Getting Started

Neptune Networks is a platform to help you announce your IP addresses to the internet. You can think of Neptune as a kind of wholesale internet service provider, often referred to as an "IP transit" provider.

Traditional ISPs effectively rent you a single IP address and give you a default gateway that knows how to get to any IP address on the internet, as well as knows how to direct anyone on the internet to you.

IP transit providers like Neptune are a special kind of internet service provider that let you bring your own IP addresses and ensures the internet knows how to reach those addresses, as well as gives you a full table of paths to every address on the internet. This happens over a routing protocol known as BGP (the "Border Gateway Protocol").

Getting IP Addresses

In order to announce your own IP addresses from Neptune Networks, you'll typically need two things:

  1. ASN: An "Autonomous System Number". You can think of an autonomous system as a distinct entity or organization that has its own unique routing policies on the internet. An Autonomous System Number is a unique identifier of the Autonomous System. For example Google is AS15169, Verizon is AS701, and Neptune Networks is AS21700.
  2. Provider-independent Address Space: These are blocks of IP addresses that you control. They are issued by Regional Internet Registries ("RIRs") or Local Internet Registries ("LIRs"). There are five RIRs (AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC, and RIPE) and countless LIRs.

Acquiring PI (provider-independent) address space is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive. There is a finite number of available IPv4 addresses, and in September of 2015, ARIN (the RIR for North America) ran out of available addresses. That said, it's still possible to find these addresses either via waitlists, auctions, or by renting the addresses from someone who already has it.

It's important to note that PI space is announced in blocks, also known as "prefixes", and there are minimum size requirements of announced prefixes on the internet. The smallest announceable IPv4 prefix is a /24 (256 addresses), and the smallest announceable IPv6 prefix is a /48.

Announcing IP addresses

Neptune is a cloud platform that uses virtual routers to establish BGP connections between you and Neptune Networks to exchange routes. These virtual routers are yours to use however you would like. It's common to run a software-based router like BIRD or VyOS, and then use a tunnel like WireGuard or GRE to connect any downstream services in your autonomous system.

Once you have acquired your PI space, you'll want to make sure that you add a Route Origin Authorization (ROA) and IRR route / route6 object which are ways to ensure only your ASN can announce your prefixes. If you do not have a RPKI or IRR valid prefix, you will need to provide proof that you are allowed to announce the prefix, either using a letter of authorization, or in the case of AMPRnet, a link to the AMPRnet portal that references your ASN for a given prefix.

Use the IP Transit section of the platform to define your prefixes, and then set up a BGP session with the router specified on that page. Twice a day, our BGP routers are updated to establish a connection with your virtual router as well as let valid prefixes through our filters.

If you have any questions, reach out to