VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a hosting solution wherein the physical server is split into several virtual machines, each functioning independently. Thus, even though the machine is physically one, each VPS account exists on a virtual ‘island' isolated from other VPS accounts. A VPS hosting account is somewhere between a dedicated server and a shared server, offering the benefits of the former at the cost of the latter. It is perfect for webmasters looking to upgrade to a better, more efficient service while cutting down on costs.
How Does VPS Hosting Work?
VPS hosting is a cross between dedicated and shared hosting. With dedicated hosting, you essentially rent out an entire server. Consequently, you have the power to add, remove, or modify the server as per your needs.
With shared hosting, you share a single server with several other customers. Thus, your options to modify the server are severely limited. The performance suffers as well depending on the number of other accounts/websites on the shared server.
VPS hosting basically combines the best elements of shared and dedicated hosting. A virtual private server can be modified like a dedicated server, but is far more affordable (since you are actually sharing the physical machine with other VPS customers).
When you purchase a VPS hosting account, the hosting service sections off a part of the machine virtually. This works just like VirtualBox, which allows a machine to run several virtual iterations of different operation systems on the same machine. Each virtualized section can be modified with customized software and scripts.
What are the Advantages of VPS Hosting?
The major benefits of using VPS hosting are:
- Customization: Since you have access to your own virtualized operating system, you can install any customized scripts or software on the server – an option you don't have with shared hosting.
- Privacy: VPS hosting offers far greater privacy than shared hosting since you do not share the operating system with other customers.
- More Resources: Unlike shared hosting, you do not have to share system resources with many other customers. On a VPS server, you always have access to dedicated system resources at all times.
- Cost: VPS hosting offers all the benefits of dedicated hosting at a fraction of the cost.
What Are the Different Types of VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting can be broadly categorized into two types:
- Managed: With managed VPS hosting, the hosting service provider will manage every aspect of running the server: updating software, troubleshooting, monitoring system resources, etc. This is the preferred option for most people but also costs more.
- Unmanaged: You will have to take care of every aspect of running the server, apart from sever down-time. Though it costs less than managed hosting, it is not recommended for anyone without a lot of technical knowledge.
VPS hosting can also be divided into two categories depending on the operating system used:
- Windows: This VPS server runs Windows OS. It has much more user friendly UI than Linux hosting, but is also more expensive and less efficient. Windows hosting is preferred if you are going to run a lot of ASP.net applications.
- Linux: Linux VPS hosting is the more popular option as it is more stable, cheaper, and can be upgraded with a ton of open-source software.