There are many important things to consider when selecting a VPN service: speed, price, security, and reliability, just to name a few typical benchmarks of VPN performance. As important as these are, there’s one additional feature that may be important even more: whether the VPN service offers a dedicated (static) or shared IP address.
Don’t worry if the term “IP address” doesn’t ring any bells; you’ll learn everything you need to know about the differences between dedicated and shared VPN services, including all the relevant terminology, in this article. We’ve also included several recommendations for our favorite dedicated IP VPN services to make everything even easier for you.
How Do Dedicated IP VPN Services Work?
Computers connected to the Internet are identified by their IP (Internet Protocol) address. Typically, this is the address assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). But when connecting through a VPN service, your original IP address is masked because the Internet connection is tunneled through a secure IP, which can be located on the other side of the world (for more information about VPN, read this article).
VPN services may be categorized into two groups based on how they assign IP addresses:
Shared IP VPN Services
Shared IP VPN services have a large pool of available IPs (often hundreds and even thousands), which they randomly assign to users. It’s quite common for many users of a shared IP VPN service to have the same IP address, which makes them appear as if they were just one person.
Because the providers of shared IP VPN services don’t have to assign each user a unique IP address, shared IP VPN services tend to be affordable. The fact that multiple users share the same IP address also provides a high level of anonymity when accessing the web.
However, this also means that the actions of one user have consequences for everyone else who shares the same IP address. With shared IP VPN services, you may find it impossible to access your online banking, email account, and other personal websites and services. The speed of shared IP VPN services fluctuates depending on how much bandwidth users consume.
Dedicated IP VPN Services
Dedicated IP VPN services provide a unique IP address to every single user. While you can expect to pay extra for the privilege of having a dedicated IP address, the benefits of dedicated IP VPN services are plentiful.
With Internet censorship on the rise, more and more people are turning to VPN services to protect their online privacy, access geo-restricted content, and more. VPN services have become so popular that many websites and content providers, such as BBC or Netflix, have started to block VPN users from accessing their content, even when they have a legitimate right to access it.
They can do this because shared IP VPN services are easy to recognize and effective countermeasures are easy to implement. Try logging to your online banking account using a shared IP VPN service that randomly assigns you an IP address that doesn’t correspond to your real geographic location and you’ll be soon flagged as a suspected hacker. A dedicated IP VPN services give you a unique IP address in any country you want, allowing you to use the Internet without any restriction but with an added layer of anonymity.
Benefits of Dedicated IP VPN Services
Because dedicated IP VPN services come with so many benefits, we want to go over some of the more important ones in detail:
No Bad Neighbor Effect
The bad neighbor effect describes a situation that results from someone with the same IP address as you have abusing an online service or engaging in an illegal activity, which results in the ban of the IP address or the increased appearance of captchas.
The chances are that you’ve already experienced the bad neighbor effect even without using a shared VPN service. Many Internet service providers assign multiple customers the same IP address, and when these customers visit sites such as Google, eBay, or AliExpress at the same time, the spam-detection systems used by these sites often treat the visitors as bots.
With a dedicated IP VPN service, you are protected against the bad neighbor effect because your IP address isn’t shared with anyone else.
Problem-Free Access to Personal Websites
If you want to use a VPN service to access personal websites and paid online services, such as Gmail, Netflix, Steam, or your online banking, a shared IP won’t cut it. You need to be easily identifiable and always appear to come from the same geographical location otherwise you are likely to trigger various security mechanisms.
At best, you’ll be required to verify your identity through email or text verification. At worse, you’ll be required to contact the customer support, and it may take days to restore the access to your account.
Any dedicated IP VPN service solves this problem by giving you personal IP address. Services like Gmail, PayPal, or Payoneer won’t flag your account as suspicious, and your original IP address will remain hidden. The same applies for online gaming, Internet banking, content streaming, and web access.
Greater Bandwidth Allocation and Increased Security
Most dedicated IP VPN services offer greater bandwidth allocation that’s not shared with other VPN users. This means lag-free YouTube, lower pings in online games, smooth remote desktop, and fast download and upload speeds.
And because nobody else gets to use the same IP address as you, there’s no need to fear someone trying to spoof your identity to hack your online accounts, which is a great bonus.
Dedicated Versus Static IP VPN Services: Cost Comparison
Here’s a list of select major VPN providers who offer a dedicated IP:
PureVPN – A month of service starts at $2.95 with PureVPN, and customers can upgrade to a dedicated IP for $1.99 per month.
NordVPN – With NordVPN, plans start at $5.75 per month, and a dedicated IP is offered as an upgrade for $5.75 per month.
nVPN – nVPN’s dedicated IP VPN service starts from $8.00 per month, which is $2.00 more than their shared IP VPN service.
BananaVPN – Costing $14.99 per month for their shared IP address VPN service, BananaVPN is one of the more expensive VPN providers, especially considering that a dedicated IP costs $24 per month.
VPNArea – VPNArea includes a dedicated IP in its 6- and 12-month plans, which cost $8.33 and $4.92 per month respectively.
As you can see, a dedicated IP doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. If you choose the right VPN provider, you can enjoy a dedicated IP as well as fast download and upload speeds and excellent service for just a few dollars per month.
The bottom line is that a dedicated IP address has become a necessity for serious web users who care about their privacy and anonymity. While static IP VPN services still have their place, they work best when complemented with a reliable dedicated IP VPN service.