Unique IP

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A Unique IP can be added to any fully hosted domain hosted at DreamHost. Unique means that you alone get to use that particular IP address and it is required for some functions (examples include accessing a domain directly via IP or setting up encryption).

Do I need a Unique IP?

Unique IPs are most commonly used with domains that have secure hosting enabled. While it is possible to use secure hosting without a Unique IP, some older browsers which do not support Server Name Indication will display a certificate warning when viewing your site, including:

  • Windows XP versions of Internet Explorer.
  • The default browser in Android 2.4 "Gingerbread" and earlier. (4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" and later will work correctly.)
  • Various older mobile browsers, including BlackBerry, Symbian OS, and older versions of Opera Mobile.

If you expect a significant number of the visitors to your secure site to be using these browsers, you will need a unique IP.

Other use cases include:

If you are interested in accessing the site directly via IP address (useful when the domain in question is not yet using DreamHost DNS externally) - on a shared IP this is not possible as the browser does not know which site to serve up.

If another domain hosted on the same IP as yours is blocked by certain restrictive firewalls (e.g, GFW), adding a unique IP address to the site may help it to bypass filtering (assuming the filter is based on the shared IP). This approach may also be of interest if you want to be sure your site is not associated with other customer sites, regardless of the presence of filters.

A Unique IP is also necessary to enable certain services on your domain, most notably anonymous FTP.

Don't I need a Unique IP for my page rank?

No, you do not! With the current shortage of IP addresses as we wait for adoption of IPv6, and the fact that there is an extra cost associated with adding them to your domains, it's important to know that adding a Unique IP to your domain will not affect its search engine ranking:

Google handles virtually hosted domains and their links just the same as domains on unique IP addresses. If your ISP does virtual hosting correctly (which DreamHost does), you’ll never see a difference between the two cases.

If this is the only motivation to add an IP to your domain, save yourself the money!

How do I create a unique IP address for my domain?

It's very easy to add a unique IP to your DreamHost account. Unique IPs are just $5.95/month.

  1. Go to the Domain - Manage Domains area of the DreamHost Panel.
  2. Click on the Add IP link under the desired domain

How do I delete the unique IP address for my domain?

This is even easier than adding it!

  1. Go to the Domain - Manage Domains area of the DreamHost Panel.
  2. Click the "X" icon next to the unique IP you want to remove.