Static vs Dynamic IP Address: Which One Should You Use?

Date Jan 18, 2022
Blog category Broadband
By Staff writer
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An IP address, short for internet protocol address, is a numerical series that corresponds to every device connected to the internet. It acts similarly to your postal or home address. However, instead of mail or letters, this is where your internet traffic is delivered. This also allows communication between your network and other devices connected to the internet.

Each IP address is unique and designated specifically by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a part of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). They can change from time to time without notice or can stay the same as long as you’re connected to the internet. 

What is a dynamic IP address?

Coming from the name itself, a dynamic IP address always changes. The changes may happen between a few hours to several months. There’s no specific timeline as to when it will change and usually without notice.

Once you subscribe to a plan from your broadband provider, a dynamic IP address is usually assigned to your device. An address is selected from their pool of addresses, assigned to your device temporarily, and unassigned from your device. This will then be pooled again and be reassigned to a different device.

You don’t need to configure your router or server for your IP address to change. It changes automatically according to your provider. 

Pros of a dynamic IP address

  • No maintenance work is needed. This is ideal for most households and even small businesses that may not have the technical knowledge to configure the network.
  • They don’t cost anything! It’s given as a default for free by your broadband provider once you subscribe to any of their plans.
  • They can prevent hacking and data compromises, especially for non-techies. It’s ever-changing, so your device can simply connect to a different network when this happens.

Cons of a dynamic IP address

  • Fixing downtimes, network failures, and server failures can be time-consuming and arduous as it all depends on when your provider will do the fix.
  • This may be less reliable on services such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and virtual private networks (VPN) as the service could easily disconnect.
  • Geolocation may not be as accurate, but this can also prevent any security risks from identifying your physical location. 

What is a static IP address?

As the name suggests, a static IP address doesn’t change. It remains the same once it’s assigned to your device. As long as the same device connects to the same network or your internet connection is consistent, it won’t change.

Mostly only commercial lines and organisations that deal with servers, databases, email, and file transfers (FTP), get static IP addresses. Once an address is assigned to you, you may have to tweak your router or servers to fully take advantage of it. That’s why it’s not recommended for households unless it’s really necessary for your needs.

Static IP addresses are usually given by your internet provider unless you specifically request it, or it’s within the contract you’ve signed. 

Pros of a static IP address

  • As the IP address doesn’t change, it makes it a perfect tool for web, email, and other internet servers. This makes it easier for users to find you on the DNS or geolocated.
  • Especially for businesses and organizations that need special servers, this can be easily configured according to what you need.
  • Access to services such as VoIP and VPN can be more reliable because there’s only a single server to connect to.

Cons of a static IP address

  • Since a special IP address will be assigned to your device, you may need to pay your internet service provider an extra fee. 
  • If there’s no expert to monitor your servers, static IP addresses are more prone to hacking and security compromises.
  • Having accurate geolocation can cause a lot of technical and security issues. That’s why it’s not advisable for households to have.

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Which type of IP address do you have?

If you don’t have a contract for a static IP address, chances are you have a dynamic IP address by default. However, if you want to be sure, you can use an IP address checker. At the same time, you can use them to find your current IP address.

Which IP address should you get?

Well, each IP address has a special purpose. If what you do with your internet is simply to browse the web, upload photos, or stream your favourite shows, a dynamic IP address will do. It works just as efficiently for simple activities.

On the other hand, if you have to deal with special servers for web hosting, a static IP address would be a better choice. Of course, this may also mean dealing with the technicalities of specialised servers and keeping it safe and secure.

If you need a static IP address for your devices, simply contact your internet service provider. They usually offer this as an add-on for as low as $10 per month. If your current provider doesn’t offer this, switch to a different provider that offers them in your location.

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