You might have heard of terms like static, dynamic, dedicated and shared IP addresses. Let’s discuss what these terms mean.
First of all, what is an IP address?
IP (Internet Protocol) address is the address given to you when you go online. It’s a string of numbers and it looks like this: 22.214.171.124
Your device needs an IP address to communicate with other devices on the internet. When you access a web application or open a website, that website can see your IP address and get access to some information about you such as your geo-location and your ISP.
Now that we know what an IP address is, let’s learn what static and dynamic IP addresses are.
As you already know, static means something that stays the same and dynamic means something that keeps changing. So a static IP address is the one that stays constant. Most devices make use of dynamic IP addresses that change over time.
Most ISPs assign dynamic IPs but you can get a static IP on request and it might cost you extra. If you use the internet at home for personal use, a dynamic IP will work for you.
However, if you’re a business owner, you might want a static IP because it is good for dedicated services such as FTP and mail servers. Static IPs are also good for creating hosting solutions.
Most individual users have dynamic IP addresses. You don’t need to do anything to change it – it’s all automatic and you won’t even get to know when it happens.
Also, dynamic IP addresses won’t cost anything extra. However, the web service you connect to will not be able to assess your geo-location very accurately, but that shouldn’t be a major concern for you.
With static and dynamic IPs explained, let’s see what shared and dedicated addresses are.
When you connect to a VPN, you can connect via a shared or a dedicated IP.
A shared IP will be shared among several users. Let’s say you connect to a VPN server and are assigned the IP address 126.96.36.199
This same IP address will be used by several other people. This makes it more secure as it cannot be easily traced back to you because there were other users working on the same IP.
Some VPN companies offer dedicated IP addresses if you pay them extra. A dedicated IP is assigned to a single user. So let’s say you are assigned the IP 188.8.131.52, it will belong to you and nobody else can connect using it.
And since you’ll be the only one using this IP, it can be traced back to you.
If privacy is a major concern for you, it’s best to go for shared IP addresses. Dedicated IPs are mostly used by businesses because they help establish a brand identity.
If you’re an individual user who uses the internet and VPN for home use, a dynamic and shared IP will work for you. It’s cheap and doesn’t need any extra work.