Surfshark, a well-known VPN service, recently announced the introduction of a new feature: Dedicated IP addresses. This feature was officially launched on June 7, 2023, signaling a significant step for the company and its clients.
Before diving into the specifics of the new feature, it’s essential to understand the difference between shared and dedicated IP addresses. Shared IP addresses, as the name suggests, are used by multiple people at the same time. On the other hand, a dedicated IP address is exclusively assigned to a single user and doesn’t change over time.
Surfshark’s new Dedicated IP feature aims to offer users more control and consistency in their online experience. Here are some of the key advantages:
Remote Network Access: Dedicated IPs are excellent for accessing networks remotely. With a shared VPN service, the user’s IP address changes frequently, complicating the process of accessing remote assets. A dedicated IP ensures that the user’s address remains the same, regardless of location, simplifying the process and adding an extra layer of security.
Avoidance of IP Blocklisting: Since shared IP addresses are used by multiple individuals, they can be more susceptible to blocklisting due to the actions of other users. With a dedicated IP, only the actions of the owner of the IP address can result in blocklisting.
Access to IP-Sensitive Services: Some services require a consistent IP address, such as online banking or cryptocurrency trading platforms. A dedicated IP address provides this consistency.
Reduced CAPTCHA Requests: When many people share the same VPN server, websites can identify these repetitive requests as robotic, leading to more CAPTCHA requests. A dedicated IP can help mitigate this issue.
While the new feature brings several benefits, it’s essential to note that the choice between a shared or dedicated IP ultimately depends on the user’s individual needs and threat model. For instance, while a dedicated IP offers certain conveniences, it also presents some potential privacy concerns. A dedicated IP is linked to the user’s email address and can be traced back to the user if their email account is compromised. This contrasts with a shared IP, where users’ online activities are mixed, making it harder to trace activities back to an individual. However, Surfshark offers an anonymous Dedicated IP option that removes the link between the user’s IP and email, providing an additional layer of privacy if desired.
Dedicated vs Static vs Shared
Many VPN providers offer static IP addresses as part of their services, often at no additional cost. A static IP address is still a shared resource among multiple users, similar to the usual shared IP approach. However, unlike dynamic IPs that change every time you connect, a static IP remains the same over time. For users looking for a balance between the consistency of a dedicated IP and the anonymity of a shared IP, a static IP could be an ideal solution. It offers a degree of stability for accessing IP-sensitive services, yet maintains some level of shared anonymity. This option could be a “happy medium,” providing the benefits of both shared and dedicated IP addresses without the potential privacy concerns linked to dedicated IPs.
In conclusion, Surfshark’s new feature offering dedicated IPs provides users with more control, convenience, and stability in their online experiences. However, users must weigh these benefits against potential privacy considerations based on their individual threat model and personal needs.