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A guide to static IP broadband

Many broadband providers offer static IP addresses, which is a useful feature for many business types. But what exactly is a static IP address and what benefits could it provide to your business. To help you understand everything there is to know about static IP broadband, we have compiled this short yet informative guide.

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What is a static IP address?

Every device or computer which connects to the internet has its own Internet Protocol (IP) address, which is how the network identifies the device when it connects to the broadband service. The broadband provider assigns this IP address as a way to remember where to send data to, in a similar way to a postcode or a phone number.

Standard IP addresses are dynamic, which means they change each time the device or computer is restarted. In contrast, a static IP address does not change, it is a code which remains connected to your broadband connection and your device or computer.

What are the benefits of a static IP?

In basic terms, a static IP address will allow those outside your business to connect to your computer or device quickly and easily. This is great for remote workers or those which need to access files or programs from another location. Wherever you are it will be possible to access your computer based on the saved IP address. For example, you will be able to set up an email server, which will provide you with direct contract and access to your emails However, it is worth noting that static IP addresses are easier to hack, so you will need to invest in additional security.

In addition, businesses which need to host their own website will need a static IP address, which also has the added benefit of allowing your business to run a server. These servers could be used for anything from managing a domain to sending and receiving files. The static IP address will also improve reliability, so if your business relies on making VoIP calls the potential refresh of a dynamic IP connection could cause havoc.

A static IP address will not be essential for every business; however, many business types of every size could benefit from a static IP broadband address. For example, if you are a small shop, café or restaurant and want to install CCTV, you will need a static IP address. Alternatively, if you want to be able to access your work emails via remote access to your office computer, you will need a static IP address.

How can my business request a static IP address?

Many providers of business broadband offer free static IP addresses as part of their package, you simply need to request the service when you sign your contract. You may be asked during the sign-up process whether you require a static IP, however some will include the feature as standard.

There are some providers which will charge a small fee, however for many businesses the benefits are far greater than the cost. If your provider does charge a fee for static IP addresses it could be a cost as low as £2 per month, so it is an option which is always worth considering. In comparison, the majority of residential broadband providers do not offer static IP addresses.

If you already have a contract with a broadband provider which does not offer static IP addresses, there are still options available to you. For example, Dynamic DNS is designed to attach your connection to a fixed URL, so when the IP address changes the URL is also updated automatically. This is ideal for those who require fixed remote access; however, the IP address will not remain static to the rest of the internet. 

In many cases a Dynamic DNS can be setup via your router, with many offering the service for free.

Alternatively, if your business needs to connect to another service or device, you may be able to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). You will need to connect to the internet via the VPN, which will change your businesses IP address to the address of the VPN. There are many VPN providers available, with some also offering dedicated IP services.

A static IP address is one of the many benefits of securing a feature packed business broadband package. Whether you are looking for your first business broadband connection or are simply looking to switch to a better deal, our team can help. We will get to know the specific requirements of your business, so that we can match you to the best deals available from providers which offer static IP addresses. To find out more about the benefits of static IP addresses or to compare broadband options, please contact our experienced team.

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