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What is a static IP address?

A static IP address isn’t a priority for most people on the NBN, but some customers might benefit from one. Find out why you might want a static IP.

Alex Kidman
Mar 11, 2024
Icon Time To Read3 min read

In order for all the devices – everything from the simplest smart lightbulb to the biggest number-crunching AI-researching servers – to identify themselves on the Internet, they IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. An IP address is a bit like a street address, in that it tells the rest of the Internet where to find a specific resource or resources. It’s just that unlike your home, which has a fixed physical address, IP addresses are virtual and changeable.

Finding your IP address

You don’t typically have to think about IP addresses in their numeric form when you’re online, because you instead use a URL – so for example, to visit Reviews.Org/AU, you go to www.reviews.org/au. The reality here is that your ISP translates that text string into the requisite IP address to find the Reviews server and serve you the very page you’re reading now.

Conversely, you can check your own IP address right now (or at least the way it’s presenting to the Internet if you’re using a VPN by clicking using our IP address tool.

All of which is a crash course is a baseline way the Internet works. But what’s a static IP address, and what’s the difference between that and a dynamic IP address?

Static vs dynamic IP addresses

For most consumer-grade Internet accounts, you’re assigned a dynamic IP address that’s managed by your ISP. This is broadly efficient, cheaper for the ISP and as a result cheaper for you too. It does mean that over time the IP address of your Internet connection – from which your various home Internet connected devices all talk to the Internet, managed by your home router – does shift around, but for many that’s not a noticeable or particularly problematic concept. The broader detail of your dynamic IP address still ties down to a rough destination in most cases, and of course your ISP logs who’s on which particular address at a given point in time so that they can provide services to you.

There are circumstances where having a fixed IP address, AKA a “static IP address” is more desirable. A fixed IP address is easier to find – it’s not changing over time, after all – which can mean it’ll work better for certain remote or secure operations than a dynamic IP address. At a consumer level, the appeal of static IP addresses is arguably most prevalent in the gaming space, where having a fixed IP address makes it easier to host gaming servers or fling large files around from a home NAS even if you’re on the other side of the planet.

Most consumer-grade ISP plans won’t include a static IP address as standard – again, dynamic is a little easier to configure and cheaper to provide for an ISP – though it’s a little more common for business grade plans, because it’s a recognised need in that space.

Here’s a comparative chart of business NBN 50 plans that include static IP addresses

Business NBN 50 Plans

Need a little more speed along with your static IP address? Here’s a look at business NBN 100 plans with static IP inclusions:

Business NBN 100 Plans

On the consumer side, straight bundled static IP addresses are less common. Some NBN providers explicitly state that they don’t support Static IP addresses at all, while others will provide Static IP addresses at an additional cost per month upon application.

Here’s a range of consumer NBN 50 plans that include static IP address options:

NBN 50 Plans with Static IP addresses

And here’s some NBN 100 consumer plans that also have Static IP address options:

NBN 100 Plans with Static IP addresses

How do I set up a Static IP address once my ISP has given me one?

In most cases, the only step you may need to take is to power cycle your router, though your ISP should let you know if this is a needed step at all. That should get your router then connecting to your new static IP address.

From there, depending on your needs, you may also wish to then configure static IP addresses within your local network to make it easier to access remote resources – network attached storage drives, printers or any other Internet-connected device – when you’re away from home.

Alex Kidman
Written by
Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is some kind of word-generating AI from the future that somehow worked out how to sneak back in time to 1998 to start its journalism career. Across that time, including editorial stints at ZDNet, CNET, Gizmodo, PC Mag and Finder, as well as contributions to every major tech masthead, nobody has quite managed to figure out this deeply held secret. Let’s keep it between us, OK?