WHAT IS AN IP ADDRESS AND HOW DO I GET ONE?

What an IP address is:

An IP address, in general, is a unique combination of 4 numbers, each separated by a ‘.’.  This address is necessary for you to be able to remotely connect to a device connected on the Internet.  If you know the IP address of a device, both your computer and the device are connected to the Internet, and you have the security clearance (if the device is protected by a firewall), then you can connect to the device by simply typing in its IP address in the address box in your internet browser.

How you get an IP address:

How you get an IP address depends on what kind of network you are connecting to.  If you are simply creating a network that has no access to the Internet, then you are creating a private network.  In this case, you can use a range of IP addresses called private addresses.  In most cases, you would want to use the range from 192.168.1.1 – 192.168.1.254 and the subnet mask for each device would be 255.255.255.0.  You do not need to specify a gateway if this network does not connect to the Internet.  For each device in your network, simply give an IP address within the range (each address must be different, and only change the last number of the IP address)

Another case is when you are connecting to a network that is run by network administrator.  Normally this kind of network is found within businesses.  In this case, you should go ask your network administrator for an IP address

The final case is when you are directly connecting to the Internet via some ISP (Internet Service Provider).  In this case, the ISP will give you an IP address

Now if the network you are trying to connect to has a DHCP server on there, then what you should do is allow your device to automatically obtain the IP address from the DHCP server.  The advantage to that is the server won’t screw up on giving you valid network information.