Static IP addresses and Dynamic IP addresses explained

What is a static IP address?

A static IP (Internet Protocol) is a network address that is permanently assigned to an individual computer or account. Computers use IP addresses to locate and talk to each other on the internet, much the same way people use phone numbers to locate and talk to one another.

Do I need a static IP address?

A static IP for your home internet or business is essential when you need external devices or websites to remember your IP address. If you have the following internet services, you may be required to have a static IP address:

  • Website hosting
  • eCommerce
  • Video conferencing
  • Remote access to computers over the internet
  • Access to a virtual private network (VPN)

Is my IP address dynamic?

The easiest way to determine if your IP address is static or dynamic is to restart your computer to see if it remains the same or changes. Here's how to tell the difference:

  • Static IPs do not change. They are constant and permanently identify your specific computer. For a business, an IP address that's static is beneficial if you host websites, use voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), or use VPNs frequently. 

  • Dynamic IPs change each time you sign on to your computer and access the internet. Many home networks go this route because it's more cost-effective and generally easier to manage.

How do I find my static IP address?

The steps to find your computer's static IP depend on what type of operating system you use.

On a Mac, go to System Preferences, then to Network. Click on the "Advanced" button and select TCP/IP. You'll then be able to view the IP address for both your computer and the router.

On a PC, use the command prompt in Windows. Type cmd into Search. Click the Command Prompt, type ipconfig and hit Enter.

Can I purchase a static IP address?

CenturyLink no longer offers static IP service.

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