Networking - IP Address

An IP address identifies a computer on a network. The two types of IP addresses are Internal (Local) and External (Global or Real-World).

An Internal IP address identifies a computer on an Internal Network, whereas an External IP identifies a computer across the Internet. Most computers on an Internal Network will have individual Internal IP addresses, but the Internal Network as a whole will share one External IP address.

IP Addresses can be either static or dynamic. A Dynamic Internal IP address is typically automatically assigned by your router or switch. Generally, dynamically assigned IP addresses of any machine on the Internal Network are subject to change when the router or network is reset, the operating system is updated, after a power outage, and so on. An Internal Static IP address allows a device to maintain the same IP address on the network at all times. A Static Internal IP address is preferred for the MacPractice server as it will prevent the need to reset the server IP address in the client login settings by ensuring that this address does not change on the server. If you choose to, you can also assign Static Internal IP addresses to the other devices on your network.

Your office's External IP address is assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Unless your office has requested and paid for a Static External IP address through your ISP, this is most likely a Dynamic External IP address subject to change at any time. MacPractice abilities such as the iPad and iPhone interfaces and Patient Portal require Static External IP addresses to function reliably. Use of these services may require you to contact you ISP to have a Static External IP address assigned to your office.

In some cases, DNS information may need to be omitted to create a location to access MacPractice when the internet is down or if your office is not connected to the internet. This is not a typical network configuration. If it is necessary for your office, please see DNS Excluded Location to learn more.


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