Danny Moran

DHCP Reservation or Static IP Address

Published February 01, 2018 by Danny Moran

Table of Contents


Every network device needs to have an Internet Protocol (IP) address to be able to communicate with other devices on the local network or over the internet. There are two ways for a device to get an IP address; they can be automatically be assigned one from a Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) server or they can be manually configured with one directly on the Network Interface Card (NIC) of the device.

By default, when a device connects to a network, they are assigned a random IP address from a pre-allocated pool of addresses specified on the DHCP server. For most devices having a random and changing IP address is fine but there are a few use cases where it is better to keep giving the same device the same IP address. If clients are needing to connect to a network device then in most cases it is best for the “server” device to have a consistent IP address.

There are two types of network devices; clients and servers.

A device can be classified as both a client device and a server device.

There are two different ways to make sure that a device keeps the same IP address on the network. The device can be manually configured with the static network settings or a reservation can be set up on the DHCP server so that every time the device checks in and asks for the DHCP server for a new IP address, the server checks the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the requesting device and if it matches a device in the reservation list, it provides the device with the reserved IP address.

Advantages of using DHCP reservation

Disadvantages of using DHCP reservation

When you should not use DHCP reservation

DHCP reservation should be avoided for critical infrastructure devices such as firewalls, routers, switches, and domain controllers, as if there is a network outage you will likely need to access these devices and if they lose their DHCP address you will struggle to get access quickly.


Personally, unless a device requires a fixed IP address and always needs to be accessible even when there is an issue with the DHCP server, I always use DHCP reservation and leave the device configured to automatically receive an address from the DHCP server.