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What is a Static IP Address?

Every computer has a unique identity that is contained in its IP address.
A static IP address is a computer user's address that stays the same permanently or for a long time.
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  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2014
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Computers that connect to the Internet are assigned a unique numerical address known as an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This unique address identifies each computer on the Internet so that computers can communicate with each other by sending and receiving information using this addressing scheme. A static IP address is simply a “permanent” address that remains associated with a single computer over an extended period of time. This differs from a dynamic IP address, which is assigned ad hoc at the start of each session, normally changing from one session to the next.

IP address assignment is handled by a person’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). Every ISP is designated a large block of IP addresses that fall within a specific numerical range. The ISP server automatically delegates available IP addresses within that range as needed, to clients logging on to the Internet. When a person disables his or her Internet connection, the temporarily assigned dynamic IP address goes back into the pool for reassignment. Dynamically assigned IP addresses are fine for most people, however, some prefer a static IP address.

In some situations having a static IP address is an advantage. For example, people who game online with remote players often prefer a static IP address. When they return to a game, the hosting server recognizes them, restoring score, placement in the game, and other settings accordingly. A static IP is more reliable than a computer cookie that can be deleted.

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Each website also has a static IP address, also known as a URL or Uniform Resource Locator. Without a static address, a website would not have a permanent place of residence, forcing surfers to “follow it” around the Internet, rendering bookmarks useless. This brings up the most common reason a person opts for a static IP address: to host his or her own website.

With 24/7 broadband access and a static IP address, one can create a website and act as the server, hosting it on the Internet like any other website. A static IP address also allows the owner to host an email server and run other services like webcasts or forums. While these services are all available from third parties, some people prefer to act as host.

A static IP address is also preferred if the computer will be connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), or allowing remote access with software like pcAnywhere™ or Radmin™. Software that provides remote access need only be configured once if the remote computer in question has a static IP address. If it has a changing address, the user will have to determine the remote IP each time, then reconfigure the software with the new address.

ISPs automatically assign a dynamic IP to clients unless they specifically request a static IP address. Static IP addressing is normally more expensive and is thought by some to be less private. Websites log IP numbers as a matter of course, so an unchanging address creates a rather complete profile of surfing habits across the Internet, easily collected and triangulated by data mining companies.

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Discuss this Article

anon357268
Post 11

What devices normally use a static IP address?

anon336028
Post 10

My database is being hacked into. How can I identify the pc that's doing it?

anon210627
Post 7

Good post. Very useful because I've been stuck on an IP address I had saved for a while that hacked into one of my game accounts.

anon137708
Post 6

will a static IP affect the other computers in my house that are fed by my router?

anon95950
Post 5

Does a static IP address make the internet faster? i.e., low ping numbers on servers in online games. Faster loading websites. Reduced chance of connection time-out, etc.?

anon61831
Post 4

static ip configuration in linksys router?

anon40687
Post 3

Hi. I have an external IP address and internal IP address via my linksys router. As per my tech support at Bell, I have a static IP address, where my IP is constantly changing.

Does this mean that the websites which I visit on the internet do not see my real IP address, be it either external or internal?

And the only access to my computer would be via my e-mail only, if I supply it to them?

If this is the case, I would not need to purchase any IP blocker software off the internet, would I?

If an IP blocker would give better protection, would you know where I could download simple to use, uncomplicated software off the internet? Thanks -- Ed

anon37833
Post 2

But how can i find out if my link is static or dynamic.We should have to wait some time for checking TCP/ IP configuration

vkash
Post 1

What are cookies & dynamic IP?

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