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What's the Purpose of Dedicated IPs?

by Josh Polzin

The functions of a server for web hosting can be outlined by examining each web hosting term. To understand what the purpose of a dedicated IP is, we must first discuss the definition and any similar web hosting system. Dedicated IP and Name Based hosting exists. The dedicated IP is for virtual hosting with cheap VPS hosting. Name Based virtual hosting is also for VPS servers.

Dedicated IP is where one IP address is used for each virtual host. Name Based allows for multiple hostnames to be on one server with one IP address. To put this in lay terms a dedicated IP is assigned to one website and their VPS server. The Name Based option has one IP address that works for more than one website.

When using dedicated IPs the web server software uses the IP address to connect a client with the website rather than the domain name. A server is nothing more than a computer with an operating system designed to work with the internet. The server will communicate with web applications such as a browser to ensure the client is seeing the correct web page. Before launching into the purpose of the cheap VPS dedicated IPs we must first understand servers.

A web browser is built to interpret code. It will send a command via bandwidth to a server requesting a page. The server will interpret this command by finding the matching code, thereby sending the correct page to be downloaded on the browser window. The downloaded information is seen as text and images. The code being swapped between server and browser can be the IP address or Name Based URL.

The dedicated IPs of cheap VPS hosting uses the numerical code that makes up the IP address. This eight to nine numerical code determines what the user will see when downloading a page. The primary purpose of dedicated IP is to use it with SSL certificates rather than a shared certificate.

SSL stands for secure sockets layer and more recently transport layer security. The SSL certificate enables better security on cheap VPS servers. Information sent with an SSL certificate is protected from hackers or other individuals. The certificate will encrypt data the user of the page provides in an online form. The form is then sent to you via the browser- server connection. You receive the form and unlock the information that has been encrypted. It may be for a newsletter, credit card payment, or other secure information.

The SSL certificate ensures you and the originating party are the only two individuals to see the data. A shared certificate can allow third parties to see the information. For shared certificates dedicated IPs can be unnecessary since the Name Based system is in place. If you are going to run an e-commerce site with any online forms or payment options you will need a dedicated IP through your cheap VPS host. Without a dedicated VPS and IP address the SSL certificate will have difficulty working.

Saturday, Jan 16th, 2010