If you are starting your first website, or wish to use VoIP or VPN services regularly you should get acquainted with terms like Dynamic IP and Static IP. In this post, we take a look at what an IP address (IP) is and take a comparative look at Dynamic IP vs Static IP to help identify which works better for you.
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique 32 bit number that is assigned to every device on a network that helps to identify a client or server. Think of it in terms of a unique phone number that connects to one specific person when the number is rung or a Post Box number that determines exactly where a letter should be delivered. Every data packet that is sent across the Internet comprises the IP address of the sender and the receiver to ensure that it is routed correctly.
IP addresses are based on version 4 Internet Protocol (IPV4) that is widely prevalent today. They are divided into 4 parts separated by dots and they range from 0 to 255. An example of an IP is 188.8.131.52. Computers communicate with each other using these IP addresses or numbers, but people relate to them via a domain name as it is easy to type a domain name in the address bar instead of numbers. The domain name system maps to the IP addresses when you search it up.
Dynamic IP addresses have become the need of the hour on account of the limited number of IP addresses available in IPV4. Until IPV6 is fully implemented, Dynamic IPs will continue to play a role in ensuring that there is enough address space to manage things. For instance, when you connect to the Internet, your computer is leased a Dynamic IP address for a few hours. When you disconnect, that address space is freed and made available for someone else’s use. In this way ISPs manage more subscribers with the limited IP address space.
Dynamic IP vs Static IP
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Dynamic IPs are temporary as a new IP address is assigned every time a user logs on to the system. It is more cost effective and poses less security risk. Also the network configuration for this is not manually controlled; a software that comes with the router allows for the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) setup so the process of assigning the dynamic IP is automated, making for a smoother IP management system. Dynamic IP is ideal for home users with multiple PCs or for a small business owner who is managing his business from home. Users who want to avail of VoIP or VPN services would do well to avoid Dynamic IPs as they are less reliable leaving room for easy disconnections.
A Static IP address is an IP that is assigned to one particular customer and it does not change over time. A Dynamic IP on the other hand changes every time you connect to the Internet. A Dynamic IP is assigned at the discretion of the Internet Service Provider.
If you run an online business or host a gaming website you may want your IP to be constant, in which case you will choose a Static IP over a Dynamic IP. It also makes sense to go for a Static IP when you want to use VoIP services or VPN services to access company files in a secure manner, as it is more reliable compared to Dynamic IP. Also if your business is on a shared hosting service, you can avoid getting blacklisted if you are sharing your IP with a company that is blacklisted for carrying on illegal activities.
Using a Static IP also has its disadvantages. Since it is constant, it becomes easier for data mining companies to track, making it a security risk. Static IP is also a more costly proposition when compared to Dynamic IP usage.