Every computer or other device connected to the internet has a one-of-a-kind identifier called its internet protocol (IP) address. This string of numbers comes in two main varieties: static and dynamic.
Businesses can generally get either a dynamic IP or a static IP through their internet service provider, and it’s a decision to consider carefully, says Chris Romeika, operations director and co-founder of Pangea Connected, an internet of things connectivity and solutions provider.
“This is a question that comes up with just about every client and every project we work on,” Romeika says. “And no wonder—it’s an important one.”
The difference between static and dynamic IP
A static IP address is one that never changes. Each static IP address is assigned to a single machine. If the device reboots, when it comes back online, it still has the same IP address.
A dynamic IP address, on the other hand, is assigned by the internet service provider from a pool of available numbers each time the device connects to the internet. If it reboots—or even if enough time goes by—the provider will assign it a new IP address.
Benefits of static IP
Static IPs have sizable advantages over dynamic IP addresses in some circumstances. For instance, when a server reboots, it needs to have the same IP address.
Similarly, static IP addresses allow IT experts to tap into servers and other business IT infrastructure remotely for maintenance. “Our office has a static IP, which is a central feature that makes it possible to support our local IT infrastructure,” says Gabriel Richards, founder and CEO of Endertech, a Torrance, California-based web and software development company.
Businesses with remote workers who need to access data or share applications often favor static IP addresses for the same reason. “When enabling your remote workers to log into your office network, you often will want a static IP,” because otherwise you may need to continually track the IP address changes and update that address on devices used to access the network, Richards explains.
That said, there are service providers such as No-IP that offer what’s called dynamic DNS. It creates a fixed hostname for a dynamic IP address to prevent the need to constantly update the IP address being dialed into. And more remote access solutions for business, including LogMeIn and GoToMyPC, will support both dynamic and static IPs.
Benefits of dynamic IP
At the same time, dynamic IP addresses can offer certain advantages. Security can be one. When a device gets a new IP address each time it connects to the internet, it can be harder for hackers to target and compromise the device.
Dynamic IP addresses generally cost less than static IP addresses, although Richards says the difference is not significant for most businesses. And dynamic IP addresses can be used simultaneously by several devices without needing to disconnect and manually configure each new device, which would be required with a static IP address.
Choosing between a Static IP or Dynamic IP
Static IPs may be the better choice for businesses that want to make remote access to their network and hosted applications easy. But businesses that don’t host applications, are on a tight budget or prefer the security that may be offered by having an ever-changing IP address may lean toward a dynamic IP, Romeika says.
If you aren’t able to determine the better choice for your business on your own, your internet service provider should be able to guide you through the process.
Spectrum Business offers both static and dynamic IP to our customers and can help you decide which is the better fit depending on your business needs. Contact us at 855-299-9353.Print this article