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Static versus Dynamic Addressing

Static IP Addresses

A static IP address is where each node on an IP based network is manually given its own unique IP address. The main problems with this approach are

  • Ensuring every node has it's own unique address
  • Running out of available IP addresses

Dynamic IP Addresses

A dynamic IP address is one that is assigned automatically by a DHCP server to each node when it connects to the network. This method greatly simplifies the process of assigning IP addresses and helps to make more efficient use of available IP addresses.


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is the set of rules that allows client nodes such as computers, routers and printers to request IP addresses from a DHCP server. In fact they can also request other network values such as default gateway addresses and subnet mask values. This helps to ensure that every client is set up correctly with a unique IP address.

An image showing the typical configuration parameters requested from a DHCP server.[D]

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