I started to use DigitalOcean cloud web hosting two months ago after I signed up for $10 credits. I was happy with it for a while. However, when I tried to find out how to request additional public IPs for SSL purpose for my other websites on the same instance, I realized that there is no way to do it. Many other web hosting companies allow you to add extra IP addresses to an instance as long as you pay for them or have a valid reason for doing that such as extra ones for SSL. I was assuming that DigitalOcean is the same but it is not. Upon knowing that, I started to look for alternatives that allow extra IPs, and I found Vultr. It not only allows extra IPs per instance, but also offers specs more suitable for me than DigitalOcean for the same $5 per month.
Vultr’s basic $5 package offers 768 MB of memory instead of DigitalOcean’s 512 MB while 15GB of SSD Disk storage instead of DigitalOcean’s 20GB. For me having 256MB more memory is better than 2GB of extra disk space because I can run more websites per instance with extra memory while one or two gig of extra disk space doesn’t really make any difference.
So far I am pretty happy with Vultr. It was pretty easy to set up and my server is up running pretty fast. I signed up for free trial through this url which gives you $50 for 60 Days. It requires you to put a credit card in and do a test authorization of $2.50 for verification which will be refunded to you. If you don’t want this, you can sign up through their regular home page, which will give you $5 to try out instead.
Unlike DigitalOcean, Vultr lets you add additional public IPs to your instance for $2 extra per month or $0.003 per hour with maximum two additional IPs per instance. That is enough for me because I don’t anticipate to have more than three SSL websites with separate IPs per instance. Many people including me are actually willing to pay one or two dollars for an extra IP for the same instance. Launching a new instance for the sole purpose of getting an extra IP is not worth it, because it brings more administrative works for the new instance on top of the extra cost compared to an extra IP. For me I am going to have a couple websites that I intend to launch in the future and I wanted to use HTTPS for them by default without excluding Windows XP users using Internet Explorer. I can’t just say no to them because now I still see quite a few of users using Windows XP together with IE for whatever reason even though Windows XP’s support has discontinued.
There is an ongoing thread about this issue here. There are other people needing another IP for other purposes as well but DigitalOcean simply won’t allow it. I think it is fair for DigitalOcean to adapt Linode’s policy to allow extra IPs for SSL purpose only while not any other reasons because of the limited availability of public IP addresses. DigitalOcean shouldn’t just say no to extra IPs for SSL purpose because there are still needs to support Windows XP’s IE users. I hope DigitalOcean will listen to their customers and allow extra IPs in the future. There are ways to get around the need for extra IPs for many other issues except the lack of support of SNI in Windows XP’s IE.