What factors to consider when purchasing IPv4 address blocks?

Purchasing an IPv4 address block is quite a big investment nowadays. The price for one single IPv4 address has never been this high, let alone the price of an entire block. Yet still some businesses find themselves in need of IPv4 address space for the sake of network expansion, migration or more. What do you need to know when you’re planning on purchasing IPv4 address blocks? 

1. Price

Let’s start with probably the most important factor to consider: the price. Given the shortage of IPv4 addresses, there’s a true run on free address space and a heated market has emerged as a consequence. The depletion has caused prices to rise. Where the RIR issued IPv4 addresses when they were still available, now a transfer of ownership is needed for parties to use their IP address space. Nowadays, a single IPv4 address can cost up to $50. Multiply this by the number of addresses you need and find that the investment is significant. However, when this means you’re able to realize business goals you wouldn’t otherwise reach, the investment is worth it.

2. Seller

When you’ve decided to purchase IPv4 address block, you want to look for the right seller. The heated market also gave rise to a black market where rules and regulations are corrupted in order for sellers to get the best deal. Whereas prices may be lower on black markets, the risks of buying IPv4 addresses here is all the higher. Chances are you purchase an IPv4 block that has been blacklisted in the past. Meaning you’re now connected to a corrupted IP address and responsible for any consequences this may entail. Moreover, black market IPv4 addresses may not be working as well as you would expect given the lack of background check beforehand. If you do decide to purchase an IPv4 address on the market, make sure to find a seller that is trusted.

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3. Broker

Avoiding black market practices can be done by partnering with a licensed IP broker. These specialists know everything there is to know about the transfer of IP addresses and generally have an extensive network of parties willing to sell their surplus IP address space.  

Moreover, a broker is able to manage every negotiation and administrative matter that comes with the transfer of IP addresses. This process requires decent understanding of the matter and takes significant time to round off sufficiently. 

4. Future use  

The last thing to consider is your future use of IP addresses. Are you planning on maintaining them for a  very long time or do you want to sell them again in the near future? If the latter is the case, perhaps leasing is a better idea. This allows you to make use of the necessary space for a period of time without any of the hassle of the transfer of ownership by the RIR. When you need large blocks of IP addresses or want to hold onto them for quite some time, buying is your best bet.  

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