My provider told me that they cannot give us a separate IP address for a separate website. I understand that they could give us one where an existing address absolutely cannot be reused, like if we had a second virtual server, or required SSL.

Having browsed around, it seems that this isn't really up to them, and is imposed "from above", leading me to wonder if this applies to all hosts in the US.

If this is not so, please could you recommend a good webhost with servers in the US which are happy to issue several IP addresses without requiring extra virtual servers?

P.S. I could get a separate virtual server for this, but that seems daft. It doesn't save any IP addresses whatsoever, and only wastes extra electricity in the process...

  • Who's the host? (See answer from @Cyclops below.) Might be interesting to get a bit of a list going.
    – Su'
    Sep 18, 2011 at 13:08

4 Answers 4


Just as example, because it's the system I'm in at the moment, when adding a new domain to a Pair hosting account you're given the following options

  • Dedicated IP Domain Hosting -- The domain name will have its own unique IP Address
  • Shared IP Domain Hosting -- The domain name will share an IP address with another domain on your account
  • Parked Domain Hosting -- The domain name will be "parked" on another domain name on your account

...where the first seems to be what you're asking about.

If so, I've seen something similar at several hosts over the years, so no the question doesn't apply to all US hosts, and I'd even say allowing it is fairly common.

As a secondary, when adding a website at WebFaction, there's a drop-down "IP" field for selecting which assigned to your account(dedicated IPs are an add-on) it should use.


Hostgator's policy on IPs is:

Due to the global shortage of IPv4 addresses, although there is no limit on the number you may have, we are now required to request justification for dedicated IP address requests.

With the exception of the Business hosting package, the only acceptable justification for a dedicated IP address on any account type that we can accept at this time is for use with an SSL certificate.

(And their business package only allows for one unjustified IP anyway).

Despite their use of the word required, I really doubt they were forced (by, say, ARIN) to ration IP addresses to any specific user, it's just a business decision. Most hosting companies are allocated fixed-size blocks of IPv4s, and when those run out, they can't get any more (until IPv6, anyway).

Like it or not, IPv4s are now a scarce resource, and companies are charging accordingly. It may cost more than you want to pay, but that's business, sorry...

  • +1 Interesting. I hadn't encountered a host actually saying this. Tying to the IP shortage makes sense, though. I kind of want to go around inquiring with some of the other hosts I deal with via clients, etc. now.
    – Su'
    Sep 18, 2011 at 13:10

Contray to what @Bruce Harris & @Cyclops suggest, there are policies in place limiting companies in how they use and allocate to its users IPv4 addresses.

As of February, IANA has no more /8 IP pool to allocate to regional RIR, and as of April for the Asia Pacific region APNIC has run out of freely allocated IPs, with RIPE NCC (Europe, Middle East & part of Central Asia) being expected to run out next.

In the case of American (US, Canada & Caribbean), ARIN tightened how much and how often an ISP can request new IPs when IANA ran out, and also enforced more stringent reviews to ensure efficient utilization. The effect of this are passed down to hosting companies and in turn end users.

Any companies who in this day and age freely assign dedicated IP without good reason will simply find it impossible to request more from their ISP/RIR when they run out even if their respective ISP/RIR still has some left. Do you really want to be with a company who can't get you additional IP even if you really need it (for SSL say) because they've given all their allocation away freely and as a result are denied any new ones?

  • My point was, any limiting policies were internal to HostGator, not by an external party. Do you have any information regarding how a company must allocate its own, previously-purchased IP pool?
    – Cyclops
    Sep 18, 2011 at 21:41
  • HostGator uses The Planet (merged to ... to SoftLayer). You can see SoftLayer comment on IPs assignment at blog.softlayer.com/2011/ipv4-justification-changes-in-ims . So HostGator have to justify their assignment to SoftLayer when requesting new IPs. Yes, there's nothing limiting on what one can do with already assigned IPs, but since we're talking about hosting companies with hopefully expanding business and hence constantly in need of more IPs, they have to justify their, and in turn their customers use.
    – KTC
    Sep 19, 2011 at 0:25
  • Okay, the decision is one layer up :) But it's still a business decision, how to allocate their IPs - your post seemed to imply it was a regulatory decision, by the IANA or someone else.
    – Cyclops
    Sep 19, 2011 at 12:15

Shared hosting companies usually provide you a shared IP (though some provide several dedicated IPs; e.g. ixwebhosting). But it general, this depends on the number of free dedicated IP addresses included in your package. Of course, you can always buy extra IPs. No one can limit you to have more and more IPs, and one dedicated for every website.

  • Well... that's the thing, I can't buy extra IPs. They won't sell me one.
    – RomanSt
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:07
  • Then I recommend to use another web hosting company with flexible features. Because you do not know what you may need in further development of your websites.
    – Googlebot
    Sep 16, 2011 at 15:17
  • Actually, one can and are limited for IPv4 addresses. For a long time now, there's been a justification requirement when requesting IP addresses. First by IANA policies implementation at the regional RIR level for data centre & ISP, and in turn the ISP requiring it from the hosting companies & end-users. With IPv4 exhaustion, the justification requirments has only became and will become even more and more stringent. A hosting company that do not enforce justification requirments from its customers will exhaust its IP pool quicker and then find it impossible to get new ones.
    – KTC
    Sep 18, 2011 at 20:01

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