What is VPS Hosting?
A virtual private server (VPS), also called a virtual dedicated server (VDS), is a virtual server that appears to the user as a dedicated server, but that is actually installed on a computer serving multiple websites. A single computer can have several VPSes, each one with its own operating system (OS) that runs the hosting software for a particular user.
In this article, you will learn:
Shared vs VPS Hosting
Shared hosting is the most common form of hosting in existence today. Due to its low cost and beginner-friendly features, it is most commonly used by those who are building their first websites.
Shared hosting is highly affordable because you are sharing server resources with hundreds or even thousands of other users. By splitting the overall cost of server resources, you can get a hosting solution at a much cheaper rate. Each individual on the same shared server is given a set amount of disk space, server memory, CPU, and more.
Security and Performance
Security is essential no matter what kind of website you own. Both hosting types are relatively secure and stable methods for hosting your site, but there are some differences.
With shared hosting, your site might be affected when there is an error on another site. Also, if other sites eat up too much of the shared bandwidth, your website might get slowed down. This is especially crucial if your site hits high traffic numbers.
You can avoid this problem by using a VPS, as the virtually partitioned servers ensure that each website works accordingly. However, if you lack the technical knowledge of how to take care of your virtual private server, you should consider other options.
VPS hosting provides more controls than a shared hosting plan. When using a VPS, you get root access to the server, so you can install your own OS and software to optimize site performance and security.
On the other hand, using a shared hosting plan limits you only to standardized server setups. This might be more convenient for people who do not want to handle server management tasks on their own.
If you choose to host your site with shared hosting, you will need to perform little to no technical maintenance. In this model, the shared hosting provider will not only set up the shared server, but also install and upgrade necessary software, like cPanel. They also monitor the servers to avoid downtime and take care of the server backend. Managing a VPS can be complex. However, you can customize and configure applications and software to increase your website’s performance, gain root access, and tailor the back end to your needs.
Security and Compliance
If you are developing a healthcare application, you can customize and configure applications and software to attain compliance, but that requires ensuring that your VPS meets the compliance requirements, before any managed security services can be added to it.
VPS hosting is much easier to scale up when compared to shared hosting. While shared hosting is a good option for a short-term plan or a small online website, it might not be effective and could even cause issues if your site reaches high traffic numbers. VPS hosting lets you scale quickly and easily, and plan a cost-effective budget for the future.
Shared hosting often offers the lowest costs. However, VPS web hosting prices, while higher, provide significant value. For example, VPS hosting plans offer more storage space and bandwidth, when compared to what shared hosting plans offer.
Cloud vs VPS Hosting
Cloud servers are similar to a VPS hosting environment. The key difference is that instead of having a single server that’s dedicated to your site (as is the case with VPS), the resources are spread out amongst a bunch of different physical machines.
With cloud hosting, you have a network of potentially unlimited virtual machines. All of these virtual machines rely upon an underlying network of physical servers. With all of these virtual machines connected together, you’re basically creating one massive VPS.
Before cloud hosting became popular, VPS was the best-performing option you could get without paying the premium for a dedicated server. With VPS, you are guaranteed server resources that you won’t have to share with other websites, and your page load will be faster than with shared hosting. Performance is crucial for website conversion and customer engagement.
But VPS hosting is limited in that your website is still hosted on a physical server — even if you have your own separate partition. There are other websites on that same server, so there’s still a chance, even if it is a small one, that your website will be affected if another website is hogging a bunch of resources. Your VPS is also limited by the capacity and hardware of the physical server.
Cloud hosting can distribute your website across many servers on multiple global data centers. Even during times of high demand – such as Black Friday sales, for example – cloud hosting can help you scale up to deliver the same speed and reliability. It can handle even the biggest traffic spikes.
Cloud hosting can also protect your website from downtime because of its ability to migrate the website or application to another server if one fails.
VPS hosting gives you access to a similar level of customizability as with a dedicated server. Having full root access means you can control every aspect of your VPS setup, including the OS (usually Linux or Windows). Not all hosting providers offer Windows VPS, however, so if you’re looking to install a Windows Server, you’ll have to shop around.
Cloud hosting also gives you a degree of customizability. For instance, you’ll be able to configure firewalls, change your network architecture, and implement load balancing. However, because your hosting is built on a vast network of servers, your hosting company has to limit your control over certain settings to ensure that your cloud hosting works efficiently.
Cloud hosting is also more complex than other hosting types because of how it’s set up. You’ll need more technical knowledge to take full advantage of the configuration options available to you.
VPS hosting gives you a high level of security – comparable to that of a dedicated server. Since each VPS is separate from other VPSes on the same physical server, your website won’t be affected even if another website on the server is hacked or infected with malware. Plus, being hosted on a single physical server means that security is much tighter than with cloud hosting.
However, you should know that VPS hosting isn’t risk-free. If another website on your server is hit with a DDoS attack, the physical server may still be incapacitated if the attack is large enough. You’re also responsible for your own security customizations and installations on a VPS, so the level of protection depends on the measures you take to keep your VPS secure.
With cloud hosting, security levels are relatively high, since your website is kept separate from others. You’ll be able to put in your own security measures on top of those offered by your hosting provider. The main limitation, however, is the cloud-based nature of the setup.
Your hosting is spread across multiple physical servers, which makes it more difficult to keep your website completely secure. Like all web-based services, there are vulnerabilities: cloud hosting is more likely to suffer from cyber attacks.
VPS vs VPN
A VPS is created when one massive server is partitioned up so that it can have several servers on it running independently of each other. Virtualization layers are then created to make sure each virtual environment appears as a standalone server with the ability to run its own OS and applications. Therefore, a VPS enables multiple virtual servers to be located on one physical server. A VPS is great for companies if they have outgrown a shared hosting plan and are not yet ready to leap into the financial commitment involved in owning a dedicated server.
On the other hand, a VPN is very different as its purpose is to extend a private network (as well as its resources) across public networks, such as the Internet. For example, a VPN allows a computer to send and receive data across other networks, shared or public as if it were a private network. It secures your computer’s Internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you’re sending and receiving is encrypted and secured. Whatever you do, you are always behind the VPN.
For nearly 20 years, Atlantic.Net has helped thousands of businesses with industry-leading cloud hosting solutions. Atlantic.Net Cloud VPS is a far superior alternative to traditional VPS, providing full control of your cloud server hosting software backed by dedicated and premium hardware resources.