Design & Development, Security, SEO

Public, Private, Shared, & Dedicated IP Addresses

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What are IP Addresses?

Also known as Internet Protocol Addresses, IP Addresses are used to identify different computers and devices on the Internet. You can think of it like a home return address on a mailing envelope, only used in numbers and periods. IP Addresses are used for anything running on a network — computers, mobile devices, printers, etc.

Normally your IP Address will look something like this:

Not sure what your Public IP Address is? There are many free resources available online to help you find out such as What Is My IP.

 Public IP Address

  • Used on a public network (like the Internet)
  • Recognized on the Internet
  • Given by a service provider
  • Globally Unique
  • Registered

Example: Your computer’s IP Address when surfing the Internet.

Your public IP Address, also known as your external IP Address, is your identification when you connect to different servers through an internet connection. Each server may have one public IP address. The Internet will reach your server using your public IP address.

Private IP Address

  • Used within a local network or within an organization
  • Not recognized on the Internet
  • Given by an administrator
  • Unique within local network or organization
  • Included at no extra cost

Example: Your Printer’s IP Address at the Company Office.

All servers get one private IP address. Your assigned private IP never changes and may never be moved to a new server.

Private IPs may be used for traffic that originates on your server and is sent to any server. There isn’t any restriction on outbound network connections from your private IP. Only a private IP may be used to send traffic to another one of your private IPs.

No incoming traffic will reach your private IP unless it originates from one of your servers or is the result of a request previously sent by your server, which means you shouldn’t use your private IPs for public DNS configurations.

Shared IP Address

With a Shared IP Address, instead of having a unique IP Address for every domain name, you share one IP Address with every account on the server. Many account holders host their site on a Shared IP Address without issue.

Benefits of a Shared IP Address:

  • Included at no additional charge (can host many sites on a single IP)
  • Simple

Email is not affected by using a Shared IP Address.

Dedicated IP Address

When you sign up for a web hosting account, your host may assign your account a specific IP address on one of their servers. When someone goes to visit your site, their computer will find out the correct IP address to which it should connect.  With a Dedicated IP Address, the IP is for your account’s use only.

Benefits of a Dedicated IP Address:

  • SEO Benefits (Higher Search Engine Ratings)
  • Greater Security

Many web hosting companies offer Dedicated IP Addresses for an additional fee. Nearly all of pair Networks’ hosting accounts come included with a Dedicated IP Address at no additional charge.



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