If you have a static IP address, then you have one which was manually configured for the device. That is different than one being automatically assigned to the device by the DHCP server. It is referred to as a “static” address because it does not change.
Any device which uses an IP address can be configured to have a static IP address. That includes smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and routers. You can do this by going through the device, or by typing the IP address into the device from the actual device.
When compared to dynamic IP addresses, which are permitted to change, there are several advantages and disadvantages to consider with a static IP address. Although many of the benefits or disadvantages may be small when compared to dynamic IPs, which may be too small to measure for some networks, the differences are still important to point out.
These are the key points to think about and discuss.
List of the Advantages of a Static IP
1. You have better name resolution across the internet.
When you have a static IP address assigned to a device, then those devices can be reached by their assigned host names in a reliable way. That is why FTP servers, web servers, and similar components use fixed addresses. Because they are not dynamic, there is never a need to track their changes to locate them.
2. It may provide a better level of protection.
Even though a static IP address creates a fact, whereas a dynamic IP address creates change, you still have an advantage when using this option over a DHCP address assignment. When you have a static IP in place, your home network will receive an extra layer of protection against the security problems which may develop over the network.
3. There are reduced lapses in connection.
If you’re using a dynamic IP address at home with your ISP (or with your business), then you may experience lapses in connection to the internet. Some of these lapses may be momentary, while others may force you to reboot your equipment. Although this is sometimes called a “ping,” what is happening is a lack of recognition. When your IP address changes, you become more difficult to find. Using a static IP address reduces this issue, which is useful for heavy data users, since the IP never resets.
4. Your download and upload speeds tend to be faster.
Because there are fewer discrepancies associated with a static IP, the speed of access to content is usually faster when you have one assigned to your device. If you are on DSL, the speed differences may not be noticeable. For high-speed broadband users, however, the differences can be more than 1 megabit. If you’re constantly downloading or uploading large files to the internet, you may wish to compare the two setups to determine which one may be the best for you.
5. It gives you remote access.
When you have a static IP address, then you are able to access your computer (or device) from anywhere in the world. As long as the device is connected to the internet and is active, you’ll be able to access your information. That makes it easier to work on projects while you travel, stay in communication with others, or take advantage of the benefits which a VPN provide you.
6. You have access to accurate geolocation data.
When you’re working with a static IP address, you’ll have access to geolocation data that is more accurate when compared to a dynamic IP. The business benefits of this data can be far-reaching, including delivery management, asset location information, content customization, load balancing, and fraud detection. With accurate data, you can even manage incidents in real-time with your logs to ensure that you’re always putting your best foot forward.
7. It reduces the risk of losing an important message.
If you are running a dynamic IP instead of a static IP for your server, then you might not be receiving all of the messages which are being sent to you. Once the dynamic IP shifts, any messages that would be sent to the old address would be lost until the records are updated in DNS. With a static IP address, this is never an issue. Your address remains the same at all times, which means you’ll always know when someone is trying to communicate with you.
8. You’ll find it easier to locate shared devices.
Let’s use a business network as an example here. If there are several workers who need to use the same networked printer, then having the connection be through a static IP address makes it easier to find the equipment. Some offices use shared printers, which means you can find the item by name. If the printers were assigned a dynamic IP, you might discover that printing becomes a time-consuming task.
List of the Disadvantages of a Static IP
1. Most people don’t need to have a static IP address.
Static IP addresses matter when there is a website or an external device which must remember your IP address. If you have a virtual private network (VPN), then a static IP address would be beneficial. For those who are hosting a server, however, the time or expense of having a static IP is not necessary, though it does simplify the setup process for the equipment. You can still benefit from some of the advantages, but it comes with a time commitment that may not repay you with long-term value.
2. It limits the number of available IP addresses.
When there is a static IP address assigned to a specific device or website, then that address remains occupied until that assignment is redacted. Even if the computer or website is not in use, the IP address assigned cannot be used by anyone else because it is a unique address. That means the number of available IP addresses becomes limited, making it difficult for some people to create the structures they require to be successful while working online.
3. Computers with a static IP address are easier to track.
Imagine that you’re walking through the woods with your favorite pair of shoes. It has just rained. The trail is muddy, so you are creating footprints as you walk. That makes it easy to follow you because there is clear evidence of where you went. Using a static IP address creates a similar experience. Now imagine that you stop and change your shoes, then begin walking on a path without mud. You could still be tracked, but it would be more difficult to do so. That is comparable to a dynamic IP address.
4. Each static IP must be manually configured.
When you’re using a static IP address for your home devices, then you must have each one configured manually. If you only have a handful of devices which must be managed, then the time commitment is minimal for this process. For an organization with hundreds, if not thousands, of devices that must be managed, this disadvantage would require costly administrative overhead that would negate many of the advantages that are received by having a static IP in the first place.
5. There is a greater chance of seeing address conflict errors.
Unless a router is properly configured for the static IP addresses that are generated, you will face a greater risk of experiencing address conflict errors when using your devices. Dynamic IP address face this risk as well, but it is at a lower level because of the changing structures that are involved.
6. It can be difficult to change after a breach.
If you’re using a static IP address, then there is an additional security risk because your address is always constant. That creates the risk of having your website hacked. Once you experience a hacking incident, changing the static IP becomes difficult. You become more susceptible to a continuous attack if this situation were to occur. Router firewalls and other security features must be installed before you obtain a static IP address to counter this potential issue.
7. You are forced to rely on strong uptime percentages.
For FTPs and hosting servers, a static IP is the preferred option for the site. That means the servers must be up all the time for the functions to be properly hosted. Even with 99.99% uptime, you’re facing several hours of downtime each year that is guaranteed, which means there is a risk of lost revenue. Adding more nines behind the decimal point comes at an increasing cost, which then negates your revenues as well. For some businesses, this is a Catch-22 that has no easy solution.
8. It is possible that a static IP address could become obsolete.
We’re already seeing IP addresses evolve with the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Every technology investment runs the risk of becoming obsolete one day. If you install static IPs on your computers, then trying to transfer your server settings when upgrades become available can become a complex process. If you feel the need to run a static IP, then invest in a computer that upgrades easily to take advantage of what this option provides you.
9. Using a static IP comes with an additional cost for most ISPs.
If you wish to run a static IP for your website or equipment, then you must be prepared to pay more for this option. Many ISPs and hosting providers will require you to sign up for a commercial account to have the option granted to you in the first place. There may be one-time fees associated with the assignment of each static IP as well. Your monthly internet service rates may go up as well. In some regions, the cost of hosting a single static IP can be 3 times higher than hosting a dynamic IP.
Every machine possesses a unique identifier if it is on a network. This identifier allows specific computers to send data to each other, such as the TCP/IP protocol that is used for the internet. There are IPv4 and IPv6 addresses currently in use today. Both static and dynamic IP addresses are assigned from these protocols. Based on what your specific needs are, these advantages and disadvantages of a static IP address will let you know which option is best.