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Question: Should I use a dynamic IP address?

My understanding is that most home internet accounts use a dynamic IP address which my ISP changes from time to time and is preferred for privacy reasons. My Airport Time Capsule is an access point/base station for my wireless network which is behind my ISP's firewall. In System Preferences/Network/Wi-Fi/Advanced/TCP-IP/ it says "ConfigureIPv4: Using DCHP". In Airport Utility/ Internet/ it says "Connect Using: Static". Do these settings indicate that I am using a dynamic IP address or do I need to make changes? Thank you.

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013), macOS Sierra (10.12.6), Time Capsule; AGT784WNV DSL Gateway

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Nov 19, 2017 11:00 AM in response to technology today In response to technology today

There are two different kinds of IP addresses that are used on most home networks......"public" and "private".


The IP address that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) supplies to your gateway is known as a "public" IP address, and it will normally change from time to time unless you are paying an additional fee to your ISP for a "static" Internet IP address. In theory, a dynamic public IP address might slow down a hacker just a bit who is trying to crack your network from the Internet.


The IP addresses that your gateway provides to the devices on your network are known as a "private" IP addresses.....because they are assigned to devices on your private network. A "private" IP address will always start with 192.x.x.x, 10.x.x.x, or 172.x.x.x.


Your Time Capsule is receiving an IP address from the gateway using one of the IP address ranges above. You can see the actual IP that the gateway is providing to your Time Capsule by opening up AirPort Utility and clicking on the picture of the Time Capsule. Look for the IP address in the smaller window that appears.


There are advantages in having a static IP address assigned to the Time Capsule, so it will always receive the same IP address from the gateway. The "private" IP address that your Time Capsule receives has nothing to do with the "public" IP that your gateway receives from your Internet provider, so my advice would be to leave the Time Capsule set to receive a static IP address from your gateway.


But.....you can change the settings in AirPort Utility for the Time Capsule from Static to DHCP if you want. Then, the Time Capsule will be assigned a random IP private IP address that will likely change daily or week to week. The Time Capsule is more likely to "disappear" from AirPort Utility from time to time if you use the DHCP setting, so you will need to power off both the gateway and Time Capsule and then start both of them back up to try to get things working again if this occurs.


Security wise, it makes no difference at all whether the Time Capsule receives a dynamic private IP address from your gateway or static private IP address from your gateway.

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 19, 2017 11:00 AM in response to technology today In response to technology today

There are two different kinds of IP addresses that are used on most home networks......"public" and "private".


The IP address that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) supplies to your gateway is known as a "public" IP address, and it will normally change from time to time unless you are paying an additional fee to your ISP for a "static" Internet IP address. In theory, a dynamic public IP address might slow down a hacker just a bit who is trying to crack your network from the Internet.


The IP addresses that your gateway provides to the devices on your network are known as a "private" IP addresses.....because they are assigned to devices on your private network. A "private" IP address will always start with 192.x.x.x, 10.x.x.x, or 172.x.x.x.


Your Time Capsule is receiving an IP address from the gateway using one of the IP address ranges above. You can see the actual IP that the gateway is providing to your Time Capsule by opening up AirPort Utility and clicking on the picture of the Time Capsule. Look for the IP address in the smaller window that appears.


There are advantages in having a static IP address assigned to the Time Capsule, so it will always receive the same IP address from the gateway. The "private" IP address that your Time Capsule receives has nothing to do with the "public" IP that your gateway receives from your Internet provider, so my advice would be to leave the Time Capsule set to receive a static IP address from your gateway.


But.....you can change the settings in AirPort Utility for the Time Capsule from Static to DHCP if you want. Then, the Time Capsule will be assigned a random IP private IP address that will likely change daily or week to week. The Time Capsule is more likely to "disappear" from AirPort Utility from time to time if you use the DHCP setting, so you will need to power off both the gateway and Time Capsule and then start both of them back up to try to get things working again if this occurs.


Security wise, it makes no difference at all whether the Time Capsule receives a dynamic private IP address from your gateway or static private IP address from your gateway.

Nov 19, 2017 11:00 AM

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Question: Should I use a dynamic IP address?