IP Address stands for Internet Protocol Address: It represents an exclusive number which identifies computers (and some other devices) allowing them to communicate with each other using network.
For computers IP addresses are binary numbers, although usually they are displayed in human-readable notations, such as 10.57.4.177. In this format address is written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be 0 to 255.
Within an isolated private network it's possible to assign IP addresses at random as long as each one is unique. Connecting a computer or private network to the Internet requires using globally registered IP addresses (called Internet addresses) to avoid duplicates. Nowadays the number of unassigned Internet addresses is running out, so a new standard called IPv6 is replacing old IPv4 standard. In the IPv6 standard the address size was increased from 32 to 128 bits, which is considered sufficient at least for the foreseeable future.
There are static and dynamic IP addresses and the differnce is in the way they are assigned to a computer. Static IP addresses are manually assigned by an administrator, but the dynamic IP addresses are assigned either randomly (by the computer itself), or assigned by a server using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). IP addresses assigned by DHCP may stay the same for quite a long periods of time, but generally they can change.
DNS stands for Domain Name System and basically it is technology for translating IP address to natural words. It is much easier for a human to remember a word than a series of numbers. This regards also email addresses. For example, it is much easier to remember a web address name such as mycompany.lv than to remember it's IP adress consisting of about 12 numbers (e.g. 126.96.36.199).
Back to IP address info