Seven ways static IP can supercharge at-home broadband connectivity

19 May 2023

Just as a street address determines where a letter should be delivered, an Internet Protocol (IP) address identifies devices on the internet — mapping domain names to each string of information, so browsers can load online resources accordingly.

Most devices use dynamic options, which are automatically assigned by a network and evolve over time. But for remote workers, having an ever-changing IP address makes getting online a virtually impossible feat. As well as preventing work devices from connecting to a unique IP address as required, it introduces a whole host of challenges when it comes to using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls too.

With more reliable, consistent, and secure broadband connection, everyday internet users can reap a whole host of benefits from static too — allowing them to enjoy a better online experience, whether they are gaming, streaming videos, monitoring at-home security, or anything in between.

Here, we outline seven key reasons why this permanently-fixed solution is a holy grail for everyday broadband connectivity…

What are the benefits of a static IP address?

Due to the technical skills required to configure and maintain, it should come as no surprise that static IP addresses cost more than their dynamic alternatives. But for many, the benefits are unparalleled. Here are just a few of the advantages:

Geographical flexibility: Whether it’s for business or pleasure, from video conferencing to gaming, static IP addresses can be assigned in any geophysical location across the globe.

More reliable geo-location services: With the ability to match the IP address with its physical location, you’re able to benefit from increased accuracy when it comes to things like navigation software or weather reports.

Convenient remote access: A static IP address makes logging onto a device using a VPN more private and secure — ensuring resources are only available to known servers, and creating an encrypted tunnel connection to add a new arm to data security. This is a game-changer for home workers who rely on at-home connectivity to operate.

Streamlined communication: Lapses in internet connection are often a result of devices not being recognised by a network. As such, static IP addresses make using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for teleconferencing at work or other online communications — including FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger — far more streamlined.

Maximising CCTV security:  Security cameras identify themselves to other digital devices using an IP address, so it’s important to manage remote viewing securely. Since you’re the only individual who will know the static IP address, it’s near impossible for others to access it unless you permit entry. Plus, it ensures any related software or mobile apps don’t lose connectivity if there is a power outage, or if your camera is restarted.

Enhanced name resolution: Since your IP address is unchanging, the Domain Name System (DNS) makes it easier and more reliable to discover you via your assigned hostname. As a result, you’re able to resolve, request, or connect to internet resources more efficiently.

Faster download and upload speeds: Depending on your network, the speed of a static IP address can be drastically faster as it doesn’t need to reissue identification. These higher access speeds are critical for heavy data users — particularly those looking to stream music or video, as well as download and upload high volumes of content.

Why static IP is great for the everyday

A static IP address can also provide faster download speeds, especially for peer-to-peer file sharing or other online services that require a reliable and consistent connection — which is essential for users who frequently download large files, such as software updates, music, movies, and more.

For online gamers, this might manifest in a more stable connection, reducing latency and lag, resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable gaming experience. This can be especially important for gamers who participate in competitive online tournaments, where split-second reactions make all the difference.

Similarly, users who enjoy streaming videos can reap the benefits of a more stable connection by enjoying fewer buffering and loading times. This can be particularly helpful for users who stream high-quality content or have multiple devices streaming simultaneously.

Public vs. private static IP addresses 

A public static IP address (or external IP) is uniquely assigned to your network router by your internet service provider (ISP), and is able to be accessed directly over the internet, allowing access to all the online information you may need.

A private IP address (or internal IP), on the other hand, is configured by your IT solutions provider for your individual network router, and is used within a private network to connect securely to other devices. This won’t travel with you, if you take your device to a cafe or shared workspace, for instance.

Although there are many aspects to consider when determining which IP you’re using, the predetermined address ranges usually offer a good indication. A private IP address typically starts with 192, 172, or 10 — however, there are sometimes crossovers.

Purchasing static IP? Here’s what you need to know…

To purchase a static IP address, you’ll need to contact your ISP and enquire about their pricing and availability. Some companies offer static IP addresses as an optional add-on to their internet service plans, while others may require you to upgrade to a different package or pay an additional fee.

Here are some of the key things to consider:

  • Cost: Static IP is a limited resource that requires manual configuration and record-keeping, making it more expensive than dynamic IP, which can be automatically assigned. It is also considered a premium feature, offering more control and customisation options for users. That’s why seeking clarity from your ISP on cost and any additional fees associated with purchase is important.
  • Configuration: Once you have purchased a static IP address, you may need to configure your network settings to use it. Your ISP should provide you with instructions on how to do this, but it’s worth noting before you get started on the transition.
  • Security: With a static IP address, your device is more visible on the internet, which makes it more vulnerable to attacks as threat actors are able to track your activity more easily. But don’t panic! With the right security measures in place, such as firewalls and antivirus protection, your network will be like Fort Knox in no time.

*BeFibre is able to offer this to existing customers for just £4 a month

Keen to continue the conversation? Get in touch with the BeFibre team, to see which IP might be best suited to your requirements, or enquire about static IP connection.

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