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Why is Having Your Own IP Range Useful?

In this blog post we’ll be going over why having your own IP Ranges are useful. To give context, we’ll explain what RIPE and LIR’s are, and how this impacts use of IP addresses. 

Let’s Start from the Top – RIPE 

There is only a set amount of IP addresses in the world. They are monitored and overseen by non-profit organisations across the world. These organisations cover different set regions. RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens) oversee and delegate IP’s for Europe, the Middle East and some central parts of Asia. They hold a vast number of IP’s. 

Essentially, we are starting to run out of IP’s as more and more devices and places need them. As such, RIPE now only allocate IP’s to LIR’s (Local Internet Registry). An LIR will be allocated a certain amount of IP’s and can essentially do what they want with them. They have to get used though! This could be Data Centres that need a large amount of IP’s to set up servers for customers. To become an LIR you must demonstrate competency through a series of forms and meeting certain conditions. If you’re successful RIPE will allocate a set block of IP’s – a block of 1024 for example. 

 

LIR’s 

As mentioned above an LIR is an organisation that has joined RIPE and been allocated an amount of IP’s, which that person/company will own and can do what they want with. An example would be a Data Centre like us. We will allocate IP addresses to our customers for various things such as servers and website hosting. 

 

Why Have Your Own IP Range? 

You might be thinking “why can I not just use the IP’s that my ISP (Internet Service Provider) give me?”. That’s a good question and why there is nothing wrong with doing that providing you stay with them. If you ever decide to swap providers or leave it becomes much more of a faff as your ISP will take back their IP’s (remember there is only a set amount available). This becomes problematic as it means you need to get new IP’s and allocate them to whatever services were using them before. This is usually a bit of a pain. 

So, when you have your own IP’s you can use them wherever you like. This is option is a lot more flexible and has much more utility. It also means you aren’t tied down to one location too. Another big benefit to having your own IP(s) is that they build up reputations slowly. For example, if your business was email marketing and you sent thousands of emails a day, a brand-new IP might be seen as suspicious and blacklisted, meaning more people wouldn’t see your emails. The flipside of this is also true. An IP with a good reputation is less likely to get blacklisted in the same situation. Having your own IP means you can more easily manage your reputation over time. 

Following from the previous point, having your own IP’s means you are only affected by what you do, as opposed to sharing IP’s on shared hosting services. Essentially if someone on that shared hosting network’s website gets hacked and sends out a load of spam, other sites on that shared host may get blacklisted too as it idone by IP address. 

 

IP Trading 

Additionally, there is also a market for trading IP addresses, so you can buy or rent IP addresses from third parties. You may even be able to buy a PI (Provider Independent) range which are no longer available. A PI range gives you your own IPs but without the need to become an LIR, i.e. member of RIPE, so this is an easier and cheaper option. The reason that they are no longer available is because RIPE is on its last block of IP addresses and its constitution says that all addresses much now only go to members. 

 

Got a Question? 

We appreciate if you aren’t familiar with this subject it can seem a little overwhelming and is a lot to try and understand. But if you want to find out more about RIPE, LIR’s or IP’s in general then don’t be afraid to get in touch! We’ll help out however we can! 

 

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Chris Allen

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