What Is A Static IP Address, How Do I Get One & Its Advantages/Disadvantages
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Updated by Gavin Phillips on 04/15/2017

In home networks, IP addresses aren’t usually fixed, but they do fall within specific ranges. Your router will assign a new IP address automatically if another computer joins the network, or if your configuration changes. For the most part, this works out just fine — you shouldn’t notice a difference to your Internet performance or application functionality if your IP changes.

A static IP address however, is one that doesn’t change. Your computer decides upon the address it wants, and it tells the router. Why would you want to set up something like this? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? Is there a better solution?

What Is A Static IP?

When we talk about IP addresses of home computers, we are usually referring to two types of address. One is your external IP address – the one that the world sees as your Internet connection. Then you have your private IP addresses internally on your home network. Even if you only have one computer on your home network, it will have a private IP given to it by the router. Private IP addresses cannot be routed over the Internet and are strictly for private use. There are a few possible ranges of private IP address, but for most home users this will be 192.168.*.* (where * can be anything).

Your router interface, for instance, is likely accessible through 192.168.0.1 — this is a private address. Your home computers might then be anything from How to Trace an IP Address to a PC & How to Find Your Own How to Trace an IP Address to a PC & How to Find Your Own Want to see the IP address of your computer? Perhaps you want to discover where another computer is situated? Various free tools are available that tell you more about a computer an its IP address. Read More 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.254. Most routers will just assign internal addresses on a first come first served basis. The first computer you plug into the router will send out a network request saying “I need an IP address, my hardware address is x.x.x.x.x.x” and will be assigned 192.168.0.2, then the next will get 192.168.0.3.

Your external IP address is not something you can change — it is given to you automatically by your Internet provider. You can purchase a static external IP address, but they are incredibly expensive. If you do need to access your home network from a remote location, consider getting a dynamic address that will update itself when your IP changes Connect To Your Home PCs From Anywhere With DynDNS Connect To Your Home PCs From Anywhere With DynDNS Read More .  For a home network though, you are free to assign static, non-changing IP addresses to whatever computers you want. Let’s a take a look at when you would do this.

static ip address

Why Would I Need A Static Private IP Address & What Are The Advantages?

Essentially, you need a static IP anytime you are trying to forward certain packets from the Internet to certain computers or devices on your home network. For example:

A Local Web Server

In order to set up a web server on your home network How To Build A Linux Web Server With An Old Computer [Part 1] How To Build A Linux Web Server With An Old Computer [Part 1] Read More that is accessible by anyone in the world, you need to forward incoming requests on port 80 to your web server machine. If the web server was to restart and get a new IP from the router, the special rule that you created to forward requests on port 80 to the old server IP address wouldn’t work anymore, and your server would break.

Remote Torrent Management

A few weeks ago I showed you how to manage your torrent client from a remote computer How To Control Your Torrent Client From Your Mobile Phone How To Control Your Torrent Client From Your Mobile Phone Read More or mobile phone, but it involved forwarding requests on port 9091 to the machine running the torrent client. We found out the address of the machine and created a rule based on that, but again, if the address was to change, the remote management wouldn’t work.

Gaming

For some older routers and gaming setups, you needed to forward certain ports to your Xbox, Playstation, or PC to play online multiplayer games. More recent routers include an automated setup procedure called uPNP What Is UPnP & Why Is It Dangerous? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is UPnP & Why Is It Dangerous? [MakeUseOf Explains] Technology in the computer age has been plagued with unsecured features, security loopholes, and general oversights in software architecture. Flash drives can carry keyloggers. Browsers might have open backdoors. Windows constantly updates with security fixes.... Read More which eliminates the need to set up rules by hand.

Disadvantages Of A Static IP

Static IPs need to be configured manually. You will need to make a few changes to your router configuration, too How to Configure Your Router to Make Your Home Network Really Secure How to Configure Your Router to Make Your Home Network Really Secure Default router settings put your network at risk, allowing freeloading strangers to squeeze nadwidth and potentially commit crimes. Use our summary to configure your standard router settings to prevent unauthorized access to your network. Read More . In this respect, they are said to have an “administration overhead,” because you need to keep track of the settings yourself. For home networks, this usually isn’t an issue with only a few machines to worry about. But for corporations and companies this is quite a problem.

Without correct router configuration, you are also likely to see more IP address conflict errors What's an IP Conflict, and How Do You Resolve It? What's an IP Conflict, and How Do You Resolve It? Have any of your devices ever displayed an error message pertaining to an IP address conflict? Read More . For example, if you set one of your machines to the IP address 192.168.0.10, and your router continues to hand out IP addresses automatically, then at some point, another machine will be given the same IP! Basically, static IPs can be quite problematic.

The Solution: Reserved Addresses

Instead of having to manually configure the settings on every PC we want to give a static IP address to, we will simply “reserve” the address we want to give them in the router’s automatic IP address system. By doing this, we ensure our machines have an IP address that will never change, without actually assigning a “static” IP address as such, which would complicate things. To do this, open up your router configuration page and look for a section on DHCP or LAN IP.

Look at the section labelled Static Leases or Reserved Lease Info. There are two or more fields that need to be filled in. First is the hardware address (6 pairs of alphanumeric characters), which is unique to every network device in the world. Second is the IP you wish to assign it. You should be able to see your hardware address in the list of current “leases” (a lease refers to the address that the router has automatically lent to your device) next the IP it is currently assigned. If not, type IPCONFIG /ALL (from Windows command prompt) or IFCONFIG (from an OS X Terminal) and look for either the Ethernet or Physical Address.

how to obtain a static ip address

In this case, I want the device with the hardware address E0:CB:4E:A5:7C:9D, currently with IP 192.168.0.10, to stay that way forever. Enter this information to create a new reserved address.

static ip address

You can also change the IP address from here if you’d like the reserved one to be different to what it is currently, but you will need to restart the device in order to get the new address. You are basically “tying” a particular local IP address to a particular piece of hardware.

Now You Can Be Static

That’s it – now your address won’t change after a restart and you can keep your special routing rules the same.

Confused? Problems? Feel free to ask in the comments! I will endeavor to answer as best as I can – but remember that every router model is slightly different.

Image Credit: Todja via Shutterstock.com

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  1. Noorquacker
    September 13, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Well...you should've said something about having it a local static IP address instead of a global IP, I'm still wondering if I need to request an IP address from ARIN to get a static IP.

    • James Bruce
      September 14, 2017 at 8:46 am

      You can't request a static IP from ARIN. Residential ISPs don't offer static IPs. They are very expensive, and the articles explain exactly why you don't need one.

  2. Trevor Jones
    May 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Brilliant info and in lay mans language, thank you do much.

  3. Zwe
    April 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Good day, I have a related question. I have WiFi router and have just added an Access Point using an older router. I now realise that my computers (laptop and desktop) do not pick up the connection on the AP. I set a static address on the route and disabled DHCP...I ve followed all the guides, videos, command prompt actions on the net- this is unresolved. I get the message "no internet, secured" on both the Windows 7 laptop and Win 10 desktop.

    Our mobile phones can connect on this AP - its just the computers. I have tried to match the security settings "WAP2-Personal/AES" etc to no avail. Strangely, when I move both machines to the room that has the main router they connect automatically!

    Could this be the static IP address/ Firewall / Anti V software!

  4. Arpad
    February 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Hi James,

    Thanks again.
    Now I have a related question (related to wireless but not to static IP):

    Which is better; being on the same channel as others, since the default channels automatically selected by most routers are 1, 6 and 11, and that way interference is low… or manually set a different channel, let’s say 3 or 9 that nobody else uses in my neighborhood, but these might get lots of interference from all the automatically set routers defaulting to the 1-6-11 channels?

    Thanks.

  5. Arpad
    February 6, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Hi James,

    Thanks for this very detailed guide.

    My main concern is my wireless printer and that after each power outage I’m unable to print wirelessly – I somehow have to restart the printer and/or add it again to the network manually.
    Could it be that with a static/reserved IP address this wouldn’t be the case?
    Now I’ve set a static IP address via the printer’s web interface, since my router seems to forget the reserved DHCP address each time I restart the router.
    Now it works, I can print on this static IP address.
    I’m curious whether there will be any problem after a power outage when I want to print from my Chromebook via Google Cloud Print… time will tell…

  6. Sabrina Lake
    January 15, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I am trying to set up my security cameras in my store and I was told I need a static IP.... so this is what I do have...I have a WiFi router with a sim card in it with my cell service provider. I have 8 wifi cameras and the control box they hook up to and I have a computer monitor that I hook up to the control box to set everything up. This system also comes with an app so I can view the cameras on my phone live. My goal is to do exactly that....view my cameras on my phone no matter where in the world I am. So my question is this...how do I set up a static IP for my system?

    • James Bruce
      January 16, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Who told you you need a static IP? You don't. And you likely can't get one anyway, without paying your ISP a separate fee for a fixed line, if they even offer the service, which they probably don't. Instead, you can use a dynamic DNS service: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-best-dynamic-dns-providers-can-lookup-free-today/

      These give you a web address, basically, and update automatically when your IP changes. If you have a computer running on the network, you can use client software on that to update the IP. Or your router may support it. In some cases you get a free one with your router. For instance, my netgear router allows me to set up one dynamic address and automatically handles updating the IP if it changes.

      You might not even need to do that, though. Many DVR security systems will automatically open themselves through the router. I can log in to this Reolink system and view from anywhere: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/reolink-diy-security-adk8-20b4-review/ . So it may just be a case of forwarding a specific port or enabling UPnP on your router, tweaking the security settings to allow it through.

      Without knowing exactly what system you have and taking a look at your router config, it's tough to give a better answer, but you certainly don't need a static IP. Check with your security system support team first, they will be able to better advise (unless they're the ones that said you need a static IP...)

      • Dan
        May 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm

        Can you help me out? Same situation. Tyco is installing security cameras and told me I either need a public static IP or need to setup port forwarding. I tried to setup port forwarding and get an error... On my comcast business gateway I setup the port range for forwarding to ports 8000-8010, choose TCP/UDP protocol, and then enter the IP address that they are going to put the camera on, which is 10.0.1.70. When I do this I get an error "Server IP isn't in LAN IP address subnet."

        Our network consists of Comcast Business gateway that I can access by going to 10.1.10.1. Connected to the Comcast Business gateway is an Apple Wireless router with the IP address 10.1.10.10. When I go to command prompt and type ipconfig, my local computer which is connected wirelessly to the Apple Wireless router, gives the IPv4 address of 10.0.1.31 and the default gateway is 10.0.1.1. Why am I getting the error when I try to setup port forwarding and how can I fix it???

  7. Pauline
    October 27, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Thanks. Helped me out. Very useful tip!

  8. Clarence Myrick
    October 13, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I have a envy 4500 printer & every time i try to print it says printer off line l think the ip address is changing causeing this, have uninstalled & reinstalled several times but still says offline,
    Any suggestions to what causeing this

  9. Muhammad Taha
    August 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Hi, i want to forward my port for Cs 1.6. someone told me that i need a static ip . Please would you tell me that can i get a static Ip through Command Prompt Such as using "ipconfig" or another tool that might help. Thanks Looking forward for your reply thanks.

    • James Bruce
      August 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      You can't. You need access to the router config, then you can assign a reserved IP address, not a static IP.

  10. Abu-Hafss
    August 2, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Hi

    I want to maintain a database server at my home which I want to access remotely from my office or on the go.

    Will a static IP do the job or I might need a dedicated IP for the server.

    Regards

    Abu-Hafss

  11. Anonymous
    July 19, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Yes. I've debased myself to the point of checking the phone.

    Samsung S6

  12. Anonymous
    July 19, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Why would someone's history show:

    static.bada.com
    google search
    static.bada.com
    google search

    And so on. It's not done for any other internet browsing and not even for all google seearches.

    Also, this person doesn't know how to delete history or use incognito.

    I won't bother you anymore. Thanks.

    • James Bruce
      July 19, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      static.bada.com contains resources for an old Samsung smartphone running Bada OS, so I assume you're checking their phone, and it's a Samsung phone?

  13. Wren Cage
    July 19, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Is this a way someone could hide his internet search history?

    Signed,
    The Suspicious Wife

    • James Bruce
      July 19, 2016 at 8:54 am

      ... no. Clearing search history is a trivial matter anyway, and they would probably use "incognito" mode, which doesn't even save the history in the first place.

  14. christine
    July 1, 2016 at 7:43 am

    hello,

    i'm having a software/website developed for work. i was told that i need to have static IP for the query to access the data from an opc server. I only have 1 computer that needs to access the opc server. my question is, can i do the "reserved addresses" approach? Thanks!

    • James Bruce
      July 1, 2016 at 7:45 am

      Assuming your OPC server is on the local network and not at a remote location, yes, you should be fine using a reserved address. If it's a remote server, over the internet, then you would need an actual, static IP address from your ISP.

  15. Jacob Polasek
    June 28, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    My ISP put us on a static IP and now im having issue with almost every device in the house i tried manually assigning the ps4 an IP address on the router and even forwarded the ports it needs to that ip but it seems that its still haveing trouble it days it connected but the psn doesnt always connect and the service status of the psn is just fine also sometimes it lets me connect and other times it wont let me connect at all and with that aslo it will continue to download updates no problem even though i cant get online to play games any idea what im doing wrong?

    • James Bruce
      June 29, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Static IP shouldn't make a difference to anything on the internal network. You also shouldn't need to assign IPs, and port forwarding is not really necessary nowadays. Find the section for "uPnP" in your router configuration, and make sure it's enabled. Switch back to DHCP ip assignment internally.

      To be clear, PSN can download updates and browse the web even if ports are not being forwarded. Gaming required open ports though. By using uPnP, the correct ports will always be opened.

  16. RL
    March 3, 2016 at 3:52 am

    So the old fashion way is to set private static IP from the computer network settings and you're saying the better way is to "reserve" set a static IP from the router interface? Is this correct?o need to change anything on the compuer netwok setting?

    • James Bruce
      March 3, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Yes, use reserved IPs instead, which are centrally managed from the router interface. You'll need to change the individual PCs to use the standard DHCP method to fetch an IP address. The router will know to assign them the same IP each time since it's reserved, even though the PCs will think they're getting a dynamic address each time.

      The problem with static routing is that the router doesnt know about it, so it may create overlaps accidentally, and if you have lots of devices (like IoT sensors), you might yourself forget what you assigned already elsewhere.

  17. Ionut Iustin Radu
    February 14, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I got few quess,
    I want to make my PC live, like a server can I do that on computer?
    Do I need a new device to attach on the modem wifi?

    I means I want a IP for my computer on localhost to puch some stuffs on internet.

  18. Anonymous
    November 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you very much you made my day.I urgently wanted to change my ip from my mobile internet provider by going to aeroplane mod it's been changed Thanks.

  19. Anonymous
    October 25, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks. This information really helped me!!!!

  20. Anonymous
    June 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Hello Good Day to all of you! I am having trouble with the internet connection on my smart tv. I have a 4 port modem router, I use 2 of the ports (both connected via ethernet cable) 1 is for this pc and 2nd is for my smart tv. My computer is working just fine but my smart tv at first is also working just fine but later on wont connect to the internet I checked the settings wherein the IP address is 0.0.0.0 subnet mask is 255.255.255.255 default gateway and dns both has a value of 0.0.0.0 pls help

    • Deep Saha
      January 19, 2016 at 9:10 am

      ip address is not assigned thats the problem , either assign the ip manually else re-plug the wire and also select obtain ip automatically on the adapter settings..and make sure dynamic ip is enabled on router

  21. Anonymous
    June 25, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Hi I have bought an Android Digital Signage screen that has server/ software that installs on another computer, and from that computer I can connect to the screen and update the content.
    This is easy on a LAN but for a WAN the company told me I need to purchase a Static IP. I looked into it and apparently with my internet plan I get one free.

    So I understand how to make a computer have a static IP & reserve it. and my external IP is static. SO the Android screen gives me two fields "this units name" & "IP to connect to" SO what do I put in as the IP? I dont understand how to make the android find the server software when its on a computer on my network behind the router? Confused.

    Thanks for any help

    • James Bruce
      June 25, 2015 at 7:38 am

      You don't really need a static IP, but it helps. Most internet connections nowadays keep the same IP until you restart the router anyway - mine hasnt changed in 3 months. You just need to setup port forwarding on your router. To do that, you'll need to first find the port number that the signage software connects to - ask the company for this if there's no option to configure it.

      Then following the port forwarding bit of this tutorial, but substitute your specific port number and local IP address: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/give-your-arduino-project-its-own-mini-webserver-with-an-ethernet-shield/

      Then you'll give your static IP to the software, it'll attempt to connect, and your router will "forward" requests on that port, to your internal machine running the signage.

      If you cant figure out your public IP address - the one you'll use to access from the outside world - just ask google "whats my ip".

      • Martine
        May 27, 2016 at 9:35 am

        Hi there, I'm having issues with my Xbox one on multi player. Is there anyway you can help with this? My internet speed is great but I lag severely. Thank you in advance :)

    • James Bruce
      June 25, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Actually this guide on port forwarding might be better: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/what-is-port-forwarding-and-how-can-it-help-me/

  22. David
    April 22, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    I'm a university student and I'm currently having TONS of trouble with my university's wi-fi network. It turns out that the administration is focusing all of its resources into making the wi-fi fast. This means that the wi-fi network can deliver about 100 mbps up and down. And yet here I am still using the ancient CAT3 ethernet plugs (capped at 10 mbps) whenever I can around campus, because the wi-fi network is SO FREAKING UNSTABLE. It disconnects EXTREMELY often, especially when running game clients which require a constant connection between server and client. I've contacted support and they have looked at my computer, drivers, configuration of local APs, and they say everything is 100% ok. Yet 4 weeks after they closed the support ticket saying they cannot find absolutely any problem, here I am still getting disconnected every 5 minutes when i'm not plugged into the wall. My university uses DHCP to assign IP addresses over our "Secure" network. After doing some reading into the meaning of "DHCP" and static IP addresses, and also after reading the university policy on assigning static IP addresses, I'm starting to suspect that the conglomerate of IP addresses I'm being assigned is causing my network adapter to keep wanting to roam from one AP to the other. My question is, am I justified in sending a support ticket to request a static IP address while I'm on campus?

    TL;DR version: I suspect DHCP is causing my wi-fi adapter to constantly disconnect and reconnect to my university's Wi-fi network , because I have contacted support multiple times and they have looked at my computer, wi-fi adapter, their local APs, and have said that they cannot find any problem. Should I request a static IP address?

    • James Bruce
      April 23, 2015 at 7:12 am

      It's highly unlikely that this would be caused by DHCP, and they wouldn't assign you an IP address anyway.

      The truth is that WiFi sucks, and there's a million things that can go wrong with it - driver issues, a faulty bit of hardware, or interference from elsewhere. If others don't have the same issue, you can narrow it down your hardware or drivers. Depending on your setup, I would suggest either borrowing a USB WiFi to have a go with that instead (your university might have one they can lend you), or try a linux live CD (assuming your hardware is supported, which it might not be). The WiFi adapters built into older Windows laptops are particularly terrible as a lot of them rely more on the software than the hardware.

  23. Manas
    March 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Very nice article,I was actually finding how to configuring port forwarding on a dynamic ip.This procedure helped me :)

  24. Aibek
    February 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    thanks for the input

  25. Jack Cola
    February 21, 2011 at 5:46 am

    I have a static IP, and I use a service called DYNDNS.org which I enter into my router and updates my IP automatically, so I can access my computer remotely through a domain name.

    And for further reader, if you want to know the answer of the question "Can people find out where you live by knowing your IP address", you should read this post I wrote http://www.jackcola.org/blog/114-can-people-find-my-home-address-through-my-ip-address

    (By the way, they can)

  26. Jack Cola
    February 21, 2011 at 6:46 am

    I have a static IP, and I use a service called DYNDNS.org which I enter into my router and updates my IP automatically, so I can access my computer remotely through a domain name.

    And for further reader, if you want to know the answer of the question "Can people find out where you live by knowing your IP address", you should read this post I wrote http://www.jackcola.org/blog/1...

    (By the way, they can)

  27. MinaHany
    February 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    This was very useful and informative..
    I had no idea that an IP can be reserved for a certain Hardware ID
    Thanks!

  28. MinaHany
    February 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    This was very useful and informative..
    I had no idea that an IP can be reserved for a certain Hardware ID
    Thanks!