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My company has been investigating the possibility of buying our own IP ranges as we're growing at a very fast rate. However, the cost of doing business directly with our local NIC is proving to be quite high for a business the size of ours (~50 staff). I was wondering, is there any way to procure an IP address range without being a member of our regional NIC?

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Any chance of using Network Address Translation (NAT) or is that not an option? – murisonc May 3 '12 at 2:08

Usually you can talk with your internet provider, and they can "sell"* you a range of IP addresses. They should already be a NIC member, have a range of IP addresses and if they have enough free addresses for your needs, and all the technical requirements are fulfilled ('good-enough' routers, MSANs, or whatever they use), they can provide you with the desired IP range (of course for a price).

So, the first stop should be your provider, and they can give you their offer.

Only problem here is, that the IP addresses will still be owned by the provider, but you will get a range of them to use. If you wish to have your own AS, then you most probably need to join a NIC - but they you also hae to invest into a border router, and still get an agreement about BGP forwarding etc. with your current provider (if even possible).

*edit: not sell permanently, but let you use the range while the contract lasts

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Indeed, it's not just as simple as "here's some IP addresses, enjoy!". There's a lot of backend work that needs to be done to actually make use of any assigned IP addresses. – devicenull May 3 '12 at 2:12
The ISP can't "sell" you a range of ip addresses. The distinction is between allocation and assignment, as laid out in section 2 (2.5 to be precise) here: – joeqwerty May 3 '12 at 2:49
Sorry, I should have been more specific. We would like our own portable address space that we can take with us should we move ISPs. Right now, we have leased a /27 and a /64 from our current ISP, but the IPv6 global addressing paradigm has made us consider the possibility of having our own range that would keep us from having to renumber should we change service providers. – Mark May 4 '12 at 7:11
@mulaz, Isn't BGP software basically free? – Pacerier Oct 27 '14 at 21:49
Yes, software is free. You have to pay to get your AS number, to get your uplink via a larger provider, etc. And most of them won't let you use just any old hardware with some free software on it. But for internal routing, you can use whatever you want. – mulaz Oct 28 '14 at 9:13

Can I buy an IP address range without buying from or becoming a member of my regional NIC?

You can just make them up, but then - who cares about them, and if no one cares, you can not use them to talk to anyone.

What you ask is like "can I gt a phone number without involving a phone company, they are too expensive". Sure, use an internal phone system, just make no calls outside your company.

IP Addresses are not like a printer - they are like a phone number. Unless the infrastructure is there to route your call AND EVERYONE ACCEPTS THEM... they are useless.

This is what a NIC does- track it, distribute information. Members of the NIX get involved there, but this is set up for LARGE companies that are running a lot of infrastructure and NEED Them. Last time I checked the smallest block of IP addresses a NIX deals with is 4096, and you need to need them (or allocate them to customers). You also need 2+ uplinks and be able to handle BGP and get certified in the paperwork etc. for the NIC (so you do not damage their databases).

No, this is NOT for a small company just not knowing how to deal with an internet provider or use NAT.

Talk to your provider. Every provider with a cent can allocate you IP addresses from HIS range per your request, which - btw. - is not what he makes up, the paperwork is mandatory per NIC.

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