Static vs. Dynamic IP: What Is the Difference?

You’ve surely heard of the static vs dynamic IP dilemma. And if you’re reading this article you are probably wondering what actually sets them apart and why the type you use matters.

In this blog post, we’ll explain the key differences between static and dynamic IP addresses. You’ll learn how they affect your internet connection and why it matters in today’s digital world. Get ready to demystify IP addresses and understand their importance.

What is an IP address?

An IP address is a unique number assigned to each device on a network. It’s like a digital address that allows computers and devices to communicate with each other.

While computers prefer numbers, humans prefer names. That’s where the Domain Name System (DNS) comes in. It acts like an internet address book, translating words (like into IP addresses. These addresses can be assigned to anything that connects to the internet, from computers to smart speakers to refrigerators. When you enter a URL in your web browser, DNS looks up the IP address associated with that domain.

There are two versions of IP addresses commonly used: IPv4 and IPv6.

IPv4 has four sets of numbers separated by periods (e.g.,, while IPv6 has six sets of numbers separated by colons (e.g., 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334).

We’re almost out of IPv4 addresses, but IPv6 provides a practically infinite number of addresses.

What are the two types of IP addresses and what sets them apart?

There are two types of IP addresses: static and dynamic. The main difference between them lies in how they are assigned and whether they change over time.

Static IP

Static IP addresses are manually assigned to devices and remain the same unless changed by the user or network administrator. Think of them as fixed addresses, like having a permanent spot in a parking lot. With a static IP, your device always has the same address, making it easy to locate and connect to.

Dynamic IP

On the other hand, dynamic IP addresses are automatically assigned by a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server. They are temporary and can change each time you connect to the network. Dynamic IPs are like borrowing a different parking spot each time you visit a place. These addresses are more commonly used as they allow internet service providers to efficiently manage and allocate IP addresses to their customers.

Which one is better: static or dynamic?

The choice between static and dynamic IP addresses depends on your specific needs. Static IPs are often preferred for certain tasks like running servers or remote access, as they provide a consistent and reliable address. Dynamic IPs, on the other hand, are typically used for regular internet users who don’t require a fixed address and can benefit from the flexibility and efficient allocation of resources.

Now that we understand the basic difference between static and dynamic IP addresses, let’s explore their advantages and considerations in more detail.

Advantages of a static IP

A static IP address comes with several advantages that make it a suitable choice for certain situations.

Reliable accessibility

A static IP address ensures that your device is always easily accessible. Whether you’re hosting a website or running a remote desktop connection, having a fixed address means others can reliably find and connect to your device.

Server hosting

If you’re running a server for gaming, website hosting, or any other purpose, a static IP is often necessary. It allows users to consistently connect to your server without the risk of the IP address changing and causing disruptions.

Remote access

If you frequently need to access your device remotely, such as through a virtual private network (VPN) or remote desktop connection, a static IP simplifies the process. With a fixed address, you can easily connect to your device from anywhere, anytime.

Enhanced security

Static IPs can provide improved security measures. By whitelisting specific IP addresses, you can restrict access to your network or specific services, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

Avoiding blacklisting

Some websites or online services may have security measures in place that block or limit access from dynamic IP addresses. By using a static IP, you can bypass such restrictions and ensure uninterrupted access.

Understanding the benefits of a static IP address allows you to assess whether it aligns with your specific needs and requirements.

Disadvantages of a static IP address

While static IP addresses have their advantages, they also come with a few potential disadvantages to consider.

  • The complexity of the setup. Configuring a static IP address requires manual setup and configuration on your device. This process can be more complex than simply connecting to a network with a dynamic IP, as it involves understanding TCP/IP protocols and network settings. Users with limited technical knowledge may find this challenging.
  • Limited mobility. Static IPs are tied to a specific device or network location. If you frequently change locations or connect from different networks, using a static IP address may be impractical. Each new network would require reconfiguration of the IP settings, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming.
  • Additional cost. In comparison to dynamic IPs, static IP addresses may come with an additional cost. ISPs often charge extra for providing a fixed IP address. Before opting for a static IP, it’s important to consider the potential financial implications.
  • Less anonymity. Static IP addresses can be easier to track and potentially link to your specific device or location. If anonymity is a concern, a dynamic IP might offer better privacy protection, as it changes regularly and is not directly tied to your identity.

How to set a static IP address?

Setting a static IP address involves some technical steps, and it’s important to note that it’s considered an advanced networking function. Before proceeding, ensure that you have a basic understanding of TCP/IP protocols and networking concepts. Here’s a general guide to setting a static IP address.

  1. Determine the IP address range. Identify the IP address range that your network uses. This information is typically provided by your router or network administrator. It includes the network address (e.g., and the subnet mask (e.g.,
  2. Choose an available IP address. Within the IP address range, select an available IP address that you want to assign to your device. Make sure it doesn’t conflict with any other device on the network.
  3. Access the network settings. Open the network settings on your device. The steps vary depending on the operating system you’re using. Generally, you can find the network settings in the Control Panel (Windows) or System Preferences (Mac).
  4. Configure the IP address. Look for the option to manually configure the IP address settings. It may be labeled as “Static IP” or “Manual IP.” Enter the chosen IP address, along with the subnet mask and default gateway (router’s IP address). You may also need to specify DNS server addresses.
  5. Save and apply the settings. Once you’ve entered the necessary details, save the settings. Your device will now use the assigned static IP address when connecting to the network.

It’s important to highlight that if you’re currently using a dynamic IP address and want to switch to a static IP, you’ll need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Request a static IP address from them, as they are responsible for assigning and managing IP addresses for your network.

Remember, if you’re not confident in configuring a static IP address on your own, it’s recommended to seek assistance from a knowledgeable friend or IT professional to ensure the process is completed correctly and without any disruptions to your network connection.

Advantages of a dynamic IP

Dynamic IP addresses offer several advantages that make them a practical choice for most users:

Easy setup

With a dynamic IP address, the setup process is usually effortless. You don’t need to manually configure any settings on your device. The IP address is automatically assigned by your ISP when you connect to the network.


Dynamic IPs are typically included as part of your internet service package at no additional cost. You don’t have to pay extra for a fixed IP address, making it a budget-friendly option for regular internet users.

Efficient resource allocation

ISPs utilize dynamic IP addresses to efficiently manage their network resources. Since IP addresses are temporary and assigned on an as-needed basis, ISPs can allocate them dynamically to different devices and users. This ensures optimal utilization of available IP addresses within their pool.


Dynamic IPs provide flexibility, especially for users who frequently change locations or connect from different devices. Whether you’re at home, at a coffee shop, or on the go, your device can obtain a new IP address each time you connect to a network without any manual configuration.

Enhanced privacy and security

Dynamic IP addresses offer a level of privacy and security since they are not associated with a specific individual or device permanently. The temporary nature of dynamic IPs makes it challenging for others to track your online activities or target your device directly.

ISP-assigned changes

If you’re facing any network connectivity issues or need to resolve any IP-related conflicts, having a dynamic IP can be advantageous. Simply resetting your modem or router can result in a new IP address being assigned by your ISP, potentially resolving any technical difficulties.

Dynamic IP addresses are well-suited for most internet users who don’t require a fixed address. They offer simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and adaptability for everyday online activities.

Disadvantages of a dynamic IP

While dynamic IP addresses offer convenience and flexibility, they also come with their fair share of considerations to keep in mind.

  • Changing IP addresses. With dynamic IPs, your address can change each time you connect or reconnect to the network. This variability can make it challenging for others to locate and connect to your device consistently, especially if you’re hosting servers or services that require a fixed IP address.
  • Limited remote access. If you need to access your device remotely, such as through a VPN or remote desktop connection, the changing IP addresses of dynamic IPs can complicate the setup process. You may need to rely on additional tools or services to dynamically track and connect to your device.
  • Potential service interruptions. When your dynamic IP address changes, any ongoing connections or services relying on that IP may experience interruptions. This can impact activities like online gaming, file transfers, or video conferencing sessions.
  • Blacklisting possibility. Some websites or online services may have security measures in place that block or limit access from dynamic IP addresses. This can be an inconvenience if you find yourself unable to access certain websites or services due to IP blacklisting.
  • Reliance on DHCP. Dynamic IP addresses rely on DHCP servers to assign addresses to devices. If there are issues with the DHCP server or network configuration, it can lead to delays or difficulties in obtaining an IP address and connecting to the network.
  • Potential security risks. Dynamic IP addresses, by nature, can offer a level of privacy and security as they change periodically. However, they can also be more susceptible to certain types of attacks, such as IP spoofing or unauthorized access attempts when the IP address is refreshed.

How to hide your IP address?

To hide your IP address and enhance your online privacy, there are several methods you can employ. One of the most effective and commonly used approaches is to use a VPN. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a secure server, effectively masking your IP address and making it difficult for others to trace your online activities.

When it comes to choosing a VPN service, HQ VPN offers a range of advanced features, including strong encryption, a wide network of servers, and a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your data remains secure and private. By using HQ VPN, you can browse the web anonymously, access geo-restricted content, and enjoy a safer online experience.

In addition to using a VPN, other methods to hide your IP address include using the Tor network, which anonymizes your internet connection by routing it through a series of volunteer-operated servers, and utilizing proxy servers, which act as intermediaries between your device and the websites you visit.

How to find out your IP address

To find out what your current IP address is, use our free online IP checker. Not only will you see your current IP address, but also you’ll be able to see:

  • The approximate location of the server you’re connected to;
  • Your internet service provider;
  • Your operating system;
  • Your browser.

Taken aback by how much information can be uncovered just from your IP address? 

An IP address can reveal a significant amount of information about you as a user, and this fact can be a significant privacy concern for many people. If you want to dive deeper into the subject, be sure to check out this post.

Image by natanaelginting on Freepik.