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VPS Hosting Vs Dedicated Hosting: What’s The Difference?

VPS vs Dedicated Hosting

Thinking about upgrading your web hosting? 

As your business grows and traffic increases, you’ll reach a point where you need a faster server with more processing power, memory, and storage. 

Both VPS and dedicated servers can handle that, no problem. But you also need enhanced security and reliable support to go with your increased speed. 

So, which type of web host is best – VPS or dedicated? 

In this post, we’ll take a look at what each hosting service has to offer, including the pros and cons, so that you can weigh-up your options. And then, we’ll share three of the best VPS and dedicated hosting providers to help you narrow your selection.

Sound good? Let’s dive in!

The main differences between VPS and dedicated hosting

A VPS or dedicated server are both well-equipped to provide faster web hosting than a shared server. But they also have some significant differences that you need to consider.

VPS hosting

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Like shared hosting, it hosts several websites on a single physical machine. But unlike shared hosting, it uses a piece of software called a hypervisor to separate the physical server into different virtual servers. So while websites share a physical server, they’re self-contained units. 

For example, if the physical server consists of 1TB storage and 16GB memory, and the web host splits it equally into 4 virtual servers, then each VPS would get 250GB of storage space and 4GB of memory. 

However, the virtual servers don’t have to be split equally. So you could have one VPS with 500GB storage and 8GB of memory, and two VPS with 250GB of storage space and 4GB of memory. 

In short: the web host can split the physical server into any combination of virtual servers.

VPS vs Dedicated Hosting Custom Image

Generally, VPS hosting is more affordable than dedicated hosting, with prices starting between $5 and $15 per month. You get all the perks of a dedicated server, but as you don’t need all the space, you only rent a portion. 

So, if you’ve outgrown shared hosting and you want more resources and control over your hosting environment, then a VPS could be the right fit for you.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting, as the name implies, is when you host your website on a single physical server that’s dedicated entirely to you. There’s no sharing involved, either physically or virtually.

You have access to the full range of resources on the physical server, including all the hard drive storage capacity, memory, and processing power. Plus, you can configure the hosting environment to your exact specifications.

For example, if the physical server consists of 1TB storage and 16GB memory, then your website has full access to those resources.

In general, dedicated hosting is more expensive than VPS hosting. But you do get increased performance. So expect to pay around $199 per month for a dedicated hosting plan.

It’s best-suited to larger businesses and high-traffic websites that get over 500,000 page views a month. It’s also ideal if your business requires a high level of security, like a bank or ecommerce store.

Managed vs unmanaged options

It’s important to note that there are also managed and unmanaged options of VPS and dedicated hosting. Some hosts even offer both options so you can choose the level of service you want.  

So what’s the difference?

Well, similar to the differences between shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting, it boils down to deciding if you want additional help managing your server.

Here are some questions to ask yourself or your team:

  • Am I willing to maintain software updates?
  • Am I willing to apply server security patches to fix vulnerabilities?
  • Am I skilled enough to troubleshoot unexpected problems?
  • Am I available 24/7/365 in case the website suddenly goes down?

If you don’t have the skills, resources, or time to carry out these tasks, then you’ll need to opt for the managed service.

Pros and cons of VPS hosting

Now you know more about VPS hosting, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using a VPS hosting service.

Pros of VPS hosting

  • Pricing – VPS is more affordable than dedicated hosting.
  • Scalability – If you find your business is growing, you can quickly scale resources by asking for more storage and memory from your host.

Cons of VPS hosting

  • Security – If one virtual server gets hit by a virus, it will usually only affect the website(s) on that server. But in some rare cases, a “clever” virus might bypass the hypervisor, and spread to all the virtual servers on the physical server.
  • Configuration – If you choose an unmanaged VPS, it may be challenging to configure, and take you longer to get your website up and running.

Pros and cons of dedicated hosting

Now let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages of using a dedicated hosting service.

Pros of dedicated hosting

  • Resources – You have the entire server resources, so your website is fast.
  • Security – You don’t have to worry about other “bad websites” because you’re the only site on the server.  
  • Performance – You have more resources, so your site can deal with huge traffic spikes and still load quickly.
  • Configuration and customization – You have full access to all the server settings so you can customize the server to suit your requirements.

Cons of dedicated hosting

  • Price – It’s the most expensive type of hosting.
  • Scalability – It’s harder to scale a dedicated physical server as it’s already big to start with. If your business grows, it may entail moving to a larger server, rather than extending the resources you already have.
  • Technical skills – On an unmanaged plan, you’ll need skilled technicians to maintain and optimize the server. 

Best VPS hosting providers

Now you know the pros and cons, let’s take a look at three of the best VPS hosting providers in the market.

Liquid Web

liquidweb vps hosting

Liquid Web’s managed VPS hosting service is perfect when you want the power and control of a dedicated server, but also need to keep your monthly costs down. 

Liquid Web uses a Cloud VPS platform, which makes it easy for you to upgrade or downgrade the resources you require. For example, you can expand resources if you get spikes in traffic or scale it down during quiet periods. The added benefit is that you only pay for what you use. And the servers are ranked faster than AWS and Rackspace.

When it comes to support, Liquid Web’s highly-skilled technical support team is available 24/7/365 via phone, email, or chat. But you also get to choose the level of managed support you want:

  • Fully-managed – Provides all the support and assistance you’ll need.
  • Core-managed – Ideal if you only need a little help occasionally.
  • Self-managed – Best-suited to larger firms with fully-trained IT staff. 

Liquid Web’s VPS plans also include Cloudflare CDN, enhanced security with ServerSecure, built-in backups, and DDoS attack protection.

Price: Liquid Web managed Cloud VPS hosting plans start from $59/month (save 50% if paid yearly) for 2GB RAM, 40GB SSD Storage, 10TB Bandwidth, Unlimited Websites, and Free 100GB Backup.

A2 Hosting 

a2hosting vps hosting

A2 Hosting offers 3 levels of VPS hosting.

The Managed VPS plan is a 100% “worry-free” service where A2 manages your hardware, core server software, network, server security (patches and updates), and provides general troubleshooting. 

The Unmanaged VPS plan is a “hands-off” service where you get root access to configure your server to your exact needs, including the choice of operating system. This plan is ideal for developers or system administrators who want a fully customizable server.

The Core VPS plan combines the managed and unmanaged options to give you a managed VPS with root access.

Whichever option you go for, you’ll be able to host your site on a fine-tuned, blazing fast server with SSD storage, and a 99.99% uptime guarantee. Your account also includes the popular cPanel so you can access and manage your software, database, files, and email from a user-friendly control panel.

A2 Hosting provides comprehensive 24/7/365 phone, chat, and email support for managed plans and limited support on the unmanaged plan.

Price:   

  • Core VPS – managed VPS with root access – plans start at $25/month for 4GB RAM, 75GB Storage, 2TB Data Transfer, and Free SSL.  
  • Managed VPS – managed VPS without root access – plans start at $25/month for 4GB RAM, 75GB Storage, 2TB Data Transfer, and Free SSL. 
  • Unmanaged VPS – unmanaged VPS with root access – plans start at $5/month for 512MB RAM, 20GB Storage, and 2TB Data Transfer.

DreamHost 

dreamhost vps hosting

DreamHost offers a managed VPS hosting service that keeps your server running with the latest security patches, OS updates, and 24/7 technical support. All servers use SSD storage (20x faster than standard disk drives) and come with a 100% uptime guarantee.

The VPS includes DreamHost’s custom control panel, so it’s easy to set up and manage your websites. And each plan comes with loads of unlimited features like: 

  • Web hosting – Host an unlimited number of domains and sites. 
  • Bandwidth – No limits of the amount of traffic.
  • MySQL databases – Set up as many MySQL databases as you want.
  • SSL certificates – Free Let’s Encrypt certificates. 
  • Email accounts – Create unlimited email accounts. 
  • Reseller and Sub-Accounts – Create any number of sub-accounts to manage client accounts, access, and billing.

As your business grows, it’s quick and easy to scale your VPS with extra RAM and SSD storage in under 10 seconds.

Note: The managed VPS hosting doesn’t include full root access, so if you need that, you can choose DreamHost’s Unmanaged VPS Cloud offering.

Price: DreamHost managed VPS hosting plans start from $15/month ($10/month with a 3-year plan) for 1GB RAM, 30GB SSD Storage, Unlimited Websites, Unlimited Traffic, and Free SSL Certificate. 

Best dedicated hosting providers

Now, let’s take a look at three of the best dedicated hosting providers in the market.

Liquid Web

liquidweb dedicated hosting

Liquid Web offers a range of managed dedicated hosting services for you to choose from:

  • Fully-managed – Provides all the support and assistance you’ll need.
  • Core-managed – Ideal if you only need a little help occasionally.
  • Self-managed – Best-suited to larger firms with fully-trained IT staff. 

Each dedicated server is fully customizable and built-to-order with Linux or Windows, and also comes with SSD storage, DDoS protection, Cloudflare CDN, advanced security, and 24/7 proactive monitoring.

For developers and system admins, there’s also root access and a dedicated IP address.

When it comes to support, Liquid Web’s highly-skilled technical support team is available 24/7/365 via phone, email, or chat. 

Price: Liquid Web Managed Dedicated Hosting plans start from $199/month ($149/month with a yearly plan) for an Intel Xeon Quad-Core CPU, 16GB RAM, 2 x 240GB SSD Storage, 1TB SATA Backup Storage, and 5TB Bandwidth. 

A2 Hosting

A2 Dedicated Managed Hosting

A2 Hosting offers a premium managed dedicated hosting service that includes a 24/7 server monitoring system, support team available 24/7 and full boot and reboot controls over your server. Plus, there’s also a 1-click setup for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and other popular content management systems.

The high-class dedicated servers are located in secure data centers worldwide. And you have the option of adding a performance booster in the shape of their Turbo Boost feature which gives up to 20X faster page loads and more efficient connections for £26.94/month.

Other features include WHM and cPanel control panels, 2 dedicated IPs, and Cloudflare CDN. And for developers, there’s SSH access and MySQL 5.6 and PostgreSQL 9.6 software. 

If you’re a developer and want to be able to configure your server, then A2 Hosting offers unmanaged servers, and also core servers if you want to have root access.

Price: A2 Dedicated Managed Hosting plans start from £109.03/month on the Sprint plan for an Intel Core i3, 8GB RAM, 2x500GB storage, and 10TB Bandwidth.

TSOHost

TSOHost offers a fully-managed dedicated hosting service, which saves you hiring a technical team. Their expert support team is available 24/7 via live chat, phone or ticket, and takes care of everything from server maintenance and OS updates to security patches.

The blazing-fast dedicated servers are housed in their secure UK data center and include a powerful software firewall to prevent unauthorized access. They also include advanced features like a Memcached memory caching system and custom PHP modules. 

The servers come equipped with SSD storage and configured with RAID technology for immediate failover. And all plans include daily backups (stored for 30 days) with a 1-click restore feature.

Price: TSOHost Managed dedicated hosting plans start from £249/month (£229/month with a yearly plan) for an Intel Xeon Quad-Core CPU, 16GB RAM, 2 x 300GB SSD Storage, and 2000GB Bandwidth. 

Wrapping up

Both VPS hosting and dedicated hosting offers a significant upgrade from shared hosting. And most hosts offer the option of managed or unmanaged so you can tailor the level of support you need.

VPS hosting offers the scalability to grow with your business, while dedicated hosting offers super-fast, single-tenant servers for those at the top of their game.

Take your time to weigh the pros and cons of each hosting service and see which one best fits your requirements.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.

VPS vs Dedicated Hosting
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