What is Static IP? What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
What is static IP, which has gained importance with the introduction of CGNAT, is it necessary to use it? We answer all the questions you have in mind!
The internet, which has become a part of our lives, can confuse us with more than one concept due to its nature. These include MAC addresses, IP addresses, protocols, and many more. Today, we are again looking at one of these concepts, Static IP. Before we talk about what a static IP is, let’s briefly look at what an IP address is.
What is an IP Address?
The IP address (Internet Protocol Address) is the address that devices connected to the Internet use to exchange data with each other on the network.
Every device connected to the Internet is assigned an IP address by the Internet Service Provider and other devices on the Internet reach these devices with the IP addresses given. Even if two different devices with IP addresses are not on the same network, they can communicate with each other through routers.
What is a static IP?
Static IP is a fixed IP address that is assigned to a computer that connects to the internet so that it does not get a different IP each time it connects. This address consists of 4 sections, each of which can contain a 3-digit number (up to a maximum of 255) and is given by internet service providers.
An IP address (internet protocol address) acts as a unique identifier for a device connecting to the internet. We can compare this to the addresses of our homes. Computers use IP addresses to find and talk to each other on the internet, just like people use their phone numbers to make WhatsApp calls and talk to each other. It can also provide information such as an IP address, hosting provider, and geolocation data.
For example, when a user wants to visit windowscult.com, the computer consults DNS (Domain Name System), which works like a phone book. DNS servers map a site’s domain name to the required IP address with the network protocol. In this way, we can access the site we want using only the domain name, without having to enter an IP address for a long time. In other words, DNS servers work like a phone book by preventing us from entering the 4-part IP address here.
Why do we need a static IP?
Static IP addresses are not a standard for now. For this reason, in order to use Static IP, you must apply to your internet service provider individually or corporately and purchase this service additionally. So why would you need a Static IP and pay extra for this service?
For example, businesses have to use Static IP for many services such as voice over IP technologies (VoIP), remote server control, employee access to operating systems from their homes, and access to in-house data storage servers. If a Static IP address is not determined for these services, employees must learn the IP address that changes each time. However, since there is no changing value with Static IP, this trouble is eliminated.
Businesses also use a static IP address to facilitate operations with FTP, email, and virtual private network (VPNs) servers, database servers, network equipment, and web hosting services. In these cases, businesses that will be handling a lot of data in these areas see having a static IP address as a convenience for employees and customers who need to connect to the organization’s servers.
Using a variable, that is, a dynamic IP address, is also very troublesome, apart from the services we have mentioned. For example, imagine you own a website. The IP address of the server this website is connected to is constantly changing. This means that the server communicates with the DNS servers and operates the new IP address every time the IP changes. This may seem simple when reading, but the process takes hours, sometimes days. This indicates that there will be constant connection problems to the website in question. However, if you use a Static IP, your website will continue to serve as usual, as this process will not be repeated. That’s why websites are hosted behind static IP addresses that rarely change.
In addition, DNS servers often use Static IP addresses (like 22.214.171.124 / 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 / 184.108.40.206). If the IP address changes regularly, the DNS server needs to be reconfigured as often as in the website example. Again, that means cuts.
When a device’s domain is unreachable, the computer can still connect to a server on the network using a Static IP address. As an example, a computer can be set up to always connect to a Static IP address instead of a server’s hostname. This means that the computer can connect to the origin server even if the DNS server is not working properly. All you need to know is the static IP address of the server.
In short, any service or feature that requires a stable connection should have a static IP address.
While it may seem fine for the end user, when an IP address is changed, any previously connected user will be disconnected and then have to wait to find the new address and reconnect. Therefore, services that require a consistent connection, such as file system services or online gaming, use a static IP address.
You can also use Static IP in your local networks. In other words, to access any device in your home, you do not have to worry about learning the IP address every time with the local static IP that you pre-determined. You can do this from the DHCP menu on your modem or router, or you can do it directly from your computer.
How do static IP addresses work?
Static IPs are not a standard service as we mentioned above. This is because IPv4, which is still widely used, restricts the number of IP addresses. For this reason, Static IP addresses are offered by the internet service providers (ISPs) you use for certain fees. In other words, if you need a Static IP address for an individual or corporate reason, you can get a Static IP address service by contacting your current operator’s customer service or applying directly on the website. After doing this, restarting your modem is all you need to do to start using Static IP.
The number of Static IP addresses available is very limited due to the IPv4 standard. This means that requesting a static IP address will often be costly. IPv6 is the best solution to circumvent this problem. IPv6 expands IP addresses from 32 bits to 128 bits (16 bytes) and significantly increases the number of available IP addresses, making static IP addresses easier and cheaper to obtain and operate. The majority of internet traffic still uses IPv4 today, but more internet traffic is shifting to using IPv6. For example, TurkNet can now define IPv6 for individual users in Turkey if they request it.
IPv6 will allow up to 340 undecillion unique IP addresses. So you have to put 36 more zeros after 340. This expansion to the total amount of IP addresses will allow the internet to grow significantly in the future and eliminate the IP address scarcity.
Pros and cons of static IP addresses
The advantages of a static IP address are as follows;
- An unchanging address for mail, FTP, and web servers.
- A fixed address for IP-based audio software, VPN, and game servers (for example, online games you install on your computer).
- A healthier connection: Even if there is an interruption because the IP address does not change, packet exchange can be made later.
- Allows file servers to upload and download files faster.
- A static IP makes it easy for any geolocation service to access a device’s location.
- Static IPs facilitate remote access to the computer.
- A device with a static IP address enabled does not need the device to send renewal requests.
- Static IP addresses also allow network administrators to remotely monitor running servers.
- It is easier for administrators to monitor internet traffic and assign access to users by IP address.
The disadvantages of a static IP address are as follows;
- Limits the amount of IP addresses (especially if it’s IPv4). Static IP address assigned to a device or website cannot be reused because it is occupied even when the device is turned off and not in use.
- Because the IP address is fixed and cannot be easily changed, a static IP address is more vulnerable to hackers or tracking attacks.
- Setting the static IP manually can take some ingenuity.
- Devices with static IP are easier to monitor.
How to get a static IP?
If you are an individual internet user and want to use Static IP for your internet service, all you have to do is to apply for a static IP to your service provider. After your static IP service is started, simply restart your modem.
After this point, you should purchase the Static IP service from the ISP, that is, the operator from which you purchased the internet service.
Static and dynamic IP address difference
A static or dynamic IP address is given when people connect their homes or companies with internet service. However, you will find that dynamic IP addresses are used instead of static IP addresses for the reasons we have mentioned – especially for home use. However, a Static IP address has some advantages in certain business-centric use cases.
The main difference between static and dynamic IP addresses is in their static and dynamic terminology. In a literary sense, the term static refers to a character that stays the same throughout a story, and the term dynamic character refers to a character that changes throughout the story. Static and dynamic IP addresses follow the same pattern. Static means unchanging and dynamic means change. This means that the numbers associated with a static IP address do not change, but the numbers associated with a dynamic IP address do.
Normally a dynamic IP address can stay the same for days, weeks or longer, but it can also be changed by the ISP or by turning the modem off and then back on. Address change also does not affect the end user. The address can change even when the user is using the internet.
A static IP address, on the other hand, does not change and is charged by the service providers. Static IP addresses should be separated from a limited number of IP addresses. Static IP addresses stay the same no matter what the user does, unless they ask the ISP to change it.
Is a static IP address secure?
Unfortunately. Static IP addresses are seen as less secure than dynamic IP addresses. Because static IP addresses don’t change, data may be easier for a hacker to find and gain access to. The unchanging numbers of static IP addresses also increase the likelihood of being affected by attacks that follow them. Static IP addresses are also easier to track. However, this does not mean that Static IP addresses are completely insecure. Various measures (eg firewall, access restriction protocols, etc.) you will take will prevent these problems.
However, the security shortcomings found in dynamic IP addresses can be mitigated by implementing a router firewall, security suite, or VPN. For example, a VPN can help hide your network address, making it harder to find the physical location of the device. While these measures don’t guarantee that all data will always be secure, they can help by a large margin, making it a good idea to implement additional security processes.