What You Need to Know About Dynamic and Static IP Addresses
There are two types of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses: Dynamic and Static. At first glance, dynamic and static IP addresses may not appear different, but their distinctions become clear in terms of how, where, and why they are deployed. Each type of IP address comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which every user should consider.
Before we proceed, it's important to note that the IP address discussed here is the IPv4 version. While there is IPv6, most common network connections still rely on IPv4.
An IPv4 address looks like this:
It consists of four numbers ranging from 0 to 255, separated by three dots. If you perform an IP lookup online, you'll encounter this type of number.
Regardless of whether an IP address is static or dynamic, its primary purpose is to identify the device's location and the services it can access. The server determines the type of services a connected device can receive.
Dynamic IP Address - The Simple and Familiar Type of IP Address
Every device connected to the internet or a network possesses an IP address. But how are these addresses obtained? For local networks, your router instantly assigns an IP address to each device as soon as they connect. When it comes to internet service connectivity, your IP address is provided by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP is mainly employed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to allocate available IP addresses to subscribers.
Most households opt for dynamic IP addresses for online connectivity because dynamic IP addresses do not necessitate additional setup; all the necessary configuration is handled by the ISP. This type of IP address can also be considered a security feature because it can be easily changed from the ISP's side, thereby concealing the user's actual location. While it may not provide the same level of anonymity as VPN and Proxy Server options, it's a decent starting point.
Static IP Address - Stability Rules
For home users utilizing the internet for streaming, gaming, and other basic online activities, a dynamic IP address is usually sufficient. Even avid gamers can comfortably use a dynamic IP address, provided they have a fast internet connection.
Conversely, if you operate a small to medium-sized business with demanding internet requirements, extensive virtual work, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication, then a static IP address may be necessary.
As the name suggests, a static IP address is exclusively assigned to you by your ISP and remains unchanged. This is highly recommended for businesses with heavy bandwidth usage and critical online operations. A static IP provides a much more stable connection, which is crucial for VoIP communication. It's also an excellent solution for virtual work because it offers secure file connections established by businesses.
Due to the manual assignment of this type of IP address by the ISP, configuring a static IP address is more complex. ISPs need to carefully manage their available pool of addresses to prevent conflicts. Consequently, setting up a static IP address may entail additional fees from ISPs.
Static vs. Dynamic IP Address - Which One Do You Need?
A dynamic IP address is ideal for home use, even with high bandwidth demands. It can handle such demands with minimal to no setup required. Conversely, small to large-scale businesses will benefit from a static IP address, which provides a more stable and secure connection. While it may involve additional costs with the ISP, businesses focused on security should opt for a static IP address.