What Is A Static IP Address?
Are you a gamer? Do you host your own website? Do you access your computer from remote locations?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be interested in a static IP address.
You may not be a tech wizard, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Read on for an introduction to IP addresses, and what a static IP address could do for you.
What Is an IP Address?
Let’s start with the basics: What is an IP address?
IP stands for Internet Protocol, and it’s a number that’s given to each device – a computer, tablet, phone, etc, that’s a part of a given network. The IP address for your device tells other devices where to send information, much like a postal address.
A URL is actually a written code for an IP address. When you type a URL into your address bar, your browser looks up the address in the DNS (the Domain Name System) to find the IP address for that URL.
In other words, when you type in a URL, your computer uses the IP address, not the words you typed in, to get you to the web page.
IP addresses also link you to your location https://www.ip2location.com, and it identifies you as a user. For this reason, it can even be used to ID you if you are suspected of cyber attack.
Static IP Address
A static IP address is just what it sounds like: it’s an IP address that doesn’t change. A dynamic IP address, on the other hand, is an address that changes regularly.
Static IP addresses are manually assigned to a device, as opposed to dynamic IP addresses, which are distributed by Dynamic Host Configuration Protocols (DHCPs) automatically.
You can manually give one of your devices a static IP address by typing it into the device itself. A static IP address requires you to configure your router; otherwise, your router won’t recognize the device to which it needs to send information.
Why Use a Static IP Address?
A static IP address can be useful if you don’t want the IP address for a device to change. Other devices will always know how to contact the device with a static IP address.
For example, if you have a network of printers in your house that you access through a router, you will want all of those printers to have static IP addresses. If the IP address changed for a printer, then you would have to reconfigure your router to print to that device every time the IP address changed.
Also, if you access another computer remotely, then this computer must have a static IP address. If the address were to keep changing, then you wouldn’t be able to access it without knowing the new address.
If you’re a gamer, static IP addresses can be useful if you don’t want your gaming to be interrupted while the DHCP gives you a new dynamic IP address.
Brief Mention on Dynamic IP Addresses
The more common dynamic IP addresses are just borrowed IP addresses – they’re assigned to a device for a certain amount of time and then recycled. Since there are a limited number of IP addresses, this technique allows many devices to access the internet.
If you’re a standard internet user, then this is the primary means through which you access the internet. Without a static IP address, you just plug in the router and have it automatically give out dynamic IP addresses.
You only need to worry about using static IP addresses if you are in a special situation that requires one, like the situations listed above.