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Dedicated IP address

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  • 19 August 2006 3:47 AM

A dedicated IP (Internet Protocol) is a unique Internet address dedicated exclusively to a single hosting account. Normally, several hosting accounts reside on a single server and share that server's IP address. Dedicated IP addresses are usually used for large SSL-encrypted secure websites and particularly large and/or traffic-heavy sites. Most shared hosting users have no particular need for a dedicated IP address.

However, a dedicated IP address for your hosting account enables you to: 

  • View your website via its IP address.
  • Access your accounts by FTP or the Web when the domain name is otherwise inaccessible, such as during domain name propagation periods.
  • Ensure faster response during periods of high traffic load.
  • Set up SSL protection on your website.

Why Do I need a Dedicated IP for SSL? 

When securing some connection with TLS, you usually use the certificate to authenticate the server (and sometimes the client). There's one server per IP/Port, so usually there's no problem for the server to choose what certificate to use.

HTTPS is the exception — several different domain names can refer to one IP and the client (usually a browser) connects to the same server for different domain names. The domain name is passed to the server in the request, which goes after TLS handshake.

Here's where the problem arises - the web server doesn't know which certificate to present. To address this a new extension has been added to TLS, named SNI (Server Name Indication). However, not all clients support it. So in general it's a good idea to have a dedicated server per IP/Port per domain. In other words, each domain, to which the client can connect using HTTPS, should have its own IP address (or different port, but that's not usual).

NOTE: Our high-end SSL certificates include a dedicated hosting IP, so you do not need to purchase a dedicated IP credit separately if you are adding a certificate to your site.

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