What is an IP address?
An IP address is a set of 4 numbers assigned to each device on a computer network. When we apply this definition for the internet, the IP address can be considered a numerical representation of a website address. For example, the domain google.com would go to the IP address 22.214.171.124.
How do IP addresses work?
When you type in a domain name on your browser, your browser will first match that domain name to an IP address. Then, it will access the server at that IP address.
Why would you want a unique IP address for your website?
Websites that have unique IP addresses are more stable and more reliable.
Disadvantages of sharing an IP address:
Sharing an IP address = Higher chance of website outage
Most web hosting providers nowadays cram thousands of websites onto one server. And because IP addresses are in short supply, they will often have all of the websites that are on a server share one IP address. This practice is quite dangerous as it will jeopardize the stability and functionality of each website on the server.
If your website is sharing an IP address with 1,000 other websites on a server and one of those websites becomes blocked or blacklisted, all 1,000 of those websites, including yours, would be blocked or blacklisted as well.
Advantages of having a unique IP address:
Having a unique IP address = Increased stability and reliability for your website.
By having your own unique IP address, your website would be unaffected by the other websites that are on the same server. If a website on your server gets its IP address blocked or blacklisted, it would not affect your website since it’s not sharing the same IP address.
In other words, when you have a unique IP address, your website is unaffected by the other websites that are on the server.
The internet is running out of space
The current IPv4 address pool is almost completely used up.
It was announced in early 2011 that the last batch of IP addresses have been allocated. This last batch of IP addresses will probably be used up towards the end of 2011. The current IPv4 address system has about 4.3 billion addresses. With a growing pool of internet users and internet-connected devices, 4.3 billion IP addresses are not enough to meet today’s demand.
Fortunately, researchers have designed a new IP address system – IPv6. This new system has 360 undecillion IP addresses and has been available since 1999. But, it seems like the transition is slow, and we’ll be stuck with IPv4 for a while. Here’s why:
- Transitioning 4.3 billion IP addresses over to the new IPv6 system will take quite some time.
- Existing equipment will need to be upgraded in order to support the new IPv6 address system.
- Not many Internet Service providers (ISP) support IPv6. This means that if your ISP doesn’t support IPv6, then you won’t be able to access websites hosted with IPv6 addresses.
- Currently, IPv4 addresses are accessible through all ISP’s, whereas IPv6 addresses are not.
With that said, the value of the existing IPv4 addresses are likely going to shoot up before IPv6 comes into play. So, make sure you get your IPv4 address before they run out!