A shared IP is used for multiple sites. It can host all websites on a particular server.
On the other hand, a unique IP address is specific to a domain.
But before we go into more details, let us understand the rudiments.
IP is abbreviation for Internet Protocol and it is a unique address assigned to each computer that is connected to a network. It works as an identifier by providing location of the computer in a given network.
IP addresses are an integral part of any business, and unsurprisingly we are witnessing all sizes of companies consuming them faster with myriad applications and devices.
An IP address being a critical resource needs to be managed prudently. This is because nearly all networked applications including email and web connectivity rely on IP and requires an address to be assigned. This task is becoming even more challenging with burgeoning mobile networks increasing the need for IP address assignment.
We can get an idea of the importance of an IP address by knowing that:
- It enables a request for a message to be delivered to the right destination.
- By facilitating the receiving device to know where it originated, it directs a response, if required to the proper target.
But is it in way beneficial to have a unique IP address?
This question was always debated by many experts, with most of them having varying opinions.
The consensus however was, a unique IP address is beneficial.
Here are a few reasons why they say so.
- It allows access to your website whenever you need to do so.
If you want to know how your website is likely to look before pointing a domain name to it, a unique IP address provides access to the server without altering DNS settings.
- It helps in enhancing email sender’s reputation
If your website runs over a shared IP address, you may run into fickle situations. For example, if another user with the same IP address get’s blacklisted for spamming, your email service may get affected as well. When you use a unique IP address, your service is isolated from other entities.
- It is good for any business environment
If you are into ecommerce or e-retailing, a unique IP address with a SSL certificate is the way to go. Such a set up will give more confidence to your customers when they buy merchandise from you.
This does not mean a shared IP is all drawbacks. In a shared hosting environment hundreds of sites reside on the same server, and therefore have a common IP address. Such a setup is widely used by many businesses as they feel it suits them.
But if you are toying with an idea to opt for a unique IP address, mull over the following:
- Do you need a secure site via a SSL certificate?
- Do you routinely need to access your site via FTP or file transfer protocol?
- Do you need to view your website via IP address?
- Is your site having high traffic volume and needs substantial resources to maintain performance?
Your responses to above will surely guide you to the right answer.