Static IP addresses are a large topic of discussion in gamer circles, and maybe newbies aren’t sure if they need one or what their purpose even is. If you’re considering changing your IP address: here’s everything you need to know and how to do it!
Why Use a Static IP Address?
Most devices that connect to the internet use a dynamic IP address that changes over time. A dynamic address means that if someone has your IP address now, it won’t matter by the time it resets within the next month. Unfortunately, a static IP address can leave you open to getting tracked if you’re not careful: but it does have its perks. A device with a static IP address makes sure it can be found on the network easily and is often used for gaming systems in particular.
How Do I Set This Up?
To set up a static IP address, you’ll access the control panel on your computer and type in “ncpa.cpl” before hitting enter. From here, you’ll right-click the network adapter that’s currently connected to whichever device you’re trying to set up. Select properties from the drop-down menu, double click “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4),” select “use the following IP address,” and then start filling out your information. The subnet mask needs to be the same as your PC. Save your settings, and make sure you’re able to connect and navigate as usual.
What Happens if Someone Else Gains This Information?
If someone else is able to do an IP address lookup on you, they’ll be able to find personal information, like your general location and who your internet provider is. They could also do more nefarious things, like block you from sites, send your IP address countless alerts that will make it impossible to get online, or even frame you for online crimes you didn’t do.
Every device you have that connects to the internet has an IP address. It’s vital that you protect these addresses.
Could I Use a VPN Instead?
You can absolutely use a VPN instead: but be careful. If your main goal is to create an easy to connect to the device for yourself, IP addresses will complicate things, make your connection take longer, and may read as being in another state or country. Although these aren’t ideal if you’re trying to make it a simple connection, an IP address can protect you from people knowing your information or being able to track you across websites.
What Else Can I Do to Protect Myself?
Besides a VPN, there are other things you can do to protect yourself. One of the major things is to avoid clicking links or going to websites you don’t know. Another is to avoid giving out any information about yourself so that even if they do get your IP address, hackers or stalkers won’t be able to piece out where you’re at since they won’t have a name to help tie to it.
You Can Take Your Internet Use Into Your Own Hands
Everyone deserves a safe and healthy environment while they’re online. Make sure to build that for yourself by protecting your IP address.