VPN With Dynamic IP

4 min
ip address laptop screen

IP addressing is a vital part of Internet communication. It helps data packets find their way to a specific device in the virtual world, similar to how our physical address helps the mailmen. Interestingly, IP addresses were never intended to be unchangeable. In fact, in various systems, they are treated differently. Some machines have one IP address assigned for many years, others juggle multiple IPs that change in a matter of seconds. Hence the distinction between static and dynamic IPs. It takes place in VPNs, too!

Static IP VPN vs dynamic IP VPN

Theoretically, any IP can be altered. A difference between those types is in the approach. Dynamic IP is scheduled to change sooner or later. Static IP remains constant for a long time. Those terms are relative, but they give an idea of how IP addressing is handled. For most devices, the IP is assigned during Internet connection setup. It typically happens either when you turn your device on or when you change from one network to another. If you have a static IP assigned to your home by the ISP, then every time your router connects to the network, it is given the same address. If your IP is dynamic, then every time it’s different.

What does it have to do with VPN? Launching a VPN connection on any device changes its visible IP, but the true IP remains the same. The change takes place within the VPN server, which is an intermediary between you and the Internet so that various online entities are not given your true address, but rather the fake one chosen by the VPN infrastructure.

The distinction between static and dynamic IP VPNs is simple. The former assigns one address to the user for the entire duration of the VPN tunnel connection. The latter can alter it from time to time.

Difference between dynamic IP and VPN

This has gotten a little confusing. When is what changed to what? Let’s list the options:

  • Static IP, no VPN. The real address never changes.
  • Dynamic IP, no VPN. The real address gets changed.
  • VPN with static IP is on. Your fake IP is unchanged as long as the connection lasts.
  • VPN with dynamic IP is on. Your fake IP gets changed.

As you see, dynamic IP itself alters your IP and so does VPN with the dynamic IP address. What’s the difference, then?

When using a VPN with dynamic IP, all those IP changes don’t apply to your real IP. It is only the IP address you are given by the VPN that changes. Your VPN provider is responsible for how your fake IP changes.

Talking about your real IP, it is usually assigned during the internet connection setup by your ISP. When this address is dynamic, the ISP alters it according to its schedule. So in this case, the change comes from your ISP directly, not a VPN.

It’s important to note a specific type of VPN service: residential VPN. It takes advantage of a community of subscribers, or their Internet connections, to be precise. Together they create a pool of their own, real IP addresses, mostly assigned to their homes. Hence the name ‘residential’. Upon switching such a service on, you agree to join this group. Afterward, you use the IP of an anonymous user from an approximately chosen location. In turn, someone might use your home IP. This approach must be dynamic by definition because any user is free to disconnect at any time. In this event, somebody else’s VPN connection suddenly disappears together with the IP address. Fortunately, it is promptly replaced with another one, picked from the available pool.

Dynamic IP VPN advantages

No large commercial system is created in vain, so the question is: what is dynamic IP VPN service good for? And the answer is, like the VPN itself, privacy.

When you wish to stay unseen while surfing the Web, you need to leave as little track behind you as possible. First log out of any accounts, or Google, Facebook, and other systems will monitor your every step. Then, change your IP to hide your geographical location, which prevents linking your activities to your address and recognizing you. A VPN covers that (and a lot more). After that, make sure not to stick to one IP for too long. This way, any tracking techniques will have an even harder time spying on you. What’s more important, this is an obstacle for potential hackers targeting you. For example, a popular and dangerous attack called DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) usually requires knowing the IP.

Now that you know the pros, the question is: what to choose?

Static or dynamic IP address for VPN?

VPN services can own only a limited number of IP addresses. They distribute them among their subscribers in the best way they can, in which IP dynamism helps a lot. Still, in a typical situation, many users must share the same IP. There’s just not enough of them for everyone. This sharing makes you a little harder to track because even the fake IP can’t be used as your unique identifier.

But some IPs might get blacklisted. If a random VPN user performs some Illicit actions or endangers remote servers by having a virus-infected system, he or she might get blocked. There’s a chance that your dynamically assigned IP happens to be blocked in a service you’d like to access. In this case, you are innocent, but your IP address is suspicious and therefore blocked. Some sensitive systems also ban users whose IP changes too often. It might be seen as an attempt to hide illegal activities.

Utilization of the IP pool is better with dynamic addressing. This is why this approach is prevalent in VPN systems. Some of them offer dedicated IP as a compromise between static and dynamic addressing. It is static, but not only during a single online session. It’s personally assigned to a specific subscriber, so the same IP is given every time he/she connects to the VPN tunnel. As the addresses are limited, this service is charged extra.

However, it allows avoiding the mentioned issues with blacklisting. If for any reason you don’t wish your address to change, this solution is for you. But most netizens, who are sensitive about their online safety, are well off with a dynamic IP VPN system. Choose one for yourself and browse safely!

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