Have you ever tried, or thought about trying to host something on a server? For instance, It could be a game server, a web site, an email server, a database server or even your own custom app. In order to give people access to a service you want to connect to using the internet, you’ll need to use a public IP address.
IP Addresses: Public VS Private
If you’re unfamilar with an IP address, we reccomend reading over this guide for clarification: What is an IP address?
Most Computers on your home network likely have a private IP. Conversely, servers on the internet have a public IP. However, what makes an IP addess public, and what makes an IP address private?
In a nutshell:
Features of Public IP addresses:
- Can be reached by any other computer connected to the internet.
- Usually Issued by a Hosting Provider or Internet Service Provider
Features of Private IP addresses:
- Can only be reached by other computers in the same segment
- Can be issued by any organization or person controlling a network
Which do I need?
If you want to host a site outside of your local network, you will need a public IP Address. Therefore, two straightforward methods of getting a public IP address include Port Forwarding and VPS hosting.
Option 1: Port Forwarding
If you have an internet connection, you ISP provided you with a public IP address. It will usually be assigned to your home router or modem. To use this, you’ll need to configure your device to allow passing the connection to your Cloud VPS server. But, This has several disadvantages:
- Insecure: Improper configurations can allow intruders and malicious actors to gain access to computers in your home. Futhermore, exposing your home IP address can be a security risk.
- Changing address: Since your internet service provider assigns your home an IP address, they can change it at any time. As a result, you’ll need to track and tell your visitors when that IP changes, or wait for you domain name’s new IP to propagate.
- Hard to set up: Setting up port forwarding requires prior knowledge of computer networking and knowledge of your specific routers and network devices.
Option 2: Order a Hostwinds Cloud VPS
A VPS is a Virtual Private Server. However, don’t let the private part fool you – All of our servers have a public IPv6 and IPv6 address included. A VPS works a lot like a personal computer, except that it is deployed on a server on the internet. Also, they come with several advantages:
- Public IP address: These servers include a Public IP, meaing none of the dangers or stresses of port forwarding. We place your VPS on the internet as soon as your order it so that you may begin using it right away.
- Secure Network: A team of experienced professionals have set up the networking on your VPS. We take care of all the technical challenges of putting a server on the public internet.
- Static IP address: The IP we give you stays on the VPS and does not change. Your visitors will have no trouble reaching it over the internet.
- Flexibilty: VPS servers come in both Linux and Windows, and you can install, configure and build a wide variety of software.
In conclusion, A VPS offers a much better solution for placing applications and web sites our for public consumption.
- Need more information about the benefits of VPS hosting? We have a guide about that here: https://www.hostwinds.com/guide/what-is-vps-hosting-2/
- Ready to get started with a VPS? Great! Here is a guide to setting it up: https://www.hostwinds.com/guide/getting-started-with-a-hostwinds-vps/