Today, we’re going to look at the process involved in setting a static IP address to a system you’ve connected to a network – as well as why anyone would ever want to do such a thing.
We’ll start with the process involved – which, in Windows 7, is actually fairly simple.
Simply access your Network and Sharing Center through the control panel (or the start menu), then click on “Change Adapter Settings” once the menu pops up. Once there, right click on your relevant network adapter (chances are good that if you’re trying to assign a static IP, you’re connected via ethernet, in which case it’ll be Local Area Connection) and select “Properties.” Next, click on Internet Protocal Version 4 and hit the “Properties” button near the bottom of the screen.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. You’re going to want to switch from “Obtain an IP Address Automatically” to “Use the Following IP Address.” Your IP address should look something like 192.168.0.2, and your subnet mask should be 255.255.255.0. For your default gateway, simply enter in the IP of your router (192.168.0.1 is usually the magic number). If you don’t have a router, leave the Default Gateway blank. Check “Validate Settings on Exit,” and then hit “OK.”
Assuming you did things right, you’ve got your own static IP address set up!
Now…why exactly would you want a static IP address assigned to a computer?
There are a few reasons. First and foremost, you might be trying to run a local server of some kind – in which case, changing IP address wouldn’t exactly work so well for you. On older routers, you might need to assign a static IP in order for ports to be forwarded to your system correctly, and many VPNs require that you equip your system with a static IP in order to use them.