What Is An IP Address? And Its Role

IP address, Internet Protocol Address is a numerical label given to each device in the computer network that uses IP for communication. ‘Network interface identification’ and ‘location addressing’ are the two principal functions of IP address. It is a numerical representation (set of 4 numbers) of a website address. IP Address is displayed in human readable notations such as (for IPv4) and 1024:df2:0:11245:0:147:2:1 (for IPv6).

How do IP addresses work?

Every domain has a specific IP address. Whenever you type a domain name in the browser, your browser first identifies the domain and matches it with its IP address. And then the server is accessed at that IP address.

Why would you want a unique IP address for your website? Why are they important?

It is very important to have a unique IP address for the website.

  • Having a unique IP address makes the website more stable and reliable.
  • Unique IP address also offers greater security and layer of protection.
  • Unique IP is a powerful tool for improving the search engine ranking for your website.

Disadvantages of sharing an IP address:

Sharing an IP address increases the chance of having a website outage. When more than one or many websites are carried on one server then the stability and functionality of the website on the server is threatened. Nowadays, most of the web hosting providers’ practices this. Due to short supply of IP addresses, providers jam-pack thousands of websites on one server that is one IP address is shared with all the websites on the server.

The problem of blacklisting and blocking is very common in this situation. When your website shares an IP address with another thousand websites on a server, than all the thousand websites including your website becomes blocked or blacklisted.

Advantages of having a unique IP Addresses:

If you are having a unique IP address then it will increase the stability and reliability of your website. The problem of blocking and blacklisting is also solved by having a unique IP. Since your website is not sharing the same IP address on the server, blocking or blacklisting of website on the server will not affect your website on that server. In this way your website will not be affected by the other websites on the same server. Moreover, having a unique IP also improves the security level.

The internet is running out of space:

  • Last batch of IPv4 has been allocated and probably be used up till the end of 2011. With growing internet user’s current IPv4 address system with 4.3 billion addresses is not enough.
  • In 1999, new IP address system was designed – Ipv6. This system has 360 undecillion IP addresses.
  • The transition from the current IPv4 to new IPv6 system is quite slow and thus will take some time. Equipments are needed to be upgraded in order to support IPv6 address system.
  • IPv4 addresses are accessible through all ISP’s, but many ISP’s do not support IPv6. Thus, the value of IPv4 is likely to go up before IPv6 comes into play.

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