If you use your computer to access the internet, or access your computer remotely then you need to know how to set a static IP address for best reliability. Setting a static IP address in Windows can be confusing so read on and I’ll walk you through it.
How to set a static IP in Windows 7
If your computer accesses the internet, or is configured on a home or office network, then your computer has an IP address assigned to it. Most likely this address was automatically assigned by your router, but if you want a higher level of control, or if you just want to make sure that your computer will always retain the same address, you need to set a static IP.
Setting a static IP will ensure that no matter what else changes, your computer will always keep the same IP address.
Every device that is connected on your network must have its own unique IP address, which is usually assigned automatically by the router using a technology called DHCP. However, if you want to set your Windows computer to always keep the same IP address (called a static IP) then you’ll need to manually configure that option.
While a static IP address is not always necessary for a computer, certain programs which must communicate back and forth between your computer and the other devices on the network will require you to have a static IP address to help identify your computer on your network. If you didn’t set a static IP address, there’s a good chance that another computer or device on your network may wind up with the address your computer was previously using, thus causing some complications.
There’s really no harm in setting a static IP address on your computer, so long as you do it correctly, so if you want to set a static IP address on your Windows computer, read on and I’ll show you how.
To set a static IP address in Windows 7:
- From your Start menu, open the Control Panel.
- Click on Network Settings, then
- Right click on your network connection and click on ‘Properties’ as shown in the screen shot below.
- Now, click once on ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)’ and then click on ‘Properties’.
- The ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)’ window will appear as shown below. Simply click the bubble next to ‘Use the following IP address;’ then fill out the IP address you’d like to use, followed by the subnet mask and the default gateway.
For most home networks, the IP address should look something like 192.168.1.XXX, where XXX will be any number between 002 and 255. If this is the case for you, you will use the Subnet mask 255.255.255.0 as shown above.
The default gateway address is the IP address of your router. By default, most manufacturers use 192.168.1.1 for an address, but your network may be different.
Once you have entered all of this information, click OK to set your new static IP address. If you have difficulty accessing the internet after doing this, first try rebooting your computer to ensure the new static IP settings have gone into effect, and then check again.
If you still have difficulties after that, go back to step 5 above, and click the bubble next to ‘Obtain an IP address automatically‘. This will let your router assign an automatic IP address to your computer using DHCP and should restore your connectivity as it was.