HostMonster Web Hosting Help
Shared vs. Dedicated IPs & Port Access
This article will explain what the differences between a Shared & Dedicated IP as well as how to open additional ports on your account.
Every domain name has an IP address assigned to it. An IP address is the real address of a web site or server. Domain names were developed because it is difficult to remember long IP numbers like 22.214.171.124.
In shared hosting we host several hundred web sites on one server; those same sites will share one single IP address. Instead of having a unique IP address for every domain, you share one IP address with all of the accounts on your server. The downside to shared IP's is that some countries, like China, censor particular web sites by their IP address. If a web site they censor is on the same server as yours, and China blocks that web site using the shared IP address, then your web site and the hundreds of others on that server are also blocked. This means that any clients in China would be unable to view your site. Getting a dedicated IP address would make your web site separate so that if the shared IP address was blocked, your site wouldn't automatically be blocked along with it.
Email will not be affected by obtaining a dedicated IP address. Other than a program needing more than 10 minutes to send out emails from a mailing list, there is no benefit to email between a shared and a dedicated IP address. All email, including forwarded email, is sent out through our mail proxy servers. Obtaining a dedicated IP address will not prevent your emails from being marked as SPAM, having an ISP block the IP of the mail proxy server, or pass a reverse DNS test for places such as AOL. People sometimes are under the wrong impression that these things will change by obtaining a dedicated IP address. They won't change.
By Purchasing a Dedicated IP your site is the only one on the Internet that will be using that unique IP address. For example, if you typed http://126.96.36.199/ into your web browsers address bar you would see Google's web site come up. This is their dedicated IP address and no one else's. This is their unique address on the web that has been attached to the domain name google.com
The program or script you run on your site may require a process to run longer than 10 minutes. On a shared IP address, the process will terminate at the 10 minute mark. With a dedicated IP address, processes are allowed to run for more than 10 minutes as long as they aren't consuming too much of the server's memory, which would result in a CPU throttling. CPU throttling can occur both on a shared and a dedicated IP address. Certain voice chat programs require a dedicated IP address before they can be setup and used. If you have a program that sends out emails every so many seconds, such as from a mailing list program like DaDa Mail, then you would need to get a dedicated IP address, if it's going to take more than 10 minutes to send out the emails..
In a shared hosting environment, where everyone shares the same IP, some ports must be blocked. We block access to certain ports to help avoid having security holes in the firewall, and to allow us to monitor and control customers who attempt to abuse the different services that we allow to run through these ports. The majority of processes requiring specific Port Access typically are bound to the IP address which they are running on.
On a shared IP only one service could run through a specific port from that IP. We have only opened the ports for processes which we are running on our servers (web mail, cPanel, etc.). Purchasing a dedicated IP will allow us to grant you access to the ports you will need to run your specific services on. This applies to both outbound and inbound connections running on non-standard ports.
There are two ways you can get around purchasing a Dedicated IP & Private SSL.
- The first is by using a PayPal shopping cart or an alternative shopping cart that is hosted by another company off of your site. Your main site would still be hosted with HostMonster. However when someone goes to pay they would be redirected to the company you choose to host your shopping cart. Most businesses and customers don't like the idea of sending or being sent to a new web site address to complete transactions.
- The second is by using the HostMonster Shared SSL. This is a free SSL. The Shared SSL carries all the same levels of encryption and security that a Private SSL carries but there is a big difference. To use your SSL certificate you would point your hyperlinks that you want to be secure to https://secure.HostMonster.com/~YourcPanelUsername. When your customers look at the URL or examine the validity of the Shared Certificate they will see that it belongs to HostMonster instead of to your specific site. This tends to cause anxiety for most customers or at least raise a flag of caution. For the sake of professionalism most companies will opt to purchase a Private SSL.