What is the difference between Static and Dynamic IPs?

Larus Team 2021-02-25 11:41:08 ipaddress

Understanding Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique number that serves as an identity marker for a device within a local network. Much like your cell phone has a unique number for making calls, network devices also possess an identifying number called an Internet Protocol Address. Even your smartphone, although you rarely see it, has one assigned to it.

A typical static IP address has a structure like this: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. For instance, a network device might have an IP address that looks like so:

The are two main types of IP addresses: static and dynamic. Let's look into their differences:

Static Addressing

Static IP addresses are unchanging and remain consistent. Once assigned to a network device, a static IP address doesn't change unless you intentionally modify it.

This address always points to the same network element, similar to how your phone number always connects to your phone.

The primary advantage of static IP addresses is their quick accessibility. Since the number remains constant and consistently identifies the same network element, there is no delay in accessing it. This is particularly valuable for activities that require precise and uninterrupted connections.

Dynamic Addressing

Conversely, dynamic IP addresses frequently change. A server assign these IP addresses automatically as devices connect to the network. It's a flexible system that efficiently manages IP addresses, especially in networks with many users.

A home or office router may also use a dynamic IP address. In this case, an internet service provider (ISP) will automatically assign an IP address to a router whenever it is booted on.

To assign dynamic IP addresses, a network will employ Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). This protocol assigns IP addresses to devices as they come online. It is a system that distributes available IP addresses without allocating all of them at once.

Static IP addresses don't need DHCP. They skip this bit and go right into connecting with a DNS server.

Whenever you type a website name, like larus.net for example, IP addresses through a system called the Domain Name System (DNS). It translates human readable addresses like "larus.net" into IP addresses that computers understand.

Think of DNS as a card catalog in a library, helping identify the location of network elements and directing network traffic when necessary.

Benefits of Dynamic IP Addresses

Cheaper. Dynamic IP addresses are shared among different networks. They are assigned and re-assigned depending on their availability. That's why it's ideal for home networks and office networks that don't need VPNs or web servers.

Potentially more secure. One could argue that dynamic addresses are more secure because they change -- this means that hackers cannot specifically target your dynamic network since it's a moving target.

Practically speaking, there's no difference between dynamic and static IPs when it comes to security. Networks that use static IP addresses are likely to establish higher levels of security anyway.

Benefits of Static IP vs Dynamic IP

Stability. Static IP addresses are the preferred choice when it comes to sytems that require solid connection such as email servers and remote alarm monitoring. Unlike dynamic IP addresses, static IPs create network connections that remain stable and unchanged.

This level of stability is also important for companies that require remote access from their employees. A static IP address allows them to create VPN connections to allow remote employees access office server securely.

With a static IP address you only need to configure your devices once. You won't need to reconfigure your devices each time your IP address changes.

Higher level of reliability. Static addressing gives you a higher level of control and reliability in remote scenarios. Fro example if you have an RTU (Remote Telemetry Unit) or an office server, you wouldn't want its address to change. Static IP ensures that the address remains constant, allowing you to access the unit without any disruption.

In contrast, dynamic addressing, while suitable for many home and small business networks, can pose challenges when running servers. It is not ideal either for services that require consistent connections, like web hosting or online gaming.

The bottom line is: In networks that don't require static, unchanging addresses, dynamic IP assignments are commonly used.

Closing Thoughts

The choice between static and dynamic IP addresses depends on your specific network requirements. Static IPs offer stability and reliability, making them ideal for remote monitoring and other critical applications.

Meanwhile, dynamic IPs are typically sufficient for everyday internet use where the address doesn't need to remain constant.

If you are unsure about which ones are best for you, you may get in touch with IP address experts at Larus.

If you need static IP addresses to purchase or lease, Larus can also help you get the resources you need. Contact us for a commitment-free advice on IP address leasing or buying.

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