Web servers such as Apache and nginx support virtual hosting. To the users of websites on a shared server, they will not know that another websites exists on the same server. I have been wondering for a while now how reliable this is.

There are online tools which can attempt to find other sites hosted on the same server, like this one, however, is there a possibility of the server displaying the wrong site to a user, other than through poor configuration?

IP-based virtual hosts will not be detected with the site I linked to previously, so theoretically, using IP-based virtual hosts, there's no way for anyone else to find out that one website is hosted on the same server as another?


Properly configured, a server should always return the correct content for any URI. That's the definition of a URI.

As for your second question, it depends on configuration. If multiple IPs are being routed through the same NIC, the MAC address will still be the same and would identify them as going to the same interface. If multiple physical interfaces are used, it would become much more difficult unless the server is leaking other identifying information though.

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  • Thanks! The MAC address issue shouldn't be a problem for most sites anyway, but thanks for pointing it out. I asked this question because I'm wanting to host two sites on a server without anyone knowing that the owner of the first site is also owner of the second, or for visitors of the first site to see the second site's content. – Torvero Oct 31 '13 at 16:35

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