Your local IP address is different from your wide area network (WAN) IP address. This means that they each have different unique codes. They are prone to issues once in a while, such as collision of these addresses- which are then known as IP conflicts.
An IP conflict mainly occurs between your IP address and your WAN IP address when two or more devices within their network connect to the same IP address. This causes miscommunication between the IP and the WAN IP and can either be solved by rebooting your device, or setting up your IP manually.
Essentially a WAN IP address is the address that a router uses, while an IP address is the one that you use for your device. The function of an IP address is to allow a device to send and receive data over the internet. It has to be specific to one device for effective functioning. When the devices collide, data cannot be sent or received- explaining why you cannot connect to the internet. Your computer realizes this and prompts a network alert.
Another cause of IP conflict
Exhaustion of your router. Routers can act as servers. Servers contain media access control (MAC) addresses that assign IP addresses to network adapters. If the router is overused, it is very likely to have technical slips. This way it may be unable to properly assign an IP address to each device, it may end up assigning the same address to different devices.
How to solve this conflict
Reboot your computer
This simple step should be your very first resort when the conflict occurs. Sometimes the computer just needs a little push that will cause it to be fine automatically once it restarts. If this does not work, you can also try to do the following.
Double check the IP address if you entered it manually
Ensure that you have written the correct details if you have entered your IP address manually.
How to configure your own IP address
Start Menu > Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center or Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
Go to Change adapter settings.
Apple Menu> System Preferences > Network.
Right-click on Wi-Fi or Local Area Connection. Open the Properties.
In the left pane click Ethernet. Drop down the Configure IPv4 menu and select Manually.
Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Open the Properties. Select Use the following IP address.Set the IP address.
Enter Static IP address in IP Address field. Then, enter a subnet in Subnet Mask Field. Enter gateway in Router Field.
Set the Subnet mask> Set the Default gateway. > set Preferred DNS server (usually your router’s IP address) or IP address of the server providing DNS> Set an alternative DNS server > Click the OK button.
Close and see if it works.
Click Advanced button> select DNS tab > Click plus at bottom of DNS Servers field >Enter IP of first DNS server > Click plus again and enter IP of second DNS> Click OK in lower right to close >Click apply in Network view>Close network preferences window.
Close and see if it works.
Use of a software tool
There are free website software tools that help you resolve your IP conflicts and if need be; even regain your MAC addresses where they may have been spoofed or changed.
For Windows 7, 8 and 10, Device ‘Network and Sharing’ settings–
From your computer settings, go to “open network and sharing center” and select your network adapter.
Click to open it, then go to “Properties”. While here, click to open ” internet protocol version 4(TCP/IPv4)”. Select “Automatically detect” mode. After doing that, restart your pc and the error will be gone.
Command Prompt Method
Click the search bar at the bottom left of your desktop screen and type “Command Prompt “or simply ‘cmd’. Right click and choose the option ‘run as administrator’.
Once it opens, click the following four commands:
- ipconfig/flushdns then click enter and wait for it to complete.
- ipconfig/release then click enter once more and wait again.
- ipconfig/renew, the click enter and wait for it to complete
- ipconfig/all, click enter, then exit the command prompt.
After these four commands, restart your pc. Your network will be as good as new.
How to resolve IP conflict on your MacBook
- Put your computer to sleep, wait a few minutes, and then wake it from sleep. After this, try connecting again.
- If you are using an application that requires connection such as Safari or iMessages, first close it, wait about two to five minutes, then open the app again.
- In most cases, the server you are using will provide your Mac with another IP address in a few minutes. When it does, refresh your network and try to reconnect.
How can you avoid IP conflicts?
Use DHCP Servers
Dynamic host configuration protocol, abbreviated DHCP, is a server that allows configuration of devices on IP networks. DHCP, formerly known as BootP, creates a platform that automatically allocates IP addresses to devices. This reduces the chances of IP conflict to a great extent.
DHCP servers assign these addresses either automatically- meaning that one device has its own consistent IP address that can be used for an unlimited amount of time. Another way that these servers assign an IP address is through leasing- where the IP address is provided only for a limited amount of time. Since it is temporarily provided to one person at a time, it can be reused.
The last way that DHCPs assign IP addresses is through giving a user a Reserved IP address. This address does not change even when the device is turned off, unplugged, rebooted, or a power outage occurs, etc. The difference between this one and the automatic one is that if the device goes off or is disconnected for one reason or the other, it would require a new automatic allocation.
Not only does using a DHCP server reduce conflict, but it also increases the security of the devices.
Enable IP address conflict detection in your DHCP server
The operation of the DHCP service assumes that no one else can assign IP addresses in the local area network (LAN). So if an IP address hasn’t been assigned according to its lease database, it shouldn’t be in use. This is an imperious move. You can nudge your DHCP server to be slightly more prudent when you enable IP address conflict detection.
You can easily solve this issue on your own. However, if you are connected to a network that is managed by an administrator, check with them. You may not be able to make changes as they have certain passwords that make changing of settings only accessible to them.
Can I restrict user access to my IP network?
Yes, this is advisable as it will ensure that users on your network do not interfere with the network.
Will I reduce the likelihood of IP conflict if I put it manually?
Yes, manually inserting your own address will reduce the likelihood of collision.