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Shared vs. Dedicated IPs & Port Access

Summary

This article will explain the differences between a Shared & Dedicated IP as well as how to open additional ports on your account.

 

Shared IP

Every domain name has an IP address assigned to it. An IP address is the real address of a web site or server. Domain names were developed because it is difficult to remember long IP numbers like 234.123.66.7.

In shared hosting we host several hundred web sites on one server; those same sites will share one single IP address. Instead of having a unique IP address for every domain, you share one IP address with all of the accounts on your server. The downside to shared IP's is that some countries, like China, censor particular web sites by their IP address. If a web site they censor is on the same server as yours, and China blocks that web site using the shared IP address, then your web site and the hundreds of others on that server are also blocked. This means that any clients in China would be unable to view your site. Getting a dedicated IP address would make your web site separate so that if the shared IP address was blocked, your site wouldn't automatically be blocked along with it.
 

Email

Email will not be affected by obtaining a dedicated IP address. Other than a program needing more than 10 minutes to send out emails from a mailing list, there is no benefit to email between a shared and a dedicated IP address. All email, including forwarded email, is sent out through our mail proxy servers. Obtaining a dedicated IP address will not prevent your emails from being marked as SPAM, having an ISP block the IP of the mail proxy server, or pass a reverse DNS test for places such as AOL. People sometimes are under the wrong impression that these things will change by obtaining a dedicated IP address. They won't change.
 

Dedicated IP

By purchasing a dedicated IP your site is the only one on the Internet that will be using that unique IP address. For example, if you typed http://64.233.187.99/ into your web browsers address bar you would see Google's web site come up. This is their dedicated IP address and no one else's. This is their unique address on the web that has been attached to the domain name google.com
 

Program/Script Requirements

The program or script you run on your site may require a process to run longer than 10 minutes. On a shared IP address, the process will terminate at the 10 minute mark. With a dedicated IP address, processes are allowed to run for more than 10 minutes as long as they aren't consuming too much of the server's memory, which would result in a CPU throttling. CPU throttling can occur both on a shared and a dedicated IP address. Certain voice chat programs require a dedicated IP address before they can be setup and used. If you have a program that sends out emails every so many seconds, such as from a mailing list program like DaDa Mail, then you would need to get a dedicated IP address, if it's going to take more than 10 minutes to send out the emails.
 

Port Access

In a shared hosting environment, where everyone shares the same IP, some ports must be blocked. We block access to certain ports to help avoid having security holes in the firewall and to allow us to monitor and control customers who attempt to abuse the different services that we allow to run through these ports. The majority of processes requiring specific Port Access typically are bound to the IP address which they are running on.

On a shared IP, only one service could run through a specific port from that IP. We have only opened the ports for processes that we are running on our servers (webmail, cPanel, etc.). Purchasing a dedicated IP will allow us to grant you access to the ports you will need to run your specific services on. This applies to both outbound and inbound connections running on non-standard ports.

With a dedicated IP address on your account, we can generally open any port over 1024. Ports 1024 and lower are restricted and cannot be opened.

Note: Because of the IP address change you may experience a period of about 6-24 hours where your site appears to be non-functional. This is the standard propagation time that is required to update your DNS throughout the world. Please note, your temporary URL will also be changed and will be unavailable while the Dedicated IP is installed on your account. This is normal and you will be able to view your site by visiting your site using your new Dedicated IP within 6-24 hours.


Alternative Options

If you don't wish to purchase a dedicated IP and private SS you can use a PayPal shopping cart or an alternative shopping cart that is hosted by another company off of your site. Your main site would still be hosted with Bluehost. However when someone goes to pay they would be redirected to the company you choose to host your shopping cart. Most businesses and customers don't like the idea of sending or being sent to a new web site address to complete transactions.