Web hosting providers offer many different types of plans for various business and personal hosting requirements, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Most people start out with a basic shared hosting plan that lets them build a small website, but many outgrow this kind of limited hosting setup, especially when operating an online business. Many small business owners require more options and control over their hosting environment, but may not be ready to shoulder the commitment and expense of a dedicated server.
Between shared and dedicated hosting is virtual private server (VPS) hosting, which is significantly less expensive than a dedicated server and provides many more options for growing online businesses than shared hosting. Although they are sharing hardware, each VPS hosting account is assigned their own operating system so users can individually configure their server without disrupting the others.
There are five primary advantages to using a VPS account rather than a shared host:
VPS hosting provides the ability to manage an unlimited number of websites. Common hardware sharing issues are eliminated since each is utilizing its own software.
Virtual private servers have the same functionality as a dedicated server including custom firewall configurations, the opening and closing of ports, root access, customizable services and the freedom to reboot at any time. Also, with administrator privileges users are able to install software and configure permissions to fit their needs and custom applications.
Shared hosting is difficult to completely secure. If one account is hacked, all accounts on that server are open to damage. Since VPS accounts are isolated from one another, a security vulnerability within an account will not affect other accounts on the server.
Shared servers depend on the performance of other accounts. If one owner sends out mass-mails, this could overload the server negatively affecting all other accounts. On the other hand, since VPS accounts are independent they only use the resources dedicated to their account. A bad VPS neighbor only affects their own account.
Virtual private servers were created to support high-traffic websites, extensive database applications and resource hungry sites. At any time, users can upgrade or downgrade their service with minimal downtime. Overall, VPS accounts have become popular due to the amount of money saved over time as opposed to the other options available on the market.
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