Dynamic IP Addressing System Keeps the User Truly Connected
Software helps the user keep in contact with the customer
You have e-mail and you have a web site, even though it might not be doing everything you'd like it to do. But are you connected?
The real answer is more likely to be: It depends.
That's because the growing complexity of our world requires us to make sure that all of those connections are, in fact, connecting us to our colleagues, our suppliers and, most importantly, our customers.
The reality we find ourselves facing is this: the actual utility that organizations can pull from their investment in technology will still, no matter how much money or time they throw at the opportunity, depend on being able to see the bigger picture.
How so? While we may intuitively understand that a communications system isn't really a system at all if all the pieces aren't in place, so much of that system is hidden from both our view and our control.
In the case of the Internet, simply having an outlet on our desktop is no longer enough to qualify as connected, really connected that is. One reason for that is the system of assigning temporary Internet (or IP) addresses to the vast majority of the millions of people who dial in, sign on and do whatever it is that they do online.
Being "on the Internet" means the user's PC has an IP address - almost always assigned (or more accurately loaned) to it by an Internet service provider (or ISP).
When the connection is ended and a subsequent connection made (even just a few minutes later) that address will likely have changed. And remember that those loaned IP addresses could change as many times as a connection is made. Even cable or DSL connections will have IP addresses that change from time to time.
So who cares? The users will care, especially if they've published their IP address and their customers can't find them at their changed address. This becomes even more important for those who choose to host their own web sites or connect from remote locations where the system being accessed depends on knowing the IP address of those doing the connecting.
Imagine your business telephone number changing every time you hang up your phone after making a call. How frustrating would that be?
Here are a couple of solutions to consider:
One is to buy a "static" or unchanging IP address, something your ISP may be able to provide (some do not). But even if they can, it will be at a significant cost - perhaps several hundred dollars a month.
A less expensive option (but just as effective), which thousands of Internet users are opting for, is a dynamic IP addressing solution. For example, DynIP (www.dynip.com) software automatically redirects traffic destined for the user to their dynamically changing IP address. This software is available as a free download on a 30-day trial basis.
Connect to the Internet (from anywhere) and the DynIP system will automatically publish the user's new IP address and redirect those wishing to connect to that particular PC. This can be invaluable in a number of situations, from facilitating the transfer of medical imaging files from one remote computer to another, to performing diagnostics on a larger system while connecting through a laptop.
Even those who want to host their own mail or web server regularly use the software. It allows users to maintain control over the systems and, in some cases, enhance their system's security as well.
Increasingly, those whose business is on the road find that the flexibility they enjoy with a system like DynIP turns the challenge of connecting into a routine exercise.
This is as it should be.
David Grant is President of CanWeb Internet Services Ltd., a full-service development firm based in Sarnia.