The basic Starlink residential plan does not offer the option of a static IP addresses. Static IPs are useful for routing traffic or hosting services on a network. The Starlink for business plan is unclear about whether you get a static IP address or not. The Starlink FAQ pages states that Starlink for Business customers get a publicly routable IP address. It does not explicitly state that it is static or dynamic.
For folks living in remote locations, who would just love to go online with any sort of speed to browse or send an email, Starlink is golden. For these individuals, Starlink is likely the only high speed internet service provider they have access to. Thus they’re glad just to be able to access the Internet, even if the connection is only for outbound traffic. They are also happy to pay the $110 per month that Starlink currently costs.
What is Starlink Internet Service?
The Starlink internet solution is from SpaceX. It is intended to provide the most cutting-edge low-latency network connection. This project aims to make high-speed Internet connections available everywhere, especially in remote locations. The Starlink satellite is currently accessible in more than 36 countries. Since the antenna doesn’t rely on physical network links, it can be used in various settings. For instance, you can use it as a backup if your other internet service, which depends on actual fiber-optic lines, becomes unavailable for any reason.
A Starlink satellite dish, Starlink external power supply, and WiFi router are included in the Starlink kit. Currently the starter kit cost $599. Starlink Internet Service aims to make high-speed internet connectivity possible worldwide. Starlink satellites are, in fact, 60 times closer to the earth than conventional satellites. The internet provider claims that due to this proximity, its transfer speeds are in the 50-150 Mb/s range, and its latency is 20-40 milliseconds. This is a complete game changer for satellite internet.
Additionally, networking software improvement efforts are ongoing, with the promise of a true non-CGNAT IPv6 soon. However, until then, all Starlink IP addresses are assigned through CGNAT. This implies that your Starlink IP cannot be used to route or host publicly available services.
However, most Starlink customers aren’t bothered by this because they are content to simply be able to access the Internet and log on to check their email and other services. But if you wish to host servers, you can get around the CGNAT problem by getting a static IPv4 address from a VPN provider and sending all your traffic via the VPN IP. A VPN provider which offers a static IP address is best for this. In my testing NordVPN has been the clear front-runner of all VPN services that offer a dedicated IP address.
What is a static IP address
Generally, a dynamic IP address is used to establish an Internet connection. This means that your device accesses the Internet using one of a variety of IP addresses, meaning your IP address could change at any time. However, if you buy a static IP address, you will always use the same IP address to access the Internet every time.
When a host is issued a static IP address, the address stays the same over time and is permanently designated for that specific service. The IP address won’t change even when you switch the device on and off. This has a lot of advantages.
Uses of a static IP address include:
Limiting Network Access
It’s possible to use a firewall to restrict which devices can access a server. You only need to create an IP address whitelist such that only recognized IP addresses are granted access. However, such a firewall rule is only good with static IP addresses. With a dynamic IP address, you will have to update the list every time IP addresses change, and that’s just too much work, especially on a larger network. IP whitelisting for company servers restricts employees from using unsafe non-company-owned devices. This helps avoid potential malware.
Enabling Remote Access
When you run a service on your local network and want it accessible to people from anywhere, you can ask that the server be assigned a static IP address. Your internet service provider has a variety of IP addresses. Usually, non-commercial users are assigned a dynamic addresses, while commercial users get static IP addresses.
With a static IP address, individuals can access your services remotely. The connection will always be at the same IP address because the host IP address will never change.
Accessing Cloud Resources
A cloud infrastructure provider is responsible for keeping the data on its servers safe. However, the data owner is still in charge of safeguarding its data while in transit.
An efficient way to ensure a secure connection between a cloud server and another important component of the business infrastructure, like a VPN server, is through IP whitelisting. Doing this simplifies and quickens access to cloud resources while increasing security because only recognized IP addresses are allowed.
Allowing direct access without DNS help
A static IP address is also useful in enabling direct access in the absence of a dynamic domain name service (DDNS). It could be that the DNS is down or a server hasn’t been assigned a name. In that case, users can simply connect to the server using its static IP address. This is very helpful in remote access circumstances for securing access via a certain type of access gateway, e.g., router, VPN server, or firewall.
What is carrier-grade NAT (CGNAT)?
Internet service providers like Starlink employ CGNAT to allow numerous users to share one public IP address. People can use the Internet without being delayed, thanks to this technique. Without this method, users would have to wait for other users to stop using the Internet for IP addresses to be available.
The reason for this IP address scarcity is that the current IPv4 address space only has about 4 billion IP addresses, and ISPs are exhausting their supply of addresses. The plan is to transition subscribers to IPv6 addresses. However, until then, some ISPs, including Starlink, have chosen to use the CGNAT technique to solve the IP address scarcity problem.
The abbreviation CGNAT stands for Carrier Grade Network Address Translation. It’s a method of dealing with IPv4 network design limitations. It’s sometimes also referred to as large-scale NAT (LSN). In this method, end sites, such as routers and home networks, are set up with private IP addresses that are then converted into public IP addresses via middlebox network address translators integrated into the network. As a result, IPV4’s limited 32-bit address space problem is resolved.
However, the shared nature of the public IP addresses makes this strategy ineffective. Incoming traffic is not allowed; hence the created IP addresses are only relevant for outgoing traffic. This implies that until you have a VPN that supports port forwarding or tunneling via a VPS, you cannot connect from the outside to your network.
CGNAT is really only a temporary fix, and all ISPs who use it are quick to assure their subscribers that they’ll be able to move their subscribers to IPv6 eventually.
How will IPv6 fix the shortage of global IP addresses?
The IPv6 protocol is the replacement for IPv4 and the ultimate solution to the IPv4 address shortage. It’s expressed in hexadecimal notation, with colons dividing it into eight sections of 16 bits each, resulting in 128 bits. IPv6 addresses look like this: 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.
The features of the IPv6 IP address system include:
Expanded list of addresses
IPv6 potentially supports 2^128, or roughly 3.41038 total addresses, as opposed to the 32-bit IP address space, which only has about 4 billion distinct addresses. The actual number is a little bit lower because many ranges are either fully off-limits or earmarked for special purposes. But even so, it’s still mind-bogglingly large. In fact, it is large enough that every atom on the world’s surface can be assigned over 100 unique IP addresses.
Along with a bigger addressing space, IPv6 offers further technological advantages. In particular, it allows for the hierarchical allocation of addresses, thus restricting the growth of routing tables and simplifying IP prefix aggregation across the Internet.
Efficient data flow
Large data packets can be transferred simultaneously using the IPv6 address system, which has a minimum fragmented packet size of 1280 bytes compared to IPV4’s 576 bytes. Bandwidth conservation is easier this way.
Enhanced and streamlined multicast addressing
A packet can be sent from one or many sources to numerous receivers using the multicast method. A multicast flow starts with a host sending an ICMPv6 packet to a router’s multicast group. This is known as host solicitation. The router can then respond to this request by hitting the host with a Router Advertisement packet containing configuration information. This optimizes data delivery.
Based on the upgraded authentication techniques embedded into network firewalls, IPv6 enhances security and safety. Additionally, the protocol’s design took into account device mobility and configuration issues.
Despite these advantages, IPv4 is still widely used because the switch to IPv6 is still in its early stages. Moving to IPv6 is more difficult because the two protocols are not intended to be compatible. To address this problem, several transitional techniques have been developed. But the issue of readability still exists. Operating and understanding IPv6 subnetting is not simple. Even the addresses are challenging to remember.
Using a VPN service to get a static IP address
When enabling remote access for employees via VPN, accessing cloud services, or controlling server access using IP address whitelisting, the best practice is to use a dedicated static IP address. You can get a static IP address by renting one from your internet provider or using a VPN service that has static IP gateways. Static IP addresses can either be dedicated (completely private to a person or a group) or shared (multiple groups sharing one static IP address).
A dedicated IP address is a premium service beneficial for routing, ensuring remote access, and security (whitelisting).
How to get a static IP address with a VPN service?
Due to privacy concerns, many VPN providers refuse to provide dedicated IP addresses. However, not everyone on the Internet wants complete anonymity. Therefore, some VPN services, like NordVPN, SurfShark, CyberGhost, PureVPN, and VPNArea, do offer static IP addresses. It’s easy to obtain a gateway with a dedicated static IP from a cloud VPN provider.
Once you have the VPN service provider’s app loaded, choose a getaway from their list of getaways with static IPs. Always choose the closest one to maintain optimal latency. After selecting a gateway, a public static IP address will be assigned, and the server will whitelist it.
How do you get a static IP address from your ISP?
You can also get a static IP address from your ISP if they offer them. Many traditional internet service providers such as Comcast or Spectrum offer static IP’s for an additional monthly charge.
You will need to select the device you want to use with a static IP address. It can be a router, or computer. Then, after locating its MAC address, get in touch with your Internet Service Provider’s customer support team and request a static IP address. Provide them with the device’s MAC address. They will get back to you with a static IP address in a few days. Simply reset your device after being assigned a static IP address.
If you have no idea how to identify your router’s MAC address, check its sticker. for computers, use CMD commands on Windows or terminal commands on Mac or Linux.
Starlink is an internet service provider from SpaceX. It’s uses CGNAT IPv4, meaning multiple subscribers share one public IP address. Currently, the service supports outgoing traffic only, allowing users to browse the Internet, check their emails, etc. However, the Starlink project hopes to introduce non CGNAT IPv6 soon.
This will make it possible for subscribers to obtain static IP addresses for online services that restrict access to certain IPs or for hosting online services themselves. The only way to do this now on Starlink is by using a VPN that allows port forwarding or tunneling through a VPS.