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Navigating the Crossroads of IPv4 Strategy: To Buy or to Lease?

  • Posted at 2024-06-24 06:33:52
  • By Prefixx Team

Navigating the Crossroads of IPv4 Strategy: To Buy or to Lease?

The world of digital infrastructure is at an interesting point, as the cost of IPv4 addresses has fallen significantly for the first time in three years. This situation leads to a critical question for companies everywhere: Should they purchase IPv4 addresses outright, or consider leasing them instead? This article sets out to explore this debate by looking into the financial, strategic, and technical aspects involved. It wraps up with insights from an informative case study titled "AWS BYOIP & IPv4 Leasing: Unlock Savings – A Case Study," shared on our platform.

Understanding IPv4 Market Dynamics:

The ecosystem surrounding IPv4 transactions is characterized by a shrinking pool of available addresses amidst a backdrop of increasing demand, a trend amplified by the proliferation of IoT and the continuous expansion of global networks. We notice a variation in pricing largely dependent on the size of the address block, with smaller blocks (/24) being relatively more affordable at around $33 per address, whereas the larger ones (/16 and /17) exhibit a wider price range reflecting their strategic value and scarcity.

Current Pricing Trends:

A closer look at the market presents an intriguing pattern in pricing:

  • Smaller Blocks (/24): Priced at an accessible rate of about $33 per address, these are suitable for more modest requirements.

  • Larger Blocks (/16 and /17): These showcase a fluctuating price point, with /16 blocks often ranging from $45 to $50 per address, and /17 blocks occasionally falling beneath the $35 mark, presenting a dynamic pricing landscape warranting thoughtful examination.

The Lease Option:

In line with our boutique approach to service, our leasing options are designed to provide flexibility and security without the burden of large upfront investments:

  • Monthly Lease Fees: Our fees range from $0.65 to $1 per IP per month, depending on the block size and the specific needs of our clients. This pricing strategy is not about competing on volume but offering a tailored, guaranteed service that ensures availability and reliability. Learn more about our approach from the insights shared in our recent case study on AWS BYOIP & IPv4 Leasing: Unlock Savings.

Buying vs. Leasing: Analyzing the Options:


  • Pros: Guarantees longer-term economies, provides complete control, and eliminates the complexities tied to continuous lease agreements.

  • Cons: Requires a significant upfront financial commitment and introduces exposure to market fluctuations.


  • Pros: Ensures financial agility, accommodates changing operational needs, and reduces exposure to long-term market uncertainty.

  • Cons: Leads to greater expenses over time and introduces challenges linked to administrative processes upon the end of a lease term.

Choosing the Right Strategy: Key Considerations

The optimal choice between buying and leasing IPv4 addresses hinges on several critical factors:

  • Budget Constraints: If you have the budget and anticipate long-term use, buying might be more cost-effective. Conversely, leasing is suitable for limited capital or temporary needs.

  • Duration of Use: Long-term needs are better suited for buying, while temporary projects benefit from the flexibility of leasing.

  • Technical Expertise: Owning addresses requires in-house knowledge for maintenance. If expertise is lacking, leasing can provide necessary support.

  • Network Stability: For paramount network stability and security, owning addresses provides greater control over configurations.

  • Future Scalability: Anticipate future growth. Buying is economical for significant growth, while leasing offers flexibility for unpredictable needs.

Case Studies: Real-World Examples

  • Company A: The Buyer's Perspective

    • A large e-commerce platform prioritizes long-term stability and network performance.

    • Buying allows for full control and potential value appreciation.

    • The high initial cost is justified by long-term benefits.

  • Company B: The Lessee's Perspective

    • A tech startup with limited capital and fluctuating project demands.

    • Leasing offers flexibility and lower upfront costs.

    • Technical support from the lessor alleviates IT team burdens.

    • Recurring costs are a trade-off for the flexibility of adjusting IP resources.

Case Study Insight: AWS BYOIP & IPv4 Leasing:

An in-depth review of "AWS BYOIP & IPv4 Leasing: Enhancing Savings" offers a tangible narrative, substantiating the financial and strategic soundness of a well-planned leasing strategy within the complex IPv4 ecosystem. It demonstrates how combining AWS BYOIP with IPv4 leasing can lead to notable cost savings and operational adaptability.

Cost Comparison Table Explored:

An analysis of the costs associated with each method outlines the economic considerations of both acquisition models:

Block Size

Buy Cost (per address)

Lease Cost (per month)

Total Cost Over 1 Year (Lease)

Total Cost Over 3 Years (Lease)



$0.65 to $1.00

$468 to $720

$1,404 to $2,160



$0.65 to $1.00

$11,220 to $17,280

$33,660 to $51,840



$0.65 to $1.00

$5,616 to $8,640

$16,848 to $25,920

Strategic and Technical Considerations:

Choosing a path for IPv4 address acquisition involves a holistic assessment of operational requirements and strategic foresight. It's crucial for the chosen path to resonate with the company’s vision for network development, considering that a shift towards IPv6 could significantly alter the playing field, as highlighted in our featured case study.


In deciphering the complexities of whether to purchase or lease IPv4 addresses, it's evident that each approach harbors merits and challenges, tailored to the distinct needs and future directions of organizations. While owning IPv4 addresses may offer longevity and autonomy, leasing affords modularity and the capacity to swiftly adapt to changes in technology and market conditions.

Navigating these considerations demands careful reflection and strategic planning, with an emphasis on both immediate needs and upcoming shifts towards IPv6. For those inclined towards leasing, partnering with a reputable entity can alleviate potential leasing risks, such as renumbering or market adjustments at the end of a lease. For organizations looking at leasing opportunities, platforms like Prefixx provide credible leasing solutions tailored to diverse organizational needs. Ultimately, the decision to buy or lease IPv4 addresses hinges on striking the right balance between cost, command, and flexibility, taking into account the evolving landscape of internet infrastructure. By thoughtfully evaluating these aspects and utilizing reliable resources, companies can confidently approach the IPv4 marketplace, ensuring a robust digital infrastructure foundation for their present and future endeavors.

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