Can You Buy Additional Residential IPs From Your ISP?

3 min

The short answer is no, you cannot buy more residential IP addresses from your internet service provider (ISP). This is simply because your ISP is not allowed to either permanently allocate an IP address to you or sell one.

ISPs are bound by regulations outlined by several local, national, and international authorities, which makes “selling” IP addresses to customers a tricky enterprise and also rather unusual. This is also why getting a static IP address from your ISP is sometimes challenging. It’s a lot more headache for an ISP to hand over an IP address to you than utilize it in its commercial internet infrastructure.

Nevertheless, it’s a valid question. So, let’s dig deeper and see what exactly are the challenges when it comes to buying IP addresses from your ISP.

What Happens When You Get an Internet Connection?

Connecting to the internet means connecting to a network. This is usually facilitated by an internet service provider (ISP). Once you buy an internet connection through your ISP, a technician from the ISP will arrive at your place and most likely install a modem, which, in turn, will be connected to a Wi-Fi router. 

When you connect to the internet via this router-modem setup, you get connected to the ISP’s network, which gives you access to the world wide web.

As you can guess, when you are connected to your ISP’s network, you are assigned a unique number. This is called the internet protocol (IP) address. While static IP addresses (that don’t change) used to be assigned during the initial period of the internet (the 1990s), now ISPs stick to dynamic IP addresses (that change) because they are cheaper and easier to maintain. Not to mention the exponential demand for internet access over the past two decades. (IPv6, for instance, was invented because we are running out of IPv4 addresses.)

This number called an IP address is what identifies your connection in the network. ISPs and other entities (like the government) can keep a track of your traffic through this IP address. It’s like your web location identity. When you use a VPN, this IP address is effectively cloaked by another arbitrary one, in addition to traffic encryption. This behind-the-scenes magic is why VPN is considered a valuable privacy tool today.

Why Is Buying an Additional IP So Complicated?

ISPs assign IP addresses to their users to validate their existence on the network. If they sell or assign more than one IP address to a user, it will lead to duplication. Such duplication goes against the regulatory framework that ISPs are bound by. This is why you cannot buy more IP addresses from ISPs or anyone for that matter.

There’s another lesser-known risk of IP misuse. If dynamic IP generation does the job for general web access, why would anyone want to own an IP address? What do they intend to do with it, if not dedicated bandwidth? Questions arise, which make the whole enterprise murky. ISPs choose to avoid getting into this mess and they simply deny such IP address sales.

Of course, you could try buying IP addresses as an individual via a Regional Internet Registry (RIR), but then again it will involve having an infrastructure and a lot of money. ISPs and VPNs have the capability and capital to procure as many IPs as they wish, but that is not the case for individual users. 

And even if you were to create such a small-scale infrastructure, having other networks accept your owned IP address (as a VPS) can be a never-ending challenge. The overhead involved in getting your traffic routed via this owned IP address can set you back.

Generally, buying an IP address is neither simple nor recommended. Instead, we at TuxlerVPN suggest looking at static or dedicated IP addresses that ISPs and VPNs may be willing to offer for an additional price. These can satisfy almost all of your requirements.

The bottom line is that buying or owning a residential IP address as an individual is just not feasible on a small scale. It requires infrastructure and a lot of capital. And it would be wise to instead invest in a dedicated IP address or choose a provider that claims zero downtime.

Need a VPN that ensures 100% uptime? Check out TuxlerVPN Premium today.

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