If you are planning to build a website with one of the best website builders, chances are you have seen a lot of options when it comes to servers and the best web hosting. For those who aren’t sure what to choose between dedicated servers and VPS, two of the highest performing web hosting options, we’ve put together this article to explain their differences.
We analyze what are dedicated servers and VPS, their pros and cons, and which would be the best for your business. Once you have made your choice, you can choose the best web host for you.
What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server is a form of web hosting where a client has a complete physical server to store their website. Since the client does not have to share the server resources with anyone, it enjoys high performance and strong security. They also have greater flexibility to configure hardware and software based on your needs.
Dedicated hosting is ideal if you need to handle large amounts of web traffic on a daily basis, require advanced security, or operate a highly technical website with your own operating system.
Pros and cons of a dedicated server
- Resources and performanceWhen it comes to raw performance such as CPU / GPU power, RAM, storage, or other hardware and software aspects, dedicated servers stand out. You won’t find any VPS or shared server that can outperform a dedicated server, because with the latter you won’t have to share your resources. Enjoy higher speeds and lower latency. If your website is packed with data-intensive content such as videos, images, and other large files, you need a high-performance server that can minimize content loading time.
- Security: If a customer faces a web hosting security threat on a shared server, it can also be problematic for other users. Since a dedicated server hosts a single client, it is more secure than a VPS or shared server. You also have access to more resources, making it easier to protect against security breaches. Enhanced security is especially useful if your website has a payment gateway and must be compatible with the payment card industry.
- Personalization: A dedicated server gives you maximum flexibility in configuring your server and adjusting resource allocation. If your business is growing rapidly or has periods of drastic spikes in web traffic, a dedicated server will adapt to these changes and maintain performance to avoid slowdowns.
- Management: If you opt for a managed web hosting plan with your dedicated server, you can rest easy knowing that there are dedicated engineers and technicians to set up and maintain your server. It is also convenient to customize or troubleshoot because these experts do not have to deal with other data streams on the server or be restricted by other clients. With more freedom, they will have room for more options and solutions when faced with problems.
- CostFrom high performance to advanced security, a dedicated server will give you the best in hosting. That is why it is one of the most expensive web hosting options.
- Complexity: Dedicated servers are complex and require a bit of technical knowledge to operate. Most people deal with this by opting for a managed solution, but it adds to the expense.
What is a VPS?
A VPS is a virtual private server and is like a mix of shared and dedicated servers. Whereas a dedicated server hosts a client on a full server, a shared server sees multiple clients sharing all of their resources on a single server.
Unlike any of them, a VPS hosts multiple clients on the same machine and uses virtualization technology to divide the physical server into multiple virtual servers. Although the users share the same physical server, it is as if they each have their own dedicated server. Each user of a VPS receives a segment of the hardware resources of the main server and does not have to share it with others.
An essential feature in the best VPS hosting services is the use of a hypervisor. This is a type of software that allows the host to support multiple users by sharing their resources.
On a shared server, all users are forced to share the same limited resources. But with a hypervisor, each user is assigned a specific portion of resources. If a user needs access to more resources, they can borrow from another user who is not using theirs to the full.
Pros and cons of a VPS
- Setting: Since a dedicated server is custom built according to customer needs, the process of communicating with engineers and building the machine takes time. But the nature of a VPS is such that it can be set up quickly. Virtual servers are already configured on embedded machines, so they only need activation. You can get your project off the ground sooner with a VPS.
- Affordability: In a VPS, several users share the same hardware. Therefore, the operating cost is divided between all of them, which makes VPS more profitable than dedicated servers.
- Control: You can install an application on your server and restart it at any time. Although you are sharing a physical server with other clients, your own VPS can restart without affecting others, so you can run things according to your own schedule.
- Setting: In a VPS environment, there is great flexibility in configuration, but limits in terms of storage and memory allocation. You will not be able to install large software packages or anything that could threaten the security of other clients on the server.
- Security: Since there are multiple users on a physical server, a security breach in a different section could also be dangerous for you.
Dedicated servers vs VPS: which one is better for your business?
Dedicated servers are best suited for enterprise-level clients. These are companies that receive high web traffic, deal with many financial transactions, have large media files, or need deep control to customize their servers.
You also need technical expertise to use and maintain the full potential of a dedicated server. Dedicated hosting plans generally start around the $ 100 per month range and can cost upwards of $ 600 per month.
A VPS is ideal for small and medium businesses. If you’re just starting out and your web audience is constantly growing, a VPS can help you handle traffic and potential surges. VPS hosting is also more affordable, starting around the $ 20 per month range, although it can go up to over $ 150 per month.
Finding the right server to set up a website is an intricate and elaborate process. The extensive options available in the market can often make it overwhelming to decide which service to choose. When deciding between dedicated servers and VPS, it’s best to consider your current business situation and how much it is likely to scale in the near future.
More information on web hosting
If you need to know more about web hosting, read our guide that answers the question What is web hosting? And our list article outlining nine tips to keep in mind when shopping for a web host. It’s also worth taking a look at our comparison between bare metal servers and dedicated servers.