Addresses for User Devices

In most data networks, the largest population of hosts includes the end devices such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, printers, and IP phones. Because this represents the largest number of devices within a network, the largest number of addresses should be allocated to these hosts. These hosts are assigned IP addresses from the range of available addresses in the network. These IP addresses can be assigned either statically or dynamically.

Static Assignment

With a static assignment, the network administrator must manually configure the network information for a host. Figure 1 shows the window for the network adapter properties. To configure a static IPv4 address, choose IPv4 on the network adapter screen, then key in the static address, subnet mask, and default gateway. Figure 2 shows the minimum static configuration: the host IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.

There are several advantages to static addressing. For instance, they are useful for printers, servers, and other networking devices that do not change location often and need to be accessible to clients on the network based on a fixed IP address. If hosts normally access a server at a particular IP address, it would cause problems if that address changed. Additionally, static assignment of addressing information can provide increased control of network resources. For example, it is possible to create access filters based on traffic to and from a specific IP address. However, static addressing can be time-consuming to enter on each host.

When using static IP addressing, it is necessary to maintain an accurate list of the IP address assigned to each device. These are permanent addresses and are not normally reused.