What are IP Addresses?
IP (Internet Protocol) Addresses are used to identify different computers and devices on the internet. It’s like an home address – the internet uses IP addresses to locate and transfer data to and from places.
IP addresses are usually a bunch of letters and periods, like 184.108.40.206. While this is easy for a computer to understand and compute, we humans have a much harder time remembering a jumble of numbers. That’s why we’ve tied domain names to IP addresses. It’s much easier to remember website.com than it is to remember 220.127.116.11.
That’s one of the reasons you need a hosting account: by hosting a domain name, you are effectively giving it an IP address.
However, there are different kinds of IP addresses that you can use to host your domain. Below, we’ll talk about the different types of IP addresses and help you figure out which one is best for your domain name.
Fun tip: Computers have IP addresses, too! Curious what your computer’s is? Visit http://www.whatismyip.com and it will instantly tell you what IP address your computer is using.
Dedicated IP Address
Dedicated IP addresses are what they sound like: a IP address that is 100% devoted to a singular domain. That domain gets all the power. If you enter the IP address number into the browser’s URL bar, it would bring up the attached domain.
Benefits of a dedicated IP address:
- SEO benefits (higher search engine ratings)
- Greater security
- Good for sites with heavy traffic
Shared IP Address
With a shared IP address, instead of having a unique dedicated IP address for every domain name, you can share one IP address with other domains on the server. This shares the IP address’ resources across the domains. Sites can be hosted on a shared IP address without issue.
Benefits of a shared IP address:
- No additional cost
- You can host many sites on a single IP address
- Good for smaller sites
Email is not affected by using a shared IP address.
You can place, or “park,” domains on another domain’s IP address. This may sound similar to sharing an IP address, but instead of each domain using a little bit of the IP address’ power, parked domains act as if they don’t exist at all. If you visited a parked domain, the domain would immediately take you to the domain that it is parked on.
For example, if you park the domain name example1.net on the domain example2.com, users visiting example1.net/about.html will see the page for example2.com/about.html.
This is a great option for websites that are in the middle of construction. Until they are ready for viewing, the parked domain will direct traffic to the other domain name. Once you finish construction, switch the parked domain to another IP address type, like shared or dedicated. This will make the domain visible to visitors.
Benefits of a parked domains:
- No additional cost
- Great for domains that are supposed to lead to the same place
- Great for sites under construction
- You can park many domains on a single IP address
For more information about parked domains, check out our When Should I Use a Parked Domain post.
IP Addresses Resources
If you need more help choosing an IP address for your domain, you may want to check out out What Types of Domain Hosting are Available article. Still not sure? You can also contact our support team and ask them what IP address would work best for your needs.