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Using a static IP address when connecting to the Internet can provide many benefits. You can get hold of one from your ISP. But what if you want to use a VPN? How does that affect the way you obtain a static address and how it is managed? Here we’ll discuss static IPs, what their benefits (and drawbacks) are, and how they fit in with the use of a VPN. We’ll also present you with a list of the best five VPN services offering static IP addresses.
List of the Best VPNs for Static IPs
If you’re needing a quick answer, take a look at the table below to see what our experts rated as the best VPNs for use with static IPs. You can scroll down further for more information.
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There are many advantages of channeling access to your internal network via a VPN. Although it usually costs more than your basic VPN package, obtaining a static IP (usually a dedicated IP you pay extra for, but not always) from a VPN service is almost always cheaper than getting one from your local ISP. ISPs tend to charge through the roof for a guaranteed stable (non-DHCP IP address).
In reality, however, not many VPNs offer static IP addresses. We’ve sorted through those that do and have supplied you with a list of the top five based on our experts’ evaluations.
Best VPNs for Static IPs: Summary
For an in-depth look at the best VPNs for Static IPs take a look at the summaries below.
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- High speed for ultra-fast streaming
- More than 800 servers & global coverage
- Multiple usage on up to 5 devices
- No Logs Policy, guaranteed security and encryption
- No longer offering a free version (but does offer 30 day money-back guarantee)
CyberGhost offers no bandwidth limit, encryption that can stand up to any other premium VPN, and a really easy to use - and stylish - client.
CyberGhost runs more than 800 servers all over the globe. The main company is based in Romania, and their software is all developed in Germany, with both teams avidly supporting civil rights, a free society and an uncensored internet culture.
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- Static IPs in the US, UK, Netherlands, and Germany
- Apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android
- Manual installation for Linux and routers
- Allowance of up to six simultaneous connections
- Extra Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection available
- Customer service isn't the fastest
VPNs have servers all over the world, but they only offer static IP addresses in a few of those locations, so you need to check out those locations before you buy. NordVPN offers static IP addresses in Buffalo, United States; Frankfurt, Germany; London, UK; and Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
You sign up to the standard dynamic IP address service first and then add on a static IP address as an extra feature. The standard service includes an allowance of six simultaneous connections, but the dedicated IP address connection counts as one of those. In order to get effective use of your home server, you need to leave it turned on and accessible all the time. Thus it uses up one of your connection allowances. However, you still have five more connections available to use on your remote devices while you're away from home, so you can protect your server and all of your other devices at the same time.
- Static IP addresses for the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and Romania
- Manual setup for Linux and routers
- Apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android devices
- Allowance of six simultaneous connections on the dynamic IP address service
- IP switcher
- Customer support not available 24/7
VPNArea is another technician-led service that can give you great advice on how to get the best out of your static IP address. The company offers static IP addresses in the US, Canada, Australi, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and Romania. VPNArea operates out of Bulgaria, which is a good location to protect your connections from snooping NSA agents.
The service includes apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android devices. You can install the VPN manually on routers and Linux machines. You are allowed six simultaneous connections, which will be one static IP connection, plus five further connections through the dynamic IP address system. When you use the dynamic IP option, you can turn on an IP switcher, which will change your IP address periodically.
- Dedicated IP addresses in Luxembourg
- Manual installation for Linux and routers
- Apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android
- Strong cloaking technology
- Good for access from China
- Only two simultaneous connections allowed
BolehVPN only has static IP addresses in one location, but it's a good one: Luxembourg. This tiny country is the official European headquarters of many big multinationals, including PayPal, so you can make yourself look like you are emulating big business with an official IP address in this location.
The standard BolehVPN service only allows two simultaneous connections. When you buy a static IP address, you will use up one of these two connections for your home server. The other allowed connection will enable you to use the shared IP service to connect from your remote location. BolehVPN is based in Asia. It is excellent at evading internet controls in China.
- Static IP addresses for the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands
- Modulating address system
- Allowance of two, four, or eight simultaneous connections
- Installation script for Linux and routers
- Apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android
- Relatively small server network
LiquidVPN is owned and operated by a technical guru. This is an extremely technically competent service. Its staff can explain how to implement some very complicated procedures to get your home server fully protected by a static IP address. The company offers static IP addresses for the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany.
The standard package of shared IP addresses offers only two simultaneous connections, and your static IP connection counts as one of those. You can opt for higher-cost packages that include allowances of four or eight simultaneous connections. LiquidVPN has a unique system of modulating IP addresses, which you can use for your non-static IP address connections. This switches your IP address with those allocated to other users who are connected to the service at the same time. This makes your activities on the internet really difficult to track.
What is a static IP address
When connecting to the Internet, your ISP assigns you a public IP address that is used for all of your online communications. For the most common Internet connection technologies such as xDSL and Cable, this IP address is usually assigned dynamically, every time you connect, from a pool of addresses set aside for this purpose. This means, for example, that if you turn your router off and on again, when it reconnects your router may be assigned a different address than what it had before.
For many users this process leaves them indifferent; indeed most users are completely oblivious to this mechanism. However, for users that are running a service on their internal network that must be accessible from the Internet at large, it can be a problem.
This is because any attempted connectivity from the Internet to such an internal service, say a web server, for example, would require the use of the public IP assigned to the router. If this IP address is dynamic, then you never know what IP address to connect to.
To solve this problem, for an extra fee, you can have your ISP assign you a static IP address, an address that does not change thus giving you the ability to connect to your internal network services from outside your network.
If you want to reap the many benefits of using a VPN, this static IP arrangement will essentially be nullified for reasons I will explain later on. Fortunately, however, the VPN services listed in this article deliver ideal solutions for just this very problem. But first…
Why would you need a static IP?
As mentioned before, a static IP allows access to services running internally on your network from anywhere on the Internet. But why would you want to do this? What kinds of services could you run and what are the benefits? Some of these services most commonly include video surveillance systems, storage servers, web servers, and even privately hosted online gaming servers.
How Are IP addresses assigned
In order to further understand how static IP addresses work and how VPNs fit into the picture, let’s take a look at how IP addresses are assigned in each case.
By the ISP
When you connect via your xDSL or Cable connection, the ISP assigns an IP address to your modem/router. As mentioned before, this IP could be allocated dynamically or statically depending on the arrangement you have with your ISP. As shown in the diagram, when communicating with some destination on the Internet, say a web server, this destination will “see” this very IP address that has been assigned to you.
Now for communication in the other direction, that is, from a user on the Internet towards a service running internally on your network, this assigned IP address will be used to reach that service. In this case, this address should be a static IP address so that users will be able to reach your service using the same IP address every time.
By VPN providers
When you connect to a VPN via a client on a PC, that connection creates an encrypted tunnel between the PC and the VPN server. This is done regardless of what external IP address has been assigned by your ISP, whether static or dynamic. Indeed, this very fact is what essentially nullifies the benefits of a static IP assigned by the ISP.
Once the tunnel is established, all communication from the PC to the Internet will take place via the VPN server, as shown in the diagram below. The VPN server functions as a relay device for all Internet traffic to and from the PC. This means that the destination will “see” the IP address of the VPN server as the device with which it is communicating.
Methods of IP address assignment
The IP address assignment provided by a VPN service occurs in one of several ways:
A single IP address for all users – You must remember that each VPN server is used by multiple users simultaneously. This first scheme allows all users connected to the VPN server to share a single IP address when connecting to the Internet. This takes advantage of a technology called Network Address Translation (NAT) which we will not go into here. Suffice it to say that this setup allows a VPN server to connect multiple users to the Internet using only a single IP address.
A dynamically assigned pool of addresses for multiple users – This scenario is similar to that provided by your ISP. A VPN server may have hundreds of IP addresses that it can dynamically assign to users as they connect. When users disconnect, the addresses are released and are free to be used by other users.
Statically assigned IP addresses – This case is exactly what it says. A VPN service has reserved an IP address for you and every time you connect, it assigns you the same IP address. No one else will be allotted this address. So, when connected, you appear on the Internet with the same IP address every time.
Communicating with Internal Services
Of the above three methods of assignment, only the third is suitable for communication with internal services from the Internet. In such a situation, an external Internet user must communicate with the statically assigned IP address supplied by the VPN service, as indicated in the diagram below.
The VPN server will map this static IP address with the tunnel associated with it to reach the destination which is a service in your internal network. Note that similar to the VPN connectivity of the PC displayed in the previous diagrams, the server running the internal service must be running the VPN client to maintain the VPN tunnel through which communication occurs.
VPN to the ISP router
One final scenario must be included here as it is an important one for such implementations. Users who do deploy services on their internal networks often have multiple servers they want to make accessible from the Internet. This can be done by utilizing VPN client software on each internal server as shown below.
The problem with such a scenario is that with multiple tunnels, overhead is added for the creation of each tunnel, increasing the bandwidth used and decreasing the data transfer efficiency. This is not a scalable setup as the overhead can become substantial with the addition of subsequent servers and as such, it is somewhat wasteful of the bandwidth made available to you.
An alternative is to have a single VPN tunnel created between the ISP router and the VPN server as depicted below. This setup is much more efficient and is scalable, meaning you can add many additional servers without additional VPN overhead. The only prerequisite is that the router used for connecting to your ISP as well as your chosen VPN service are both capable of supporting such VPN connectivity.
Static IPs vs Dedicated IPs
Terminology used by VPN providers may be somewhat misleading, and this may be deliberate. For this reason, beware! Some offer dedicated IPs while others offer true static IPs. What’s the difference? To find out, let’s take a look at how the most basic subscription packages distribute VPN IPs.
When you connect to a VPN server, that server connects to the Internet via a shared IP address. That is, all users connected to that server will appear to the world as a single address. This is done using a technique called Network Address Translation (NAT) which we will not analyze further here. However, suffice it to say that many users share the same IP address.
The most presumptuous providers may refer to this IP as a shared static IP, as these addresses are often indeed static, meaning they don’t change over time. But, it is shared among tens or even hundreds of users, so it doesn’t provide any benefits of a true static IP.
A dedicated IP address is an address that is used solely by a single person connected to the VPN server. In other words, you can connect to a VPN server and know that only you appear on the Internet with this address. The problem is that a dedicated address can be dynamic. So each time you connect, you may be the only one using the address, but it may be different every time you connect.
A true static IP is one that is dedicated to one user and does not change. Needless to say, such plans are usually the most expensive and offer the most perks. When choosing your VPN provider, make sure you understand what is being offered. And if you don’t, you can now more intelligently ask questions to determine exactly what it is you are purchasing when buying static or dedicated IP address services.
Because the terminology can be misleading, and can mean different things when used by different people, we’ve included in our list those VPN providers offering static/dedicated IP addresses that do not change and that are used exclusively by one individual (or shared among users of a single enterprise). We may use the terms interchangeably, as they are used by the providers, but within the scope of this article, we are in fact referring to the true meaning of static IPs.
Best VPNs for Static IPs: Considerations
With what we have talked about so far, we hope you now have a better understanding of what static IPs are, what they’re useful for, and how they can be employed with a VPN. Having said this, it is also important to understand the benefits that VPN services offer when used in conjunction with static IPs and with internal network services that you may want to make accessible to the Internet.
Below we examine these benefits and considerations that you should keep in mind when making your final decision concerning the type of service you’re looking for and the VPN provider you will ultimately choose.
VPNs Provide Encryption
When one hears about VPNs, the first thing that usually comes to mind is an encrypted connection. VPNs use several different methods and protocols to encrypt data that is being transmitted. These include PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2 and OpenVPN, to name a few. Many of these have pros and cons as far as efficiency and speed are concerned as well as the level of security they make available. As a general rule, there is usually a tradeoff between speed and security and for this reason, you have to find the right balance between the two that will meet your needs.
The most widely preferred VPN encryption protocols is OpenVPN. This is because it is an open source standard that is supported by the vast majority of VPN services. OpenVPN is highly configurable so it can be adjusted to your needs, and it supports some of the strongest security technologies available today. For more information about encryption, check out our VPN Encryption: The Complete Guide.
By employing such encryption while using a static IP, you are protecting all transactions occurring between users on the internet and the internal services you are making accessible to them. Just keep in mind that this security is provided only for the portion of the communication that takes place between the VPN server and your internal service.
Masking Geographical Location
Another of the most popular features of VPNs is the fact that you are able to access the Internet from the geographical location of the VPN server while hiding your actual physical location. In this way, services only available for specific geographical locations are accessible to you via a VPN server that is within the desired geographical region.
This is also the case when VPNs are used with static IPs. When users connect to your internal service, such as a web server for example, they do so by connecting to the IP address provided by the VPN server. This server may be, say, a United States VPN server, but your web server is set up in France. Users connecting to this service will only know of the IP address of the VPN server in the US and will not have any way of knowing where the actual web server is located.
Protection from Cyberattacks
Whenever a network service is made available to the Internet there is always the danger of this service becoming the victim of a cyberattack. This is why all such services take appropriate measures to protect themselves.
The most common attack your servers may become susceptible to is a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. This is where an attacker attempts to make a network device unavailable by flooding it with an excessive number of bogus requests; so many, that they overwhelm the device and it is unable to respond to legitimate user requests, thus denying service to its users. This is often accomplished by using multiple sources for the bogus requests, an event more correctly referred to as a Distributed DoS (DDoS) attack.
Now if you have set up your own web server, or are hosting an online game server at home, you most likely do not have the budget to implement the appropriate hardware and software security measures nor would your home computer have enough memory and raw CPU power to deal with a superfluous number of such requests.
Not to worry, however, because VPN providers do. They have vast server resources and security measures in place to deal with such attacks. If you have a static IP address service from one of these VPNs, the VPN server acts as a front-line protection to your private servers. If any DDoS attack is attempted, it will never reach your local device but will be halted by the VPN server’s protection mechanisms.
Companies pay thousands per year for DDoS mitigation services. Static IP customers of VPN providers are offered this service as a free benefit of their subscription.
How Much Does a Static IP Cost
If your asking yourself “how much does a VPN cost?” then it’s likely that you want a cheap and secure service, however, obtaining a static IP address from a VPN provider is often cheaper than obtaining a static IP address from your ISP.
Static IP VPN Limitations
Nevertheless, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind before committing to a subscription. A VPN provider may have hundreds or even thousands of VPN servers all over the world to which you can connect. When you are given a static IP address, in order to use it, you do not have the flexibility of connecting to any one of these servers. Your static IP will be assigned only if you connect to the particular server or servers specified by your VPN provider. This is because specific IP address ranges have been assigned to specific regions of the world and cannot be redistributed between regions. However, if you want a static IP address from a specific country or region, you will be able to do so. Just ask your VPN provider what choices are made available to you.
Additionally, although VPNs in this list offer a money-back trial period for their shared and dynamic address services, you won’t be given a refund if you cancel your static IP service. Even so, you can give each VPN service a try with its standard set of services, risk-free. Once you’ve evaluated the speeds and the availability of their regular services, you should be in a pretty good position to responsibly and intelligently choose the service that is right for you.
Best VPNs for Static IPs: Conclusion
Static IPs can be of benefit especially when you want to implement a service on your internal network to which Internet users (including yourself!) can connect. VPNs offer many additional advantages when used in conjunction with static IPs including encryption, cyberattack protection, low cost, as well as the ability to mask the location of your servers.
We’ve compiled a list of the best VPN providers offering static IP services over their VPNs. We invite you to explore the possibilities of sharing your internal services with the Internet at large by taking advantage of these safe, secure, and useful tools.