How do all servers across the world ensure unique IP addresses?

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I could be totally wrong here, but I’ve always been under the impression that IP addresses are unique in that for every address, there is one and only one server/computer, and viceversa. How do you accomplish this given all the different manufacturers, countries’ internet protocols, etc.?

In: Technology

6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are the only entities capable of assigning an IP Address to a router.

ISPs themselves are each assigned their own subset of the set of all IP addresses, so that no ISP assigns the same IP address to two routers.

ISPs will assign an IP address to each customer in various ways, but the the general idea is that an IP address is “leased” and the router has to “give it back” after a certain amount of time and request a new one.

A simple strategy is to give each customer a static IP address. All leases have the same address.

However, there is a shortage of IPv4 addresses, so some providers have to rotate IP addresses between customers after each lease.

With IPv6 there are enough addresses to give every machine a static address and have billions left to spare.

In all cases, the ISP has to keep track of which IPs it has leased and which it has not.

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