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Shared and Dedicated IP for Sending Email. Which should you choose?

January 09, 2023

If you haven’t known, emails are sent via IP addresses. The reputation of an IP address is crucial to email deliverability, because email service providers use this information to determine whether an email should be allowed into the inbox, be treated as spam, or be discarded entirely. That said, having a good IP reputation increases the chance of your emails landing in your recipient’s inbox.

When it comes to choosing an IP address for sending emails, there are two options – a shared or a dedicated IP address. Before you decide which option is right for you, let’s explore the differences between the two and each of their pros and cons.

Differences between shared IP and dedicated IP for sending emails

A shared IP address is shared between you and multiple senders of different companies to send emails. Your reputation is affected by the email practices and behavior of other senders in the same pool.

A dedicated IP address, on the other hand, is an IP address designated to send emails from your domain only. You don’t have to share traffic with others and can avoid any possible burden that comes from damaged IP reputation. Your reputation is solely depending on your (and your domain users’) email practices.

Benefits of using a dedicated IP address

Using a dedicated IP address for sending emails gives you the following advantages.

Better IP Reputation Control

Sharing IP address with other senders who follow poor email practices or engage in risky sending behaviour can affect your IP reputation. If these senders’ actions cause IP blacklist, your emails may end up in a spam folder, or worse, get rejected by the recipient’s server.

On the contrary, by using a designated IP address for all your outgoing emails, you have the complete control over your domain and IP reputation. By maintaining positive IP reputation along with good email practices, you will be rewarded with higher email deliverability.

Higher Outgoing Email Limit

While email subscription with shared IP usually comes with a lower sending quota, dedicated IP services offer a higher sending quota, with few thousands a week.

Ease of IP Issue Troubleshooting

It is easier to troubleshoot and fix IP address related issues when it is a dedicated IP address. If the IP address is used by several domains, it is not easy to isolate specific issues and address them quickly.

Benefits of using a shared IP address

The following are the advantages of using a shared IP address to send emails.

Lower Cost

Shared IPs will always be less expensive than dedicated IPs because the cost are spread among multiple companies. If cost is your concern, or your business is just starting, you should probably opt for a shared IP address.

Benefit From Other’s Reputation

We all know that it is difficult and complicated to get loan approvals from banks without any credit history – same goes to brand-new dedicated IPs that have never been used to send email. Initially, your emails may not get through some over-cautious providers, and you need time to “warm up” a dedicated IP.

As for shared IPs, since there are existing senders that have long-established reputation with recipients, you will probably have decent delivery rates from the start.

Choosing between shared IP and dedicated IP

After having looked at the pros and cons of both options, let’s sum up each of their best use cases:

When To Use a Dedicated IP

Dedicated IPs are recommended if:

  • You are looking for a long-term solution for higher email deliverability.
  • You regularly need to send many emails in a month.
  • You can afford the cost of dedicated IP.
  • Your shared IP is blacklisted.

When To Use a Shared IP

Shared IPs fit your needs if:

  • You are looking for a more affordable solution.
  • You are sending fewer emails consistently.
  • You do not mind sharing reputation with others.

Ready to Switch to a Dedicated IP?

Lookafter offers Dedicated Outgoing SMTP Service (DSMTP), which allows you to send outgoing emails using a designated IP address, without sharing traffic with other domains.
Find Out More >