CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Notes: All About IP Address Conflicts

Networking service and an IT personnelA big chunk of the CompTIA A+ Certification exam covers networking, and one of the most common scenarios you’ll need to be familiar with to pass your A+ certification practice test and exam is IP address conflicts.

First off, an Internet Protocol (IP) conflict happens when two endpoints of communication on a network, such as mobile devices, computers systems, or other individual network adapters, are given the same exact IP address. When this happens, one or both endpoints won’t be able to access the network. But why exactly does this happen?

Common Causes of IP Address Conflicts

Two endpoints could obtain the conflicting IP addresses by the following ways:

  • The system administrator gives two endpoints on a LAN the same exact static IP address.
  • The system administrator gives one endpoint a static address within the DHCP range of the LAN and the local DHCP server assigns the same IP address automatically.
  • An Internet service provider (ISP) unintentionally assigns the same address to two clients either dynamically or statically.
  • A problem with the DHCP server enables the same dynamic IP address to be assigned automatically to several computers.
  • A computer might experience a conflict with itself if it’s set using multiple adapters.
  • A network administrator unintentionally connects two network router ports or network switch ports to each other.

Common IP Address Conflict Fixes

Some IP address conflicts do work themselves out, though that rarely happens. Below are some of the most basic workarounds for IP conflicts:

  • If the computer has a dynamic IP address, release and renew the address.
  • If the network has static IP addresses, make certain that every local host uses a unique address.
  • If you suspect that your broadband router’s DHCP server is malfunctioning and is the cause of the conflict, upgrade the firmware of the router.

The main thing to remember with networking and IP address conflicts is that you increase the possibility of experiencing IP conflicts every time you connect more and more endpoints to the network. Although this is not something that you could come across daily, it’s crucial that you understand the potential causes and workarounds so you know to do if ever you experience it.