When you search for a website on your computer, you don’t worry about whether the site is located through IP based or a name-based web hosting. You simply type in the name of the pages you want to see and wait for the server to make the sits appear. The process that takes place inside your computer and through the Internet is worth exploring, though, and you will feel more confident if you plan to build your own website. What do the terms mean?
A Brief Dictionary
A server is a computer or even a program, that can accept requests from “clients” and follow the commands. You could even turn your computer into a server by running the right software. As a matter of fact, according to the Apache Software Foundation, you could serve hundreds of clients on your single computer. Clients are programs that have the ability to access the server. Think about the old-fashioned telephone operator system. You accessed the operator, who could also be called the client, and asked for a particular number. She plugs you into the appropriate socket on the board. Then the phone system, or the server, uses the numbers to route your call. A host, or virtual host, is a client with a unique IP address. IP stands for Internet Protocol, and it is simply a series of four numbers separated by periods. An IP address might look like this: 1314.456.6060. 77.
IP or Name-Based Hosting?
Telephone books contain alphabetical listings of people and give the phone number associated with that name. If you call the Smith household, where several people live, Mr. Smith might answer and you would have to ask for the person you wanted to talk to. If each person has a different phone number, though, you are directed to your friend immediately. That is what IP-based hosting is like; every client has a unique number. At one time, that was imperative for very complex sites or sites like virtual stores that needed secure connections. Now, however, it is simpler to use hosting that is located at a single IP address and based on a name. In effect, you call Jennifer at the Smith household. Name-based web hosting is more common today. If you build a website on a host like Tripod, for example, your address may be Bill’s Fishing Page. Tripod.com instead of 113.2465.733.02.
Why is Name-Based Hosting more Common?
Rackspace points out that, if you have many domains or web pages, the Internet will find each of those domains under its name at your server’s IP address, through your host. One of the problems with IP-based hosting, according to Doxfer, is if the names associated with the IP address are not routed correctly, the server will call up the first name entered alphabetically. You might want Redwood Design and you are directed to Acme Flooring, instead. With the advances in technology, though, most sites don’t need their own unique IP address. Remember that a single computer can serve many hosts, and each host can serve many clients, who may each have more than one website. If every one of those sites, or Internet destinations had a separate IP address, the Internet would soon exhaust the list of available number combinations. That is exactly what is happening. One reason why the Internet is turning to name-based systems is to preserve the IP addresses for clients for whom they are a necessity.
Related Resource: IP Based Web Hosting
The Internet is fascinating in its complexities. That is why people must have degrees in the technology to design applications and systems. The beautiful thing about the Internet is that you don’t need a degree to use it. You only need to understand a few terms and possess some basic skills. You can find any site, and your site can be found, through the “magic” of name-based web hosting.