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At a certain point, each Website owner ends up on the crossroad to decide whether they would want to get a Dedicated IP for their website or just keep using a shared IP along with many other websites.
A common question that we received during the years we have helped our customers was the following one:
“How will having a dedicated IP help me and what is the difference between a shared IP and a dedicated IP?”
Before answering the above question - let me just give you a short and simple description of “What is an IP”:
An IP address is a label that is used to identify one or more devices on a computer network, such as the internet. It is comparable to a postal address but instead of finding a person on the address - it helps people locate your website on the Internet. An IP address is a long number written in binary. Since such numbers are difficult to communicate, IP addresses are usually written as a set of numbers in a given order.
Now to get back to answer how having a Dedicated IP will help your website:
There are 2 types of hosting of a website - using a Shared IP or a Dedicated IP.
You can think of the Shared IP as living in a dorm with roommates - when they trash up the room - you also end up in a messy room along with them.
The Dedicated IP is like living alone in an apartment - if you keep it tidy - it will remain tidy as there will be no one else to mess up the place.
With shared IP addresses, you are sharing the IP with potentially hundreds of customers with multiple domains. This can be fine if you don’t have the highest expectations for your site, however, it can potentially affect your email’s reputation among other things.
There are many blacklisting companies — such as Spamhaus, TrendMicro, and the CBL — that will blacklist IP addresses based on the type of activity that comes out of them. If you have hundreds of domains sharing an IP and just one email account on the IP becomes compromised and sends spam emails, that can get the IP address blacklisted by major blacklisting companies. Popular email and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) lookup each IP address that it receives an email from with the blacklisting companies it partners with. If an IP is on the blacklist, the email will be rejected from the email provider since all they see is that it could be potential spam. If you don’t want unknowns to affect your email use and reputation, then getting a dedicated IP means you are in charge of all of the information passed through it.
A dedicated IP is also helpful if you require higher performance for your site. You would get faster handling of website traffic from the webserver, and better protection if the Website server’s shared IP gets attacked by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. DDos attacks are very nasty, they cause an overload of increased traffic that tries to disable a web server, making it totally unresponsive. However, since you would have a Dedicated IP used by your website only - it could be easily protected by the Server Admins and if the hackers are targeting only the main server IP - by using a separate dedicated IP may result in your website to not even get affected at all by the DDoS attack.