Dedicated IPs in Web Hosting Explained
An IP address is a string of numbers – and, more recently, letters – that acts as a unique code for a website and a user or device session.
Sometimes, multiple websites share the same IP address, while some websites have a unique address of their own. This depends on whether they operate over a shared or dedicated server.
In this article, KnownHost looks at the difference between dedicated and shared IP addresses, as well as explaining exactly what dedicated IPs are and the potential benefits for website owners.
What Is a Dedicated IP Address?
Before discussing the differences between shared and dedicated web hosting, we must first understand what a dedicated IP is and how it relates to hosting.
An IP address is used to communicate information over the internet. So, when a single server is used to host multiple websites, they all share the same IP address.
This doesn’t cause a problem for the basic functionality of the website but can be seen as less secure and less resourceful than a dedicated server.
A dedicated IP, therefore, refers to a unique address that is only used for a single website. Dedicated IP addresses serve as a website’s unique address and are locked to a single hosting account. To access a website, users can either type in the dedicated hosting IP or the website URL.
Dedicated servers are used for a multiple websites with many IP address’s, as opposed to being shared by multiple websites. For this reason, they are often desired by businesses when remote access may be required to an internal network. A dedicated IP address means remote users are always connected to the same IP address, providing increased security credentials.
How Are Dedicated IP Addresses Related to Hosting?
Websites are hosted online for users to access – and can be done so through an IP address or domain address.
However, for websites using shared hosting resources, there are challenges with using the IP address, as it is the same for all websites on the server. To access these websites, users can only search via the website’s unique domain name.
This is where dedicated IP addresses offer one of their unique benefits. The IP address provides access to only one website, meaning either the IP address or domain name can be used to access it.
A concise and memorable domain name is crucial to website success – regardless of whether you’re using a shared or dedicated IP address.
KnownHost’s domain registration service helps you access your dream website domain name and offers free WHOIS privacy and DNS management, and 24 hours a day, year-round domain support.
What Are the Differences Between Dedicated and Shared IP Addresses?
The main difference between dedicated and shared IP addresses is that dedicated IPs are unique to one web hosting server, whereas a shared web hosting platform serves multiple websites with the same IP address.
However, with this comes a number of further differences. For example, shared hosting is, by its nature, often seen as less secure than a dedicated server.
KnownHost’s shared hosting services offer peace of mind by ensuring all accounts are isolated and guaranteed their own resources.
Plus, our range of shared hosting plans offer different resources to suit your needs – making them flexible and affordable, so they are perfect for smaller websites without the technical expertise or resources to dedicate to a dedicated server.
Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, is reserved for one IP alone and therefore offers increased hosting resources for larger websites with greater demand. The security credentials of an independent, dedicated IP address are also desirable for websites handling sensitive data such as bank details and personal information.
Ultimately, the most effective type of hosting should balance a website’s requirement and available resources.
What Are the Benefits of a Dedicated IP Address?
A dedicated IP address provides multiple potential benefits for larger websites that demand greater resources, including:
- Security: Because the hosting server is dedicated to just a single website, it means that any unwanted users on the server can be easily identified, reducing the risk of cyber-attacks.
- Scalability: Because the server is devoted to a single website, it offers greater flexibility and resources compared with a shared server. This increased level of scalability provides server customization that can suit all financial and high-traffic situations.
- Performance: Because a dedicated server’s maintenance team will have full control and access to the server, it speeds up the process of bug reports and ensures a more stable server with higher performance.
- Dedicated Support: Many web hosting providers, including KnownHost, offer fully managed, dedicated website hosting plans. This is the best option for a highly secure, dedicated hosting server that is powerful and customizable, to meet all your needs.
Do Dedicated IP Addresses Improve SEO?
The good – or potentially bad – news is that dedicated IP addresses are not actually linked to a marked improvement in search engine optimization (SEO) performance.
It was traditionally believed that websites operating with a shared IP address may have been punished in the search engines for doing so, while dedicated IP addresses would be viewed more positively. However, this has been debunked by Google representatives.
So, the positive news is that website owners can reap the rewards of web hosting services that work for them – whether shared or dedicated – without worrying about the impact on search engine performance.
How Do Dedicated Servers and Dedicated IP Addresses Work Together?
Dedicated servers and IP addresses go hand in hand – as a dedicated IP address can only be attained by hosting a website on a dedicated server.
A dedicated IP address serves as the website address, and users can either type in the IP address or associated domain name, to reach a website. The server, meanwhile, hosts the website – keeping it live and serving its content when a user searches the IP address or associated domain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How do I find my hosting IP address?
A: Your hosting IP address will be available through your web hosting provider. Log in to your account and navigate to the hosting section of the dashboard. Your IP address should be available here and can be identified as a string of numbers separated by four bullets.