Website hosting providers typically offer set packages with different features customers can choose from based on their needs. One of the important decisions businesses have to make is whether the IP address that comes with their server is sufficient or if they need to upgrade to a dedicated IP address.
There are plenty of benefits to having a dedicated IP address rather than using a shared one, but it all comes down to whether it’s worth the additional cost.
What is a Dedicated IP Address?
A dedicated IP address is a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address solely for your websites and hosting account. It can be helpful for many different reasons – such as allowing you to access your website when the DNS is not set up, providing increased speed when the traffic load is high, and bringing increased security. But basically, a dedicated IP is like having your unique identifying number on the web.
It is defined simply as an IP address that is unique to your website, and which no other website can use. Most standards shared hosting plans include a shared IP address. Sharing resources may be acceptable for businesses that are just getting started or don’t need a significant amount of control over their website. However, a dedicated IP address is a popular add-on from website hosting providers due to the great benefits they offer in general.
View Your Website Using IP Address
One of the benefits of a dedicated IP is that you can visit your website by entering your IP address as you’re the only one using it.
Reduces the Risk of IP Blacklisting
While sharing an IP address is generally safe, it risks country-specific blocking of your website. Another website on your server may perform illegal activities such as sending out spam emails, viruses, or malware and get you blocked by search engines.
With a dedicated IP, there is zero chance of your IP getting blocked – unless you do something malicious.
Another advantage of a dedicated IP is that emails from these types of IP addresses are trusted more by mail services like Gmail than emails originating from a shared IP address. Email traffic through dedicated IP addresses has priority over the traffic generated through shared IP addresses. This is the case because emails sent through shared IP addresses need to be double-checked by the service. These emails might even end up in the receiver’s spam folder. To make sure your emails will reach their destination quicker and won’t end up in the spam folder, you can use a dedicated IP address. You’ll be able to communicate much faster, which can be of great importance in some circumstances, for example at work.
Easy Website Access
Sometimes you might want to access your website directly via FTP. If you have a dedicated IP address you can remotely access your server anytime you’d like. There might be a circumstance that requires you to view your website via its IP address. For example, maybe you haven’t launched your site, and you want to see what it looks like before launching. It will provide you with direct server access, all without having to change the DNS settings for your domain.
The Disadvantages of a Dedicated IP Address
Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages to having a dedicated IP address. First and foremost, the service is rarely free: you’ll most likely have to pay more for your VPN service if you want a dedicated IP. The price of a dedicated IP can vary from a few dollars a month to over 100 dollars a year. Since these costs will increase the price of your monthly subscription, it’s a very important factor to consider.
Another important downside is that you could be sacrificing some of the privacy that a VPN provides. If you use a static dedicated IP, websites can still create a profile on you based on your online preferences. This way they can show you personalized ads. Moreover, there’s an increased chance that someone links your online actions to your person. This means you are somewhat less anonymous with a dedicated IP.
Do You Need a Dedicated IP Address?
Your choice between a regular and dedicated IP address should depend on the flexibility and control you want to have over your website. There are some cases when a dedicated IP can benefit you, including:
Regularly accessing your website through FTP – a dedicated IP address grants access to edit and view your website even without a domain name.
Installing third-party applications – several applications and services need a dedicated IP address to run on your server.
Establishing your email reputation – with its isolated environment, a dedicated IP address prevents you from getting penalized for malicious actions by other domains.
Improving performance and user experience – with a dedicated IP, your host server can immediately retrieve your web content, reducing your site loading time.
Setting up your server – a dedicated IP gives you a higher level of control and flexibility over your server setup, from setting up an FTP server to a gaming server.
Although a dedicated IP can benefit some website owners, it isn’t a necessity. The best practice is to determine your site needs.
If your site is new and growing, then a shared IP address might be the right solution. However, if you’re running a business website that requires email marketing, a dedicated IP provides reliable email deliverability and allows you to maintain your domain reputation.
Knowing your site’s needs is essential when choosing the type of IP address that is right for you – not every website will require a dedicated IP. If you’re just getting started and aren’t expecting a lot of traffic, a shared IP address should work just fine.
That being said, if your website is experiencing high traffic, facilitating a large volume of outgoing emails, and you need regular FTP access to your site, then you will require a dedicated IP address.
Keep in mind that a dedicated IP address isn’t the same as dedicated hosting. You can have a dedicated IP with every type of hosting, such as shared or VPS hosting, depending on your host. We hope this article has helped you better understand how a dedicated IP address works and how it can benefit your site.