IP addresses—a series of numbers that allow devices to communicate with each other—may not be the center of your company’s internet strategy, but they’re more important than you might think. Choosing a static or dynamic IP address can have a big impact on your business goals and the technology you use to get closer to those goals.
What Is an IP Address?
Every device connected to a network is given a unique number called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This identifies devices on the internet and allows them to communicate. The most common type of IP address consists of four series of numbers broken up by periods—18.104.22.168 would be an example.
There are two types of IP addresses: static and dynamic IP. Static IP addresses remain constant, while dynamic IPs change periodically. There are positives and negatives to each type, so your unique business needs will determine which one is right for your organization.
What Is a Static IP Address?
A static IP address is assigned to a specific device and remains constant over time. Some key reasons businesses choose static IPs are convenient remote access, reliable communication, and easy server or website hosting. The extra control and capabilities outweigh the cost of paying for a static IP for many companies.
Static IP Pros:
- Simple server hosting. Simplify the process of hosting your own web, email, or File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server.
- Convenient remote access. Allow employees to work remotely because your VPN (Virtual Private Network) or other remote access option remembers and trusts your IP address.
- Reliable communication. Communicate hassle-free over Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other digital voice services.
- Easy file transfers. Send and receive data quickly with faster upload and download speeds.
Static IP Cons:
- Potential security weaknesses. Put additional security measures like firewalls in place, because a constant IP address could give hackers time to attack your network.
- Cost. Be prepared to pay extra for a static IP. They aren’t included in most internet plans. Using a static IP for hosting servers means your server would be on constantly, adding another cost.
- Complex setup. Look for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that offers the support needed to manually configure devices with a static IP. Business ISPs typically offer more support than consumer ISPs.
What Is a Dynamic IP Address?
A dynamic IP address is assigned by the network when you connect and changes periodically. This means less maintenance, but problems may arise if you’re hosting servers or use remote access programs. You’ll get dynamic IPs by default unless you request—and pay for—static IPs.
Dynamic IP Pros:
- Automatic configuration. Spend less time and money on maintenance because most devices are configured to grab an available IP address automatically.
- No additional fees. Save money by choosing dynamic IPs, which don’t cost you anything on top of your internet plan.
- Unlimited devices. Use several devices without needing to disconnect and free up IP addresses or manually configure each new device in the office.
Dynamic IP Cons:
- More downtime. Understand you could get kicked off your connection, a critical part of hosting servers or websites and VoIP services.
- Less accurate geolocation. Determine whether or not geolocation is important to your business as it could be less accurate.
- Limited remote access. Have your employees spend more time in the office as remote access can be challenging and less secure.
Is a Static IP or Dynamic IP Right for Your Business?
While most residential users don’t need a static IP, the reliability and security benefits could give your business a competitive edge.
There are three primary reasons your business should choose a static IP address:
- Your business hosts servers or websites.
- Your business uses VoIP or other digital voice services.
- Your business allows employees to work remotely often.
Choose a dynamic IP address for your business internet if you don’t use or plan to use any of the above technology or processes. Whether you prefer a budget-friendly dynamic IP solution or a more comprehensive static IP option, Frontier Business Internet plans can provide the service and support your business needs.