Advantages and Disadvantages of a Static IP Explained
Most of us have a basic idea of what an IP address is, but that is typically the extent of our knowledge. IP stands for Internet Protocol and is a sequence of numbers that are assigned to devices when they connect to the internet. It allows for communication through your network and makes it easy to locate devices.
There are several kinds of IP addresses with two of the major types being static IP addresses and dynamic IP addresses. IP addresses are static when the computer is assigned a single IP address and it does not change. An IP address is considered dynamic when a new IP address is assigned every time a network connection is established.
There are distinct advantages and disadvantages of both static and dynamic IP addresses, but let’s focus on static IPs to give you a thorough understanding of what to expect with static IP addresses.
Advantages of a Static IP
- Running servers
A big advantage of utilizing a static IP address is that it can host servers, which other computers can access using their internet connection. Because static IP addresses do not change, they can be located from just about any area in the world. Different devices and operating systems can also gain remote access to networks using the IP address.
These types of IP addresses also offer more stability, as they do not change like dynamic IP addresses. Dynamic IPs change often, sometimes every couple of hours, which can mean losses in connection while using the internet. You may find yourself having to reconnect while working on tasks and facing difficulties when reconnecting.
- Faster download/upload speeds
Depending on your network, the speed of a static IP can be drastically faster than a device with a dynamic IP. DSL connections may not produce noticeable differences in speed, but broadband users with high speed connections may notice an increase in speed that is over 1 megabit. If you tend to download or upload a lot of files, documents, and data, you may want to compare static and dynamic speeds.
Disadvantages of a Static IP
- Easier tracking
Using a static IP address is like wearing red in a world of yellow – you will be able to be tracked much more easily through your internet connection. This is a disadvantage for people who want to keep their browsing history and data private, ensuring that other parties can’t easily access it.
- Manual configuration
Manually configuring a handful of different devices with a static IP address is an easy task that takes only minutes. However, organizations will find that manually configuring hundreds upon hundreds of devices can be extremely time consuming and costly, raising overhead costs.
- Not necessary for most
Most homeowners may find a static IP address beneficial, especially when using a virtual private network, or VPN. However, for businesses or server hosting, static IP addresses can take more time and money to manage, though the setup process for equipment used is simplified.
How Can I Protect My IP Address?
Whether you have a static or dynamic IP address, it needs to be protected in order to get the most out of your internet connected devices. Some tips to protect yourself from internet threats, like hackers, include:
- Use unique passwords
A unique password is one that cannot be easily guess that is not used for any of your other accounts. Many people tend to use one or two passwords for all of their accounts, which can cause problems if one account is compromised. To keep other accounts safe in the event of a breach, and to reduce the risk of account breaches, use unique passwords.
- Get a VPN
A VPN encrypts your data, so daily activities performed online will not be able to be accessed by individuals when data is being received or sent by your devices. These make it difficult to hack into your network and will often disconnect your network entirely if an attempted breach is detected. It also disguises your location as well as your identity, keeping your information private.
- Be wary of malware & phishing
Malware and other software that harms your device and compromises your data is often received via emails. When checking messages, be wary of questionable links and emails that look suspicious. Even emails that come from people or websites you know should be scrutinized to maintain your security on the web.
Static IP addresses offer many advantages, but they aren’t perfect. If you want to make sure that your network is protected and that your devices are connected and functioning, protect your network and determine whether or not a static IP address is the best choice for your home or business.