Does your business need a static IP address?

Tom Grange
By Tom Grange, Director - Connectivity Business

As complicated as it might sound, an IP (Internet Protocol) address is simply the way in which every device that uses the internet is identified.

How to find your static IP address

An IP address looks like a series of numbers, separated by full stops and the simplest way to find your router’s public IP address is to search ‘What is my IP?’ on Google.

Most home broadband connections will have a dynamic IP address. This means that the series of numbers change every time you log on with your device.

Although dynamic IP addresses work perfectly fine for most of us, it may be the case that your small business would benefit from having a static IP address instead.

But what exactly is a static IP address and do you really need one? This guide will help you answer those questions.

What is a static IP address?

A static IP address is simply an address that remains the same every time you log on to your broadband connection.

If you’re wondering; ‘what is my static IP address’ or ‘how do I get a static IP address?’ It’s worth noting that unlike the vast majority of home broadband connections, lots of businesses choose to have a static IP address rather than a dynamic IP one.

This is largely because a static or fixed IP address is useful if you are frequently connecting and disconnecting from your broadband network, as it offers increased reliability as well as faster upload and download speeds.

A static IP address for a business would be particularly handy if you want to log into your broadband network remotely, or if your business runs a web server. 

What’s the difference between a static and dynamic IP address?

The difference between a static and dynamic IP address is pretty straightforward when you cut through the jargon- a static IP address is always the same, whereas a dynamic address changes every time you connect to the internet.

For personal users, there is little practical difference between the two. Most people are unlikely to even notice whether their IP address is static or dynamic.

But, as a business owner, a static IP address allows you to do a number of things more efficiently and may be a better option for your company in the long haul.

If, for example, you’re looking to host a website or remotely access your business PC from anywhere in the world, a static IP address will allow you to do this.

Having a static IP address also makes it easier to work remotely using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and other remote access programmes.

Does your business need a static IP address?

If you are asking yourself ‘why do I need a static IP address for my business?’, the simple answer is you don’t. It isn’t essential by any means.

But a static IP address is often the best fit for small or medium sized companies, particularly those running their business predominantly online.

As mentioned above, a static IP address makes remote access much easier, so if your business is mostly online rather than shop or office based, then it is worth considering, or even getting some more information about.

Is a static IP address best for business?

Although a dynamic IP address is fine for most companies, static IP addresses are often the best efficient choice for businesses. This is especially true if you have your own website or internet services. Static IP addresses are also a good choice if you have remote staff members logging on via a VPN. 

How much does a static IP cost?

It really varies on the provider you choose to buy your IP address from, some may charge a one off fee whilst others will require a monthly charge from you. A monthly cost can be anything from £15 upwards, while you can expect to pay about £75 or more for a one off charge. 

Does static IP change public IP?

If you have a static IP, this means the IP address will never change as long as you stay with the same provider. Dynamic IP means the address can sometimes change. Public IP means the IP address can be reached from any device across the world.

When should use a static IP address?

It's best to use a static IP address for devices that will need to be reliably accessed by other systems on the network. Using a static IP is good in these situations because the address never changes. 

What are the advantages of a static IP address?

The main advantage of having a static IP address is that it can help ensure that the digital side of your business runs smoothly.

If, for example, you host a website or need to access your business broadband from various external places, there is a clear advantage to having a static IP address.

A static IP is also preferable if you run a server, partly because it lowers the chances of you losing messages or other information.

Similarly, a static IP tends to reduce the risk of lapses in connection. For most personal users, temporary connection issues aren’t a problem, but they could present a huge risk for business users.

Another clear advantage is that you can make better voice over IP (or VoIP) phone calls with a static IP address. These are calls that are made using an internet connection, rather than a regular phone line.

What are the disadvantages of a static IP address?

Although a good fit for most businesses, there are a few good reasons why you might not want to have a static IP address for your business.

For starters, static IP addresses do cost more. Although it’s not likely to be a major expense, you might want to ask yourself if it’s really necessary for your particular business.

Another disadvantage is the potential impact of a static IP on your security. A business that runs a static IP address is much more likely to need stronger digital security as it is more vulnerable to hackers.

Because they are addresses that do not change, they are easier to find and track, so you do need to make sure that your business is digitally secure.

If you’re considering a swap, then you need to make sure that your business is secure, and you have proper static IP security.

If you do get hacked - which can happen to any business, regardless of what type of IP address they use - having a static IP can be problematic as they are difficult to change.

If you don’t change your address after a security breach, then you become susceptible to follow-up cyber-attacks. But changing an address can be complicated which further emphasises the need for tougher security and careful consideration before committing to the swap from a dynamic IP address to a static IP address.

Other potential disadvantages are the amount of time that having a static IP address can take up, and the extra admin it can result in. This is particularly true if your business runs a large number of devices, as each one will need to be set up with a static IP address. This will not only mean increased costs, but it could also be a drain on resources.

How to get a static IP address for your business

If you do want to move away from a dynamic IP address for your business, the next thing you need to know is how to get a static IP address.

You can get a static IP address through an internet service provider or ISP, but with so many on the market, the choice can be overwhelming. This is where Bionic can help.

Dozens of providers offer static and dynamic IP addresses, but the cost, quality and availability vary. Choosing which deal to go with also ultimately depends on where your business is based, as connectivity is better or worse for different providers in different parts of the UK.

At Bionic, our team of experts are familiar with the market and can guide you to the best deal to match your business’s unique needs.

Get in touch today with your business name and postcode and we can help set you up with the right provider at the right price.