Dedicated IP Hosting
What You’ll Learn
What is dedicated IP hosting? Do I need it for my website? How do I find the best host?
These are some of the questions we’ll cover in this article. I’ll explain IP addresses. You’ll learn how SEO is connected to dedicated IPs. And why something called IPv6 is so important.
And I’ll share my recommendations for dedicated IP hosts, based on my career as a software engineer.
What is Dedicated IP Hosting?
Every Internet Protocol (IP) address is an identifier that allows information to flow across the internet. A dedicated IP is an IP address that is exclusively yours. Some hosts charge extra for them, and not everyone needs one.
Having a dedicated IP address can protect you from having your site banned if one of your server neighbors gets caught trying to put one over on the search engines.
You can also protect your site from any potential penalties of this nature by simply choosing dedicated server hosting and not having to worry about what any other sites may or may not be doing.
Another benefit to choosing dedicated IP hosting is that most hosts will only allow you to set this type of hosting up once you’ve already set up a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
This provides encryption to your site, which is another level of security, and will be displayed in your site’s URL with https:// rather than just http://. This display lets users know they’re on a secured site.
So indirectly, selecting dedicated IP hosting can help your users feel more secure when using your site, which can be a boost for your brand and your business.
About IP Addresses
An IP address is a unique number that identifies a machine on the internet. In the IPv4 system, every IP address consists of four groups of digits, or octets, separated by dots.
This system provides us with 4.3 billion unique combinations. No two IP addresses can be the same. The purpose of the Domain Name System (DNS) is to convert domain names into IP addresses.
On a shared server, all sites on that server have the same IP address, because they are all on the same physical machine.
For most people, this doesn’t matter. Your host will automatically reroute traffic to your website, bypassing the others, and there’s no perceptible speed difference.
But sharing an IP can become a problem if:
- Propagation is taking a while, and you want to FTP into your hosting account right away
- You want to buy an SSL certificate to secure your site
- You want people to be able to visit your website using an IP address rather than a domain name
- You want full control over what your IP is being used for
- If you have a dedicated IP, you can do a lot more with your server
When You Definitely Need a Dedicated IP
Sometimes, a dedicated IP is the only way to run the services and applications you want to run. For example, gaming servers and chat servers often require dedicated IP addresses.
Businesses sending large quantities of email may also benefit from having a dedicated IP, since it can be whitelisted with more confidence.
SNI or Dedicated IP?
If you don’t have a dedicated IP address but have your own domain, you can still use an SSL certificate. What makes it possible is a protocol called Server Name Indication (SNI).
It lets multiple domains each have an SSL certificate on the same IP address. It’s a more economical approach since it doesn’t require a unique IP address for each domain.
It works only when the client and server both support SNI. This isn’t a problem with modern browsers and servers, but older computers, including anything running Windows XP, won’t be able to validate an SNI certificate.
All major web servers have supported SNI for a long time, but some web applications may not. Browsers that aren’t SNI-compliant should be able to connect securely, but they may issue warnings.
Are Dedicated IPs an SEO Factor?
Some bloggers and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies claim that dedicated IP addresses are better for SEO since Google prefers sites that don’t share IPs. This isn’t proven by any statistics that we have seen, although it is a controversial point.
There may be a small speed difference between shared hosting and other types of hosting, but this is not a direct relationship since shared hosting accounts can have dedicated IP addresses. Server speed can still vary depending on many other factors.
We’ve also seen claims that sites with the same IP address are less trusted. Again, there isn’t much in terms of evidence for this.
Google and SSL
But most of these arguments are now moot because Google has said it will be using SSL certificates as a factor in its search engine rankings.
A related issue is spam blacklisting. If another customer of your host company does heavy spamming, it will probably lose its host account.
In the meantime, though, spam trackers will put that IP address on their published blacklists. You might be the next to get that address. It will probably fall off the list in a week, but the blacklist’s subscribers might block your mail until then.
Looking for the right dedicated IP host?
SiteGround has been rated #1 by our readers. You can currently get special pricing on their dedicated IP cloud plans by using this discount link .
IPv4 versus IPv6
IPv4 allows several billion unique IP addresses to be created. Now that everyone uses multiple devices, and multiple connections, and hosts multiple websites, it’s conceivable that we could run out of IPs.
IPv6 addresses will be stored in AAAA records in our Domain Name System (DNS) records. They are not yet in common usage but will become more common over the next five years.
Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, explains why we need IPv6: “the next version of the Internet.”
With IPv6, there are eight groups of hexadecimal numbers, separated by colons. This system will provide many billions of addresses, making it far easier to assign unique IPs to sites. An IPv6 address is 128 bits long, against 32 bits for the old addresses.
Pros and Cons of IPv4 and IPv6
Many hosting companies are already offering IPv6 addresses, but not all routers can handle them. Before adding an IPv6 address to your account, it’s best to research the pros and cons:
- Some older routers and DNS servers ignore AAAA requests, making loading time very slow since the client machine has to wait for the request to time out
- It may be possible to track individuals on the internet, raising privacy concerns
- Unique addresses mean it would be easier for advertisers to track us
- IPv6 addresses are less legible, so they are difficult to type, memorize or distribute
- Many internet users don’t know what to do with an IPv6 address
|Configuration||Manual or DHCP||Auto-configuration|
|Capacity||43 billion||> 340 undecillion|
|Network Usage||99%||< 1%|
No server hosts, except for highly experimental ones, rely on IPv6 alone.
You’ll still have an IPv4 address after you add IPv6. The combination gives you a unique IPv6 address with software that can handle it, without the extra cost of a dedicated IPv4 address.
Current servers and routers don’t have the slowdown problem that plagued early implementations.
Network Address Translation
In an important sense, we’ve already run out of IPv4 addresses. There are more devices on the Internet than 32-bit static IP addresses. What keeps the system from collapsing is a trick called Network Address Translation (NAT). IPv6 doesn’t need or use NAT.
This is how it works:
- A local network allocates private IP addresses to its devices, usually of form 10.x.x.x or 192.168.x.x.
- The router translates them into a public IP address for the whole LAN.
- The local network keeps track of sessions so it knows what device incoming packets are really intended for. The network doesn’t need to acquire a lot of scarce unique IP addresses.
This approach generally works well, but it adds router overhead. It sometimes causes problems when a software license is tied to a server IP address.
Hosting plans featured on this page provide at least 1 dedicated IP address free to customers. However, most hosts offer dedicated IP addresses very cheap (as low as $1/yr) as an add-on.
Top Three Hosts for Dedicated IP Hosting
Here are our top hosting provider picks for dedicated IP hosting plans.
|Host||Plan||Dedicated IPs||Storage||RAM||Starting Price|
|SiteGround||Cloud||1||40 GB||4 GB||$80.00/mo|
|A2 Hosting||VPS||1||20 GB||512 MB||$5.00/mo|
|InMotion Hosting||VPS||3||75 GB||4 GB||$34.19/mo|
SiteGround’s cloud host plans include a free domain and a dedicated IP address. A dedicated server comes with 5 IP addresses, and SiteGround handles all aspects of its management.
Even shared hosting accounts can be upgraded to a fixed address. SiteGround is a strong choice for a small business that’s looking for internationalization and support. It’s based outside the US, which might be an issue for some customers.
A2 Hosting uses an a la carte plan for dedicated IP addresses, letting you purchase addresses as you need them and release them if you don’t need them anymore.
Dedicated servers come with a dedicated address. Multiple host service plans for shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting are available. On the minus side, you have to manage your own backups.
InMotion’s VPS hosting and dedicated servers come with multiple IP addresses as a standard feature, even for the least expensive plan.
Dedicated servers come with the cPanel control panel and fast SSD storage. You can choose your datacenter to match your target audience. If you’re looking for Windows hosting, though, you won’t find it here.
Looking for a great deal on dedicated IP hosting?
You can currently get a big discount on InMotion Hosting’s dedicated IP plans. SSDs are included. Use this discount link to get the deal.
Dedicated IP Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an IP address?
In the context of the internet and web hosting, an IP address is a coded numerical sequence that uniquely identifies a computer or device on the internet. An IP address acts as a unique label to identify and differentiate a device that is connected to the internet.
- What is a hosting IP address?
Web hosting servers have unique IP addresses. Human users interact with addresses on the internet with human-readable “domain names” like WhoIsHostingThis.com. However, the computers that run the internet do not use these names. Rather, every server is assigned a unique IP address.
Domain name servers at your web host route requests for the human-readable name to the appropriate IP address, based on an index that matches names to addresses.
- Does every website have its own IP address?
No, websites do not have unique IP addresses. A website’s IP address is typically shared with a group of other websites, depending on the server it is hosted on. An IP address identifies a device — a server or cluster of servers. A single server might host dozens, or hundreds, of websites.
- What is a dedicated IP address?
A dedicated IP address is a unique numeric address that identifies a single server, a set of servers, or a domain. With dedicated hosting, web hosting companies will assign you a unique IP address for your account for an additional fee. This is advertised as “Dedicated IP Address Hosting.” All the websites you host through that account will use that IP address, but no one else will.
- How do I get a dedicated IP address?
- What are the advantages of a dedicated IP address?
Having a dedicated IP address is advantageous both in terms of security and accountability. If you are running an online store and want an SSL certificate, you need a dedicated IP address.
Additionally, Google favors dedicated IP addresses so you can be found easier in search engines with a dedicated IP address.
- What is a static IP address?
A static IP address is an unchanging IP number that is attached to its host’s web server. The opposite of a static IP address is a dynamic IP address, which is assigned by the network when a device is connected to it, and will change from time to time. If you have a dedicated IP address through your web hosting provider, it will be a static IP address. Once your website receives its dedicated IP address, it will be yours alone, and it will not change.
- Does my website have a shared IP address?
Unless you have a dedicated IP address on a dedicated server with a single website, your website’s IP address is shared. For instance, with a shared hosting plan, the hosting company places several customer accounts on the same server.
All the websites on those accounts share the same computing resources and the same IP address.
- What are the disadvantages of using a shared IP address?
Actions taken by shared IP address holders may result in consequences for other IP holders of the same cluster, some of these being blockages and penalizations.
Firewalls often use IP addresses to identify spam, and Google is said to penalize bad SEO on shared IP addresses, too. In this case, other users of the offendant IP may suffer the consequences.
- Does a dedicated IP address come with dedicated resources?
Dedicated IP addresses and dedicated resources have no direct relationship. There is not a standard link between physical (or even virtual) computers and IP addresses.
If you have a shared hosting plan, and you add a dedicated IP address, you are still on the shared hosting plan. The only benefit you are getting is the dedicated IP address, nothing else changes about your access to computing resources.
- Is a “Dedicated IP Address Hosting” plan a shared hosting plan?
Dedicated IP hosting plans are often shared resource hosting plans, seeing as the nature of the unique IP is not related to the resources you have access to.
With other forms of hosting, like a Virtual Private Server (VPS), you will have a unique IP address no matter what. This will probably be mentioned in the “features” description of the hosting plan, but it usually isn’t the main selling point.
- Why do I need a dedicated IP address?
You will need a dedicated IP address if you want to access your website regardless of the DNS set-up. You might also require a dedicated IP address in instances of specialized software installations.
More, if you are concerned about sharing an IP address due to unearned penalization by other users of your IP address, you might want to invest in a dedicated IP.
- Do WordPress plans offer dedicated IP addresses?
Depending on the host and the plan, some WordPress plans may come with a dedicated IP address. Similar to shared hosting plans, some WordPress plans also offer dedicated IPs as an add-on purchase.
In addition, many VPS hosting plans allow simple one-click installations of WordPress with a dedicated IP address in place.
- Can I get a dedicated IP address with VPS hosting?
Most VPS plans come with at least one free dedicated IP addresses. In the instance of SiteGround, and A2 Hosting you get 1 free IP address, while with InMotion Hosting you get 3. Whether your chosen host offers a dedicated IP address with a VPS plan depends on the inclusions within the specific hosting package.
You can also purchase additional dedicated IP addresses with VPS hosting plans.
- Why do I need an SSL certificate?
Other than to represent a trustworthy and accredited site to front-end users, the most common reason for an SSL security certificate is e-commerce. If you are processing credit cards on your site, you really should have a security certificate included in your plan.
Email, text messaging, medical records, financial information, and any other type of private communication should also be performed over HTTPS.
- What is the difference between shared IP and dedicated IP?
The difference is as simple as your hosting plan type. Shared hosting assigns the same IP address to all sites hosted on a particular server. Dedicated and VPS hosting plans allocate a unique IP address to each website.
- How much does a dedicated IP cost?
The hosting plan you choose determines the cost. VPS plans are the cheapest way to get a dedicated IP address for your site (about $5/month). Cloud and Dedicated hosting plans are typically the most expensive plans with dedicated IP addresses (usually over $50/month).
- What is a real IP?
A computer’s “real” IP address is its external identifier, as assigned by a router, network, proxy server, or VPN, etc. If your website is hosted with a dedicated IP plan, your website’s IP is equivalent to its “real” IP.