In this article we will look at how you can easily set a static IP address for your computer on your Local Area Network (LAN) to help avoid IP address conflicts. This is aimed at people running a basic network on Windows machines and the steps are the same for XP, Vista and Windows 7. In general, most people will be fine using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) to set their IP addresses for every device used, however router issues as well as other contributing factors can cause issues from time to time. One reason that caused this to happen on a friends network was due to the routers firmware being at fault which resulted in the same IP addresses being given to different devices on the network. Updating the firmware on the router resolved this for him and he was able to carry on using DHCP instead of manually setting static IP addresses for each device. Firstly though, let’s take a look at what a IP address conflicts is in its most basic form.
An IP address conflict can occur when two connected devices are assigned the same IP address which will prevent one of the devices from being able to access the network correctly. The typical warning message will be seen at the bottom of your screen should this happen:
To get around this is fairly simple and can either be resolved by either renewing the IP address on the affected machine, rebooting the router so that a new IP address is given out via DHCP or to manually assign a IP address for the device so that it should not occur again. However, for the purposes of this article, we will be looking at how to set a static IP address to resolve the issue. The process of setting a static IP address should only take you about 30 seconds or so to do. If you wish to get a list of all available IP addresses available to you, then I recommend using the SolarWinds FREE IP Address Tracker.
The first thing you will need to do is to find out what your router (Gateway) address is, so you are able to choose a new static IP. To find this press the Windows Key+R. Now type cmd and hit Enter.
Once you have done this a command prompt window will open. At the prompt, type ipconfig and hit Enter.
This will now display the required information for you. What you are looking for is the Default Gateway address which is the address of your router.
Now let’s set a static IP address on the computer. I’ll start with XP and then Windows 7. The process is identical although getting to the settings window varies slightly in Windows 7.
Start>Control Panel>Network Connections. Choose your LAN connection, right-click on it and choose Properties.
In the Local Area Connection Properties window that opens, scroll down to Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and highlight it (single click) and then hit Properties.
By default (assuming that you have never changed anything in here before) you will have it set for you router to automatically set your IP address when ever your machine starts. Depending on how many devices may be using the network at any given time, then this address will change from time-to-time.
To change these settings from the default DHCP assigned IP address to a static address simply check the Obtain an IP address automatically at the top.
Now change you IP address to one that is not in use, or is far enough away from the router address that it won’t be an issue. Note that the Default Gateway is the same as the router address. The Subnet Mask will be automatically configured for you. With regards the Preferred and Alternate DNS server addresses, you can either opt to only set the Primary DNS to the Gateway address, or if you wish (preferred) you can use Google’s DNS server addresses (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 respectively) as shown below:
In my example at the top of the article (ignore the 10 in the XP screenshot), you can see that my IP address was 192.168.0.11 and the router address is 192.168.0.1. Now I can only use an IP address that is in the range of 192.168.0.2 thru to 192.168.0.254 (0 and 255 are reserved protocols). The router address can’t be used for obvious reasons, so I will choose one that I know isn’t currently in use. The number that you will be changing is the last digits in the set of numbers. Don’t change the first three sets. If for example 192.168.0.5 is having a conflict with another device, then try changing it to a higher one like 192.168.0.6 and see if that is OK. If it already in use it will inform you.
Once you have found an IP address that is available, simply hit OK, and Close the remaining windows to finish.
Follow the same steps as above to locate your routers address (unless you already know it) and then go Start>Control Panel>Network and Sharing Center
Now select Local Area Connection
Select the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then Properties
By default your computer will be set to automatically obtain an IP address and DNS address via the router (via DHCP)
To change these settings manually select Use the following IP address at the top and enter the following information as shown in the images below. Note that your details will differ from mine depending on what your router address is.
For the DNS address to use, you can opt to use your routers address or use Google’s DNS servers (184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 respectively) as shown in the 2nd image below:
Image below showing Google DNS servers being used
Note that if you choose an IP address that is already in use or reserved, you will get a warning message.
Once you have entered in the address settings you wish, hit OK and then close the remaining windows to finish.
That’s it, I hope this helped.