I have a small network at home with a router, a printer, a NAS and 4 PCs. My router allows full DHCP management and I have set my router, NAS and printer to have static IP addresses (reserved fixed leasings) and the PCs to get a dynamically assigned IP address from the DHCP service on the router.

In a small network like this, are there any benefits to have dynamic addresses?

  • I just realized that you might want to edit your question. In the title it asks about the benefits of dynamics, and then the last line of the body, statics. – KCotreau Jul 28 '11 at 15:17
  • @KCotreau I think you misunderstand his question (though it could be reworded to be a bit more clear). I believe he's asking what the benefit is to having the router hand out static IP addresses with DHCP. So, every time computer A asks for an IP, it will get the same one, and every time computer B asks for an IP, it will also get the same one, but you're still using DHCP. – nhinkle Jul 28 '11 at 15:20
  • @nhinkle♦ That is probable now that I see re-read the (reserved fixed leasings). I was thrown by "NAS and printer to have static IP addresses", which is something different. – KCotreau Jul 28 '11 at 15:25
  • @nhinkle KCotreau understood my question, but thank you for checking. – JannieT Jul 28 '11 at 15:26
  • @KCotreau - Thanks! I made a correction to my question. Your answer below is very helpful. – JannieT Jul 28 '11 at 15:27

There is no real benefit to statics, except if you need to do NAT through your firewall to a static host, but no real problems either since your network is so small, it is easy to keep track of just a few static addresses (this was THE main pain in the butt for large organizations with static addressing in the distant past).

I would keep a DHCP server so if you have friends visit, you can accomodate them.

Fo anyone setting up static IP's, I would recommend a scheme. Here is the one I use for my corporate networks:

x.x.x.1-x.x.x..20       Hardware devices like routers and switches
x.x.x.21-x.x.x.40       Hardware Servers
x.x.x.41-x.x.x.60       Printers
x.x.x.61-x.x.x.100      Miscellaneous like VMs
x.x.x.101-x.x.x.254     DHCP 
  • Although you are talking about using DHCP address reservations (this is the proper term), basically the same rules apply. You can really do it either way (100% static or DHCP/static) in a small environment, but you use statics if you need a fixed IP, like for a printer, or NAT as in the answer. – KCotreau Jul 28 '11 at 15:33
  • You can also set a range for the DHCP pool for visitors and set strict static addresses for the rest of the network. This is less common in home networks, but still happens on corporate networks. – MaQleod Jul 28 '11 at 22:47

There isn't any benefit and to be honest, it will most likely be slightly slower during resume from standby and initial connecting to the network as it will have to get a lease.

In this situation and what I do on my network is that I have static IPs that are all set and planned by me and have DHCP leases/reservations for the same IPs. This has the benefit of having the same IP if I rebuild/reset and the benefits of static the rest of the time.

The real benefit of DHCP is simply for other devices. Ipad, Iphone, other Mobile Phones, Games Consoles and other network connected devices that may only be connected a few times. You do not always want to be messing around with static IPs.

  • -1. A DHCP client doesn't issue a DHCPRELEASE upon going in to standby mode, and most don't issue a DHCPRELEASE upon being shut down (Windows DHCP clients don't). – joeqwerty Jul 28 '11 at 16:48
  • -1 Starting with XP, the network initiation process is a parallel process anyways. It's only a real issue in Domains, where they have to re authenticate. And that is IF the password hash cache has expired. – surfasb Jul 28 '11 at 17:54

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