Do I Need a Shared or a Dedicated VPN? Staff
Shared vs. dedicated VPN
If you’re looking for a safer, more dynamic way to use the internet, you’ll want to consider signing up for a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN is a group of computers that forms a network that you can access from your computer or mobile device to keep you safe online.

Not only does a VPN encrypt your IP address and data, it also let you change your location, allowing you to access all types of content that may be blocked in your location. VPNs are offered either on a shared or dedicated plan, and the one you chose can affect your security and the effectiveness of your VPN. 

What Is a Dedicated VPN IP Service?

With a dedicated VPN no one else can use your IP, meaning that you will have a higher level of security and you don’t have to worry about other users “tainting” the IP address or getting it banned or blacklisted. 

In addition, if you’re using a VPN to change your location so you can watch streaming services from a different country, using a dedicated IP VPN means you are less likely to encounter interruptions. Streaming service providers look for people using VPNs to access their content, and if you’re on a shared IP VPN with a large number of users, you’re more likely to be blocked by the provider. 

If you run a personal blog or website, you can restrict access to the site’s backend and add an extra layer of security using a dedicated IP. 

Many businesses—and possibly your workplace—require a dedicated IP to access their network, which gives added security to the workplace. It can also help secure company databases and if security is a priority for you, than a dedicated IP VPN should be on your wishlist.

Not every VPN provider offers a dedicated IP, but options like NordVPN offer the service, alongside the shared option. 

What Is a Shared VPN IP Service?

With a shared IP VPN, the IP is used by multiple users, sometimes into the hundreds or more.

These VPNs are cheaper than dedicated VPNs, which is part of what makes them popular with large companies. With most companies, the longer the plan the lower the monthly price. For instance with CyberGhost, a year-long shared IP VPN costs only $2.75 per month. 

A shared IP VPN and can actually provide you more privacy through a sort of “safety in numbers” approach. Since you’re on the IP with possibly hundreds of other users, it’s harder for you to be identified. Some providers like ExpressVPN have hundreds of users on every server, meaning that no matter what you’ll be hard to find in the crowd. 

On the other hand, if other people using the IP are up to no good, they can get the IP blacklisted. This can in some cases get you blocked by specific websites. 

Regardless of which plan you’re looking at, you should consider a company like ZenMate that has a strict policy of not storing any customer personal information or IP addresses. In addition, ExpressVPN has a strict no-logging policy and some of the best encryption of any VPN provider. 

So...Which One Is Better?

When it comes time to decide between a shared or dedicated VPN, it all comes down to what you need. If you do a lot of streaming or downloading, a shared VPN can provide you with better privacy—and will also cost significantly less. 

With a dedicated IP VPN you will have the peace of mind to never have to worry about other users on the IP getting you blacklisted and you will maintain control of the IP address with the website services you use. 

If you run your own website, company store, or blog, you may want to invest in a dedicated IP VPN just to retain control of the IP and the highest level of security. If you’re a casual web user who just wants better security and privacy online and the ability to access content blocked in your locale, a shared VPN may be a better choice. Staff's editorial staff is a professional team of editors, writers and experts with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.