A dynamic IP address is a temporary Internet Protocol (IP) address which is allotted to a computing system when it is connected to a network. It changes from time to time and doesn’t remain the same always.

Dynamic IP addresses are usually implemented by ISPs and networks having a large number of connecting clients or end-nodes.

They are assigned to the nodes until they are connected to the network, which means, the same nodes can have different IP addresses when reconnected with the network.

The automatic assignment of these IP addresses to the different nodes is governed by a DHCP server or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server.

One of the critical reasons behind having a dynamic IP address is the shortage of IPv4 addresses. With the help of dynamic IP addresses, the same IP address is rotated between different nodes to solve this issue.

In this article, we will learn where dynamic IP addresses are used, how to get one and compare them with the static IP addresses as well as look at their pros and cons. So, let’s get started.

Where is a dynamic IP address used?

The ISPs assign dynamic IP addresses to the routers of most of the home and business users. Most devices in a local network like home or business are usually configured for DHCP, i.e., they use dynamic IP addresses.

Large organizations generally don’t connect to the internet through dynamic IP addresses and have static IP addresses allocated to them.

In your home network if DHCP is disabled, then each device needs to have some manually configured network information.

How to get a dynamic IP address?

Let us see how you can convert a static IP address to a dynamic IP address for your Windows system.

  • Go to Start and search for ‘Network and Sharing Center’.
  • Select the option ‘Change adapter settings’, and the ‘Network Connection’ window opens.
  • Right-click your network adapter and select Properties.
  • From the just-opened ‘Wireless Network Connection Properties’ window, choose ‘Internet Protocol version 4′ from the options and click Properties.
  • Select the options ‘Obtain an IP address automatically’ and ‘Obtain DNS Server address automatically’.
  • Click OK.

What is a sticky dynamic IP address?

A sticky dynamic IP address informally describes a dynamic IP address which seldom changes. It hangs on to your broadband modem as long as it is not reset. This address is also assigned by DHCP.

The modems are powered on for a longer time, and so, the address leases are also set to more prolonged periods and renewed.

So, if a modem is switched off and turned on again before the next expiration of the address lease, it often gets the same IP address. That is why it is referred to as ‘sticky’.

It is commonly found amongst cable and DSL internet access subscribers. For example, it is available for cable modem internet providers like Roadrunner.

What is the difference between static IP and dynamic IP address?

Static IP addresses are fixed IP addresses allocated to you by your ISP, and unlike dynamic IP address, they do no change with time. Let us view their differences in a tabular form.

STATIC IP ADDRESS

DYNAMIC IP ADDRESS

It is permanently assigned to you by your ISP and doesn’t change even if your system reboots.

It is dynamically assigned to you by the ISP and changes from time to time.

It is expensive than dynamic IP address.

It is cheaper than static IP address.

Additional security is needed since the IP address remains the same, making it easier for hackers to attack.

Due to changing IP address, you get more privacy.

It provides more accurate geolocation than dynamic IP address.

Geolocation provided is not so accurate as given by static IP address.

Download and upload speeds are faster.

Download and upload speeds could be little slower compared to static IP.

What is the advantage of a dynamic IP address?

There are lots of advantages of using dynamic IP addresses. Let us go through them one by one.

  • It is much easier to set up and manage dynamic IP addresses. They are more flexible than static IP addresses.
  • One single IP address is shuffled between different devices from time to time. For example, a laptop currently connected to a network has an IP address, and after it disconnects, this very IP address may get allocated to a different device. Therefore the same laptop, if reconnects, can get a different IP address.
  • Devices that do not require the internet can be kept disconnected to free up the pool of available addresses so that the systems seeking internet connection can be allotted IP addresses dynamically.
  • No manual configuration is required for new devices to connect to the network. Ensure that the DHCP is enabled on the router.
  • Since a dynamic IP address keeps changing, it offers excellent privacy. Also, it is comparatively less costly than static IP.

Can you state some disadvantages of dynamic IP address?

Dynamic IP address, undoubtedly, is beneficial for the different home and business users, due to its characteristics. However, it also has few drawbacks.

Dynamic IP addresses make it difficult for you to access your home computer from another place remotely.

If your home computer has a dynamic IP address and if it changes from time to time, it becomes troublesome for you to access it remotely.

Since dynamic IP addresses keep changing periodically, they are unsuitable for VPN, VOIP, and online game services. Also, geolocation provided by them is not so accurate.

DHCP automation becomes a significant threat in case of a rogue DHCP server.

Such a server is not managed by network personnel, and if a user connects to it, information over that connection can be stealthily collected. Thus network security and user privacy are violated.

Conclusion

A dynamic IP address is an Internet Protocol address, automatically configured and assigned by a DHCP server to every new network node. It is a temporary IP address and may change from time to time.

One single IP address can be shuffled between multiple devices periodically. For example, a device has an IP address until it’s connected to the network.

Once disconnected, some other system may be allocated with this address. If the same device tries to reconnect, it can get a different IP address from the pool of available addresses.

Sometimes, dynamic IP addresses are referred to as sticky because they seldom change. They are commonly found between cable and DSL internet access subscribers.

It is less expensive than static IP address. Also, it is more flexible, easy to administer and needs no manual setup, compared to static IP address. However, dynamic IP address is not suitable for VoIP, VPN, and online game services.

A dynamic IP address is a temporary Internet Protocol (IP) address which is allotted to a computing system and can change with time.
Dynamic IP addresses are usually implemented by ISPs and networks having a large number of connecting clients or end-nodes.