A static IP address is an IP address that doesn’t change over time. IP (internet protocol) addresses are numerical signifiers that allow data packets to be sent and received from our networks and devices.
Most IP addresses are dynamic, which means that they change occasionally. A static IP, on the other hand, is always the same sequence of numbers.
You can find your static IP address in several different ways. Assuming you have a static IP address, you can just check out our IP address finder or search for “what is my IP address” on any popular search engine.
This will show you what IP address is currently associated with your online presence, but it won’t tell you if you have a static IP address or not.
Before going further, let’s explain what IP addresses are. There are, broadly speaking, two types of IP address: public and private. Static and dynamic IP addresses fall into these categories and both can be either public or private.
A public IP address is associated with an internet gateway, like your home router, and it allows data from the rest of the internet to find its way back to you. Once that data reaches your router, it is sent on to whatever device you’re using (a smartphone, for example). Your device has a private IP address assigned by the router for use within your local network.
Static IP addresses can serve a number of useful functions.
The only difference between a static and a dynamic IP address is how often they change. A static IP address stays the same, while a dynamic IP address changes at semi-regular intervals.
In the early days of the internet, when dial-up connections were still widely used, dynamic IP addresses changed every time you connected to the internet. Today, most people keep their internet gateway on almost all the time — you don’t switch off your router when you’re not online, after all. As a result, a dynamic IP address won’t change as often now. If you don’t reboot your router, you may only get a new IP address once or twice a year.
A static IP address, whether public or private, doesn’t change. The device associated with it is configured to always connect to the internet using the same IP address. You can usually change it manually, however. For example, if you’re having problems with an IP address conflict on Windows, you may wish to change your static IP or switch to a dynamic address.
You can get a static IP address through the settings interface on most devices. It’s a relatively simple process that just involves switching your current IP address settings from dynamic to static and, in some systems, inputting your preferred IP address.
You can also configure your router to have a static IP address. In most cases, you do this by logging into your router’s admin panel and making some small changes to its default settings.
You can also get a static IP address through NordVPN, which offers static dedicated IP addresses in a variety of locations, including The United States, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, and Germany.
The main advantage of using static IP addresses relates to remote access solutions, as we discussed above. Being able to create an allowlist of permissioned IP addresses, which are then set as the static IP addresses on company gateways or VPN servers, is a good way to enhance company security.
However, it is worth remembering that having a dedicated IP address has few advantages for individual internet users. Most of the time, using dynamic IP addresses on your device or your router will work fine for your daily needs.
There are no major disadvantages to having a static IP address. Having a static IP could, in theory, make it easier for hackers to target you, assuming they are able to find out what your IP address is. However, the dynamic IP on your router already changes so infrequently that the risk factor is not massively increased by using a static IP address.
The main disadvantage of a static IP is simply that it offers so few advantages to most everyday internet users. Unless you’re running a server, for example, you can probably stick with a dynamic IP address for now.
You can protect your IP address online with a VPN, regardless of whether it’s static or dynamic. VPNs hide your IP address from the websites and servers you interact with online, allowing you to operate under the address of a VPN server.
What can someone do with your IP address? Quite a lot, actually! It can be used to target you with annoying ads, to ruin your internet experience with DDoS attacks, and even to find out your location information.
To protect your IP address, get a premium service like NordVPN. With one NordVPN account, you can protect up to six devices, including your router. As soon as you connect to the VPN, your data is routed through a VPN server. This means that any website you visit will only be able to see the IP address of the server, and not that of your own network. Your online activity will be much more private; even your internet service provider won’t be able to monitor your browsing habits.
NordVPN also provides additional security and privacy with Threat Protection. This powerful feature limits the risks of malware, stops intrusive online trackers, and blocks annoying adverts.