Also known as a fixed address, having a static IP rather than a dynamic one can have many benefits, especially for businesses. But what exactly is a static IP address, and what benefits does it bring? This guide will help you to understand and decide whether it’s right for you or your business.
An IP (internet protocol) address is the number which your broadband provider assigns to your computer or device whenever it goes online. It’s effectively like a home address – whenever you use the internet, your IP address is used by the network, so it knows where to send data to. It only identifies the internet connection, not the user though. It is made up of a string of numbers – four segments, separated by three full stops.
For example – 12.345.678.170.
Normally, you would have a dynamic IP address. This means that the number changes every time your device is turned on or off.
In contrast, a static IP never changes – the number is always fixed to your connection and device.
Most people get on perfectly well with a dynamic IP, but a static IP could benefit business users especially. A static IP allows you to:
Static IPs are more vulnerable to hacking and data tracking, given that they tie devices to one number (though you can ‘mask’ any IP address, static or dynamic, using a Virtual Private Network or VPN). This means you will have to investigate increasing your cyber security.
They can also cost extra – dynamic IPs tend to come as standard, especially if you have regular home broadband, rather than broadband for business. However, some business providers throw one in for free, such as BT and TalkTalk.
The reason they are more expensive is because of the technical skill which they require to set up:
All an IP address is good for is keeping you connected, so for most people, it doesn’t matter whether it’s static or not. The only drawback is that your upload and download speeds might be a bit quicker with a static IP address, but you could simply upgrade your broadband if this is your concern. You can compare broadband deals with us and switch today to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.