Use DHCP on a router with a static Internet IP

by on February 24, 2010

Q: I have a static IP from my ISP and I have configured my router to use this static IP. I am wondering if I need to now setup all the computers/devices connected to the router to also use a static IP as well?

A: A router is used to connect two networks together. The first network is your local area network (LAN) and is just a fancy name for the network in your house/office/building. The second network is called a wide area network (WAN) and is just a fancy name for the Internet.

The router needs an IP address for each network. This means your router will have a WAN or Internet IP address that other people on the Internet can get to and therefore allows you to get to other people/servers on the Internet. Your router will also have have a LAN or local network IP address and this will let it talk to all the devices on your local network. The router figures out if you are trying to get to information on the local network or on the Internet and it routes your traffic to the correct location, hence the reason it is called a router.

The WAN IP address and the LAN IP address have nothing to do with each other and this is the reason you can have a static WAN/Internet IP address but you don’t need to have static local network IP addresses. You can just setup your router to use DHCP, which will cause each device to get a unique IP address each time it is turned on.

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