What is a static IP address?
A static IP address (static IP address) is a permanent number assigned to a computer by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Static IP addresses are useful for gaming, website hosting, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.
Speed and reliability are key advantages. Because a static address is constant, systems with static IP addresses are vulnerable to data mining and increased security risks.
A static IP address is also known as a fixed address. This means that a computer with an assigned static IP address will use the same IP address when connecting to the Internet.
An ISP is assigned a range of IP addresses. The ISP assigns each address to its network computers through the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, which is configured to assign static IP addresses to specific computers. The addresses are used for network identification and communication. The allocation mechanisms vary depending on the platform.
Unlimited IP address requirements were not considered when the Internet was first designed. At the time, Internet Protocol version 4, based on 32-bit addressing (IPv4), allowed 4.2 billion unique addresses. Even then, ISPs attacked static addressing conservatively by restricting static addresses to unused IP addresses to allow temporary IP or dynamic IP addressing to requesting DHCP servers.
With the rapidly growing use of IP addressable devices, the limitations of IPv4 have become more apparent. The IPv6 protocol followed IPv4 and provided 128-bit addressing for virtually unlimited IP addresses.
The advantages of the static IP address include:
- Lower costs
- Email server hosting capabilities
- Easy maintenance
- Great for online games