IP (internet protocol) addresses are used by every single device that connects to the internet. As you can imagine these days that is a significant array of devices and consequently IP addresses. Where your domain is the address of your website, an IP address is the address of your device. Previously every single device including a home computer would have its own IP address but now they are clustered into the network they join.
What makes an IP dedicated?
Where does the difference between a shared and dedicated IP fit in? From a web hosting perspective, a dedicated IP is a unique IP used exclusively on a single hosting account. Compared with a shared IP used across our shared and reseller hosting services which have a single IP address for all users across each server with each server having its own unique IP.
Why are they so expensive?
The presently common IPv4 or internet protocol version 4 consists of 4.3 billion individual IP addresses. Used across the entire internet since the 1980’s. Whilst they are represented in a few different variations they will show as something similar to this, 18.104.22.168 (one of ours). Despite this massive pool of addresses now more than ever new connections are being created every day, and as a result, we’re progressively reaching IPv4 exhaustion. Meaning there are less and less unused IP addresses available. As a result, in any supply and demand scenario, they have become more expensive to secure. Don’t fear though! IPv6 is ready to take over with approximately 3.4×1038 addresses or if you were after that in a plain number… 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456
When would I need a dedicated IP?
Many hosts would sell the benefits of dedicated IP addresses by mentioning functionality like accessing the site files via FTP and the site itself via the IP or having and maintaining an SSL certificate. However, these are all options our hosting comes with on the standard shared IP addresses! Another previously quoted benefit was to increase the SEO ranking for your domain name. In recent times this has been repealed and dedicated IP addresses no longer factor into SEO for your domains. In short all of the previously necessary reasons to have a dedicated IP have faded away and become available to shared IP addresses.
Short of running an operating system at or prior to Windows XP Service pack 1. Dedicated IP addresses are largely unnecessary, however, due to their previous importance, it can be tough to know whether you need one or not. Many people are still under the impression they are required to give their website that competitive edge. Our advice is to save your hard earned cash on more tangible benefits, like additional resources, space, and server upgrades to get the most out of your website and domain.