 more private, local IP addresses for general-purpose work.
For most computer situations, all of those 253 addresses are equally effective. Most computers don't care which of those addresses is allocated. In fact, for most computers it's OK to receive a different IP address every time it is powered up. Those computers are fully compatible with the DHCP mechanism documented in the prior movie from this series.
Some computers or pieces of network equipment, however, host communicating services that are seriously inconvenienced whenever the IP address changes, because other computers, operating as their - "clients" - might want to send them unsolicited IP messages at any time. Those - client - computers will need to know the IP address in advance, so the situation is greatly improved when a stable IP address can be advertised among the interested community. In general, we refer to these - more sophisticated - computers as - "servers" - or - "server hosts". Print servers, file servers, game servers, telephony servers, mail servers, web servers, and ftp servers all fall into this category.