Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Resetting a router can cause it to revert to its default. If you'd been using a static IP it may revert to dyanmic configuration, but is that theft?
I'm using DSL and I have a router, and I have a static IP. So one day I restarted my router manually by pressing a button on the back. Now my IP address has changed. I told my friend I had done this and he says I've made a huge mistake. He says I'm essentially stealing another person's IP address on the ISP. Is it true that I am committing a crime by changing my IP address by simply restarting my router?
No, you're not.
What your friend fails to realize is something very fundamental to how IP addresses work.
You don't take an IP address; an IP address is given to you.
Static IP addresses are assigned by your ISP. Typically, it's something you need to pre-arrange as part of setting up your account. The ISP determines what IP address to assign to you, tells you what that IP address is, and then configures their equipment to make sure that all data sent to that IP address is sent down the correct wires to reach you.
For your part, when you are assigned an IP address you then need to manually configure that in whatever equipment is connected directly to your ISP provided internet connection. Typically, that's your router. I have a static IP address, for example, and I had to go into my router and configure it use that address.
Dynamic IP addresses are also assigned by your ISP, but in a completely different manner. When you connect your computer or router to the internet, the software asks via a protocol known as DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) for an IP address. In essence, on being connected to the net the device sends out a broadcast: "is there anyone out there who can assign me an IP address?". The ISP's equipment responds with "sure, here you go, you can be x.x.x.x".
On your side, you enable all this automatic IP assignment by, once again, configuring the device connected to the internet properly. On a router or on a computer you configure the network connection to ask for a IP address automatically.
Two of the bigger differences between static and dynamic IP addresses include:
A static IP address does not change, whereas a dynamic IP address can. Each time a device asks for an IP address the answer could be different, and dynamic IP addresses are typically also only valid for some period of time, after which the device is required to ask again.
A static IP address typically requires manual requests and coordination with the ISP or issuing authority. A dynamic IP address is assigned automatically when your computer connects.
But in all cases, static or dynamic, the IP address was given to you by the ISP. You didn't take it. You can't "steal" what you were given.
Either of two things happened:
1) You actually didn't have a static IP address to begin with. Since you didn't mention configuring the router for it, I have to assume that this is at least a possibility. Hence, resetting your router didn't really change anything.
2) You did have a static IP address, but the reset on your router restored it to default configuration, which is almost always to ask for a dynamic IP address. Obviously, your ISP doesn't care, as they assigned a dynamic IP address and you were up and running. To complete your configuration, though, you'll want to go back into your router and configure it with the static IP address information you should have gotten from your ISP in the first place.
Comments on this entry are closed.
If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.
If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.