What is IP Conflict and how to solve it?

What is IP Conflict and how to solve it?

What is IP Conflict and how to solve it?

 If you've ever seen the message “Windows has detected an IP address conflict”, you may be wondering what this message means. Actually IP conflict problems are usually not difficult to fix. But it can be very confusing, especially for those new to networking. Let's take a look at what IP conflicts are, how they occur, and steps to fix these errors when they arise.

What is IP Conflict?

What is IP Address Conflict

IP conflict occurs when two or more devices on the same network are assigned the same IP address. To explain why this is a problem, we have to take a step back and look at what an IP address is for.

Like a physical home address for receiving mail, an IP address acts as a way to identify your computer on a network. Your router uses those IP addresses to direct network traffic to the right devices.

Because of this system, each IP address cannot be assigned to more than one device. If this happens, the network becomes confused by duplicate IP addresses and cannot use them correctly. But since two computers cannot have the same IP address, how do IP errors occur?

How do IP Conflicts Occur?

Under most circumstances in modern networks, IP conflicts are rare. This is due to the existence of DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), the system that routers use to distribute IP addresses.

With DHCP, when you connect a new device to your network, your router selects an available IP address from a pool of options. The device uses this IP for some time, until the lease expires and it has to get a new one. Unless your router is damaged, two devices cannot get the same IP address from this system.

More generally, IP conflicts can occur when you assign a static IP address on your network. Instead of DHCP automatically selecting an address, you can set network devices to always use the same IP address you specify. If you accidentally assign the same static address to two devices, you will get a duplicate IP error.

Another IP conflict scenario can occur if you have two DHCP servers on your network (which you should avoid). For example, you may have your own wireless router connected to your ISP's modem/router. If both devices try to act as a router, they may be sharing multiple IP addresses.

Lastly, you can introduce duplicate IPs to your network when the machine comes back online after being in standby mode. For example, you leave your laptop in hibernate state for two weeks. During that time, your router may recall the laptop's IP address and assign it to other devices, such as your phone.

When you restart the laptop, you may think the laptop still has the IP address, which results in an IP conflict. This can also happen if you put your computer in standby on another network that uses the same IP pool as yours.

How to Overcome IP Conflicts

As with all network troubleshooting, the first step you should take is to restart your affected computer and network equipment. The IP address error could be a minor glitch, which can be resolved by rebooting. Restarting your router and/or modem will reassign all IP addresses via DHCP.

Static IP Troubleshooting On Windows

If restarting everything doesn't work, the problem is a little deeper. You should next check to see if your computer is using a static IP address. On Windows, open Settings and go to Network & Internet > Status. Click Change adapter options on this menu, then double-click the name of your network connection.

On the resulting screen, click Properties , followed by double-clicking Internet Protocol Version 4. This menu should select Obtain an IP address automatically. Otherwise, select the automatic option and hit OK.

Obtain IP Address

You should also try giving up your computer's current IP address and getting a new one. A restart also solves this, but it's still worth trying at this point. To do so, right-click on the Start button and select Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell. Type in the following command to release your current IP, followed by Enter:

ipconfig /release

After this, use the following command to get a new IP address from the router:

ipconfig /renew

Check Your Router For Conflicting Devices

If the steps above don't fix the problem, then you should go into your router's administration panel and view the connected devices. How you do it depends on your router model, so admin can't give you exact instructions.

Usually, you'll find a list of connected devices under a section titled Attached Devices, Connected Devices, My Network, or something similar. Look at each device and watch for duplicate IP addresses. To help narrow this down, you can check your computer's IP address by typing ipconfig into the Windows Command Prompt or ifconfig into the Linux/Mac terminal.

If you find two devices with the same address, remove their static IP address or refresh IP settings on your router to resolve the conflict.

Update Your Router Firmware

A faulty router can cause frequent IP conflicts without warning. If you continue to have IP address errors even after performing the above troubleshooting, you should update your router's firmware.

The exact steps for this also depend on the router you have. Usually, you will find the Firmware Update option when you enter your router's admin panel. It may be under the Advanced or Tools menu. While some routers let you update the firmware automatically via the panel, others require you to download a file from the manufacturer and upload it to your router. Check your router manufacturer's website for more help.


Now you know what an IP address conflict is, how two devices can get the same IP address, and how to fix an IP conflict. In most cases, IP conflicts will not occur on a home network on average. And if it does, you can solve it with just a few reboots.

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Resa Risyan

Just an ordinary person who wants to share a little knowledge, hopefully the knowledge I provide can be useful for all of us. Keep in mind! Useful knowledge is an investment in the afterlife.

Also, read the article about What is Joker Malware? How to avoid it. And see you in another article. Bye
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