Static and dynamic IP addresses
When a computer is configured to use the same IP address each time it powers up, this is known as a Static IP address
. In contrast, in situations when the computer's IP address is assigned automatically, it is known as a Dynamic IP address.
Method of assignment
Static IP addresses are manually assigned to a computer by an administrator. The exact procedure varies according to platform. This contrasts with dynamic IP addresses, which are assigned either by the computer interface or host software itself, as in Zeroconf
, or assigned by a server using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
(DHCP). Even though IP addresses assigned using DHCP may stay the same for long periods of time, they can generally change. In some cases, a network administrator may implement dynamically assigned static IP addresses. In this case, a DHCP server is used, but it is specifically configured to always assign the same IP address to a particular computer. This allows static IP addresses to be configured centrally, without having to specifically configure each computer on the network in a manual procedure.
In the absence of both an administrator (to assign a static IP address) and a DHCP server, the operating system may assign itself an IP address using state-less autoconfiguration methods, such as Zeroconf