Windows 2008 Server - dynamic IP


I am going to install Windows 2008 Server (have a separate post asking for clarification on a few points) but I need to understand what i need to do with regards to setting the IP address.  I watched in a tutorial that I should use a fixed IP address - I am uncertain if the IP address is the address of the physical server or that provided by the ISP that I am using.   In my case I am quite certain my ISP (in Dubai) will not provide a fixed ISP and further I need to be mobile moving this server (installed on a laptop) around to different locations ideally - I can keep it in the same place if that is likely to be a big problem.

I did see some software that allows you to fix an IP address that is dynamic - not sure how that would affect installation of Windows Server - should I then just select the detect IP address automatically option in the installation screen?

Many thanks!
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If your ISP does not give you a fixed IP, you can use some special sites which will translate host names to dynamic IPs. One of them is which has a free and a paid version . Another one which I find better is In both cases you install a piece of software on the server and it will report the IP every couple of minutes. Note that these solutions are not as perfect as fixed IPs and theoretically you might have downtime when the IP changes.

If this is a serious environment, consider a professional (hardware) firewall with rule, anti-virus protection, etc. However note that those cost 3-5k and more and need annual subscriptions, so they are not well fit for a home use.
What is the purpose for you to install windows 2008 server? Is it for your lab?

Yes, if you haven't bought a dedicated IP then it is dynamic.

If  this is ur test lab server, then I assume you will be installing a this as a domain controller.

So, once ur server is installed then just find the IP of it from 'ipconfig' command from cmd prompt.

Then in network settings on this server just hard code the ip address (make is static), change everything in there -

ip address, subnet mask, default gateway, dns (you can just make same as ur IP address).

Let me know if you have any other question.
It depends on what you want to achieve with the server. If you want to access it from the outside (e.g. host a public web site) you will need more configurations and it is not very easy to move the server even with dynamic IPs.

When a server runs, it first connects to the local network. It is usually provided by a router or firewall. The server gets an IP based on one of these options:

1. Static IP: the IP is always the same, fixed, in a fixed subnetwork
2. Dynamic IP (DHCP): provided "randomly" by the router/firewall
3. Dynamic but reserved IP (DHCP): provided by the router/firewall but reserved for this server

Now if you want to configure this server to be available from the internet, whenever you change a location you also need to configure the firewall of this location to redirect traffic to you. Additionally the firewall must have a known IP so that the DNS name (e.g. gets translated to this IP. Whenever somebody uses this name, it is translated to your external IP, reaches the firewall which then decides that this traffic needs to go to your server (with the internal IP defined above) and forwards it correspondingly.

I hope I gave you some idea about what is happening. Network configuration is not so simple that it can be described in several sentences and there are details like subnetworks, masks, firewall rules, forwarding rules and a lot more. If you don't have experience I suggest you get a book on that or find somebody to help you make the whole configuration.
hennanra3Author Commented:
Hi there,

Thank you both for your advice, I also appreciate very much the detailed explanation on how the server gets the IP.

I guess I can keep this much simpler by keeping the server in the same location - it will be accessible by remote desktop anyway.

I will enquire about the fixed IP from the ISP - etisalat in this case.

My next question is then what are the options of making the IP fixed if the ISP doesn't provide a fixed IP - I understand there are some software options to do this.

Also, you mentioned the firewall options - is the existing firewall within Windows 2008 Server Enterprise sufficient or is there a need to get some additional protection / software to avoid hacking attempts.

The server will be a sandbox used for development but I will also have confidential information on there.

Many thanks!
hennanra3Author Commented:
Thanks a lot for the great responses.  This has helped give me sufficient direction to get started!
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