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Static vs. DHCP IP: Which is faster?

Feb 20, 20062 mins
Data CenterRouters

Does a static IP address make file transfers go faster than using DHCP IP addresses? No, Dr. Internet says.

Did you really mean to say, in an earlier column, that using a static IP address will make file transfers go faster than using DHCP IP addresses?

No, using static addresses is not magically faster than using DHCP addresses. The goal in that article was to get two PCs on the same physical network segment onto the same IP subnet, so that the router hop could be eliminated from the file-transfer network path. The same result could be accomplished by putting those two PCs onto the same IP subnet using DHCP rather than static ones. When the physical segments line up with the IP subnets, packets bound for destinations on the same subnet/segment are delivered directly in Ethernet frames. When IP packets are delivered through a router, the router delivers the packets to the destination machine in Ethernet frames.

In IPv6 networks the IP address can be automatically derived from the Ethernet media access control address without DHCP or static address management. In IPv4 the Ethernet addresses are longer than the IP addresses, so systems use Address Resolution Protocol to map from one to the other.

When it’s time to deliver the data to a wired Ethernet device, the data travels the last segment to the receiving machine in an Ethernet frame. In my previous article, the point of changing the addresses was to limit the trip to one hop from sending machine to receiving machine, so the data could be sent directly by Ethernet without the intervention of an IP router.