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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shared versus Dedicated IP Hosting - what is more effective?

A friend who is working through a start up needs to figure out how he wants to set his servers up and why he really needs a dedicated IP address and not a shared one.

Shared versus Dedicated IP Hosting - what is more effective?

In today's World Wide Web - website designers and webmasters around the world must know the difference between shared and dedicated IP addresses. Most web hosting companies do not offer dedicated IP addresses for their clients. Why? Before we can attempt at answering this question, we should further define and clarify the differences between the two.

Shared IP Address - Every web server around the world is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address. An example of an IP address would look something like: [126.703.4.151]. Most websites on the world wide web are hosted on shared IP addresses, meaning that one server with one IP address can hold several domain names.

In the not so distant past, every domain used to have individual IP addresses. Recently, the allocation of IP addresses has been stricter due to the fact that there is a finite amount of addresses in existence. Now servers have the ability of determining a domain request through name servers. Example: is found by NS.REBELNETWORKS.COM where the name servers are tied to a specific IP address.

Dedicated IP Address - A dedicated/unique IP address is not shared by other domain names; it is unique to your domain name and your space on the server. This means that if someone types in the numeric form of the IP address the same domain will always appear in the browser. Dedicated IP addresses are considered to be premium real estate on the internet and most web hosting companies charge extra for their client to have one.
"We saw this as real eye-opener in the industry. Instead of asking our customers to pay for a dedicated IP, we have included it with every package we sell." Domenic Macchione, President of Rebel Networks

Usually dedicated IP addresses are used for large web sites, secure e-commerce web sites, or other individuals that are willing to pay for such a premium. Dedicated IPs give websites the ability for complex hosting and offer more flexibility. The benefits of having a dedicated IP address are:

- Private SSL Certificate - SSL certificates are needed for accepting credit cards online. Most web hosting companies usually offer a shared SSL certificate where clients can share the web host̢۪s server-wide SSL. This is not recommended if you intend on having a very secure online store.

- Anonymous FTP - Anonymous FTP is a method of sharing files on the Internet. Anonymous FTP means a server will allow anyone using an FTP software access to a public directory. This service is called Anonymous FTP because the user name used to sign in is "anonymous." To enable anonymous FTP many web hosting companies will require a dedicated IP for the anonymous FTP function to work properly.

- Private Domain Name Server - An example of a name server would look like this: [NS.REBELNETWORKS.COM, NS2.REBELNETWORKS.COM]. Since all web hosting companies provide you with their DNS servers, you don't need to have your own. But if you choose to have your own name server you will need to have a dedicated IP address to do so.

Another benefit of a dedicated IP address is that website will have more control over their search engine results. Presently, search engines along with many telecom and internet service providers around the world have been fighting to block spam activity. This has been accomplished through blacklisting IP addresses that have spammed in one way or another. Since shared IP address users are mixed together on the same server IP with many others websites, innocent web sites have been blacklisted from search engines.

In short - individuals who would like full control over their website, e-commerce web sites who need their own SSL certificates, and individuals who want to fully optimize their website for search engine results should consider a Static IP address.

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