An IP address conflict occurs when two computers in a network are assigned the same IP address. When this happens, it renders one or both computers unable to connect to a network resource or perform other network operations. Almost all operating systems notify the user via pop-up notification when an IP conflict is detected with another computer. This network problem, although rare, is a very real issue to end-users and network administrators.
Computers or other devices can acquire conflicting IP addresses due to several reasons. One such reash is if two computers are accidentally assigned to the same static IP address. A computer is assigned a static IP address where this same computer happens to be a part of a local network’s DHCP range, and the same address is being automatically assigned by the local DHCP server to another computer. Also, if a computer originally connected to a network enters an extended standby or hibernation mode (where the IP address lease timeout has already expired) and later comes back online, the DHCP server then reassigns that IP address to another computer. Other common conflicts occur when multiple network adapters connect to a computer or device, or an outdated router causes a faulty DHCP server.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to go about fixing this problem. The first and simplest way to fix an IP address conflict is to restart the computer. By doing so, the computer will be able to acquire a new and exclusive IP address through its network’s DHCP server. If the computer was assigned with a dynamic IP address, one more way to solve the issue is to perform the release and renew command through the computer’s command prompt, where by doing so, the DHCP server in the network will assign a new IP address to the computer. For local networks where IP addresses are statically assigned, make sure that each localhost is configured with a unique IP address.
Restarting the router can also help fix this issue. When the router is rebooted, the pool of IP addresses assigned to it will be refreshed and be reassigned to connecting computers or devices. Lastly, due to an outdated router, the DHCP server becomes faulty. Therefore, a quick update of the router’s firmware will fix this issue.
Gridelli, Stefano. “How to Identify and Troubleshoot an IP Conflict.” Netbeez, 24 October 2018, netbeez.net/blog/how-to-identify-ip-conflict/.
Kishore, Aseem. “How to Fix an IP Address Conflict.” Online Tech Tips, AK Internet Consulting Publishing, 7 December 2015, www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/ip-address-already-in-use/.
Mitchell, Bradley. “What is an IP Address Conflict.” Lifewire, Dotdash Publishing, 4 April 2019, www.lifewire.com/what-is-ip-address-conflict-818381.
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