what if your IP was portable?

Thinking about the internet and its makeup. Today, when you connect to the internet, whether it is from your phone or from your computer, it is given an IP address from whatever ISP you are connected to. If you travel somewhere and connect to the internet somewhere else using the exact same device it is given an entirely different IP address.

But what if it wasn’t? What if it was your own permanent address? Just like the address you live at, or your phone number. Suddenly whereever you are you could be reached over the global Internet.

I want to give this some more thought, but I started down this path due to the impending popularisation of IPv6 which will allow for further IP addresses (given to unique devices that connect to the Internet) to become available (compared to IPv4 which we use today).

Of course the Internet is not built this way – you can’t take IP addresses with you wherever you go – so the structure of the entire Internet would probably need to be altered to achieve this; I guess this makes it completely non feasible. But there is another way to get this same functionality without a fundamental change to the internet. Dynamic DNS – it has been around for ages, and used by geeks worldwide to alow their home Internet connections to act as Internet servers. The basic principle is that when a device connects to the internet, it connects to a known location online and identifies itself, effectively acting as a phone book. Using this system you, in effect, have a portable Internet connected identity similar to a portable IP address.

Why is this useful? Do we need every device to act as a server or be reachable? One possibility is that it could work as a form of authorisation or authentication tool – identifying centrally what 3rd party systems are allowed to know about an individual. Another obvious one is as a form of standardised Internet enabled communication device.

There must be more..

4 thoughts on “what if your IP was portable?”

  1. Dynamic DNS only solves the forward lookup problem, if you want to find your home server like you say. If you wanted every site you visited to know who you were you would need more ISPs to let you set the reverse lookup to your own domain name – though this would talk 48 hours to change, so wouldn't be suitable for temporary connections.

  2. Dynamic DNS only solves the forward lookup problem, if you want to find your home server like you say.

    If you wanted every site you visited to know who you were you would need more ISPs to let you set the reverse lookup to your own domain name – though this would talk 48 hours to change, so wouldn't be suitable for temporary connections.

  3. true – the reverse lookup would not work.. that still requires the ability to take the IP address with you which leaves us back with changing the way the internet works at its core. The only way around that would be to have some way of broadcasting your dynamic dns identity rather than your IP address.

  4. true – the reverse lookup would not work.. that still requires the ability to take the IP address with you which leaves us back with changing the way the internet works at its core. The only way around that would be to have some way of broadcasting your dynamic dns identity rather than your IP address.

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