Many broadband providers offer static IP addresses, but what is a static IP address, how does it differ from a dynamic IP address, and what benefits could it provide your business? We have compiled this guide to help you understand everything there is to know about static IP broadband.
An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a unique identifier for a device on a network. It is a 32-bit number assigned to each internet-connected device.
Every device or computer that 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 to remember where to send data, similar to a postcode or a phone number.
IP addresses are typically either dynamic or static.
A dynamic IP address is a type of IP address that changes over time. Home and business broadband users typically use a dynamic IP by default. A dynamic IP address is assigned to a device when it connects to a network and can change over time. A DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server, which runs on most networks, typically assigns dynamic IP addresses when a device connects to a network.
A static IP address is a type of IP address that does not change. Once you assign a static IP address to a device, it will remain the same until it is manually changed. Businesses that need a reliable and consistent IP address often use static IP addresses.
Typically used by businesses that need a reliable and constant IP address, static IP addresses have the following features:
More secure access:
Since a static IP address does not change, it can reliably connect to devices or services on the network. This feature is essential for businesses hosting websites or online services, ensuring their customers can always reach them.
Because you don't need to update your IP safelist as often, you can save your business time while keeping your infrastructure secure.
Static IP addresses are typically more expensive than dynamic IP addresses because they require more resources from the internet service provider (ISP).
Potential security concerns:
If not managed correctly, static IP addresses can be less secure than dynamic IP addresses, as you can track the static IP address of devices and users. However, being trackable can be a benefit, and it isn't an issue if your IT team implements robust security measures.
Home users commonly use dynamic IP addresses, but some business users also use them, and they still have some advantages over static IP addresses.
Easier to manage:
As the default option for many business broadband providers, dynamic IP addresses are typically easier to manage than static IP addresses.
Dynamic IP addresses are typically less expensive than static IP addresses because they require fewer resources from the ISP.
Less reliable connectivity:
Since a dynamic IP address can change over time, it can be less reliable than a static IP address, which can be a problem for businesses that host websites or online services.
Some services are inaccessible:
Some services require a static IP address as a verification method to access them. You won't be able to access these services with a dynamic IP address.
Finding the best type of IP address for your business depends on your needs. A static IP address may be best if you need a reliable and consistent Internet connection. However, a dynamic IP address is a good choice if you want an easier-to-manage Internet connection.
Ultimately, the best way to decide which type of IP address is right for your business is to consult with your IT team or check the requirements of any hardware or software used by your business.
A static IP address allows those outside your business to connect to your computer or device quickly and easily, benefiting remote workers or those needing access to files or programs from another location. Your business might benefit from a static IP address if you meet any of the following requirements:
Virtual desktop environments used by remote workers
Internal website hosting and server management
Secure website content management
Secure file sharing and access
Secure email hosting and access
Increased VoIP call flexibility
Online CCTV access.
Businesses of every size could benefit from a static IP broadband address. Still, it's essential to be aware that static IP addresses require more time to set up than dynamic IP addresses.
If you're unsure if you need a static IP, discuss it with your development or IT teams. Alternatively, check your software and hardware providers' documentation for their recommendations.
Many business broadband providers offer free static IP addresses, but some charge a small fee. You simply need to request this service when you sign your contract.
Even if you have to pay a little extra for static IP addresses, you'll likely find that the benefits outweigh the cost, mainly as some providers charge as little as £2 per month.
Some residential broadband providers offer static IP addresses, but not all do. If you currently need a static IP address, or you think you may in the future, it's worth investing in business broadband rather than a residential broadband connection.
Alternatives are available if your business broadband provider doesn't offer static IP addresses.
Domain Name System (DNS) is essentially a directory of domain names that are translated to an IP Address. A Dynamic DNS provides a fixed domain that automatically updates whenever your IP address changes. This approach is ideal for those who require fixed remote access.
You can often set up a Dynamic DNS via your router for free.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to connect to another service or device while part of a virtual network, mimicking your presence in a specific location. Many businesses use VPNs when they have services only accessible through specific networks.
There are a wide range of VPN providers to choose from. Keep an eye open for our guide to choosing the best VPN provider.
A static IP address is just one of the benefits of a feature-packed business broadband package. Whether you need broadband for new business premises or simply want a better deal, we can help. We only need a few basic details to match your business with the best deals available from our panel of broadband providers.
There are two ways to get a static IP address:
Contact your internet service provider (ISP). Most ISPs offer static IP addresses as an add-on service. The cost of a static IP address varies depending on your ISP and location.
Use a dynamic DNS service. Dynamic DNS services allow you to assign a static domain name (URL) to your dynamic IP address. This way, your domain name will always point to your device, even if your IP address changes.
Your IP address is the unique identifier for your device on the internet. You can find your IP address by following these steps:
Open a command prompt
Type 'ipconfig' and press Enter
The 'IPv4 Address' is your static IP address.
Open your System Settings
In the 'Network' section, click 'Wi-Fi' or 'Ethernet' (for wired connections)
Click the 'Details' button next to your connected network
Your local and router IP address will be visible.
You don't need a static IP address if you are a home user who doesn't need a reliable and consistent IP address. Most home users can get by with a dynamic IP address. However, you should consider getting one if you need a static IP address for remote access or website hosting.