Fri April 19 2024
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IP-based Virtual Hosting
In IP-based virtual hosting each site (either a DNS hostname or a group of DNS hostnames that act the same) points to a unique IP address. The web server is configured with multiple physical network interfaces, virtual network interfaces on the same physical interface or multiple IP addresses on one interface.

The web server can obtain the address the TCP connection was intended for using a standard API and use this to determine which website to serve. The client is not involved in this process and therefore (unlike with name based virtual hosting) there are no compatibility issues.

The server needs a different IP address for every web site which means higher costs of web site hosting and leads to IP address exhaustion.

The default port number for HTTP is 80. However, most webservers can be configured to operate on almost any port number, provided the port number is not in use by any other program on the server. For instance, a server may host the website However, if they wish to operate a second site, do not have access to the domain name configuration for their domain name, and/or own no other IP addresses which they could use to serve the site from, they could instead use another port number, for example, for port 81, or for port 8,000.

Most people are not familiar with using non-standard port numbers, and more complicated port numbers may be harder to remember. Most webcrawlers assume port 80 (default) when attempting to crawl a site and so may miss the non-standard port number. Humans may also be unaware of the non-standard port number and may be unaware as to where to look to find the website. Using non-standard port numbers may also be seen as unprofessional and unattractive to users. Some firewalls, either hardware or software, block all but the most common ports. this would cause a site hosted on a non standard port to appear unavailable to some users.

However, non-standard port numbers have found applications in HTTP based software backends such as Bit Torrent tracker announce scripts, which are part of the software's backend and not usually fully visible to the user.