Dedicated IP vs Shared IP – Which Option Is Best?

In this article we’ll help you figure out whether a dedicated IP or a shared IP is better for your needs. To help you choose, let’s first take a look at how IP addresses work.

Whenever you visit a website, quite a bit happens behind the scenes for your website to load. After you type “www.yourwebsite.com” into your web browser and hit enter, the browser checks to see if it has any memory of visiting that domain. If not, it asks the internet service provider, “What is the address for www.yourwebsite.com?” This is similar to when you look up an address in the phonebook.

If the lookup is successful, the internet service provider will return the DNS for that domain. Included with the DNS is the IP address. The IP address is like a street on which your website lives. Multiple websites can live on the same street when using a shared IP address.

After the IP address is returned, your browser will go to it. Your browser will then look for the house with the name “www.yourwebsite.com.” After it finds the right house, the website will load. This process happens quickly—it’s usually complete within several milliseconds.

Be the Only House on the Block

You may be wondering, If I purchase a dedicated IP, how does it affect my website on my “street?”

To extend our analogy, a dedicated IP address is like owning your own street and being the only house on the block. You can choose to build more houses on your street, allowing more websites to use your dedicated IP address. In most cases, people won’t build more houses and will simply keep their one house on the street.

Why would you want a dedicated IP over a shared IP, and does it make that much of a difference? Today, we’ll compare dedicated IP addresses versus shared IP addresses.

Why You Might Want a Shared IP Address

One major advantage of a shared IP address is not having any additional cost or setup time. When signing up for a web host, a shared IP address is automatically assigned to your account. This is very helpful if you need to quickly setup a website.

Shared IP addresses do also have some disadvantages. As the IP address is shared, there can be hundreds—possibly thousands—of websites using the same IP address.

Why You Might Want a Dedicated IP Address

One advantage of a dedicated IP address is the ability to access your website without a domain. If you just purchased your domain and haven’t yet pointed it towards your server, the dedicated IP address will allow you to view and work on your website without having to wait for propagation time. A dedicated IP is truly dedicated. No other website uses this IP address and how you use it is totally up to you.

Dedicated IP addresses are not free. They do cost a small fee each month.

Since dedicated IP addresses are for your website alone, you are free from the side effects of having bad neighbors. However, you are responsible for ensuring that none of your websites or users abuse the services, which could cause blacklisting.

Conclusion

Do I need a dedicated IP address? The decision between a shared IP address and a dedicated IP address really comes down to your specific needs:

If you need to host a small website and don’t have any restrictions, a shared IP address will work perfectly.

However, if you are doing a lot of development and need to access your website before the domain is pointed over, a dedicated IP address can be a wise solution. Dedicated IP addresses can be important for certain systems, and if required, they are not hard to obtain.

Existing customers, simply visit the AMP marketplace to get your dedicated IP address.

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