How to Obtain a Fixed IP Address

How to Keep Using the Same IP Address On Your Network

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Sometimes your computer's IP address may change when connecting to a network, even though you haven't made any modifications to your setup. It happens more frequently if you have kept the computer shut off or away from home for awhile. This is an expected behavior of DHCP (which many networks use) and usually not a cause for concern. Some people, however, like consistency and wish that their IP addresses would stay the same whenever possible. Others require so-called fixed IP addresses in order to access their device remotely over the Internet.

Using Fixed IP Addresses on Home Networks

Your home network router (or other DHCP server) keeps track of how long ago it issued your computers their IP addresses. To make sure that the network does not run out of IP addresses, DHCP servers set a time limit called a lease for how long each computer can be guaranteed to keep their same address, after which the address will be re-assigned to the next device that tries to connect to it. Routers typically set a relatively short DHCP lease time limit like 24 hours and also allow administrators to change the default value. Shorter leases make sense on large networks with many devices connecting and disconnecting but generally aren't helpful on home networks. By changing your DHCP lease time to a longer value, you can increase the likelihood that each computer will keep its lease indefinitely.

Alternatively, with some more effort, you can set up static IP addresses on a home network instead of using DHCP. Static addressing guarantees your computers will always use the same fixed IP address no matter how long it may be disconnected in between sessions.

To change DHCP lease times or change your network to static addressing, simply log into your home router as an administrator and update the appropriate configuration settings.

Using Fixed IP Addresses on Public Networks

While you can control the addresses assigned to your home computers, the IP addresses assigned to your router by the Internet provider is still subject to changing at the provider's discretion. To obtain a static IP address from an Internet provider requires signing up for a special service plan and paying extra fees.

Mobile devices connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots also will have their IP addresses change regularly. It is not possible to keep the same public IP address for a device when moving between public networks.

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