When and why you should use VPNs with a static IP address?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a great way to add an extra layer of security to your browsing. But did you know that each time you reconnect to your VPN, you’re assigned a new IP address?

This is great for privacy, but it can cause some inconvenience if you’re trying to access certain websites or services.

In this blog post, we’ll look at when you may want to choose a static IP instead of the random one that it’s usually assigned to you.

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What is a static VPN IP address?

A static VPN IP, also known as a dedicated IP address, is an additional feature that you generally have to pay for, which allows you to always have the same IP address, regardless of your location in the world. This can be beneficial for a variety of reasons.

For example, if you need to access certain websites or online services that are only available in specific countries, having a static VPN IP from that country, allows you to bypass some restrictions. Additionally, it can provide a smoother internet browsing experience, since your IP address will be less likely to be flagged as suspicious or potentially malicious, if it remains constant.

What are the benefits of using a dedicated IP address?

A static IP should only be used, in my opinion, when a shared IP address is impeding you to carry on with whatever task you want to perform.

For example, I am traveling to Europe now, and I was having issues finding a good server on Surfshark, to stream a movie I wanted to watch on Disney Plus. Eventually, after a few tries and quite a bit of frustration, I was able to find a server that worked with Disney. A static IP address would have been very helpful in my case.

When you use a dedicated IP, nobody else can use it, and you are no longer bombarded with captchas, challenges, and messages about too many users using the same address. However, you will be a lot easier to be identified online.

Let’s take a look at some specific use cases, when a dedicated IP address would make a difference.

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CyberGhost with dedicated IP

Based on our research and testing, we picked CyberGhost as the best VPN that offers a dedicated IP address.

Here’s why:

  1. CyberGhost is a top-tier VPN company, has a good reputation and their services are top-notch.
  2. It’s the company that makes it effortless to configure the dedicated IP on your account.
  3. It has the best price for the dedicated IP add-on. Currently, it’s only $3.75/month

PIA with dedicated IP

The second-best place is occupied by PIA (Private Internet Access) VPN.

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Here’s why:

  1. PIA is another top-tier VPN company, has a great reputation and their services are excellent.
  2. The process of getting a dedicated IP is simple enough, comparable to CyberGhost.
  3. The price for the add-on is more expensive, though. It costs $5/month.

This may be a suitable alternative if you are already using PIA and you want the benefit of a dedicated IP added to your existing account.

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The third place goes to NordVPN.

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Here’s why:

  1. NordVPN is a legendary VPN company, well known for their professionalism and exceptional service.
  2. However, the process of getting a dedicated IP is very involved and confusing. Among other things, you may need to create a temporary second account to order the IP and then apply the purchase to your original account. It can be done, I did it once, but it’s frustrating to say the least.
  3. Pricing wise, with a coupon, they are still the most expensive option. It costs $70 / year or $5.83/month.
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I think CyberGhost is the best choice, especially if you want to change your VPN company and try a different service.

Connecting to highly secure websites

A dedicated, static IP address that you purchase from your VPN service may come in very handy when you need to connect to your bank or other highly secure websites. These type of websites or applications, can usually detect the VPN traffic, and they usually restrict the access from a VPN server.

In my experience, the worst-case scenario was that I was unable to use a financial application at all when I was connected to my regular VPN provider. However, in most cases, I was challenged to prove my identity through various means.

Checking email

Checking emails seems quite a trivial task, and it happens automatically for most of us, once you set up your accounts in your email program.

However, when you travel, or in our case, when your IP travels for you through your VPN, your email provider, in my case, Zoho, may choose to warn you about it. The upside of this is twofold – it shows that their security is working and on the other hand it shows that your VPN is working.

The downside is that you may be sometimes be blocked from using your email. I also use Gmail for some of my addresses, and it did happen to me to be forced through a lengthy verification process to regain my access to the email service. However, that only happened once in a few years.

As far as I am concerned, it’s worth putting up with these small inconveniences than sacrificing your online privacy.

Access to streaming services

VPN users with dedicated IPs often use them to stream their favorite TV shows and movies when they travel abroad. In addition to that, a VPN with a static IP address from the US, may enable VPN users from Europe or some other parts of the world to access streaming content that is not yet available in their countries. Regardless of their reasons, a VPN with a dedicated IP option can provide a much better experience to their users than a regular VPN company can.

As I’ve mentioned before, it took me quite a while to be able to stream my US Disney Plus content while traveling in Europe.

By using a dedicated IP, you will avoid using your real IP address, your ISP will not have any idea what websites you are accessing, but you will partially lose your anonymity. This is because, even though your ISP cannot see what you are doing, your browsing behavior will be able to be tracked by advertising and data mining companies.

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Signs that you need a dedicated VPN IP

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common reasons why you might want to get a dedicated VPN IP address.

Captcha Challenges

The first sign that you may need to use a dedicated VPN IP is the increase in captcha challenges when logging into sites.

The captcha challenge is usually used by websites to determine if the user has a legitimate reason to access their servers.

There are many reasons why this can happen. It could be due to malicious traffic from the same shared IP address that your VPN provider gives to your device.  Since multiple users of the VPN service will use shared IPs, this may determine the IP to become blacklisted. This can be the result of what other VPN users are doing, or simply the fact that an IP address is known to be connected to a VPN company can all lead to a security challenge.

If the captcha challenges are becoming a problem, it may be time to try a different VPN company and see how that works.

Getting Blocked or Banned

Something worse than getting a captcha challenge is the ban or a permanent block when trying to access a website or even a mobile application.

Not being able to get to the right information when you need it, and being forced to debug this, is one clear sign of your need for a dedicated IP or a different VPN service.

These blocks can happen for all the reasons mentioned above regarding the captcha challenge, however, this is also a sign that you should stop using that particular server or specific IP address.

Since no VPN service allows you to disable a certain IP or server, the best course of action would be to switch to a dedicated IP, as this would most likely solve the ban or blocked issue.

Avoiding Bad Company

It’s a safe assumption that among your fellow VPN users, there will be some people who are going to use the VPN service for reasons that may make you uncomfortable. If you want to avoid being associated with them, however unlikely that might be, a dedicated VPN IP will do exactly that.

Since you will be the only person using that particular IP address, there will be zero chances of being associated with bad guys, just because you used a VPN service.

If this is something valuable to you, then you should read below for a fine selection of VPNs that offers this feature.

What is a dynamic VPN IP address?

A dynamic VPN IP address is an IP address that is shared by several users. This makes them use the same IP address that is randomly assigned each time a user connects to a VPN server. This type of address is beneficial because it helps to keep your identity hidden and makes it more difficult for others to track your online activity.

Why are you assigned a random IP when you use a VPN?

Your IP address is like your home address – it’s how websites and other internet-connected devices know where to find you. When you connect to a VPN, your traffic is routed through a different server, which means your IP address is changed. This is why you’re assigned a random IP address when you use a VPN – it’s so that your real IP address remains hidden.

There are countless benefits to using a VPN, including enhanced security and privacy. But the main reason people use VPNs is to hide their real IP address and location. By using a VPN, you can keep your identity and location hidden from websites and other internet-connected devices.

Dynamic vs. Static IP VPN address

A static IP address is fixed to a specific device, while a dynamic IP address is assigned to different devices in a rotating pattern.

A static IP address identifies a device connected to the Internet, and is therefore unique. This means that when you connect to the Internet, your static IP address doesn’t change.

A dynamic IP address, is temporary and can be assigned to different devices over time. When you connect to the Internet, your dynamic IP address may be different from it was the last time you connected.

This means that if you’re looking to use a VPN service, it’s important to determine whether you need a static or dynamic IP address.

In general, static IP addresses are best for businesses and organizations that need to maintain consistent access to data and resources, while dynamic and shared IP addresses are more appropriate for individuals who require occasional access to VPN services.

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How long should you keep using the dedicated address for?

If you are using a dedicated address for general web browsing and don’t plan to visit any high-security websites, you can keep using your shared IP address indefinitely without any issues.

However, if you are using a dedicated address to access high-security websites, like your bank’s website, you should only use it for as long as you need to. Once you’re done, switch back to a shared IP address to enjoy all the benefits that the VPN can offer you.

Lastly, if you are using a dedicated address to bypass geographical restrictions on websites, like watching Netflix from another country, you can continue to use it as long as the website’s restrictions are in place. Once you are done with that particular activity, you should switch back to using the regular shared IP.

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What are the disadvantages of a dedicated IP address?

The main disadvantage of using a dedicated or static IP address is that it can make it easier for someone to track your online activity. This is because your IP address will be associated with all the activity that takes place on that IP address, making it easy to trace back to you.

Another disadvantage of using a dedicated or static IP address is that it can be more expensive than using a shared IP address. This is because you will be the only one using that IP address, and so you will have to pay for the entire cost of the IP address yourself.

Lastly, using a dedicated or static IP address can also make your computer more vulnerable to attacks since it will be easier for hackers to target your specific IP address.

Should you pay extra for a static VPN address?

Most VPN providers will include a static IP address as part of their premium VPN subscription plans, or as a separate add-on. This means that if you’re interested in using a static IP address, you’ll likely need to pay more for your VPN service.

While there are benefits to using a static IP address, it’s important to weigh those benefits against the cost of the service. In most cases, a dynamic and shared IP address will suffice for individuals who require occasional access to a VPN.

However, if you frequently need to access a VPN and require high levels of security, a static IP address may be worth the extra expense.

How to check if you have a dedicated or a shared VPN IP address?

All you have to do is to verify if your IP address remains the same regardless of what VPN server you select to connect to, from within your VPN application.

If the address changes each time you connect to a different server, that means that you have a shared IP address.

Is a static VPN address shared?

A static VPN address can be shared if it is not a dedicated IP. For example, if you use a VPN service that assigns you a shared IP, then your address will be shared with others who are using the same service.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, a dedicated IP address is useful if you need a high level of security with your VPN or you want to have a smooth browsing experience, without captchas and IP bans.

However, there are a few disadvantages to using a dedicated IP address, which include extra costs, and it can make it easier for companies to track you online.

Overall, whether you should use a dedicated IP address for your VPN depends on your specific needs and preferences.

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Radu Negrean
Radu Negrean

Radu Negrean is a UX designer with a strong passion for online privacy. He contributes to the Privacy Tutor blog, advocating for enhanced security and privacy for all online users.