Uses for a Static IP Address
There are two types of static IP address – the type you use within a local network, and the type you use on the web. Typically a static IP address might be setup for use on the web if you wanted to host an online game such as Counter-Strike but there are other reasons for this too, such as serving web pages from your computer.
Obtaining a web-facing static IP address can be difficult, and depends on the rules and regulations of your ISP (Internet service provider) not to mention a fee for setting it up.
Rather than obtaining a static IP address, if might be worth considering the alternatives.
The first thing you need to consider is why you need a static IP address. Is this something that you have realized yourself, or did someone suggest this to you, someone who perhaps has a business interest in you paying for that service?
Ultimately, there are many users out there serving webpages from an always-on computer and Internet connection that do so without a static IP.
A quick check of my own ISP (one that offers a reasonable tariff) reveals that a static IP address amounts to $100 per year – not a great overhead to have, is it?
Rather than using your ISP to obtain a static IP address, the best option is to use a free online dynamic DNS service.
Should I Be Hosting My Own Website?
There are various arguments for and against hosting your own website. Ten years ago this would have been tricky, but now it is pretty straightforward as long as you have a reasonably fast computer that you don’t perform any intensive tasks on, coupled with a broadband Internet connection.
While there is every reason to pay for web site hosting if you are using dynamic, database-driven webpages, if your website consists of no more than a handful of static pages then you should be able to take advantage of your computer rather than pay extra money.
Using a Free Server
If you want to setup a static IP address but don’t want to pay for the pleasure, a service such as DynDNS.com is ready to come to your rescue.
Providing free accounts, NO-IP.com gives you the option of creating a hostname that is linked to your computer’s IP address, giving you an easy to remember URL (which you might forward a regular www.mywebsitename.com style URL to) as well as an update mechanism that detects when your dynamically assigned ISP IP address has changed, thereby overcoming the need for a static IP address!
Given that this option is free, it is a much better choice than paying for your static IP address. If you find that you are using more of the service than is available, you can update your account.