An IP address refers to a unique number allocated to devices connected over a network. It is used by network devices to communicate with each other. There are four types of IP addresses: private, public, dynamic, and static. A static IP address is a permanent non-changeable IP address.
What is a static IP Address, you ask? Let’s investigate.
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What Is a Static IP Address?
A static IP address can be described as a non-changing network address. Just as a house number in an XYZ format is constant, a static IP address is a permanent address that informs servers or computers of the location of a specific device connected to the Internet.
A static IP address is beneficial for organizations with internet-related needs, including FTP servers, hosting a webcam, videoconferencing applications, or email.
How to Get a Static IP Address?
Most devices have a dynamic IP address that is regularly changed or updated. The internet service provider assigns the dynamic IP addresses to the network’s router and is changed almost every time the device is disconnected and reconnected to the Internet.
Unlike dynamic IP addresses, static IP addresses do not change. They are fixed IP addresses assigned to the route. Unless the network architecture is changed or the device is withdrawn, the device’s IP address remains the same. Most devices with static IP addresses are servers or essential business equipment that allow easy communication.
What Are Static IP Addresses?
A static IP address can be either IPv6 or IPv4. It is manually assigned to the device and cannot be easily updated. A complete machine reset will be required to modify the static IP address. This can be troublesome if the device requires multiple IP addresses at different locations, for example, a mobile phone. Therefore, static IP addresses are mostly used for servers and must be avoided when using regular computers.
Why Do We Need Static IP Addresses?
You can think of hard code IP addresses as your home address. Your home address does not change unless you move out. Home addresses are permanently allocated to streets or towns and make it easy to navigate through the locality. A static IP address is needed if you need to host a website, require a file server, forward ports to a device, use network printers to remotely access desktops or applications. Because static addresses are fixed, other devices can always initiate communication between them.
For example, if you set up a static IP address for a device on your home network, a router can be established to forward the inbound request directly to the device, such as FTTP requests.
If you are hosting a website, a dynamic IP address can be a hassle. Static IP addresses are ideal when hosting a website because, otherwise, you will have to manually change the router settings every time the computer gets a new IP address. In such cases, forwarding requests can be troublesome and time-consuming. Using a dynamic IP address when hosting a website will prevent users from reaching the website as the router would not identify the device that is serving the website.
In addition to that, static IP addresses are also needed for DNS servers. They use the static IP address to automatically enable devices to connect to them. If the IP address is constantly updated, reconfiguration of DNS servers on computers or routers would be needed manually to access the Internet.
Static IP addresses are also required to access the domain name. For instance, a workplace computer that needs to connect to the file server could always communicate with the server using a static IP address. If the DNS server fails, systems would still have access to the file server as it communicates through a static IP address.
A static IP address gives you remote access to desktops and applications, meaning you can connect to your computer from afar. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for dynamic IP addresses as they are constantly changing and make it challenging to connect with devices remotely.
How to Use Static IP Addresses?
When a network is connected to multiple devices, storage, or computers, it can become frustrating to constantly search for the requisite IP address needed to access them remotely. So, static IP addresses make life easy by remaining constant.
Your router uses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to allocate an IP address to your devices on the network. When new devices are connected to the network, the router assigns a new IP address from the pool of available IP addresses. The IP address of devices not connected to the network for a period of time will expire and be assigned to another device. For home computers and basic organizational use, this works well. It is a background process that most people would not even notice. However, if you want to perform advanced networking tasks, DHCP is troublesome.
It isn’t easy to keep track of IP addresses assigned to different devices. If an IP address expires, users will have to search them again. To resolve this problem, you use the static IP address. Static IP addresses can be assigned to the device by changing the network settings of a laptop or through routers.
Assigning a static IP address using a router is called a DHCP reservation. A DHCP reservation will set your computer back to its default settings to make all changes in one place. When the computer requests an IP address, the router will use a DHCP reservation to assign the selected IP address.
For a DHCP reservation, open your router’s configuration page by typing the router’s IP address in the navigation bar and logging in.
What About Enterprise Usage of Static IP Addresses?
Static IP addresses are vital for enterprises, especially those that require both external and internal devices to remember the IP address. Using static IP addresses helps businesses operate remotely and easily perform video or call-based communications over the Internet. Similarly, they allow businesses to host all servers, such as email servers, web servers, or other internet services. Static IP addresses help customers easily locate the domain name system (DNS).