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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

BASICS: IP Address and Domain Names

Every individual computer, server, and network on the Internet has an assigned IP (Internet Protocal) address which is a unique string of numbers, for example: 834.84.802.57. Since remembering a long string of numbers is difficult, we use domain names in their place. A domain name is attached to a specific IP address and it functions on the Internet in a manner similar to a physical address in the physical world.

Domain names are composed of series of letters — often in the form of memorable words — followed by a dot and then an extension (like .com or .org). For example, my domain name is When you type in the bar at the top of your web browser, the browser request uses my domain name to find the attached IP address and my website appears in your browser.

Just like a physical address, every domain name is unique... two or more sites can not have the exact same address. Each domain name and its associated IP address is stored in a common database that is accessible via the Internet.

There is an organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that governs coordination of the links between IP addresses and domain names across the entire Internet. There are many companies that you can use to register your domain name through ICANN. I use GoDaddy for registering domains.

The process is simple. Typically, you can tell me which domain name you would like to use for your website. I will look it up to see if it is available. If it is, I can register it for you quickly and easily. If the domain name you would like is not available, I can tell you if it is available with a different extension or review other alternative names. The cost differs for each extension, but is typically between $9 and $15 per year of registration.

I can register your domain name under my account or create an account for you. Almost all of my clients prefer to have their domain names under my account. The advantage to having it under my account is that although you still own the domain name, you don't have to be concerned if you receive emails telling you that your domain name needs to be renewed or that you need to respond in some way. Unfortunately, there are many, many scams out there that target owners of domain names. My clients either throw out these emails or send them to me for my review. I review the email and advise my clients accordingly, usually to throw it away.

If I register your domain name under my account, you can rest assured that your domain name is safe and there is nothing you have to do to keep it safe with the exception of paying for the renewal when you receive an invoice directly from me.

I recommend registering your domain name for 5 years because search engines rank domains that are registered for more than a year higher. I can also help you transfer a domain name, forward a domain name, mask a domain name, sell a domain name you own, or purchase a domain name in an auction or from the current owner directly.

For more information on domain names, IP address or how the Internet operates, feel free to contact me at or visit my website at


  1. This was very informative Brenda. Thank you for your expertise.

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