Which Type of IP Address Should I Use for My Business?
When setting up an Internet service for your business, you’ll learn that there are two types of IP addresses you can choose from: static and dynamic. Both options have their own unique benefits, and neither is inherently better (or worse) than the other. This can make deciding which one to choose feel tricky, especially if you’re not fully informed on how they differ. To help you make the best decision for your business, we’ve put together this guide of dynamic vs. static IP addresses. Learn about both, plus our recommendations on which to choose (and when), ahead.
What Is an IP Address?
Before we dive into the different types of IP addresses, a bit of context is needed. IP stands for Internet Protocol. In layman’s terms, the Internet Protocol is a set of rules that dictate how information can be shared via the Internet. Your IP address, meanwhile, is a unique series of numbers assigned to devices connected to the Internet. You can think of your IP address as your device’s ID card: You need to show it to be able to access the Internet.
Also important to understand is the DNS, or Domain Name System. In a nutshell, DNS automatically translates a website’s domain, or URL, into the correct IP address. Essentially, it’s what enables you to type a website’s URL into your browser and be sent to the correct page.
Let’s use the Optimum website as an example. When you type www.optimum.com into your browser, it asks the DNS for Optimum’s IP address, which is 184.108.40.206. After that, the browser automatically connects you to this IP address, which then brings you to the Optimum home page. This is particularly useful when a website has more than one domain name, as Optimum does. Both the Optimum.com domain and the Optimum.net domain share the same IP address. Therefore, typing either into your browser window will bring you to the Optimum homepage.
Static vs. Dynamic IP Addresses
Static and dynamic IP addresses differ in a few key ways, including how they work, their strengths, and when they should be used. Keep reading for a full breakdown of the differences between these two types of IP addresses.
Static IP Address
A static IP address is one that won’t ever change—in other words, it’s static. There are a few advantages of using a Static IP Address, but arguably the biggest benefit is that static IPs can be used with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPNs facilitate remote access and create a point-to-point tunnel that encrypts all internet traffic—allowing you to keep your business data safe. In terms of cons, static IP addresses aren’t included in standard Internet plans, so you’ll have to pay extra for the service. In addition, since the IP never changes, security can be a concern. Lastly, setting up a static IP address can be complex; you’ll have to either configure it manually or hire an IT support expert to set it up for you.
Dynamic IP Address
Dynamic IP addresses are a popular option for residences and other private Internet connections. With this option, you’ll be assigned an IP address each time you connect to a network. This IP will change from time to time, which is why it’s called dynamic. In comparison to static IP addresses, dynamic IPs offer better security, easier connectivity, and require less maintenance. Plus, since there are no additional fees required, they’re more affordable than static IP addresses. On the other hand, since dynamic IPs change, they’re not the best option for hosting. They’re also less capable of reliably maintaining remote connections, which isn’t ideal if you have many people trying to use the IP simultaneously.
Should My Business Use a Static or Dynamic IP Address?
Choosing which type of IP address to use ultimately hinges on a business’s priorities.. If you have a small business or don’t want to invest extra funds in your Internet, you’ll likely want to opt for a dynamic IP address. They have automatic configuration and, more importantly, don’t require extra time or money to maintain.
On the other hand, if your intention is to grow your business—or if your company is already on the larger side—you should consider investing in a static IP Address. With this option, it’s easier for customers to find you via DNS. In other words, if you’re hosting a server, your clients will be able to find your website faster. Plus, with a static IP address, your network can be accessed from anywhere by remote workers. Finally, Internet speeds tend to be faster with static IP addresses, which means you can optimize your time and focus on work without service interruptions or distractions.
Regardless of the type of IP address you choose, security must be your number one priority. Optimum offers Internet plans for your business with DNS security and antivirus protection. It also provides Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) security, which helps shield your business from potentially-devastating cyber attacks. Learn more about Optimum Internet plans here.