How to Configure a Static IPv4 Address on Your Computer

Introduction

Do you know what a static IPv4 address is? If not, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people don’t know what that term means, and few people use static IP addresses in practice. In this post, we will discuss why you might want to configure your computer with a static IPv4 address and how to do it in different operating systems.

What is a static IPv4 address?

If you’re already familiar with the basics of static IPv4 addresses, feel free to skip ahead to the next section. But if not, please keep reading because we’ll provide an introductory discussion of the topic here.

Dynamic versus static IP addresses – what is the difference?

Most computers are configured to automatically receive a dynamic IPv4 address from their host network. An IPv4 address is a 32-bit number that uniquely identifies your computer on the network so that other devices can communicate with it by sending data to its unique, numerical destination (IP) address. A dynamic IPv4 address is assigned from a pool of available addresses on your home or office network. The IP address given to a particular device can be changed automatically at any time. The vast majority of home and office computers and peripherals work this way by default.

A static IP address must be configured manually on your computer or other devices and can only be changed manually. It’s essentially a permanent address assigned to your computer and can be relied upon to be persistent.

Why would you want or need a static IPv4 address?

Static IPv4 addresses are generally used in situations where it is desirable (or necessary) for devices on the network to communicate with each other by their known, unchanging IP addresses. For example, in a home network with a printer, it might be more convenient to always access the printer by its static IP address. Specific network applications or services may only work with a static IP address assigned to the computer running them. Remote access to your computer from outside your home or office network will often require the IP address to be known. Servers – file servers, web servers, application servers – generally use static IP addresses because they provide an essential service and are always connected to the network.

What IPv4 addresses are available for use on your home or office network?

If you want to configure a static IP address on your computer, the address mustn’t conflict with an existing address that has been assigned to another device. The static IP address must also be assigned from a range of available addresses on your network.

To find out what addresses are available, you can check the settings of your home or office router. The router will list the available addresses for allocation to devices on the network. In most cases, a block of consecutive IP addresses starting with 192.168.0.X or 172.16.0.X is reserved for local use.

To verify that an address is not already in use, you can check the list of assigned IPs or active devices in your router’s device table. If you see the address you want to use in the table, it is already in use and cannot be used for a static IP. Consult your router’s manual or online help for instructions on viewing and managing the device table.

How to configure a static IPv4 address in Windows

If you want to configure your Windows computer with a static IPv4 address, please follow the instructions in this section.

How to set a static IP address in Windows 10

Go to Start and select Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi (or Ethernet if you are connected via network cable). Click “Change adapter options” from the menu on the right. In the window that opens, click your network adapter to select it, then click “Change settings of this connection” at the top menu bar. In the properties window that opens, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties. In the window that appears, enter the following information:

  • IP Address: The static IP address you want to use for this device; for example 192.168.0.100
  • Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
  • Default Gateway: The IP address of your Internet router or gateway; for example 192.168.0.200
  • Preferred DNS Server: 208.67.220.220 (OpenDNS) or the preferred DNS server that you want to use on this device
  • Alternate DNS Server: 208.67.222.222 (OpenDNS)

Click OK to save your changes.

How to set a static IP address in Windows 7 or Windows 8

The process for configuring a static IP address in Windows is similar in both operating system versions. Go to Start and select Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections. In the window that opens, click the network connection you are using – typically “Local Area Connection” or “Wireless Network Connection.” Right-click the selected connection and select Properties. In the window that opens, double-click Internet Protocol Version (TCP/IPv4) if it’s not already highlighted, then click Properties.

In the properties window that appears, enter your static IP address information and optional preferred DNS server information as per the Windows 10 example above. Click OK to save your changes.

How to set a static IP address in macOS

If you want to configure your Mac computer with a static IPv4 address, please follow the instructions in this section.

Open System Preferences from the Apple menu at the top of your screen, then click Network. Select either Wi-Fi or Ethernet (if connected via network cable) from the lefthand bar and click Advanced… at the bottom of the window. In the IPv4 configuration window that opens, enter the following information:

  • IP Address: The static IP address you want to use for this device; for example 192.168.0.100
  • Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
  • Router: The IP address of your Internet router or gateway; for example 192.168.0.200

To set the DNS info, click the Advanced button, then select the DNS tab and click “+” at the bottom of the DNS servers field:

  • Enter the IP of the first DNS server, such as 208.67.220.220 (OpenDNS) or the preferred DNS server that you want to use on this device
  • Click “+” at the bottom of the DNS servers field
  • Enter the IP of the Alternate DNS server, such as 208.67.222.222 (OpenDNS)
  • Click OK to close
  • Click Apply in the Network view

How to set a static IP address in Linux

If you want to configure your Linux computer with a static IPv4 Address, there are many methods you can use. We recommend using the Linux Network Manager for most situations as it’s easy to configure and provides a graphical interface. For example, if you are using Ubuntu, click the network icon in the upper-right corner of your screen and select Edit Connections… from the menu that opens.

For other distributions of Linux, use your package manager to install Network Manager if it’s not already on your machine. Then open System Settings > Network and configure a new connection with static IP information.

Using the GUI Network Tool

If you are using a desktop environment like GNOME, KDE, or Unity, you can use the GUI Network Tool to configure your static IPv4 address. Open the tool from Applications > System Tools > Network. In the window that opens, select the interface for which you want to set a static IP (typically “eth0” if using a network cable, or “wlan0” if using Wi-Fi), then select Edit. In the window that opens, click IPv4 and enter your static IPv4 address information per the Windows example above. Click OK to save your changes.

Using a text editor in Terminal

If you would rather configure your static IPv4 Address using a text editor in Terminal, you can use the following command:

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

This will open the interfaces file in Nano, which you can then edit to include your static IP information. Be sure to save your changes when done.

Conclusion

Configuring a computer with a static IP address can be helpful in many situations. You may want to do this if you are having issues connecting to the Internet or if you need to set up a persistent IP address for other reasons. In this blog post, we have shown how to configure a static IPv4 address on three major operating systems: Windows, macOS, and Linux. For more information on configuring a static IP address, contact your ISP or visit the documentation for Network Manager (Windows) or System Preferences > Networking (macOS).

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