How Long Does an IP Address Stay Attached to a Home or Business?

IP Config ImageDon’t IP Addresses change? The short answer: yes (in most cases). So if this is true, then how are we able to keep up with these changes in order to accurately serve to the intended audience? These are both valid questions, and in order to fully understand the nature of IP address assignment, one must have some background on Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP is a client/server protocol that automatically assigns an Internet Protocol (IP) host with an available address as well as other related configuration information under a lease. To put it more simply, DHCP is the process your Internet Service Provider uses to assign the IP address to your home or business.

Static vs. Dynamic IPs

An ISP can allocate IPs in two ways: Static or Dynamic. Business and individuals who pay a premium, are allocated a static IP address meaning it will not change over time. Most purchasers of business class internet fall into this category, since that Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) require a non-changing IP address in order to operate. On the other hand, most residential households will be assigned a Dynamic IP under a lease agreement. The typical lease time in the United States is roughly 7 days, however, in most instances the router will renegotiate this lease prior to expiration and most households will hold the same IP address for longer periods of time. Our research has discovered many homes, that theoretically have dynamic IP’s, hold the same address for multiple years.

So when does a dynamic IP address change?

Depending on your ISP, the IP address could change frequently after the lease expiration. Most of the time, the reason for a sudden change in an IP address is typically due to an interruption between your router and the internet. This could be due to power loss or from rebooting the system. Upon reconnection to the internet, your ISP will assign a new IP.

What is an IP Address?

Devices need a way to communicate with each other, as well as communicate to the router so they can connect to the internet; this is where the role of the IP comes to play. There are two different types of IP addresses in most homes and offices:

  1. Public IP- Sometimes referred as a gateway IP, this address is assigned by your ISP and resides on your router or firewall. It is the only outwardly facing address.

  2. Internal IPs- Your router will assign individual address to each connected device on your Local Area Network (LAN). These devices are located behind your router/firewall.

You can locate your current external IP address by simply searching “what is my IP”, or by going to www.whatismyip.com.

How Does El Toro Use This Information

Through our patented technology, we are able to analyze millions of data points, daily, and accurately match a physical address to the public IP address within a 95% confidence interval. If a public IP changes frequently, then this will not match in the 95% confidence interval and will simply not be served to.

If you have any further questions about IP addresses or how to use them to for advanced targeted of your digital advertising campaigns, please contact us.