Generally speaking there are two types of basic hosting plans. Those with a dedicated IP address and those with name-based hosting. A dedicated IP address is an address that is unique to your site. You are the only site on that address. Name-based hosting will put several sites on the same IP address, as many as hundereds of sites. Both of these hosting types would have a static IP address in that it never changes, but only the dedicated IP address assures you that yours is the only site on it.
Do I have a dedicated IP?
You will know if you are on a dedicated IP simply by typing it in the address bar of your browser like this:
If you are on your own IP you will reach your site immediately.
Dedicated IP Advantages
Blacklists are a popular way to reduce the transmission of spam email. Lists are maintained of any IPs that are known to facilitate spamming. By performing a lookup of these blacklists before receiving email, recipient mail servers can reject spam emails based on the reputation of the sending server (IP address). In fact, Acenet, Inc. uses several popular blacklists to do just this.
But what happens when you're sharing an IP address with a spammer? On shared hosting, many sites share the same IP address and if someone on your IP sends spam email, they can cause your IP address to receive a "poor" reputation with blacklists. As a result, when you try to send email to others who use these blacklists, your email is rejected based on the reputation of your IP. Even though you did not send the spam yourself, you are viewed as guilty by association.
A dedicated IP prevents this. When you have your own IP, your reputation is only influenced by the sending habits of your site itself. The same is true for spammers. When they send spam, only their IP is flagged as a known source of spam and your outbound email remains free and clear, accepted by all.
The difficulty with name-based hosting is that several, if not hundreds of sites may be sharing the same IP address. Any one of those sites either deliberately or inadvertently may get their site banned by the search engine. When a search engine bans a site it bans the IP address so not only would that site be banned, but every site on that IP address.
UPDATE May, 2003: Although search engines are getting better at dealing with name based or virtual hosted sites (Google in particular), there is still no guarantee that you won't get banned because of someone else's actions on a shared IP. Why take the chance? Get your own IP.
Stephen Baker is FAST's Director of Business Development and Marketing. In an interview, Mr. Baker was quoted as saying: "We believe there are approximately 30 Million crawlable servers globally, two-thirds of which have been blacklisted as spam servers."
Brad Konia, CEO of Market my Site and Author of "Search Engine Optimization with Webposition Gold 2" had this to say: "Now what happens if any ONE of the hundreds or even thousands of web sites that are sharing your IP address breaks the rules of one or more search engines? Yes, the search engines may remove or ban that website domain, but guess what...they may also remove every other website using the same IP address. Since it's easier for search engine spammers to get new domain names than it is to get a new IP, search engines often choose to ban IP addresses for abusive behavior. This means that your site can become banned even if you follow all their rules to the letter. You're guilty by association!"
DOS attacks are easy enough to mitigate. When the source of the attack is coming from a single IP, the source IP can be blocked in the server's firewall. In the event that a DDOS occurs, multiple machines worldwide will be attacking the destination machine. These attacks present more of a problem and are harder to mitigate. It is not uncommon for an IP to be NULL routed as a temporary mitigation technique. With a dedicated IP, your site will not be effected by any NULL routes or IP changes required to dissolve the attack.
IP URL Advantage
When you have a dedicated IP, you can view your website using your domain name or the IP address. If you domain is not yet pointing to your hosting account, this will allow you to view your site online, without using your domain name. This is mainly an advantage to new clients, so they can view their website prior to their domain resolving.
On servers with Centos 5, your site would need to be on a dedicated IP in order to install an SSL certificate. Name based hosting simply does not support data-encryption in HTTP requests, so a dedicated ip is required. Therefore, installing a SSL certificate without a dedicated IP address would be insecure and worthless.
On servers with Centos 6 and greater, a dedicated IP is no longer needed for installing an SSL certificate.
Obtaining a dedicated IP Address
To obtain a dedicated IP address, please see our Account Upgrades page. Dedicated IPs come included with our Enterprise 2.0 packages. If you have an older Shared Hosting package, you can purchase a dedicated IP a la carte or upgrade to Enterprise 2.0. For all other packages, dedicated IPs are available at the pricing noted on the above link.
Why is there an addtional charge?
Acenet provides an extraordinary service and designs hosting plans to suit the majority of websites. Most webmasters are looking for rock solid reliability at the lowest possible price. Therefore, we strip our plans down in order to achieve what the majority of webmasters are looking for (high quality and low cost). More advanced sites may require additional features, which can easily be added to any of our hosting plans.