Before we get into the technical aspects of “Static vs Dynamic IP” you’ll first need to understand how the internet works and what IP addresses actually are. So, let’s begin, shall we?
An IP address is a series of numbers divided by a decimal point for example “123.456.78.9”, it is this that uniquely identifies your computer on the internet.
There are two versions, “Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4)” and “Internet protocol version 6 (Ipv6)”.
IPv4 is the standard used throughout the world. It is old and the world is slowly running out of these (Which means, no more computers online!).
IPv6 is the newer standard, however, it is slow to be adopted (if at all)
You also have two IP addresses, a public facing IP address (that is, the one that the internet sees) and a private IP (Which is internal and cannot be seen).
A public IP might look something like this; 22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199
A private IP might look something like this; 192.168.45.8 or 10.5.32.16
(there are literally billions upon billions of IP addresses!)
So, how does this IP address work? Well, let’s take the postal service for example.
If you want to send a package to a friend somewhere, you need to provide a destination.
Well, in computer terms that destination is a destination IP address.
Going back to the postman, he’ll take your package and look at where it’s going too in an address book and look up the destination address (still with me? Good good).
In computer terms, this would be a DNS (Domain Name Server) server. The computer will ask the DNS server and say “Do you have the address of example.com?”
(I’ll explain more on DNS in a forum thread if you want to know more about how DNS works)
Now back to the postman, he’s found the precise address of where that package is going too and how to get it there, he can now send it to the destination.
With computers, the DNS server would respond and say “Yes, I have the address of example.com and it is 123.456.7.8”
Essentially this is how IP addresses work!
It is worth noting as well, that whenever someone says they have your “IP” they are talking rubbish as the IP they have, is the IP of your local exchange, not your actual public facing one.
What is a static IP?
A static IP address is one that does not change at all, there are benefits to a static IP. For example, stability, uptime and numerous others. However, a static IP address is commonly assigned to servers in a business environment for maximum uptime.
Unlike Dynamic IP addresses, static IP’s do not refresh after a set period (30 days for example) and must be refreshed manually.
What is a Dynamic IP address?
A dynamic IP address changes after a preset interval, for example, every 15 or 30 days. You might have an IP address of 188.8.131.52 now, but in 15 or 30 days time, you might have an IP address of 184.108.40.206
In an enterprise environment, the assignment of Dynamic IP’s is handled by the “DHCP” server. (Dynamic Host Control Protocol), this server hands out IP addresses to all the computers on a network from a “pool” and puts any unused IP’s back into the pool for future use.
In fact, your router is a good example of a DHCP server (That’s because it is!).
The advantages of a Dynamic IP is that it is more secure than a static IP, there’s very little chance of two computers sharing the same address (that’s not to say it hasn’t happened!)
Why is it so hard to ban a user?
If a user has a Dynamic IP address and their IP address has changed, they can simply come back in chat room as it’s an address that’s not been banned before
A static IP is similar to a dynamic if a user has a static IP and we ban them they can simply change the address and reconnect until we ban it again.
It’s not an easy problem to sort at all, with all the users and their different IP’s we cannot simply “Scope” the potential IP addresses and ban them. (Scoping is a term used to define a range of IP addresses, for example from 220.127.116.11 to 18.104.22.168). If we did that, legitimate users would be banned from accessing the site and that simply wouldn’t be fair.