Dedicated IP: dispelling common myths

Is a dedicated IP address really indispensable for best-possible website hosting? And are dedicated IPs really the ultimate when it comes to the reliable sending of emails? When searching for the answers online, it becomes clear that opinions on the matter diverge heavily.

Tip

If you’re unsure of the IP address of your device, you can easily find the IP address using our step-by-step guide.

In the following, we’ll explain what a dedicated IP address is and how it differs from its shared counterpart. Subsequently, we’ll explore whether a dedicated IP is indispensable for modern Internet working, as is often claimed.

What’s an IP address?

Before we take a look at the differences between dedicated and shared addresses, we should clarify what an IP address is. An IP address is a uniquely identifiable device address in a computer network. IP stands for Internet Protocol, which has been used for decades to address and fragment data packages in digital networks and provides the basis for the Internet.

A typical IP address looks like the following (protocol versions 4 and 6 are currently in use):

IPv4: 192.168.178.31

IPv6: 0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:ffff:c0a8:b21f

Tip

Find out more about the function and structure of an IP address in our dedicated article on IP addresses.

What is a dedicated IP?

IP addresses are usually connected to a specific devices which then connect to a network. All services and applications running on the device can be operated via the same address. This is important for hosting service providers (specifically webservers/web spaces), newsletter providers for email marketing, etc. They can assign a unique address to a single user; in other words, the service receives a dedicated IP address.

Web hosting with a personal consultant!

Fast and scalable, including a free domain and email address, trust web hosting from IONOS!

Free domain
SSL
24/7 support

Even an IP address, which is assigned a unique device when dialing into a private network (LAN, WLAN) or a public network like the Internet, is generally a dedicated IP.

What is a shared IP?

The features of a shared IP can be easily deduced from the previous explainer on dedicated IP addresses. The main requirement is the same: a device in a network has a unique address. If, for example, the same system hosts a service for multiple users, the address is referred to as a shared IP address. Using the example of web hosting, an address would be assigned to multiple domains not just a single one. Newsletter subscription services or email more commonly use shared as opposed to dedicated IPs.

Tip

You can find out more information about shared hosting in our article on “What is shared hosting” and “Shared hosting vs.dedicated hosting”.

Shared versus dedicated IP: is a dedicated IP always the better choice?

Independent of whether you’re using a general web hosting or a specific CMS hosting (e.g. WordPress), a newsletter marketing solution, a cloud storage, or another rentable web service, many times you’ll receive an add-on offer to improve thequality of these services via a dedicated IP address. But is a dedicated IP really still an improvement over shared ones nowadays? In the following, we discuss the typical argumentsmade for using a dedicated IP vs. a shared IP.

Managed WordPress Hosting with IONOS!

Start your website quickly and benefit from the most secure and up-to-date version of WordPress!

Free domain
SSL
24/7 support

SSL/TLS certification

Security now takes a pressing role when it comes to modern web projects. Encryption of contents via a SSL certificate and its successor TLS has become a standard, ever since Google’s blogpost on “HTTPS as a ranking signal“ in 2014, which highlighted that certification had a positive effect on ranking.

In order to use the SSL/TLS certificate for your own website, a dedicated IP was required. With the release of the TLS extensionSNI (Server Name Indication) websites of various domains can share a server on Port 443 dedicated to the SSL/TLS encryption. Although the extension was defined in 2003, modern browsers only began to support it by 2015. A dedicated IP address may occasionally still be a requirement for SSL/TLS due to the very slow implementation process of SNI. In reality, a dedicated IP is not necessary to convert a website to HTTPS.

Tip

A SSL/TLS certificate for your web project is available from IONOS. The encrypted data transfer strengthens trust among users and provides a more competitive search engine ranking.

Performance of a website

Hosting providers offer a wide range of products – a welcome circumstance, but one that can cause confusion. Hosting a project on a dedicated server, i.e. a specially assigned server, is seen as a particularly powerful option. Specific hardware resources are being assigned to a single customer in this case. Because a dedicated server is coupled to a dedicated IP, the dedicated IP address is equaled to a more powerful and guaranteed performance.

Fact

Dedicated servers are always connected to a dedicated IP!

The performance of a website is not necessarily worse just because it is hosted on a shared server. Nowadays, providers tend to share performance resources among all parties involved in an efficient and skilled manner to enable promised capacities anytime, despite the shared IP address.

Tip

The performance of a website can be optimized using a dedicated IP address. Besides performance strength (CPU, RAM, etc.), factors such as the compression of photos, a trimmed source code or the use of CDNs (Content Delivery Network) are in demand.

Sending emails

There’s been much debate whether a dedicated IP has advantages over a shared one when sending emails for years. If you regularly send multiple emails (for example, a newsletter or sales email), you may benefit from a dedicated mail server address. Capacities are always a given and the reputation of the IP, which has an influence on the transfer speed, is up to you.

But the argument for optimal resource capacities is rarely considered these days due to high performance possibilities of email servers these days. Unless you’re a power user with over 100,000 mails per year, sending emails via a shared IP is absolutely sufficient. In terms of reputation, the following applies:

  • If you regularly (daily) send multiple messages (5,000+) with a low spam rating (below 0.1%), a dedicated IP address has a positive effect.

If a criterium does not apply, a dedicated IP may quickly pose a disadvantage compared to shared addresses in terms of reputation. Factors such as regular sending of mails and a low spam rating are central to the reputation score of the receiving servers.

Hosted Exchange with IONOS

The prefect solution for your business! Get the world’s leading email and calendar solution together with secure hosting from a single source!

25 GB email
Free domain
24/7 support

Search engine ranking (Google)

SEO is the core essence for the success of a website. It’s little surprising then that a comparison of shared and dedicated IP addresses is always considered when it comes to the impact on search engine ranking. But the IP address and the derived server location have little influence on Google’s ranking.

In 2006, Google administrator Matt Cutts clarified in a blog post that it didn’t matter whether a domain was assigned to a unique IP or not. A shared IP merely carries the risk that the domain could be falsely blacklisted by a Google bot (due to the content of a neighbor domain). This is incredibly rare and can be quickly remedied.

From an SEO perspective, the type of IP address is not really relevant. For a positive positioning among search engine results, factors such as quality or uniqueness of contents, keywords, or performance and usability of the web project are more important.

In order to protect your privacy, the video will not load until you click on it.

Conclusion: Dedicated IP is not a must-have

For many years, there have been plenty of reasons to use a dedicated IP address. Security aspects and the use of SSL/TLS have been central aspects advocating for the use of a dedicated IP. Because a secure transfer via HTTPS is now independent of the type of IP address, the dedicated IP has lost its value. The additional costs associated with it are better spent elsewhere, such as on the optimization of content and usability.

A dedicated IP address can be of advantage, for example, for sending large numbers of emails, where professional conduct is key to avoid a dedicated IP with a negative reputation. But irrespective of a dedicated server solution, which predicates the use of an obligatory dedicated IP address, there’s little reason not to use a shared IP or switch from a dedicated to a shared address.


Wait! We’ve got something for you!
Have a look at our great prices for different domain extensions.


Enter the web address of your choice in the search bar to check its availability.
.club
$1/1st year
then $15/year
.com
$1/1st year
then $15/year
.info
$1.60/1st year
then $20/year
.org
$1/1st year
then $25/year