You may know what IP addresses are and how they work, but did you know that there are two different ways in which they are assigned to your network device? These are your static and dynamic IP addresses, and they have their own different uses. It may not be noticeable or may not matter that much for most ordinary users, but knowing the difference can make your networking activities easier and even more secure.
Static IP address
A static IP address is an IP address that is manually assigned to a computer or device by an administrator; this includes your ISP or internet service provider. Depending on the platform, the procedure may vary. When using persistent configuration or automatically assigning an address, it will instantly be called a static IP address. In this case, it’s an IP address that won’t change.
When talking about your router and computer, addresses are assigned on each one of your systems that are connected through your router. These are called your internal addresses or private IP addresses. Routers usually assign these addresses on a first come first served basis, meaning when a new device is connected, it will automatically assign an address that might look like 192.168.0.X, where X is the counter that determines the number of connected devices on your network. Although you can change it to a static IP address, it is not recommended since users usually use port forwarding. This is due to the fact that restarting your device may mean getting a new local address, and identifying a device with a new local address may cause issues because ports will no longer recognize the device.
A sample Static IP address would be the one that your ISP or Internet service provider assigned to your network, your external IP address. Take note however, a static external IP address will be given to you only if you purchase one.
Benefits of having a static IP address:
- Setting up a web server on your home network that is intended for anyone will require you to forward data through a port. This means that when your IP address changes, the rule in which you’re forwarding requests to a port from your old IP address will not work any longer.
- Torrent management can sometimes be helpful, and when managing your torrent client from a remote computer, the address of the machine created some kind of a rule that changing your IP address will somehow be an issue with your remote management.
Here are some disadvantages:
- A static IP address needs to be configured manually and will require additional configuration to your router. You will also need to keep track of your configuration just to keep your home or office network working.
- Configuring an IP address may mean conflict with your router’s auto-assigning IP addresses. For example you assigning an IP address 192.168.0.1 to a system, but then your router also assigns the same IP address 192.168.0.1 to a different system.
An additional note on static IP addresses: they usually have a high security risk since you’re constantly using the same IP address. It will easily give out your location. There are security measures, however, but they will require complex configurations and/or extra payment.
Dynamic IP address
In contrast to your static IP address, a dynamic one is an IP address that changes each time it logs off to your network or is restarted. This is the most commonly used IP address provided by your ISP and is very tough to trace. It is recommended for companies and business owners. In most desktop operating systems, dynamic IP configuration is enabled by default so users won’t have to manually configure their networks.
In terms of your cable and DSL internet network, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) will be that ones that assign addresses. This is also called a sticky dynamic IP address, in which the addresses assigned seldom change. This is because modems provided are usually powered for a long period of time.
Benefits of a dynamic IP address
- All of your IP configuration information will be automatically configured by the DHCP server.
- It is more secure just because it’s harder to trace
Here are some disadvantages:
- The DNS (Domain Name System) is associated with the IP address and will therefore change. This means that accessing a machine by its DNS name can cause an issue, like when using an FTP server. A system’s FTP server won’t be recognized when the IP address of that system changes.
|Static IP address
|Dynamic IP address
|Will be provided by your ISP (For external IP address)
|Will be provided by DHCP
|IP address that does not change once it is assigned to a device
|IP address that changes each time a device logs in to a network
|High risk security
|Low risk security
Static vs Dynamic IP Address
What’s the difference between a static and a dynamic IP address? Before knowing what their actual differences are, let us take a moment to identify what an IP address is.
An IP address is a numerical label assigned by the administrator or ISP and can also be automatically provided by your system. It is then assigned to a device that’s connected to a network that uses IP (Internet Protocol) for communication. So basically, it is a “number label” that is assigned to your system devices that are connected to a network.
Talking about the differences, a static IP address will provide you with an unchangeable one, while a dynamic IP address will be given to your system device automatically. Each one will have its own advantages, but will also have its own disadvantages. Depending on how users use these IP addresses, one or the other will be more efficient.
- A Static IP address is more suitable for users who are not worried being traced, or know how to secure themselves from the world wide web.
- A Dynamic IP address is more suitable for business owners who needs network security.
- A Static IP address will have an additional cost from your service provider.
- When planning on running your own web server, a Static IP address is more suitable.
- A Static IP address will require more configuration management than a dynamic one.