You may be planning to create your own websites or host business applications on a web server, and have heard of the term “dedicated IP”. Most websites are hosted on shared IP addresses, but it is becoming increasingly popular for businesses - and even individuals to get their hands on a dedicated IP address. The main reason is to use it for all their websites and domains and keep them separated from other entities.
But what exactly is a dedicated IP, and what are the benefits of getting one?
That is what we’ll be looking at in this blog post, and we’ll cover:
- What the differences between a shared IP address and dedicated IP address are
- Where you might use one
- Why specifically some businesses and individuals choose to buy dedicated IPs.
We hope this guide will make things clear for you!
The beginning: What is an IP address?
An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is used by every single computer connecting to the mainstream internet in the modern world. Virtually every web server and computers connect to other computers and servers on the internet through the standard TCP/IP model, which is effectively the protocols - or “rules” - for sending information - or “data” - between devices.
TCP essentially means the connection route that transports this data. On the other hand, IP is the Internet Protocol and is a set of rules and scripts that a client and server use to communicate, pass and fulfil HTTP requests.
Therefore, an IP address is the unique, numerical address for any individual computer or server that connects to the internet - or rather, links to other computers on a network - and wants to transport data between them!
The address gives a value that tells the server precisely who the client is and where they are from. Unlike a MAC address, it won’t tell you exactly what device is being used, but it can identify devices and establish connections between computers. These addresses have been used since the 70’s and are now a staple.
Regarding websites, IP addresses identify the server that a client will send a request to when it wants to see your webpage. For example, suppose your customer wants to see your homepage with all your eCommerce products on it. In that case, it’ll send a request over to the Internet Protocol address associated with the website’s domain.
The client and server’s IP address is used to create a pathway and “handshake” that allows the two to exchange data. The server sends the data to the client, and the client displays the webpage for your customer!
What is a shared IP address and do you have it?
Actually, you likely have a shared IP address if you have already purchased hosting for your website. Any major hosting provider will host your website on a server with the same Internet Protocol address as many, many other websites all at the same time.
This is basically the standard, but for business websites and large sites, such as social networks or SaaS, to give two examples, it may not be ideal for sharing an IP address with other websites!
This is where the term “dedicated Internet Protocol address” comes in. As the name suggests, this is an IP address that only your website(s) and domains are connected to. This proves that there is a difference between a dedicated IP and a shared IP address.
This effectively means you can have your own dedicated IP address associated with your website.
Benefits of Dedicated IPs - Why should you use a dedicated IP address?
Don’t get us wrong, shared Internet Protocol addresses are fantastic. Most websites use shared IP addresses. They allow for significantly reduced hosting prices, allowing ordinary people and small businesses to set up websites for themselves without increased costs or troubles.
However, even though shared Internet Protocol addresses will save you money and are generally more comfortable and less time consuming to set up, there are various significant benefits of getting yourself a dedicated IP.
In this section, we’ll cover a few of the most prominent ones.
1. No more sharing
Dedicated IP address, of course, means you aren’t sharing with anyone, so you get everything for yourself. Effectively, your websites and domains will have complete access to all the computing resources - such as processing power and RAM - all for yourself.
This makes dedicated IP addresses much more potent for large sites. For example, if you wanted to set up the next major social networking site or app, it’s 100% worth investing in a dedicated IP address.
2. More resources and zero downtime
You’ll have far more resources and much higher uptime. Also, since you tend to pay a premium for dedicated IP addresses, you’ll have way faster and more convenient customer support from your hosting provider. Thus if the server crashes or runs slowly, it’ll function at optimum condition again within a short period.
3. Successful email delivery system
Another benefit of using a dedicated IP address is that it allows for much more flexible and successful delivery of emails. Let’s say you have a massive email newsletter and you’re a large business with many customers details and contact addresses recorded.
You’ll want to get these emails to as many recipients in that list as possible. However, when you’re sharing an Internet Protocol address, not only do you share the resources of the server, but everyone sharing the server is responsible for its “reputation”.
With a shared IP, many of your emails may be flagged as spam and won’t be delivered to the recipient, meaning your campaign will be significantly damaged.
When you have your own dedicated Internet Protocol address, only you will be responsible for your server computer’s reputation, and you will have a way higher email delivery success rate!
4. Higher control over the server
The advantages continue! When you’re using a dedicated IP address, you have far more options to control and customize your server with new frameworks and systems. This can be great for large businesses who want greater control of traffic flow to their websites.
It can also optimize the server’s set up for the applications that run on your website. Considering the social media example, it’s a lot easier to allocate the server’s resources to the right places when you have a dedicated IP address. There are way more flexibility and freedom - no sharing with other people!
5. Run a website without hosting on the “internet”
You can additionally build and run your website without even having to host it directly on the mainstream internet when you pay the premium for your own dedicated IP address. If you paid attention to our explanation of Internet Protocol addresses, you’ll understand that a website can be accessed just by its IP address alone.
However, when you share an IP address with multiple other websites, you can’t just use that string of digits to access your site. If you want to build your site, you have to connect your domain to a hosting provider and make it while still ‘living’ on the internet for anyone knowing your domain name to access.
However, if you purchased a dedicated IP address, you have a sort of back door method for accessing your website and building it while it is - for the most part - hidden from the mainstream internet.
For example, you can simply insert your dedicated IP address in your search bar, head to your website’s admin panel, and edit without customers going on and being confused.
This method is super flexible and very convenient for large businesses with complex sites. And suppose we were to use that social media analogy one last time. In that case, you’ll see how building the website without it being widely available to the internet is very convenient if you want to ensure everything looks good and is functioning first!
This article covered what an Internet Protocol address is, what the differences between a shared and dedicated IP address are, dedicated IP benefits, and why one should use a dedicated IP address.
A real-life application of dedicated IP addresses is in VPS servers and dedicated servers. Whenever you buy a VPS server or dedicated server from 1Gbits, you will be given a fresh system accompanied by a dedicated IP address.
We hope this helped you! If yes, consider sharing it with your colleagues and friends. Did we miss some crucial facts about dedicated IPs? Let us know in the comments below!