You need to consider a lot of things before embarking on your journey of running a small business. From financial and personnel management to convoluted legalities and airtight security, everything needs your attention. Meanwhile, you also need to ensure a fitting balance between your company’s expenses and profit margins.
So, among all these responsibilities, there comes the task of choosing your network details and IP address. The tedious task may be a tiny part of your security concerns, but you cannot afford to overlook it unless maintaining the privacy of your company’s data is not of great importance to you — which is foolhardy.
So here’s a guide that will help you decide whether you should opt for a private IP address in layman terms.
What is an IP Address?
Every internet-connected device is assigned a set of unique numbers, which is called an IP Address. The IP enables devices to contact each other over the internet to send and receive information; that’s how a device location is pinpointed.
There are two types of IP addresses:
Static IP: As explained by its name, a Static IP is assigned to a particular device and remains unchanged, and is preferably utilized for dedicated services such as mail, FTP, and creating and hosting computer servers, etc.
Dynamic IP: This form of IP address changes frequently and is randomly assigned to multiple devices. A Dynamic IP address is usually a default setting for most systems as it isn’t big on maintenance and additional configuration. This IP address is concerned with Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN).
Both Static and Dynamic IP addresses are referred to as Public IP addresses. A public IP allows any device to find another one over the internet in order to send/receive information.
A Private IP address comes in the fold for instances where you may want to keep your devices hidden and prohibit external access.
What is a Private IP Address?
A private IP Address, also known as a Local IP address, works on a private network. Therefore, all outside communication is effectively barred, and devices can only send and receive information to those on the same private network. These IP addresses can be Static and Dynamic as well, but their visibility is always confined to those included in the same private network.
Besides, a private IP address may be different from a public IP address, but they aren’t particularly unique. Since the private network doesn’t allow any interaction with external devices, there is no chance of conflict with regards to the addresses unless they are on the same network.
Are there Pros and Cons of Employing a Private IP Address?
Companies and even home networks need to be free from any form of privacy and data breach, so many dabble into a Private IP address to see if it achieves their security goal or contributes towards it in some way. Here are the merits and demerits you need to consider when opting for a private IP address, and depending on how your Private IP is structured and what your Internet Service Provider delivers, you can do a lot more with it:
Pros of Using a Private IP Address
- Maintaining Data Privacy: As discussed before, data privacy is the top concern for every firm. Cybercriminals and hackers are an opportunist lot and a tiny bit of spillage of sensitive information can bring great suffering to a business. So a private IP ensures that a company’s sensitive information is only accessible to those approved by the private network.
- Protection from Malicious Cyber Elements: A private network does not have anything to do with an external network. So when no other device can interact with your network and there are zero external openings, it is simultaneously difficult for malicious malware, viruses, and spyware to penetrate your system.
- Guaranteed Bandwidth: One of the greatest perks for bandwidth-intensive business processes is that you have dedicated internet access. So if you have subscribed to a specific speed plan such as 400 Mbps, rest assured that you will have unhindered access to this particular speed at all times. Such is not the case with a shared network, where speeds fluctuate depending on the traffic.
- Seamless Execution of Applications: A private network easily powers other high-intensive avenues such as VoIP phones, videoconferencing, cloud applications, video streaming, and remote desktop operations, etc.
- Simplifies the Identification of Problem: Since there are a limited number of devices over a private network, your network may not be as prone to issues such as loss of connectivity or equipment malfunctioning. If an issue does arise, it’s much easier to connect.
Cons of Using a Private IP Address
- Another Layer of Complexity: A Public IP is the default choice for most networks as they require little to no setup and configuration. However, it’s the reverse while setting up a Private IP with non-standard configurations, which is probably why many steer clear of it.
- Higher Costs: The cost of maintaining a private IP network is only slightly higher than that of the public as the equipment along with server configuration and maintenance expenses are not divided across millions of users, which is the case for Public IP. Therefore, the cost of a private network are borne by the operator while some of it is passed on to its users.
- No External Communication: Lack of external contact may not be conducive for some businesses as devices are only restricted to communicating with those on the same network, which are only but a few. So when the need pops up, your devices may not be able to access your partner’s, supplier or vendors’ websites, and even send emails to stakeholders external to your company.
Therefore, you may have to simultaneously opt for a public network for this purpose, which may land added cost to your expenses. However, certain internet providers like Charter Spectrum may deliver seamless access to both, public and private, networks. So a call to the Spectrum Customer Service Number may get you a good deal whether you want shared, dedicated, or both networks.
Is there Any Return of Value with Private IP Addresses for Your Small Business?
Now that you have a thorough understanding of what a Private IP address can do and not do for you, your quest for choosing network details may seem less daunting.
What value a Private IP delivers depends upon how you have planned your business operations and your priorities. Is privacy a big issue for you or convenience? Do your devices require external communication? Does your business entail high-performance applications? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before making a decision.
If you are still ambivalent about your decision, then it’s better to consult an Internet provider that is well-informed and equipped for such scenarios. Providers like Spectrum provide internet options specifically tailored to start-ups, enterprises, government, and business needs, which allows you to do more with your network and consequently reap a return of value.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and the NFL network.