What is an IP address?
An internet protocol (IP) address is a series of exclusive numbers that are designated by an Internet service provider (ISP) to any device that is connected directly to the Internet. IP addresses allow devices to exchange data.
What is a Dynamic IP?
A dynamic IP means that the number assigned by an ISP would be a temporary address that is assigned to a computer. A domain host configuration protocol (DHCP) server is tasked with assigning IP addresses to every new electronic device (node) on the network. Dynamic IP addresses can be reassigned to different nodes on the network and do not stay fixed to one node.
What is a Static IP?
A static IP is a permanently fixed number IP address assigned by an ISP.
A simple way to think about a static IP is that it is an address for your business or residence on the Internet. Much like a physical street address, a static IP is able to tell other computers or servers on the Internet exactly where a specific computer is located or connected to the Internet.
As you can see the difference between static and dynamic IP is that the static IP stays constant and does not change. This can offer several benefits to your business as far as the different services that may be available to you.
Public Static IP vs. Private Static IP
Public static IP addresses (or external IPs) are fixed IP addresses that are provided by your Internet Service Provider. Private Static IPs (or internal IPs) are fixed IP addresses that are configured for your network devices for your private local network by your IT solutions provider.
What Services and Equipment Would Require a Static IP?
FTP servers are useful for establishing a method of transferring files between different employees that are connected to the local network.
Hosting the website for your business on your own server requires the use of a static IP. If you would like control of the configuration of your web server and would like to save money, hosting your own website may be advantageous.
Email can be critical to the productivity of your business. Businesses that manage their own email servers also require a static IP address. A manually configured email server will allow a business to have more control over things such as how sensitive your spam filter is or where incoming email comes from. In addition, hosting email in-house, in many cases, is more private and secure than utilizing a shared server.
Many businesses rely on database servers to house important information such as customer billing data or unique information specific to company products or services. Once again, database servers require a static IP because the node or computer that is requesting information from the database needs to know exactly where the data resides.
Virtual Private Network (VPN Service)
It is common in today’s work environment to have remote employees or workers. This is just one example of why many businesses would need a VPN for remote access to their business network. When a VPN tunnel is created, a specific permanent Internet protocol (IP) address would be required.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
VOIP systems offer the benefit of lower costs, increased flexibility and more features than a traditional business phone system. Not all VOIP systems require a static IP but many recommend them.
Other Network Equipment
If your business has other network equipment, such as webcams, many of those devices would require a static IP to access them as well.
Since the ISP assigns a fixed IP to your network instead of a dynamic IP, this typically results in a more reliable connection. Through a dynamic host, your IP address changes which could lead to inconsistencies in your connection.
Easier for Geolocation Services
Services that need to establish a physical location are more accurate when you are consistently utilizing the same Internet protocol addresses.
While a static IP many not be critical for every business, many businesses would benefit from utilizing a fixed Internet protocol for the applications or tools that their day-to-day operations require.