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What is a static IP address?

What is a static IP address?

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Last updated: 05 March 2021

There are many reasons why you may want to opt for a static IP address. If you want to host your own website or set up CCTV within your premises, a static IP may be the only way of achieving this. In this article we’ll be explaining what a static IP address is and why you may benefit from getting hold of one.

What is a static IP?

An IP (internet protocol) address identifies your device whenever you connect to the internet. It’s much like any other address in some ways - when sending and receiving data, devices know where to send the data to and where it’s coming from.

These days most broadband services run off dynamic IP addresses. This means each time you turn on your device and connect to the internet, you are assigned a new unique ‘address’ for that particular session.

As you go about your business online, packets of information get sent to and from that address, but that unique number that identifies you will most probably change by the next time you connect to the internet.

A static IP, however, always remains the same. The number is always associated with the same connection and device.

Why get a static IP address?

It’s worth noting that for the vast majority of internet users, you don’t need a static IP address at all. A dynamic IP address is perfectly fine for accessing email, using social media, and accessing any other website.

However, static IPs have advantages in particular situations, and are a great way for your computer to connect with the internet more reliably. The benefits of a static IP are most useful for business users.

A few things you can do with a static IP include:

  • Run a CCTV network - you’ll need a static IP to install CCTV in your home or business premises.
  • Better connection for internet phone calls - VoIP services such as Skype and Facetime are much more reliable over a static IP connection.
  • More reliable broadband connection - having a static IP will prevent downtime associated with the refreshing of a dynamic IP address.
  • Remotely access your computer - if you don’t have a static IP, your chosen software won’t know where to go in order to access your files.
  • Host your own website - if you want to use your own server or computer to host your website (instead of using someone else’s service) you’ll need a dedicated IP address. Otherwise, whenever someone wants to access your website their computer won’t know where to access the site.
  • Run any kind of server - much like hosting your own website, if you want to run a server it will need its own static IP.
  • Getting direct mail - a static IP also allows you to run your own email server.

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Why you might not want a static IP

The main reason for not getting a static IP is that you may not really need one. As we mentioned before, for the vast majority of internet services will be perfectly fine without.

Bear in mind that getting a static IP set up will cost you more than it would to get a standard broadband deal without one. You’ll also have to consider your online security as static IPs are more vulnerable to data breaches.

How can I get a static IP?

Getting a static IP with your business broadband deal is fairly straightforward. In fact, many providers will include a static IP for free as part of their business broadband deals, including big names like BT and TalkTalk. Other providers may charge a small monthly fee for having a static IP, which you can choose to have when signing up to a contract. 
 
If you’re currently on a business broadband package and you don’t want to switch, call your provider to see if you can get set up with a static IP. You can even try this for your home broadband deal although you’re likely to pay more for this, if you can even get one at all. 
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Harry Pererra

Author: Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in web design and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and broadband. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.