You’ve probably heard the word of mouth concerning VPNs, or Virtual Private Network technology. You may have also heard about encryption, kill switches, proxies, and other network security technicalities. How about a dedicated IP address? This is one most people have still not heard, let alone use the functionalities of nevermind the fact that it is an essential piece of kit to protect your internet traffic, your devices, and ultimately you. The truth is, some VPN providers on the higher end will offer their paying customers the option of a ‘dedicated IP address.’ Although it sounds extremely complicated, the concept behind it is quite simple and, more importantly, fantastic in terms of the security ecosystem.
Most tech-lovers and internet users will no doubt have heard of an IP address. This is an integral part of fundamental IT knowledge. An IP address is the internet protocol address that is uniquely assigned and associated with an internet modem or WiFi router. In simple terms, it is a unique set of numbers (such as 220.127.116.11 or 192.168.1.2) that can locate you physically and uncover your whereabouts. Using a dedicated IP address instead of a dynamic address that constantly changes has its pros and cons, so let’s figure out the best way to sweep your network security off its feet and save the day!
What is a Dedicated IP Address?
Since we’ve covered what an IP address is, you might have already deduced what a dedicated IP address is. If you haven’t, it’s quite self-explanatory, and keep reading, you might just end up loving what a dedicated IP can do for you. Thus, a ‘dedicated’ IP address is unique and static. This means that this address is dedicated only to you and is not ‘dynamic’ (changing) like default IP addresses are. The other advantage is that a dedicated IP address is vastly superior to a ‘shared’ IP address (one that is used by several machines). Dedicated IP addresses are usually offered by ISPs (internet service providers) to businesses that require them. Over time, dedicated IP addresses have come to be demanded by regular users as well for purposes such as security, stability, and for instance in high-speed special internet connection packages.
In terms of VPNs, dedicated IP addresses mean something slightly different. This is when a VPN provider gives you a dedicated VPN IP address. With that, you will be less likely to be added to a blacklist. Furthermore, you will reduce the number of verification processes you go through online. You will also be able to use email services more quickly and have some extra benefits while working from home. A dedicated IP sticks with you wherever you are and only you.
Where VPNs are concerned, using a dedicated IP means you are not sharing your IP with thousands (or more) of other users. You will get an IP assigned for you to use with a specific location of your choice. Along with that, nobody can use that dedicated IP but you. Some VPN providers call this service a ‘personal IP’ or a ‘personal static IP.’ Even better, your public IP won’t be affected when using a dedicated IP either.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Dedicated IP
Now for the issues, of which there are a couple, unfortunately. First of all, getting a dedicated IP address is a customized process that will require you to pay or subscribe. This price can vary depending on the type and quality of the dedicated IP, and who you are renting it from. Sometimes this price can go up to over 100 dollars a year, on top of your already existing VPN subscription price. The other disadvantage is that you will lose some privacy and anonymity with a static IP (dedicated) address. Since your IP remains static, websites and internet platforms can gather data about you and profile you. Much riskier than that is the fact that you can be tracked by malicious individuals online if they choose to target you. Overall, you are somewhat less anonymous with an IP that doesn’t change.
Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and bask in the gloriousness of dedicated IPs advantages, which frankly outweigh the negatives in most cases. Perhaps the biggest advantage of all is that you will have a smoother internet experience with much fewer dropouts and less censorship on platforms like Netflix. You will also get rid of the verification headaches on platforms such as eBay, Gmail, PayPal, and others. Furthermore, emails will be sent and received at a much quicker rate and your communications should not land in the spam section as much as they used to. Finally, you can also gain access to networks that favor a dedicated IP address.
For the best dedicated IP address services out there, look no further than TorGuard and NordVPN, both of which are well known in the privacy and security world. NordVPN is one of the most trusted VPN providers on the market, and with a NordVPN subscription, you can both protect yourself with a VPN and benefit from a dedicated IP at the same time. As for TorGuard, you might need a bit more technical knowledge. This means advanced users might prefer this one over the more user-friendly NordVPN experience. However, TorGuard has the most choice of locations for dedicated IP users which might be the deal breaker you want.
Whatever the case may be, always remember to use a verified and trusted company for your network security needs. You must never go and download and use a random VPN or dedicated IP service. Always remember to check the software you are downloading first on third-party review portals and forums so that you don’t compromise your security. With that said, you should look at getting a premium antivirus and antimalware package to close out any security gaps you may have and future-proof your data and your systems.