Name-based Virtual Hosts vs IP-based for web severs domain names
IP-based virtual hosts use the IP address of the connection to determine the correct virtual host to serve. Therefore you need to have a separate IP address for each host. With name-based virtual hosting, the server relies on the client to report the hostname as part of the HTTP headers. Using this technique, many different hosts can share the same IP address.
Name-based virtual hosting is usually simpler, since you need only configure your DNS server to map each hostname to the correct IP address and then configure the Apache HTTP Server to recognize the different hostnames. Name-based virtual hosting also eases the demand for scarce IP addresses. Therefore you should use name-based virtual hosting unless there is a specific reason to choose IP-based virtual hosting. Some reasons why you might consider using IP-based virtual hosting:
- Some ancient clients are not compatible with name-based virtual hosting. For name-based virtual hosting to work, the client must send the HTTP Host header. This is required by HTTP/1.1, and is implemented by all modern HTTP/1.0 browsers as an extension. If you need to support obsolete clients and still use name-based virtual hosting, a possible technique is discussed at the end of this document.
- Name-based virtual hosting cannot be used with SSL secure servers because of the nature of the SSL protocol.
- Some operating systems and network equipment implement bandwidth management techniques that cannot differentiate between hosts unless they are on separate IP addresses.