I am trying to figure out the best option for web hosting of a startup business. I want to get a VPS hosting for this business and one factor that affects the price is the number of IP addresses.

I was wondering what would be the advantage of having multiple IP addresses for one server. I have read the other questions and I know if I am going to use SSL for multiple websites on my server I would need unique IP address for each one but in this case I only would have one website.


One IP could be for your web (HTTP/HTTPS) traffic, another could be for FTP or SSH access, another could be for mail, &c. If the publicly known IP (i.e. the one published to DNS) is separate to the one used for administration (only known by you and your team) then that would be a way of securing your server - by allowing different types of traffic over different IP addresses.


There is no benefit to having multiple IP addresses unless you have a plan for doing something with them. What are your reasons for wanting multiple IP addresses?

If you're only going to host one website and require one SSL certificate, then most hosting providers will just provide you with two IP's assigned to your VPS, one of which will be exclusive for your SSL certificate.

  • I mentioned in question, I am wondering why would a server need that. I do not want multiple address, I want to know what are they used for and if that comes handy to me I will consider this factor on the options I have. – Erfan Mar 28 '13 at 17:02

You still need a separate IP address for each website that you want to host using HTTPS (SSL).

Here is an article that tells how to set up Apache for SSL. It goes through the historical reasons that you need multiple IP addresses. It presents new technology that makes the need for multiple IP addresses unnecessary. But because browser support is limited it concludes:

In practical terms, this means that for a serious e-commerce Web site or one that needs to have broad appeal, this solution won’t work — yet. Expect in the next year or so for more people to upgrade and more browsers to support SNI.

  • Note that the article was written in 2009. Most of the "new browsers" it lists have been obsolete for quite a while. – Ilmari Karonen Mar 28 '13 at 23:50
  • It states that Internet Explorer 6 and 7 on Windows XP do not support it. That is currently 3% of traffic for my website. A much smaller slice than it would have been in 2009, but still not something I'd be willing to throw away. – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 29 '13 at 3:10
  • 1
    That's a good point. Depending on circumstances, you might be able to use wildcard and/or SAN certificates, which are supported even by IE on XP, instead. They do have some limitations compared to SNI, but those aren't too serious unless you're planning on running a shared webhosting service or something. (Wildcard certs only apply to subdomains of a single domain name, and SAN certs need to be reissued every time new domain names are added to the server.) – Ilmari Karonen Mar 29 '13 at 15:53

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