I need the laptops at my office to have a static IP address for security purposes and identification. However, some employees take their laptops home in the evening. If I have the Wi-Fi configuration set to use a static IP address, how can they have a dynamic IP address at home?

The laptops are using Windows Vista and Windows 7.

  • possible duplicate: superuser.com/questions/107432/… – sblair Apr 14 '10 at 21:16
  • @Jason, someone has voted to migrate this to Server Fault. SF is more for IT professionals; Super User is more for end-users. SF may have some thoughts about this from a different perspective, but SU is the right place for a general end-user solution. it's up to you if you want it migrated; leave a comment here or flag for moderator attention and request it be migrated. – quack quixote Apr 14 '10 at 23:18
  • @sblair, yeah this is the dup, but it's getting the activity. Vote to close the other one (sorry Tony_Henrich). – hyperslug Apr 14 '10 at 23:18

Windows supports one alternative static IP address. Set your normal connection to DHCP. There is a button somewhere at the Properties window of the ipsettings for advanced settings. You can enter an alternative IP address there. This one will be your static IP address at work.

Edit: It´s this Dialog. As you can see, there is a button at the right side Advanced.... There you can set the alternative IP address. And yes, the dialog still exists at Windows Vista and Windows 7 :-)

Windows 7 IP Properties

  • 1
    I think you actually want the Alternate Configuration tab at the top, not the Advanced button at the bottom. As pointed out in the link in goblinbox's answer, the Alternate Configuration is used only if Windows doesn't get a response from a DHCP server. So when the laptops are at home the DHCP settings will take effect, but at work they'll have to wait slightly longer for the DHCP request to time out before the static settings kick in. – Bavi_H Apr 15 '10 at 4:03
  • this is a good idea. I'll have to turn off the DHCP service on the router, but that is doable. So, if I'm understanding this correctly, when the laptops connect, they will look for a DHCP server but they won't find any. Then, they will fall over to the alternate config which is the static IP. Very cool. Thanks. :) – Jason Shultz Apr 15 '10 at 4:10
  • Yeah, Bavi_H is right... It was late yesterday :-) I meant the Alternate Cofiguration Box – Diskilla Apr 15 '10 at 6:01
  • This will work, but if you have a real dhcp server available (and not a simple server such as is built into a wireless router) it's definitely the hard way to do this. – Joel Coehoorn Apr 22 '10 at 19:22

Not my strongest topic, but...

My way of going about this would be to have your router/switch at work to assign IP's to the devices, rather than setting Windows to ask for an IP.

  • The laptops will be set to DHCP / Automatic IP.
  • The router/switch will assign the same IP to each laptop by looking at its MAC Address.

However, this means each new laptop will need to be configured on the router/switch at work. It might also conflict with your "security and identification" setup.

Maybe this isn't the correct way of doing it - It's all I could come up with.

  • @hyperslug: you're right, I'm deleting my comment which is quite obviously incorrect! @Hello: sorry for the mixup! – squillman Apr 15 '10 at 1:18
  • @hyperslug @squillman: I wasn't able to get onto SU until now - I didn't get to see any of your comments so I'm not aware of what went on :( Oh well... – OmidTahouri Apr 15 '10 at 13:17

XP had an Alternate Configuration tab. Is that gone in Vista and 7? (See this article for deets.)


TCP/IP Manager at sourceforge might be worth checking out if you do not mind manually switching between the settings.

There is a way to save a config onto a USB drive. Right click on the network -> properties -> connection tab -> save this profile to USB.

Not the best solutions but they might help

Just found this link which walks you through saving and loading the settings through USB

  • you can add additional links in comments after your own post; use the gray "add comment" link. a high-rep user can edit them into your post for you, or you can come back and edit it yourself after you've gained some rep. – quack quixote Apr 14 '10 at 23:01

I would still set up the machines to get their IP address via dhcp. The trick is then also set up the dhcp server in your office with a reservation for each computer and no additional free addresses. This is very easy to do from Windows Server, at least, and probably with linux dhcp servers as well. You can put your wireless computers in a different dhcp scope and your server will still be able to hand out addresses as normal for wired clients.

This gives you the best of all possible options: effectively static IP addresses at the office, no custom setup on the laptops, you can manage what the IP address should be from desk even if the laptop is elsewhere, and the laptops will work like normal when users take them home.

protected by Community Mar 20 '18 at 12:05

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