Static IP addresses are very useful in certain circumstances. On the other hand you don’t want to create too many static IP addresses because they can be difficult to keep track of. Today I want to show you the sweet spot of using static IP addresses on your church (or other) network.

What is a Static IP Address?

Briefly, a static IP address is a network address assigned to your device that does not change. So unlike letting dhcp assign an address, to where it might change, you will always have the same address for your device. For example, when plugged in via network cable, my work laptop is always 192.168.0.13 on my network. It does not change.

Static IP addresses can also be used to make sure a device will not have a conflicting IP address. In other words, sometimes your dhcp server might accidentally assign two devices the same IP address (it’s rare but it happens). On your guest WiFi it really isn’t a big deal because nobody is depending on it for mission critical services. But on your Staff WiFi it IS A BIG DEAL. So, using a static IP address for mission critical devices ensures that you avoid the issue altogether.

When using static IP addresses on your network, you will want to make sure that your dhcp server does not use the IP range for which you have static addresses setup. In other words, if you use 192.168.0.13 as a static IP address, make sure that dhcp assigns devices in the range of something like: 192168.0.20-192.168.0.254.

Cases Where I Use Static IP Address are:

network with static ip address

Network Printers are my favorite example of a static IP address. We have several of these at my church and I need to know what the ip address is at all times. In fact, I don’t want the address to change, because then it is more difficult to keep all the devices on the network connected to the printer. So, for a printer I have to manually set the IP address via the menu on the front panel, or the web gui. It depends on the model of the printer.

Other times I use static IP addresses are with network devices such as hubs and access points. These are devices that I need to know how to quickly access, and they will be left on all the time.

I also choose to setup my child check in iPads with a static IP address so that they have a more stable connection to their individual printers. Be careful when doing this because the iPads will not work properly if used on another WiFi network without you changing some settings. For my situation these iPads are only used for child check-in.

I assign a static IP address to my sound board (behringer x32) for using with in ear monitors. This comes in handy because then I can set up everyone’s mixing app to point at a specific address (in my case it’s something like 192.168.15.3). Then they will not have to repeatedly ask for the IP address just to change their personal IEM mix.  

My video network requires static IP addresses for every device. It’s just a quirk of the system that I use. So, I have 24 receiving devices and 4 transmitting devices assigned a static IP address.

Smart TV’s in my building are assigned a static IP address. It’s not really necessary but I use it to make sure that my TVs will never have a conflict with another device.

Conclusions About Static IP Addresses on Your Network

When used properly, static IP addresses can help alleviate network issues. I hope you can use my short list here to get some ideas for how you can use them on your own network, or church’s network. If you feel like I forgot something, let me know in the comments!

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