VPS vs Dedicated Server

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A virtual private server and a dedicated server are great hosting solutions for any customer that has either multiple websites or one important website that experiences a lot of traffic, financial transactions, or simply requires a greater amount of resources such as storage, bandwidth, and RAM in order to perform well. But you might still be unsure as to whether you need to rent a full server as you would in dedicated hosting or if renting a virtual server is sufficient. We’ve compared the two solutions below in order to help you make a more informed decision.

Basic Differences:

With a VPS you have less of everything compared to a dedicated server; less control, less cost, and less maintenance.  You do still have a lot more control than you would in comparison to a shared hosting account, but often not as much as you do from a dedicated server. The dedicated server is often faster, more powerful, requires more responsibility, and is more costly so there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

If you are considering a dedicated server, whether managed or unmanaged, you will need to have some technical expertise in house


Price: A VPS ranges in price from $19/month & up, whereas dedicated servers usually run from $100/month to over $350/month. However that doesn’t mean that there aren’t virtual servers that are as expensive as having a dedicated server. For example a high-end VPS will cost you over $200/month and a low-end dedicated server can be as inexpensive as $79/month. For both options, the setup is often included in the price. Many hosting companies will also offer pre-installed software or scripts on your server, 1 or more IP addresses, and an easy to use control panel like cPanel or Plesk for no extra charge.

Customizing Resources: Both the VPS and dedicated server offer greater customization and flexibility when it comes to choosing an operating system, offering both Linux and Windows. However the dedicated server tends to offer a greater variation like Linux (CentOS, Fedora,  Ubuntu) and Windows (2003 or 2008 server). No matter which hosting solution you choose, you can also pick the amount of RAM, bandwidth, diskspace, and CPU you need but the offerings are less for the VPS, especially if you’re trying to stay within a budget. For example, at a popular hosting provider like HostGator, you start with 384 MG RAM, 10 GB diskspace, and 250 GB bandwidth. Of course you can get a VPS system that also has 4GB RAM, 200 GB diskspace, and 3 TB of bandwidth but if you already need that amount of resources, it’s often cheaper to switch to the dedicated server which offers more for a smaller price.

With a VPS you have less of everything compared to a dedicated server; less control, less cost, and less maintenance.

Control: There’s no doubt that you have the most control with a dedicated server. After all you have complete administrative control so you can install and update any files, applications, and advanced software as well as control all settings and specifications on the server with remote access.  Many VPS packages also include full root access but not all hosting companies include this option, so it’s important to pay close attention to what each company is offering.

Maintenance & Support: Hosting companies offer both managed and unmanaged dedicated servers and managed servers have become more popular since less responsibility is required for the customer. The hardware of any server is taken care of by the hosting company no matter which type of hosting you choose, but the responsibility of software updates and security patches falls on the user. Hosting providers offer even more maintenance for a virtual private server but the user is still often responsible for backups and software updates. Choosing a VPS over a dedicated server won’t affect the support you’ll receive since both hosting options include 24/7 customer and technical support typically via phone, ticket service, online form/email, and live chat.

Stability: In general dedicated servers are stable because you’re not sharing any space at all with any other accounts or users. Essentially you’re working with your own box/computer of resources so no other websites or users can affect the performance of your website. VPS is also a very stable and secure option because most VPS plans are actually cloud computing, which means that there are many copies of your website in the case that some interference were to occur, your site should never be affected.

In conclusion, if you are a large business that has one or many heavy traffic sites that will require 2 GB or more RAM, 5 TB or more bandwidth 250 GB or more storage and you’re equipped to handle the maintenance, responsibility, and cost that goes along with renting your own dedicated server, then a dedicated server is the best option. However if you want something in between the power, control, and cost of a dedicated server and shared hosting, then the VPS is the ideal hosting solution for your website(s). 

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