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Here's what I've got:

  • siteA.com and siteB.com are hosted on hostgator. They're hosted on the same account of a shared hosting server (not VPS or dedicated).
  • script.php is an external site that each of these 2 sites are accessing.

I noticed that when siteA.com or siteB.com access the outside script.php, the script identifies them both as 1a.12.12ab.static.theplanet.com (apparently because hostgator uses theplanet.com servers). The fact that they're identified as the same value isn't surprising because after all they're hosted on the same account /home/user123/public_html.

What I'm wondering about is how about other websites that are hosted on the same shared hosting server, but under other accounts. Basically other websites that are under another developer's control, but just happen to share the same hardware (hosting server). Do they also have the exact same identifier 1a.12.12ab.static.theplanet.com or that changes by account?

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2 Answers 2

Low-end shared hosts are always going to share IP addresses. That doesn't mean every app on the same server has the same IP address though. On my dreamhost account I have several domains with different IPs but they all run on the same server. There is really no reason for you to pay any attention to the address they assign you. Just use the DNS record they create and make CNAME entries for other aliases - the last thing you want to do is create your own DNS records based on the IP you have right now; that IP should be expected to change.

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One machine can have multiple IP addresses, each of which can resolve to a unique DNS entry.

For example, if you're currently on a Windows PC that has IIS running, you could access the default web page from http://127.0.0.1/ and http://nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn, where nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn is the IP address that the machine has either been provided with statically or via DHCP (which can be obtained by running ipconfig from a command prompt). Yes, 127.0.0.1 is a special case, but it still fits the general case of one machine can have multiple IP addresses (Note: I've used Windows/IIS purely for the purposes of the example, the same would apply equally to Linux/Apache).

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+1 That's great info for starters, but do you know what host providers usually do? Do they usually give a separate IP for each new account on the server? –  silow Feb 10 '11 at 13:32
1  
@silow - that's ultimately going to be entirely dependent on (a) the hosting provider and (b) how much you pay them. The answer is almost always going to be "no" due to the fact that IP addresses are a finite resource that have a cost associated with them. –  Rob Feb 10 '11 at 13:40

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