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Knowledge Base

Understanding Shared IP vs. Dedicated IP

Choosing between a dedicated IP and a shared IP is a crucial step in setting up your IT infrastructure. Each option offers distinct advantages and challenges, and the right choice depends on your specific requirements.

In this guide, we'll outline the differences between dedicated and shared IPs and highlight the important considerations to keep in mind.



What is a Shared IP Address?

Every domain name has an IP address assigned to it. An IP address is the real address of a website or server. Domain names were developed because long IP numbers like 234.123.66.7 are difficult to remember. In shared hosting, we host several hundred websites 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.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shared IP

Advantages

Affordable

Using a shared IP address can be a more economical choice compared to a dedicated IP. Many senders purchase a shared IP through the same service, resulting in a split of server costs among users.

Easy to use

It is easier to configure shared IP addresses compared to dedicated IPs. Email tools typically provide a straightforward process that can be completed with a few clicks. Additionally, choosing shared IP eliminates the need for IP warming for Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Disadvantages

Potential Damage to Reputation

The downside to shared IPs is that some countries, like China, censor particular websites by their IP address. If a website they censor is on the same server as yours, and China blocks that website using the shared IP address, then your website 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 website separate so that if the shared IP address were blocked, your site wouldn't automatically be blocked along with it.

Brand Identity is Limited

If you send emails, your brand can get mixed up with other brands using the same mail server. As a result, it can be difficult to create a distinct brand identity for your domain, regardless of your email marketing efforts.

Note: Obtaining a dedicated IP address will not affect an email. 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 emails, 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 mail proxy server's IP, or passing 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.

What is a Dedicated IP Address?

With a Dedicated IP address, your site is the only one using that unique IP address on the Internet. For example, if you typed http://64.233.187.99/ into your web browser's address bar, you would see Google's website come up. This is their unique address on the web attached to the domain name google.com.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dedicated IP

Advantages

Better Security

When an IP address is assigned to a specific website or device, it becomes significantly more challenging for cybercriminals to break into it. This is because the IP address is not shared among multiple websites or devices, lowering the chances of hackers finding a loophole to exploit.

Improved Website Performance

When a website shares an IP address with other websites, its performance can be impacted by the other websites hosted on the same IP address, leading to slow loading times and other performance-related problems. However, with a dedicated IP address, the website is not impacted by other websites, resulting in faster loading times and improved website performance.

Customizable DNS Settings

Users with a dedicated IP address completely control their DNS settings, providing more flexibility, especially for businesses requiring frequent DNS changes. In contrast, with a shared IP address, the hosting provider controls the DNS settings.

Disadvantages

Costly

Dedicated IP addresses are more expensive than shared IP addresses because they are reserved for one user and not shared among other users.

Complex Management

Managing a dedicated IP address can be more complex than managing a shared IP address because users will be solely responsible for managing their own IP address, requiring more technical knowledge.

What is a Port?

A port is managed by a computer's OS (Operating System). It is a point where network connections begin and end. Every port is linked with a particular process or service. Moreover, using ports enables computers to differentiate between various types of traffic easily.

All devices connected to a network have standardized ports that are assigned specific numbers. Most ports are reserved for particular protocols, such as port 80 for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) messages. Port numbers are used to target specific services or applications within devices. In contrast, IP addresses are used to enable messages to be sent to and received from particular devices.

Shared IP vs. Dedicated IP for Websites

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 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 being set up 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, a dedicated IP address could be helpful if it takes more than 10 minutes to send the emails.

Port Access Requirements for Applications

Some ports must be blocked in a shared hosting environment where everyone shares the same IP. We block access to specific 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. Most processes requiring specific Port Access are typically bound to the IP address 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 running on our servers (webmail, cPanel, etc.). Purchasing a dedicated IP will allow us to grant you access to the ports you need to run your specific services. This applies to both outbound and inbound connections running on non-standard ports.

Generally, with a dedicated IP address on your account, you can open any port over 1024. Ports 1024 and lower are restricted and cannot be opened.

Note: The option to purchase a Dedicated IP in the Account Manager is not yet available. We are actively working on making this feature accessible to our customers. We appreciate your patience. As soon as the option becomes available, we will notify you promptly.

Alternative Options

If you do not have a dedicated IP and private SS, you can use a PayPal shopping cart or an alternative shopping cart 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 website address to complete transactions.

Summary

Shared IP addresses are cheaper and less complex to use. On the other hand, dedicated IP addresses offer better security, improved website performance, and customizable DNS settings. However, dedicated IP addresses are more expensive and require more technical knowledge. Note that program or script requirements have a significant impact on deciding which type of IP address to choose. To help you figure out which option is better for you, read our article "Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting: Which Is Best for You?".

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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