Why Should You Pay More for a Static IP Address?

static ip address

As a business owner you are always faced with financial considerations. That question, “How can I save money?” Or, “Do I really need this?” They are common questions. When it comes to your Internet connection, we have recently described how saving money on your Internet connection is often times, not the best choice.

Then there is the matter of the static IP address. Why is this also costing you more money? Those Internet providers are always trying to find a way to take more of my money! Or, are they?

What is the Difference Between a Static IP Address and a Dynamic IP Address?

In order to understand its importance and the reason for additional costs, we must first understand the difference between a static IP address (always assigned) and a non-static IP address (called dynamic because it changes at timed intervals).

IP addresses are 32 bit numbers identifying a computer/networked device on the Internet. They are currently represented in 4 parts with dots between them, such as 10.0.0.1 or 192.168.0.1 as some of you may recognize from setting up a residential router. Those numbers represent the calling card of that computer, similar to that of your cell phone number, a unique address that lets other systems know how to find you.

Computers inside your home are most typically using dynamic IPs assigned by your home router, known as private IP addresses, because they are only known to other machines in your own network. Your router also has an dynamic IP address assigned from your Internet provider from its pool of IPs, called public IP addresses, because these addresses can talk to one another all over the world.

So your router is connected to your Internet provider which can talk to other public computers/routers. It’s also connected to you personal computer so it can make connections to those public computers. Got it?

Why Do We Have Dynamic IP Addresses?

The need for dynamic IP addresses is due to the limited number of public IP addresses available in Internet Protocol version 4, also know as IPV4.

With dynamic IP addresses, there is a pool of IPs your Internet provider can assign. When you connect to the Internet, your router is leased one IP address from that pool for a timed interval. When the interval is completed, usually at disconnection of the IP address, it is sourced back into the pool of available IPs. This allows Internet providers to have more customers than IPs.

With broadband connections, it’s easy to just lease IP addresses when needed. That’s why dynamic IP addressing is widely used today. The downside is, your IP address can change any time you get disconnected.

The fact that you get disconnected does not necessarily mean the IP address is going to change, just as the fact that you get the same IP address does not mean it is assigned statically.

Losing that IP address may result in other computers/routers inability to locate you.

The Need for a Static IP Address!

Most businesses use high speed Internet to run private or public servers. These people want their Internet address to stay fixed with the same numbers all the time, so people know how to access their server.

People with a static IP address may have a domain name or corresponding email accounts, such as [InsertYourBizNameHere].com, linked to their IP address. So if the IP address changed whenever they had to turn their modem or router off, their server and thus the email could become unreachable.

A static IP address can also help when VPNs are being set up for remote access to your business office resources. Without the ability to also know your offices “calling card,” work would be cumbersome.

The Additional Cost…

So the additional cost of a static IP address is a result of multiple things:

  • There are a limited source of public IPv4 IP addresses. While they are working on IPv6 to expand the IP pool, the tech and implementation still has a ways to go.
  • ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, is responsible for the allocation of all public IP addresses to providers. Providers must prove the necessity of the need for all IP addresses they are provided. There is a cost associated to the provider for each pool of addresses. In other words, the providers don’t get IPV4 addresses for free either.
  • There are more resources, both technically and in man hours, to managing static IP addresses because of their “always on” nature. It limits maintenance and provides more accountability for the provider.

So if you are a business, looking at the costs at the end of the day – know that your static IP address is worth the small price you pay for it for all it gives you in return.

Ethernet Photo via Shutterstock

19 Comments ▼

Craig Sutton


Craig Sutton Craig Sutton is the owner of Sutton Brand Management. Using his background in tech, including 5 years managing the servers and networking team for a major regional Internet provider and also owner of an IT and Web software development firm, he harnesses the power of digital and traditional marketing to help small to medium sized businesses excel.

19 Reactions

  1. Static IP is worth “the small price you pay for it.” Really?? It was $5 from Comcast less than 5 years ago. Now it’s $14.95. That’s roughly half the cost of what many pay for full Internet service WITH a dynamic IP address.

    • Craig Sutton

      It is a small price based on its necessity… that was really what I meant. If you don’t have to have a static ip for some technical need then its not a problem. There are also some Dynamic DNS services out there, but reliability can still be an issue.

    • I have 5 ip addresses through Comcast and i AM PAYING 15.95 a month having a static ip is a necessity if you are hosting anything or have remote users…. I have five for several reasons…… if I need to do a presentation in the value of in house server vs cloud I can segment it off of my company network and not worry about causing traffic…… and besides all the cool kids have them

      • Craig: $15.95 a month seems pretty reasonable to me for 5 static IP addresses. Is that the limit you can get for that price?

      • Craig, I’ve just read Andrew Hargreave’s comment at the bottom. Have you? If you haven’t, I think perhaps you should as he mentioned something that might happen to you re: Comcast.

  2. Hmm. I didn’t know about the difference and the importance of static/dynamic IPs, so thanks for that. I guess it’s similar to paying for/registering your own domain name vs tagging onto an existing one while not having your own extension.

    • Craig Sutton

      A static ip for business is more about accessibility of your network from the outside of your office. the gentleman above for instance mentioned the additional costs as not being inexpensive, but if you can host your own domain, those costs are offset by what would have been a cost of an external hosting provider, just as a for instance.

      • Thanks for that, Craig. I guess I was making an analogy; the independence of having your own domain vs not; the independence of having a static ip vs a dynamic one.

      • I’d disagree that costs are offset versus an external hosting provider. Assuming your domain’s data technologies – things like domain authentication, email, website – are ‘mission critical’ to your business remaining operational, the investments in hardware, power, cooling, software, protection appliances (routers, firewalls, UPS batteries) for most small businesses wouldn’t make sense, not to mention hiring – whether full time or outsourced – the expertise to install, setup, secure and maintain the environment. Then comes the decision of whether to buy or lease, and if you lease dealing with the costs associated with the refresh cycle… it’s all very much a pain.

        Depending on the complexity of the applications and functions your data services need to fulfill, you’re probably better off either using widely available cloud services like Office365 and Microsoft Azure, or finding a datacenter service provider to co-locate with. If you have nothing critical on-premise, then the need for a static IP scheme locally evaporates, and most (if not all) of the aforementioned concerns get offloaded to the service provider.

  3. Great info, Craig.

    I remember talking to my high-speed provider about a static ip once or twice.

    Way too much money. I haven’t found the need for one. Yet.

    The Franchise King®

    • How much money did your provider say it was at the time, Joel?

      I don’t expect I’ll have a need for one anytime soon. However, was just curious about how much it was, especially if you considered it to be dear.

  4. So this is what they are talking about when some tech geeks keep telling me that Internet providers keep changing their IP addresses. I guess it is not a good thing then.

    • I guess, from my understanding of the post, IP addresses that are changed can be a good or bad thing depending on what one’s needs are.

      • Craig Sutton

        That is correct, static ip are really only necessary in specific instances. There are also downside to having one from a security aspect. Like anything in business, making a list of positives and negatives before making the decision is key. But when you have to have it… they really aren’t that expensive for the benefit.

    • How much is it on average, Craig? Nerd Uno mentioned $14.95 (a month?). Joel also mentioned a price was quoted to him that was way too much money. So how much is it roughly?

  5. I beg to differ about the “cost” of a static IP. Either way, whether you utilize static or dynamic, you’re going to obtain at least one IP address. In the ISP world you’re merely going to assign an IP address from a dedicated pool or reserve something in your DHCP scopes for the client. At most, you may end up adding a route here or there on a few routers; however, that would be the cause for a poor design of the ISP.

    Regardless of how it works, you’re getting an IP address no mater what; thus, I fail to see why the additional charge for a single static IP. None-the-less, it has become “standard” in the industry so most people rarely blink an eye when they have to obtain a static IP. However, as I have noticed, the cost differential for a single IP and a /28 block is insignificant so most people will just get a /28 block and have a few more IPs to use at their will.

  6. Michael Brian Bentley

    Being charged for static IP addresses is an absurd cost of doing business. It’s on the same level as paying hundreds of dollars for each foot of deoxygenated braided speaker wire. It’s like requiring drafting shoes while working on CAD/CAE. Did you know that the telephone company charged extra for Touchtone[R] phone service for years after it became much easier to support than rotary dial phones? This is worse than because network providers invented the itemized charge out of whole cloth instead of keeping it around for much too long. Charging for a static IP for a customer that is always connected is ludicrous. What’s really ludicrous: jacking up the monthly rate for a static IP. “But they guarantee they always get the same IP address when the lease is renewed!” You know, that’s what all the computers are for.

  7. Andrew Hargreave

    I’ve had Comcast Business for almost 10 years for my home based – IT services company and have had 13 static IPs. I was paying $14.95 per month for that with no complaints. However, this month’s bill suddenly raised the price to $34.94 per month with no warning, no explanation…nada! Not a happy camper today. Unfortunately, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

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