Static IP Address

Static IP Address

What is an IP address?
In simple terms, an IP address is much like your home address, telephone or credit card number, except it is used to identify your computer or another network device. It works like a door to the world wide web, and without one your PC can't communicate with other devices or access the internet. 

Home broadband users have the option of either a dynamic IP address, where new sets of numbers are assigned at regular intervals or a static IP address, where your computer keeps the same address each time you go online.

What type of IP address do I have?
Most home broadband packages use dynamic IP addresses, but getting a package that offers a static, or fixed IP address as they're also known, reveals a host of new benefits that really show you what your PC and the internet are really capable of.

Why get a static IP address?
There are many benefits to be gained from using a fixed IP address. A static IP address lets you:

* Use remote access- With a static IP address you can connect to your PC no matter where you are in the world. Using programs such as Remote Administrator and PC Anywhere you can log into your work or home PC no matter where you are. 

* Run your own website- Installing web server software on your PC allows you to set up your own website and can save you money if you need one for your business, or just want one for personal use. There are plenty of free programs available on the internet but make sure you do your research and check customer reviews before installing anything. 

* Receive emails direct to your PC- Using a static IP address lets you get rid of your Hotmail or Yahoo! account and set up your own email address with your choice of domain name. Again, this is especially useful if you run a small business. You will need to install specific email server software to do this, but there are free programs available. 

* Run an FTP server- File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is an efficient and reliable way to transfer data from one computer to another, and you can send larger files this way than you can by email. Again, specific software must be installed in order for you to set up an FTP site, but this is easy to do and free software is available online. You might want to use an FTP site to share files, such as pictures, with your friends and family, or you might use it to enhance your business. Either way, once you've set up the site, clients or friends just need to login to access, edit or upload files. 

* Run a gaming server- For all those online gaming addicts, having a static IP address means that you can take your gaming to the next level. Many online games have an option for running your own server, allowing you to select your own settings and regulate who you let into your game - so you and your friends could have a private game of Battlefield. 

* Less downtime- Each time a dynamic IP address refreshes you run the risk of downtime from the server. While this is usually only for a very short time, it can wreak havoc on your gaming.