Knowledgebase: Products
VPS Hosting- What Is Virtual Private Server {Absolute Guide 2019}
Posted by Daniel Naval, Last modified by Daniel Naval on 06 May 2019 09:09 PM

When you’re looking for a hosting solution to support your website, a virtual private server(VPS) provides many advantages over common shared hosting. VPS is more secure, stable, and customisable solution for your website. Here’s what you need to know.

What is VPS Hosting?

A VPS hosting plan provides you control over an allotted portion of a physical server. Your resources will include your own operating system to manage software and hardware resources.

A VPS, no matter which host server it’s created on, will function as if it was a separate physical server. Unlike shared hosting, your site will have sole access to its OS and resources so that problems with other sites don’t impact your performance or security. You have control over your VPS for setting up and installing any features you choose.

Most people decide on VPS hosting because it will provide greater resources and reliability than a shared account. You also have the freedom to make the adjustments you need to optimise your unique visitor experience.

Think of a VPS as the bridge between limited shared hosting and a powerful, dedicated physical server. If you feel you don’t require a dedicated server, VPS is the cost-effective alternative. Also, managing a VPS can teach your many of the skills you might need later if you decide to move up to dedicated hosting.

How Does VPS Hosting Work?

A VPS hosting plan includes an independent server with its own OS and assigned hardware resources. It just exists as a software-defined portion of a larger physical server. With shared hosting, you can’t access the server’s root OS and have no control over how it’s utilised. However, each VPS is able to fully access it’s allotted share of RAM, disk space, and CPU.

The larger server is divided up into distinct compartments so that different VPS clients can’t access or even “see” each other’s websites or resources. Each VPS OS is limited to its partition so that it’s capable of functioning independently without outside influence. Unlike shared hosting, you get exactly the resources you’re paying for, no matter what other VPS sites on the same machine are doing.

You also have root access to your own OS just as it was a separate physical server. Technically you’re sharing server resources, but every VPS functions with complete autonomy. This gives you full control over how your website’s files and applications are set up and configured.

A VPS offers far more flexibility than shared hosting, but at a lower price than a dedicated server. Hardware benefits like SSD drives can provide high-level performance, while your choice of OS can provide greater freedom in the software you want.

Advantages of VPS Hosting

Hosting your website on a virtual machine, not a physical server, provides a number of advantages over shared hosting.

Stability – The activities or traffic spikes of other VPS clients on your server will not affect your website operations.

Performance – Having a private allotment of resources enables your visitors to experience consistently faster load times.

Dedicated Resources – VPS hosting plans provide you more disk space, processing, and RAM than a shared account.

Flexibility – You have your choice of operating systems to create your own custom software solution.

Root Access – Root access grants you complete control over your VPS account from operating system configurations to software add-ons. It’s an ideal solution if you want to develop your own apps and features.

Management and Support – As a virtualized server, VPS hosting requires you to manage your own website environment. Guidance and support are essential if you lack the technical skills you’ll need.

Remote Access – You also typically get KVM tools for remote administration of your server from wherever you happen to be, at home, in the office, or on the road.

Server Monitoring – A VPS provider can monitor its network and the server your account resides on. This ensures physical security, high uptimes, and helps defend your site against cyber threats.

Multiple Domain Hosting – Many shared hosting plans will also allow the use of multiple domains, however, fewer resources will limit this option or affect speed. VPS hosting is more reliable and flexible for managing multiple domains.

Data Backups – VPS plans often include data backup services. Although this may be provided with shared hosting plans, backups and restores will be much quicker and more reliable from a virtual server, allowing you to take more confidence in your site’s business continuity.

VPS hosting is engineered for those want more control but without the hassle of managing a dedicated server. However, this type of hosting still provides you with an inexpensive way to design and manage your own customisable web server environment.

Disadvantages of VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is a great alternative to having the advantage of a dedicated server at a lower cost. However, you may find some problems with VPS hosting that you normally don’t worry about with shared hosting.

Cost – The major disadvantage to VPS solutions is the cost. It’s more expensive then shared hosting so the cost could be prohibitive for tightly-budgeted individuals or new businesses. For sites that don’t actually need the extended benefits of VPS hosting, this could be needless overhead that might better be applied to other aspects of site ownership, such as marketing.

Stability – While VPS hosting is more reliable than shared hosting, it is not as stable as a dedicated physical server.

Limitations – VPS is still not as secure, customisable, and stable as dedicated hosting. If you must have maximum control and resources, and you can afford it, a physical server might be a better investment.

Before committing to a VPS, ask how many other virtual servers will exist on the same machine, and a full explanation of pricing policies and services.

VPS vs Other Types of Hosting Services

VPS vs Shared Hosting

As the cheapest and simplest option, shared hosting is best for beginners and smaller websites. Depending on the size of the server hard drives and allotted space, there could be thousands of other websites existing there. These accounts are sold at a low price because the host can distribute the cost of maintaining the server over multiple accounts. However, they all share the same resources.

Think of a shared account as a single unit in a large apartment building where everyone has their own space, but must share the electricity, water, AC, and so forth.

Think of a VPS as more like a condominium. You may have to live alongside your neighbours, but there are fewer of them and whatever resources you’re allowed are yours alone to use as you want. If another website has traffic spikes or crashes its OS, yours is unaffected.

VPS vs Dedicated Hosting

Having your own dedicated server is more like having your own house. Nothing is shared with anyone else and you can change whatever you like. You have more physical resources, greater privacy, and a more stable environment.

You’ll also have a greater burden in managing the dedicated server hardware and OS. With a physical server, there’s always a chance of hardware failure that will bring down your site until the host can repair and reboot the server. A VPS could be easily migrated to another available server.

Making the right choice will vary between hosts. You will most likely be able to find a high-end VPS that gives you more resources than a low-end dedicated server, but still at a reduced price. Options like SSD drives and processing power might also affect your choice one way or the other.

In conclusion, the form of hosting you choose for you site is entirely dependent on your needs and budget. Sometimes shared hosting isn’t enough for your needs, and dedicated hosting is excessive. But VPS hosting gives you the best combination of affordable shared or powerful dedicated solutions. There is also the modern type of VPS known as virtual cloud hosting. These are virtual solutions that can utilize the resources distributed across a network of multiple physical servers rather than just one. Cloud hosting provides an ideal combination of price, security, and reliability.

UKHost4U provides a range of web hosting services. If you need a website solution offering more stability and performance than shared hosting, but without high costs, a VPS could be the right option for you. You get the benefits of your own dedicated server without the financial and technical burdens that go with use of a physical server. With any of our VPS plans you get free set up and support, unlimited traffic, SSD drives, and a six-month discount.

To find out more about our VPS services, call us at 0330 088 5790 or +44.131 541 23 28 or email questions to: sales@ukhost4u.com.