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Using Static IP Addresses on Your Network

Article Description

Do you regularly access shares or servers on your network? If so, it is better to assign IP addresses to these devices instead of getting them automatically from DHCP. Eric Geier, author of Wi-Fi Hotspots: Setting Up Public Wireless Internet Access, helps you discover ways to convert from dynamic to static addresses.
Manually Configuring Clients

Manually Configuring Clients

If your router doesn't sport the reservation feature, or if you prefer to go with one of the manual routes, you'll need to configure each desired computer with a static IP. First, you'll need to bring up the properties dialog for the wired or wireless network connection or adapter, in Windows XP or Vista.

Then find and open the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) entry (see Figure 2) from the list box. The TCP/IP Properties dialog should appear. There's two different ways to configure a static IP; we'll discuss each.

First, you can set it "normally;" the network adapter will always use the static IP details you enter for any network it connects to. Then if it does need to connect to a different network that has DHCP on, you'd probably have to change the setting back to obtain IP details automatically; and then reconfigure it when reconnecting with the static network.

To use this method, stay on the General tab, and click the Use the following IP address radio button (see Figure 3).

The other way to configure a static IP is to use the Alternate Configuration method. This is beneficial only if you're going to disable DHCP completely on the network. You would configure the computer with a static IP to be used only when one is not automatically given to the computer.

Thus the user could go between using your static network and other dynamic networks (for example, at home or at a hotspot) without having to switch between static and automatic IP settings.

To use this method, click the Alternate Configuration tab and click the User configured radio button (see Figure 4).

Figure 4

Either way you go, you input the same IP details:

  • IP Address: Pick an address within the same subnet as the router. For example, if your router is 192.168.1.1 (subnet 255.255.255.0), you could go with anything between 192.168.1.2 and 192.168.1.255, or if it's 192.168.0.1 (subnet 255.255.255.0), 192.168.0.2–192.168.0.255 would be the range.
  • Subnet Mask: This would be the same as your router, probably 255.255.255.0.
  • Default Gateway: This is your router's IP address.
  • Preferred DNS: You can either enter a DNS server's IP address, if you know it, or simply enter your router's IP address.
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