What Does Your IP Address Say About Your Network?

The Internet Protocol (IP) address may seem inconsequential in its design for many networks. Some number patterns may seem more appealing to the eye than others, but does that really matter? Actually, there are a few benefits and drawbacks that can come from the specific IP address you choose, both in appearance and the performance of your network. Before settling on the first address available, take a look at what could come from your choice.

Easily-Memorized IP Address Selection

Part of creating a good IP address scheme and proper maintenance is knowing where certain addresses go. Not all of your network engineers are perfect with numbers, so it's reasonable to believe that some numbers are easier to remember than others.

Repetition and recognition is key. For many technicians, it may be easier to remember an IP address that repeats a few numbers or follows a certain memorable trait. Area codes, zip codes and other numerical similarities could make training for IP address and network resource management easier.

Some may see a discussion about IP addresses and wonder why it matters, especially when the Domain Name Service (DNS) exists to pair IP addresses with names. DNS is not always available, and if the DNS server goes down or if there's a complete loss of information, you may end up with a handful of technicians who need to learn from scratch with note-checking taking up valuable recovery time.

A number that is easier to remember can alleviate such problems. Unfortunately, the benefit can work against you if hackers take an interest in your assets. Your address may stand out in random searches for potential targets because of the very same memorable traits. It's up to your networking team and the IP trading professionals to figure out if that risk is worth avoiding.

The Previous Owner May Have Been An Issue

IP addresses are used all across the Internet, so if you're picking up the former address of a popular website or service, you may receive requests from users and services still programmed with your address.

Many of these problems can be solved by either blocking the addresses or sending notifications to the requesting addresses. Let them know that the previous owner is no longer present at the IP address and that their service is currently hitting the wrong system.

Some of these requests may not be innocent users going along their normal routine. The address may be available because of the previous owner abandoning it in the middle of an aggressive attack, such as a Dynamic Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. If the address was the target of malicious access attempts or other hostile services, you may want to pick another address or figure out how to end the attack.

Contact an IP trader to discuss potential risks and benefits of available IP addresses.