An IP address is a unique number which identifies a site or a server on the Internet, so in the event that you have a dedicated IP, it'll be employed just by your sites and shall not be shared with other individuals as it happens with shared web hosting accounts. In case you have your own web server, you shall have a dedicated IP, but you may need extra ones for different purposes. If you have an Internet store, for instance, you shall need an SSL certificate for it, in order to make certain that the payment info which your customers submit shall be encrypted and protected. The same is valid in the event that you have a login form of some kind and you wish the usernames and the passwords which visitors type in to be secured. The SSL certificate requires a dedicated IP, which ought to be different from the one that you already have on the server. You could also need an independent IP for an application such as a VoIP server, or if you want a slightly better performance for a particular site, which may influence its position in search engine results.