IP Addresses- What businesses need to know

28th February 2022

IP Addresses

So often in business, the devil is in the detail. While you may assume that reading a blog about IP addresses might not seem important to your daily operations, you may be surprised at how integral they can be. Here we will explain some of the reasons why IP addresses and networking details can be integral to your data privacy, among other things.

What is an IP address?

So let’s begin at the beginning. What is an IP address exactly? An IP address is a set of unique numbers given to a device that is connected to the internet – be it a laptop, a mobile, a tablet or a drone. Serving almost as an email address or postal code, it allows devices to find each other and communicate in the vast expanse that is the internet.

Static IP’s and Dynamic IP’s

IP addresses are typically broken into two types; static and dynamic. A static IP as the name hints at is permanent. A static IP is assigned to a single device and never changes.

Dynamic IP addresses on the other hand are assigned randomly to devices connected to a specific network. They will morph and change regularly.

In real-life scenarios, static IPs might be used for a server, whereas dynamic IPs might be used for devices connected to a network.

Both of these types of IP addresses are public which means that any device connected over the internet can find them and communicate with them.

Private IP addresses

Now here’s where it gets interesting. If that last sentence made you pause then you wouldn’t be alone. Many businesses rank privacy issues as one of their deepest concerns when it comes to running a modern-day business. We know that cybercrime is big business and that organisations of all kinds can fall victim to criminal enterprises – whether through ransomware, hacking, phishing or other nefarious activities.

Fortunately, private IP addresses can go some way to protecting your online operations. Also known as a local IP, a private IP address is assigned to devices for use in a totally private network. It could be described as the Harry Potter invisibility cloak of the digital realm.

The private IP address can be static or public, however, only the devices within your private network are able to find and communicate with each other.

Pros and cons of private IP addresses

So you may be asking yourself why doesn’t every business operate with a private IP address? The first barrier is simply awareness. IP addresses and network issues can be difficult to understand, and therefore knowledge hasn’t been passed around as thoroughly as say virus protection. Another reason is that without proper IT support on your side, private networks can be a minefield. By nature, a private network protects you from what’s outside, but without assistance, even simple tasks like sending external emails can prove problematic. This is why it is essential to work with a respected IT provider who can pair your private network with a VPN (a virtual private network) for both protection and accessibility.

If you want to protect your business against the threats mentioned and learn more about the latest cybersecurity advancements, then please call us today on 01268 575300 or email us at info@ecl.co.uk.

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