If you’re like me, you probably have 20 devices connected to your home network: phones, printers, network attached storage devices, TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, media players, and finally computers. Whew! With all those devices, you probably also like to share data and files amongst them. Well, normally that works fine as most of the time the DNS name of the device is used.
If the IP address changes, you can still use the DNS name to access the device. However, there are quite a few instances where you end up using the IP address to access a device and if that IP address changes, then you have to reconfigure the device. For example, I have a printer that also scans and will save the file directly to a computer. However, it uses the IP address instead of the name of the machine. Every time the machine reboots, it gets a new IP address and I have to type that new IP into the printer. What a pain!
In this article, I’ll show you how you can assign static or fixed IP addresses to the devices on your network without manually configuring each device. For example, you can always assign a static IP address to a Windows 8 PC by going to network settings, but it’s far easier to just assign the static IP address on your router. This saves you from having to configure 20 devices individually to easily managing all the static IP addresses from one central location.
Most modern routers have some sort of IP address reservation page or configuration option that you just have to find, usually under the Local Area Network or LAN section. Here I will show you how to do it on an AT&T U-verse router and a Netgear router. Hopefully, it’s pretty much the same on other routers like Belkin and D-Link.
Assign Static IP Addresses via Router
To get started, you’ll need to login to your wireless router via a web browser. In order to do this, you’ll need the IP address of your router. If you already know it, then you can skip this section. To figure out your router IP, you can simply look up the default gateway on your computer. Here’s how.
Open a command prompt on any PC by following this procedure:
Windows XP – Click on Start, click on Run and type in CMD
Windows 7 – Click on Start and type in command prompt
Windows 8 – Go to Start screen, right-click, choose All apps, then scroll right and click on Command Prompt
Now at the command prompt, type in the following command, which is just one word:
You should get a screen that looks like this:
Make sure you are looking at the correct network adapter. For example, you see the above screenshot says Ethernet Adapter Local Area Connection, which is the IP address info for my Ethernet connection. If you are using wireless, it should say Wireless adapter. The ip address you want is the one listed under Default Gateway.
Now take this IP address and open a web browser. Type it into the address bar and press enter.
This will load the web interface for your wireless router. Note that you will probably have to enter the router username and password in order to gain access. If you never changed it, then you can check out a site called routerpasswords.com that lists out all the default ones for many routers. If you have the original packaging, it should be on there too.
Now that you’re in the router, you’ll need to find the section that shows the current IP addresses that have been allocated by the DHCP server. On my AT&T router, I had to click on Settings, then LAN, then IP Address Allocation.
To give a device a fixed IP address, just find it in the list and then click on the Address Assignment drop down. By default, it is set to Private from pool:IPRange.
From the drop down, you can choose a fixed IP address. Just make sure you don’t pick a fixed IP that is already taken by another device on the network.
For my Netgear router, the process was a little different. First, once you logged in, you have to go to Attached Devices to see all the connected devices and their MAC addresses.
Find the MAC address for the device you want to give a static IP address to and then click on LAN Setup.
Click the Add button under Address Reservation and then either choose from the radio buttons at the top or manually type in info yourself.
That’s about it! This is a much easier way to assign static or fixed IP addresses to devices on your network rather than manually configuring it on the device itself. If you have any problems or issues, post a comment and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!