The Difference between Shared and Dedicated IP Adresses

Understanding IP Addresses

An IP (Internet Protocol) address uniquely identifies a computer/server on the Internet. An IP address is shown as a dotted-quad number, such as 128.175.13.92. No other computer/server on the exact same network or on the Internet can have the exact same IP address at the same time. However, it can be difficult to remember so many numbers - that's why domain names were created.

When we use domain names to access a site or online service, we are using an easily readable shortcut that corresponds to the server's IP address. DNS servers on the Internet will translate our domain names into the real address (their IP addresses) of a website/server and vice-versa.

Shared IP Addresses

Every server on the Internet has an IP address assigned to it. In shared web hosting, several hundred websites are hosted on a single server, which means that all those websites will share one IP address. Instead of having a distinct IP address for each domain, you share one IP address with all of the accounts on your server.

The disadvantage to shared IP's 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, then your website and all the others on that server will be blocked from that country as well. This also means that any clients in that country will not be able to view your website (or buy your products). Getting a dedicated IP address would keep your website from being automatically blocked should the shared IP address become restricted for any reason.

Luckily, Nuagerie offers a dedicated IP address for our shared web hosting packages if you want to protect your server from being blocked. To learn more, make sure to visit our Web Hosting page or contact us for a quote.

Email Addresses

If you are making a decision based on your email functionality, then know that your email address will not be affected by acquiring a dedicated IP address. Aside from a program needing more than 10 minutes to send out emails from a mailing list, there is no difference in email services between a shared and a dedicated IP address. All e-mails, including forwarded email, are sent out through our mail proxy servers. Obtaining a dedicated IP address will not prevent your e-mails from being marked as spam, from having an ISP obstruct the IP of the mail proxy server, or from passing a reverse DNS test for places such as AOL. This is a common misunderstanding on the Internet but rest assured that your email services will not change by obtaining a dedicated IP address.

Dedicated IP Addresses

By purchasing a dedicated IP, your site is the only one on the Internet that will be able to use that specific IP address. For instance, if you typed http://64.233.187.99/ into your web browser's address bar, the Google homepage should show up. This is the unique address on the Internet that has been connected with the domain name "google.com".

Program/Script Requirements

The program or script you run on your website might require a process to run longer than 10 minutes. On a shared IP address, the process will end automatically at the 10-minute mark. With a dedicated IP address, processes are able to run for more than 10 minutes as long as they don't use excessive amounts of the server's memory, which would lead to CPU throttling. CPU throttling can occur both on a shared and a dedicated IP address. For example, some voice chat programs require a dedicated IP address in order to be set up and run. If you have a program that sends emails every couple seconds, such as from a mailing list program like DaDa Mail, then you would need to get a dedicated IP address if it will take more than 10 minutes to send out the e-mails.

Port Access

In a shared hosting environment, where everyone shares the same IP, some ports must be blocked. We block access to specific ports to help avoid having security holes in the firewall and to permit us to monitor and manage customers who attempt to abuse the various services that we enable to run through these ports. The majority of processes requiring specific port access are typically 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 operate on our servers (Webmail, cPanel, and so on). Buying a dedicated IP will enable us to grant you access to the ports you will require to run your specific services. This applies to both incoming and outgoing connections operating on non-standard ports.

Alternative Options

There are two ways you can get around acquiring a dedicated IP and private SSL:

  1. Using a PayPal shopping cart or an alternative shopping cart that is hosted by another company off of your website. Your main website would still be hosted with Nuagerie, however, when someone goes to pay, they would be redirected to the other business you chose to host your shopping cart. A lot of companies and clients do not like the idea of needing to be redirected to a new website address to finish a transaction.
  2. Using a Shared SSL. This is a free SSL that carries all the same levels of encryption and security that a Private SSL brings, but with a big distinction. To use your SSL certificate, you would point your links that you want to be secure to https://secure.nuagerie.com/~YourcPanelUsername (for example). When your clients take a look at the URL or analyze the credibility of the Shared Certificate, they will see that it comes from Nuagerie instead of your specific website. This tends to cause stress and anxiety for most customers or at the very least raise suspicions. For the sake of professionalism, a lot of business will opt to buy a Private SSL.

Note: A shared SSL certificate can only be used on shared hosting packages. You would not need to get a shared SSL if you own a dedicated server with its own IP address.

Acquiring a Dedicated IP and Private SSL

If you want to buy a dedicated IP address or a Private SSL Certificate, please make sure to visit our dedicated servers page or our selection of SSL certificates to see which one would be right for you.

If you still have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us by opening a support ticket or by using our live chat feature.

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