Even for those less acquainted with the digital world, the term IP address often rings a bell. Although not all may know what it means exactly, they usually associate it with the internet. And they are correct in their assumption, as an IP address, which stands for Internet Protocol address is indeed an integral part of the global system of interconnected networks.
An IP is a unique identifier attributed to every machine that is a part of a network. It serves two main functions: that of acting as interface identification for a network of machines and providing a location of that machine, much like a physical address for your home or office.
Due to its uniqueness, it allows communication between specific machines in a network, which can be identified only by their IP addresses. These addresses are 32-bit numbers, expressed as four octets, separated by a period. A typical IP address looks like this: 220.127.116.11.
Things get a bit complicated when it comes to web hosting. If you want to launch a website on the internet, either for personal or professional purposes, chances are you are going to have to enlist the services of a web hosting provider. Most hosts typically offer a wide range of hosting services, from shared hosting, to dedicated server hosting and VPS.
Shared hosting has many advantages, and it’s particularly appealing to small businesses that are looking for the lower prices so that they can start off with a minimal investment in their resources. But if you opt for this hosting option, you should be aware that your website will share the same IP address with dozens, hundreds or many even thousands of other websites hosted on the same server.
This can lead to a lot of inconveniences. For instance, if you’re sharing an IP address with a website that gets blocked or blacklisted, your website is likely to suffer as well. Also, a common IP address across thousands of websites is bound to raise some red flags with Google’s spam team, as well as sabotage your plans regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If, on the other hand, you choose to acquire a dedicated server, you will be safe from such inconveniences, because your machine’s IP address will be just your own. In this way, you will enjoy an extra layer of protection and greater security and reliability.