I would like to have a permanent - or at least, changing annually - IP address for my laptop. Wherever I go, I would like my laptop to be the IP address (or whatever, that's just an example).

Coffee shop? I'm

Home? I'm

And so on. This is so my laptop can be whitelisted by some corporate firewall. I don't mind paying for this, if there is some service that I can pay to get this, but obviously setting it up myself is better.

This is so I can be security whitelisted, so I obviously need internet access! VPN is an option, but I am curious what other options there are. Can I just plain buy an IP address from some organisation (that must be possible) ?

  • you can do this by setting your ip address in network settings, but your question makes me think you still want to be able to connect to the internet. If that is the case please update your question.
    – Joe S
    Feb 7, 2019 at 19:29
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    Not unless you use a VPN service, always, and use a set IP from them (or running your own server, a set IP from the ISP). IPv6 may offer a different approach but I'm not going to get into that, and can be very easily spoofed.
    – Ken Sharp
    Feb 7, 2019 at 19:51
  • Not a good idea. Networks expect their users to be in specific ranges of IP addresses, and they each define what their address range should be. You will not know what they expect, and different organization will require different IP address ranges. It will be difficult o find what those number ranges are from the outside, because only IT folks will know, and coffee shop folks will be reluctant to hand over their IT contact info to you.
    – K7AAY
    Feb 7, 2019 at 19:55
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    @KenSharp - I thought I'd avoid VPN in my answer, though I do appreciate your point. I'm not certain the OP truly understands the connotations of that avenue & I think overall, it's too fraught with danger for the uninitiated.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 7, 2019 at 19:56
  • @Tetsujin That's why I didn't bother going in to any more detail. It might be a bit more obvious to an experienced user.
    – Ken Sharp
    Feb 7, 2019 at 20:02

4 Answers 4


Reading between the lines - as you appear to have some confusion as to how IP Addresses actually work - then the simple answer is No.

You computer's IP Address is never going to be exposed to the outside world. You will always be connected through some routing device somewhere - whether that's at home or in a coffee shop.

In order to be able to connect to the outside world, you need your computer to be assigned a local IP Address from that router. That will happen fairly automatically if you don't change your default settings.
The outside world can then 'see' your computer as having the IP Address of that router, not your own computer. Your computer's temporary local address is never exposed to the outside world directly.

  • You're describing IP masquerading, a form of NAT, which is a workaround for the limited IPv4 address space that's used on some networks. It's not a universal rule of the Internet. Lots of computers are directly assigned globally-valid IP addresses.
    – Wyzard
    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:10

In the standard way, no. Your outside IP address is determined by your ISP or whoever's ISP you're connecting to. Your ISP IP address will probably be relatively stable meaningful it won't change too often, if at all. I've had the same address for 4 plus years . Some VPN services do offer static IP addresses however so that might be an option.


There is actually a poorly supported protocol for doing something like that. It is called Mobile IP. You basically get an IP address on your "home" network (not the same meaning as a residential/home network), and your device gets a local address of the network to which it is actually connected, then it creates a tunnel between its current network and its home network. Any traffic destined to its home address goes to its home network, then gets tunneled to its current location.


I'm going to keep this overly simplistic because I don't know how much you or someone else reading this understands networkworking, but....

No, that's not the way networking works. For one thing, the IP address to your laptop is determined by the device it is connected to (switch/router). Individual network devices are setup to talk to a certain range of addresses and their connected devices must be in that range in order for them to be able to communicate.

For another, most networks provide addresses to devices as they connect (called DHCP), and reuse those addresses as devices drop off and others come along. This is especially important for places like coffee shops where a large number of random devices will connect with the network there.

Another important note is that in places like coffee shops, you need to let the router determine the address because if someone else with a laptop with the address (or whatever you have) is already there, you won't be able to connect due to there being an IP conflict.

Also, as mentioned by @HazardousGlitch, the IP address your corporate system would see from a coffee shop, or even at home would be the modem's address, not your laptop. So if you are at a place with 10 computers, the corporate network would see just the place's modem, which would then re-address incoming mail to the approriate computer.

It is possible to have a static address at home since normally the devices there don't change much, but it usually isn't efficient and won't fix the external modem address mentioned above.

EDIT: Upon consideration I thought I should add the most important reason adding a static IP address won't let the user connect to his corporate network, which is because any competent IT department won't use that as a consideration for connecting in the first place. If all it takes is having a certain address, then all anybosy has to do is configure their device with that address and viola! They're in! Organizations will allow authorized users to connect through a variety of methods and controls such as internal VPNs, Active Directory, or MAC addresses to determine who can connect from outside the workplace.

  • 1
    If you are going to down vote, please give a reason why.
    – RWW
    Feb 7, 2019 at 20:31

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