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Dedicated Servers vs VPS – Hosting Explained

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Dedicated Servers vs VPS

Which is better, dedicated servers or VPS? We pit them head to head here.

The whole dedicated server v’s VPS debate has been going on for a while now with more and more services coming up. If you’re going to run a website this is a question you’re going to have to face, so which is better? We compare them here, so let’s start with the definitions.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most basic plan wherein all the account holders share the host’s hardware resources including memory, disk space and CPU.

What is a Dedicated Server?

Dedicated hosting is akin to owning a house: all of the resources on server machine are yours and there are no other accounts or users on the server. In other words you have complete access to it: all the CPU, RAM disk space etc. are yours.

What is VPS Hosting?

VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting in some respects, but while you’re still sharing   resources, the ones allotted are yours alone and cannot be used by anyone else. With a VPS, the CPU, RAM and other hardware resources are shared, but parts of those are always available to you. Compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting is more flexible.

Comparing Shared Hosting, VPS and Dedicated Hosting

First off a word about shared hosting: this is the cheapest option because when it comes to performance, reliability and customization, it ranks below VPS and dedicated hosting. If your web hosting requirements are serious, you cannot rely on shared hosting as it is too limited and you’re better off with VPS or dedicated hosting.

There are many types of VPS and dedicated hosting services, and when you look at the services the distinction between the two can be a bit blurred. However as made clear in the description above, there are significant differences between the two. To answer the question “do I need a dedicated server or a VPS?” we have to look at both in detail.

Dedicated Servers

Dedicated servers are the most powerful options today (though some VPS are catching up). As the name implies, dedicated servers are completely dedicated to your requirements and offer superior performance. All of this power comes at a price as these are more expensive than shared or VPS.

The benefits include:

  • You have complete control
  • A high degree of customization is possible: you can reboot the system anytime
  • You can install and add any software you want
  • There is no limit to your virtual module control

Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

VPS are different from dedicated servers because instead of one hosting account running on one server, virtual private servers share one server. If VPS sounds a lot like shared hosting, there are indeed similarities, but with VPS you also get unlimited bandwidth and in most cases unlimited storage too. However, VPS plans differ when it comes to CPU and memory allocation.

The benefits include:

  • More hardware resources compared to shared hosting
  • Cheaper than dedicated servers
  • Solutions and resources available 24/7
  • Can handle most website requirements well

VPS and Dedicated Servers – Which is Better?

It all comes down to your needs and budget. If you’re just starting out there’s no need to go immediately with a dedicated server: try VPS first and see if the specs can cope with your requirements. When choosing a VPS, bear in mind that there could be restrictions on software installation because it might affect other servers. That being said, VPS guarantees at least a minimum amount of resources.

Unless you’re running a large website and need lots of hardware power, VPS is more ideal and practical. The cost difference between the two is still significant yet VPS offers quite a lot and in many cases, can hold up against dedicated servers. That being said, you won’t get the kind of hardware on a dedicated server with a VPS. And as was pointed out earlier, dedicated servers offer complete customization.

In the end only you can determine which of the two is necessary who wins in the dedicated server v’s VPS debate. Before you choose, it’s essential that you study each one and consider their features and don’t just base your decision on the price. The good news is competition among these services is tight, and is helping bring the cost down while features and benefits increase.