Dynamic and Static IP Address Differences

To access the Internet, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns you an IP address. This allows you to talk to other computers on the Internet. Most people do not even think about their IP address they have been assigned, much less what type of IP address they have.

There are two kinds of IP addresses, static and dynamic.

Static addresses never change on you. Even after many months (or even years), the IP address you have been assigned stays the same. Dynamic addresses, on the other hand, usually change every few weeks (or months). Most people probably are assigned a dynamic address for a month or two at a time.

Pros of Static Addresses

  • Allows you to easily host web services (e.g. email, DNS, websites)
  • Helps prevent websites from mistaking you for being an abusive user. This is because when using a dynamic IP address, someone else had previously used that address, and may have been committing abusive behavior online. However, when using a static address, you (and whoever else has access) are the only ones using your address.
  • Allows for a more stable VPN connection, because a dynamic IP may change any moment, and this will break the VPN connection.

Cons of Static Addresses

  • ISPs usually require you to purchase a “business” Internet package to be able to obtain a static IP. This may cost more money per month than a typical residential Internet package.
  • Everywhere you go online can be easily tracked, since you use the same IP address everywhere you go online (a VPN can help with this problem).
  • If someone starts constantly abusing your IP address (e.g. DDoS attack), you likely will not be able to quickly request a new static IP address from the ISP.
  • If you have a unique host-name assigned to your static IP (usually necessary to host a email server), you will have less privacy than someone who has a typical residential, dynamic IP address without a custom host-name.

Pros of Dynamic Addresses

  • Usually can easily change your assigned IP address (helpful to stop someone who is abusing your computers; e.g. DDoS attack).
  • Since your IP address is “generic” (used by several other people), you are more anonymous than a static IP constantly browsing the web.

Cons of Dynamic Addresses

  • Hosting web services will not be very stable, since you are using a dynamic IP address that may change anytime on you (note: using a “dynamic IP” DNS service is more of a “jury-rig” than a proper solution).
  • Some web services may think you are a trouble-maker, since someone else may have had your IP address previously and used it to abuse web services.
  • ISPs may deny you the privilege of running any web services unless you have a “business”-grade Internet package (most people using a dynamic IP do not have a business account at their ISP).


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Security, VPN