Mar 19, 2014

Which should I use for a home network, static IPs or DHCP?

When setting up a home network, is it worth the extra effort to assign static IP addresses to everything, or is DHCP the way to go?


DHCP is what I would suggest. It’s a pain to assign static IP addresses, and not even very effective from a security standpoint. However, DHCP doesn’t always work well with everything. I’m specifically thinking of networked printers, although a few will work with DHCP...it’s very hit or miss, mostly miss in my experience. The problem is that other machines on the network (usually) can’t find the printer when its IP changes.

DHCP vs. Static IP—Which Is Better?

"DCHP provides true "plug and play" networking, but it can come at a cost. There is less control, so you can't count on a particular device having a particular address if you have a networking challenge that requires this.

Because DHCP is a more-or-less “hands off” technology, there is a danger is that someone could plant an unauthorized DHCP server, which could direct traffic to a different router that is under that person's control. This would make it possible to hijack the network for nefarious purposes. Also, because DHCP servers make it so easy to add new clients to the network, DHCP also makes it possible to join a network without explicit permission. This issue can be prevented by forcing a DHCP network to require authentication when adding a new device, but that kind of defeats the purpose of DHCP in the first place."
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