Static IP vs Dynamic IP? Every device connected to the Internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address. This IP address allows your computer to send and receive data from other devices and servers. Your IP address is issued to you by your Internet service provider (ISP). In general, ISPs may issue their clients two kinds of IP addresses: Static IP addresses or Dynamic IP addresses. As their naming suggests, Static IP addresses remain the same whereas Dynamic IP addresses constantly change. In this article, I will shed some light on the key differences between Static IP vs Dynamic IP.
Static IP Addresses Why, Not ?
A static IP address remains constant i.e. you will connect to the Internet using the same IP address at all times. The fact that your IP address does not change has both its pros and cons.
Static IP Advantages
- Static IP addresses are more reliable for VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol) as well as gaming applications.
- If you want to use your PC as a server, a static IP address provides you with an easy way to access your services from outside of your home. The main reason being that you can always use the same IP to access those services “A web server, a gaming server or file sharing “. If you use a dynamic IP you would have to use a DynDNS service that keeps mapping your IP to hostname, as you can not possible know what the IP is if it changes on the fly.
Static IP Disadvantages
- Given that your public IP address is not changing, it becomes easier to trace your Internet activity back to your IP address.
- Obtaining a static IP address can be more expensive compared to a dynamic IP address.
- One more pitfall is that you might appear to have a static IP when in reality your ISP is sharing that same IP with multiple clients.
- If your IP address get’s blocked on a gaming site/forum etc, you can not gain access again without a VPN or another tool that allows you to change your IP address.
- Hackers can take their time attacking your router/devices as they always know what your IP address is.
Dynamic IP Addresses, A Few Notes
An external public IP address constantly changes. That means that you are using a different public IP each time you log on. As with static IPs, dynamic IP addresses have their pros and cons.
Dynamic IP Address Advantages
- Dynamic IP addresses are cheaper than static IPs.
- Using a dynamic IP can give you more privacy. Given that a hacker trying to break into your network cant keep track of your IP as it keeps changing.
- If you are banned based on your IP, all you have to do is restart your router. That works most of the times.
Dynamic IP addresses Disadvantages
- You need to constantly check your IP address, given that it is always changing. The good news is that there are free services online that can do that for you, these services are called Dynamic DNS one such service is DynDNS, they are easy to setup and use.
- If you do not use a DynDNS it is going to be really challenging to access any of your home servers from the Internet.
- As with static IPs your ISP might be assigning the same dynamic IP to multiple clients
How to Check Whether your IP address is Static or Dynamic?
You can call or contact your ISP by email and ask them if you are using an external dynamic or static IP address. Alternatively, check your current IP address, note it down, and then restart your router. Once done, check your IP address again. If it is still the same, you have a static IP address. If you see a new IP address, it means you are using a dynamic IP address.
If you want to check whether you are using an internal dynamic or static IP, follow these steps.
How can I check if have an internal static or dynamic IP on Windows?
- If you are on a PC, open the program “Command Prompt“
- Type in “ipconfig /all” without the quotations and hit enter.
- Check whether there is a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ next to ‘DHCP Enabled’.
- If you see ‘Yes’, it means you are using a dynamic IP address.
- If there is a ‘No’, you have a static IP address.
How to check if you are using an internal dynamic or static IP on Mac?
- Open ‘System Preferences’ and go to ‘Network’.
- Click on ‘Advanced’ and then go to ‘TCP/IP‘.
- If you see ‘Manual’ next to ‘Configure IPv4’, you are using a static IP address.
- If you see ‘Using DHCP’, you have a dynamic IP.
How to Change a Static IP to Dynamic or Vice Versa?
In order to change your static IP address and obtain a dynamic IP address instead, you have to contact your ISP. The same procedure is also required if you want to dump your dynamic IP and get a static IP address.
How to Increase Privacy for both Dynamic and Static IP Addresses?
Your Internet privacy is still exposed regardless of whether you are using a dynamic or static IP address. Any website you visit or app you use, can see your public IP address and track your online activity. If you want to keep yourself protected at all times, you have to use VPN. A virtual private network basically allows you to encrypt all of your traffic by routing your Internet connecting via a secure VPN server.
Neither your ISP nor other potential prying eyes will be able to eavesdrop on your online activity when you are using VPN. You can also bypass all sorts of regional restrictions which would usually prevent you from watching streaming channels like Hulu, HBO GO, and Netflix. Such channels are geoblocked outside USA.
As long as you are connected to a VPN server, your public IP address will be kept hidden. If you use our IP Address Lookup tool while you are using VPN, you will see the IP address of the VPN server you are connected to. You can verify that by noting down your IP address before connecting to a VPN server and then try again once you are connected to a VPN server. You will notice that the IP changed and most likely the country as well, depending on what country the VPN server you chose is located in.
In addition to hiding your identity online, VPN is also an efficient method to bypass transparent proxies.
If you want to hide your IP address, sign up with ExpressVPN. They are one of the top VPN providers out there with over 130 different VPN locations. ExpressVPN allows you to encrypt your Internet traffic and hide your IP address from hackers and spies.
Static IP vs Dynamic IP – Conclusion
Most ISPs do provide their users with dynamic IP addresses. If you do prefer a static IP address, you can contact your ISP. Keep in mind that in most cases you will have to pay an additional cost, and there are some downfalls we mentioned above. Whatever method you do use, stay safe online and try to hide as much information about your traffic as you can.