We’ve all heard about IP addresses one way or another. All devices have one because IP addresses are the backbone of the Internet. They define devices in the virtual world and allow users to transfer data and communicate. That’s why people and company networks use VPN solutions to change their IPs and protect themselves from being exposed.
You can implement two main IP types: dedicated or fixed IP and shared IP. But which one is the better one is a controversial issue. Let’s see their differences and understand why dedicated IP solutions are superior in terms of speed, security, and privacy.
What is an IP address?
Before going any further, let’s explain the term IP address for those who don’t know much about it. IP is an abbreviation for Internet Protocol, and IP addresses are assigned to every device on the internet to define them properly.
All the devices and domains on the internet communicate one way or another. IP addresses allow these devices and websites to send and receive information by showing where to send data. So, you can imagine your IP address as the address of your home to which you receive deliveries. Depending on the type, you might share your IP address with other domains or use it solely by yourself.
What is a dedicated IP address?
Dedicated IP addresses are the ones that are used by a single domain instead of being shared by several devices or websites. Let’s say a company acquires a dedicated IP address for their corporate network; this address will be permanent and always belongs to the said company.
Using a dedicated IP address lets you set up private gateways to send and receive information securely without being exposed on the internet. You can think of dedicated IPs like the home of your domain; you choose who can get in and what can be sent or received.
IP addresses are not infinite; just like there are limited properties in your city, there are limited IP addresses. For this reason, dedicated IPs are significant assets for improved security, faster connection, and privacy. If you don’t know how to have one, you can get fixed IP with VPN for reasonable prices.
What is a shared IP address?
A shared IP is an IP address used by several devices on the same server. These IPs can be assigned to multiple websites, and corporate networks cannot have a private gateway for their business operations.
Since shared IP addresses belong to more than one domain, all the holders of the IP will be affected by each other. If one of the site owners is blacklisted, the other owners will be blacklisted too. Running a business network from a shared IP can thus be concerning if you care about your IP reputation. You might have to bear the consequences for things you have no control over.
If you think about being hosted on a shared IP address, you should keep in mind that your SEO score, IP reputation, and the other things related to your IP address will be affected by other domains on your IP. Since you’ll be sharing the address, it will be more cost-effective, but the risk to reward ratio is something to consider.
Dedicated IP vs Shared IP addresses: Which one to choose?
There is controversy on whether dedicated IPs are really needed or not. Some people believe shared IPs are sufficient and more affordable. While it is true that shared IPs will cost you less, dedicated IPs are necessary to improve your cyber security and protect your corporate network.
Dedicated (fixed) IP addresses acquired from VPN providers allow you to have a private getaway for your employees to exchange corporate data. Since all the traffic will be special to your company and the employees, you’ll have no concerns about whether cybercriminals are spying on the corporate network.
Another advantage of a dedicated IP is the ability to verify allowed users and control all the traffic. Since this IP will belong to your company only, you can implement various authentication methods to verify whether a requestor is permitted or not. Technologies like SSO and 2FA, which maximize network security, are available with dedicated IPs.
If you have concerns about unlimited access to the corporate network, dedicated IPs can be helpful to implement a least-privilege approach to your cyber security structure. Since dedicated IPs are permanent, identification is also easier, unlike shared IPs. Even your remote employees who work from different places will have your unique IP address, and you can define specific access levels for each employee.
Also, dedicated IPs naturally have fewer contradictions since the only domain will be your company’s instead of having multiple websites or networks. This will usually result in faster download and upload.
Lastly, getting a dedicated IP means that you will also have a dedicated server on the cloud to start structuring a cyber security system on this server. If you use business applications or cloud services, you can set up FWaaS or other cloud-based cyber security services to have a comprehensive system. Shared IPs lack this feature since you don’t actually own the server it is hosted in but share with different domain owners.
Conclusion: Dedicated IPs are superior
When you think about the risk-reward ratio, dedicated IPs are worthy of spending extra if you are concerned about the safety of your corporate network.
Getting a dedicated IP from a credible vendor helps you;
- Decide the users on your IP
- Verify accessors with several authentication methods
- Define different access levels
- Build a comprehensive cyber security structure
- Have faster connection
Sure, shared IPs are cheaper, but a potential data breach, plummeting IP reputation, or getting blacklisted might cost your company much more than getting a dedicated IP. We believe it is better to be safe than sorry.