Static vs dynamic IP addresses
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses connect your network to the Internet. IP addresses come in two varieties: static and dynamic. To help you choose between static and dynamic IP addresses, this article compares their main characteristics.
What does IP stand for?
Every device on a TCP/IP network is given an IP address, which is a special number. Like how your physical address tells people where to send birthday cards, IP addresses allow computers and other devices to be recognised and to connect with one another.
IP addresses are kept internally as numbers. Humans prefer names, whereas computers are content to use numbers. With the help of a Domain Name System (DNS) you can explore the internet and contact the devices on your network using words rather than numbers, which serves as an internet address book. Any connected online gadget, such as a computer, television, smart speaker, or even your refrigerator, may fall under this category. Nowadays, practically every technological device in your house might have an IP address.
Your web browser utilises DNS to find the IP address for the domain when you type a URL into the address bar. The two most often used types of IP addresses are IPv4 and IPv6.
While IPv6 uses six hexadecimal numbers separated by colons, such as 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334, IPv4 uses four hexadecimal numbers separated by periods, such as 192.168.0.1. We have used almost all the 4.3 billion IPv4 addresses that are available. IPv6 addresses are far more numerous. Before the universe’s heat death, we won’t run out of IPv6 addresses.
Static IP address: what is it?
Simply put, a static IP address is an address that never changes. Once you have given a device a static IP address, that number usually does not change unless you or your network architecture deactivate the device. Servers and other significant equipment typically use static IP addresses.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are responsible for assigning static IP addresses. Depending on the details of your service agreement, your ISP may or may not assign you a static IP address. For the time being, expect that a static IP address will increase the cost of your ISP contract before we go over your options.
A static IP address might be IPv4 or IPv6, however in this situation, static is key. One day, every piece of our networked equipment may have a distinct static IPv6 address. As of right now, permanent addresses are often assigned static IPv4 addresses.
Dynamic IP address: what is it?
Dynamic IP addresses are just what their name implies: they can change at any time. The servers that run Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) assign dynamic addresses as required.
Because there aren’t enough static IP addresses in IPv4 to go around, we use dynamic addresses. A hotel, for instance, might have a static IP address, but every gadget in each of its rooms would have a dynamic IP address.
Your ISP’s DHCP server may assign your house or place of business a dynamic IP address for use online. Your network router most likely assigns the dynamic IP addresses for your devices on your home or office network, whether they be personal computers, call phones, streaming media players, tablets, etc. The industry standard for consumer electronics is dynamic IP.
Which is better for me, static or dynamic?
There isn’t an ideal IP address that works for everyone and every situation. Sometimes a computer or device should use a static IP address, while other times a dynamic IP address is preferred.
The type of connection will also influence whether dynamic or static IP addresses are better for you. While a dynamic IP address is ideal for a home network, a static IP address is more likely to be pertinent for a corporation.
The benefits of a static IP
Using a static IP address has a lot of benefits. Some of these advantages are:
- Better DNS support: With DNS servers, static IP addresses are significantly simpler to set up and manage.
- Running servers: Having a static IP address makes it simpler for consumers to discover you via DNS if you are hosting a web server, email server, or any other form of server. In real terms, this implies that customers who have a static IP address will be able to access your websites and services more quickly.
- Convenient remote access: Working remotely with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or other remote access software is made simpler with a static IP address.
- More dependable communication: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for teleconferencing or other voice and video communications is made simpler with static IP addresses.
- More dependable geolocation services: A static IP address enables services to correlate an IP address with a specific location. You are more likely to receive the weather report you require if you utilise a local weather service with a static IP address, as opposed to one for the city over.
Drawbacks of static IP
In some cases, a static IP address is not the best option.
- Static IPs are easier to hack: When a server has a static IP address, hackers can more easily attack it because they know exactly where it is on the Internet.
- Higher cost: Static IP addresses typically come at a higher cost, especially with consumer ISP plans. Static IP is frequently included in business ISP plans, at least as an option, but they are more expensive than end-user plans, so make sure to find out if there will be an additional charge.
- Practical security issues: Anyone with access to the correct network tools can locate you and your computers.
Benefits of dynamic IP
Compared to static IP addresses, dynamic IP addresses are less expensive to deploy and easier to manage.
- Simple, automatic configuration: When a device has a dynamic IP address, the DHCP server immediately assigns it the upcoming IP address that becomes available. Nothing needs to be done by you.
- Lower costs: In general, utilising a dynamic IP address results in cost savings.
- Unlimited IP addressing: You can reuse IP addresses using dynamic addresses. Your devices are immediately set up within a network with a new dynamic IP address as required. As a result, the network or router takes care of it if, for instance, you bring home a new computer and don’t want to manually erase the old one or give it a number. As a result, when two computers attempt to utilise the same IP address, there are no confusing conflicts.
- Potentially improved security: A dynamic IP address makes it more difficult for potential attackers to pinpoint your networked devices. Using a VPN for PC to mask your network address will also increase your security.
- Greater physical security: It is considerably more difficult for snoops to determine your specific location. Additionally, a VPN can assist with this.
Drawbacks of dynamic IP
Not all scenarios are suited for dynamic IP addresses. They don’t function well with internet-based services like email or the web.
- Not likely to function properly for hosted services: Using a dynamic IP address may be problematic if you intend to run a website, email server, or other services. Considering that dynamic IP addresses are always changing, DNS doesn’t function effectively with them. There are dynamic DNS services that can solve this issue, but they are more expensive and sophisticated.
- Remote access restrictions: If you utilise a dynamic IP address, your program can have problems connecting depending on your remote access software.
- There could be more downtime: Although it is rare, there are situations when your ISP is unable to give you a dynamic IP address. Your internet connection can be interrupted by this. That is a momentary discomfort for a single buyer. A much bigger issue arises if it takes the website of your business offline.
- Less precise geolocation: Because you can maintain a dynamic address that no longer accurately reflects your real-world location, a dynamic IP address can cause your geo-location services to fail.
For companies that host their own websites and internet services, static IP addresses are typically the best choice. When distant employees are using a VPN to access the network at work, static IP addresses will perform effectively.
For most users, dynamic IP addresses are usually OK. They are less expensive and often present a smaller security risk.
Which IP address type do you have?
You might realise that it has never mattered which kind you are using now that you are aware of the distinctions between static and dynamic IP.
Is it challenging to modify your IP address?
Most of the time, if you receive your internet service from an ISP or cable provider, they will assign you a dynamic IP address.
Your devices are automatically issued dynamic IP addresses within your own network. The transition to a static IP address is typically not too difficult. To accomplish this, log into your router’s interface, locate the device you wish to give a static IP address to, and then give it one (usually by manually typing in a number). Each router has a different set of specifics. You must ask the system administrator to take care of this for you on a network that has an administrator.
How to keep your static or dynamic IP address safe
Whether your internet IP address is static or dynamic, your ISP and technologically competent criminals may still roughly determine where you are and what you’re trying to do online. No matter what kind of IP address you have, you might want to conceal it from prying eyes.