What is a Virtual Private Server (VPS) and What Can I Use it for?

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A Virtual Private Sever (VPS), can be used for multiple different reasons. A virtual private server is the next step up after shared hosting. If you find your website being slow or lacking in performance, you might want to consider upgrading to a VPS. In this blog post we will explain what a VPS is and the benefits with an overview to see if it makes sense for your online goals.

How does VPS Hosting differ from Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is the appropriate choice for most small businesses. The drawback of shared hosting is that the server resources are shared. This means if your website has a sudden influx of users, you may be short on resources to handle that increase, as other websites on the same server are also using those same resources that you are utilizing. While shared hosting also ensures there is a certain amount of resources allocated for you, VPS hosting typically has more resources with less people sharing the same server space, making VPS hosting more reliable. The resources of hosting include RAM, CPU cores, disk space and bandwidth. Ultimately, with VPS hosting, you are given a portion of the server all to yourself with a certain number of resources.

How does VPS Hosting Work?

With VPS you can be assured that other sites will not affect the performance of your site. VPS works through a process called virtualization. Virtualization technologies is what allows for one server to be broken down into smaller isolated servers. More specifically, it allows for different operating systems to be ran on one server meaning one VPS can use a Windows operating system while a different VPS can use Linux operating system.

With VPS you eliminate the concept of a noisy neighbour. A noisy neighbour is known as someone who uses a lot of the server resources resulting in slow performance on your own site. This is why some sites lack performance and speed when they are on a shared hosting plan. You essentially get a fraction of a dedicated server for the fraction of the price making VPS the next step up after shared hosting.

What are the Benefits of VPS?

The first and most obvious benefit of VPS hosting is improved performance. Compared to shared hosting, you will find your website loading faster and has overall better performance. VPS hosting equips your site to handle more traffic as you have more resources and bandwidth to handle that traffic.

VPS hosting is also a lot more secure than shared hosting. As your website increases in popularity, so will the security threats. VPS hosting has higher levels of security and protects you from other sites using the same server. You can also choose to implement security hardening protocols only making it stronger against security threats. Some security protocols include malware scanning and managed web application firewall.

A VPS is also highly portable; because VPS uses virtualization technologies your server is not bound to physical hardware. Instead, you have the option of moving that server to a different server. For example, if a business has a VPS in Vancouver and notices that all their customers are from Toronto, they can move the VPS to Toronto to provide a faster experience for their target audience. With dedicated hosting that is not possible as the operating system, typically Windows or Linux, is downloaded straight onto the hardware.

Server access and customization is another benefit of VPS hosting. You will have the opportunity to choose the operating system and build the configuration to what best suits your site. You have much more control over your portion of the server. Finally, VPS might be the best value for your budget as you are getting the basics of a dedicated server without the price of it.

What Can I Use a VPS for?

  • High Traffic Websites: Websites with a high number of traffic and more content will feel much more responsive on VPS hosting. Moreover, VPS hosting typically provides more uptime as it is more reliable than shared hosting.
  • Game Server: You can set up online server to play with your friends in popular games such as CS: GO, Minecraft and World of Warcraft.
  • Hosted Email: Businesses can set up their own email hosting rather than paying Microsoft or Google. Hosted email will require a little more technical knowledge, but still can be a great option if you are looking for more customization and control.
  • VPN: As internet fraud increases so does the threat of your information being stolen. VPS hosting can be configured to be used as a VPN and protect your information, making browsing on public networks much safer.
  • Backing Up Data: Although you can use cloud services to back up your data, if you are using a VPS for anything else and have some extra space you will be able to back up your data as well.
  • Developing and Testing Code: Before you launch officially, you will need a space to test your code in a live setting. Whether it is an app or a website, testing on a VPS is a smarter choice than buying a dedicated server which is costly. A VPS provides you with an opportunity to identify any bugs before launching with an affordable price. Once you are confident in your code and ready to launch, you can then commit to a dedicated server rather than incurring high costs of dedicated sever while still in testing phase.

Overview

VPS hosting is far more beneficial than shared hosting. With a guaranteed number of resources, you will have better website performance, stronger security, and greater customization and control over your website. Moreover, it is also great for individual purposes such as email hosting, gaming servers and testing out code. The possibilities with VPS hosting are far greater than shared hosting while still being a relatively affordable option. If you find your current

hosting plan slowing down in performance, it could be due to the growth and traffic of your website which isn’t capable of performing on a shared hosting plan anymore. In this case, a VPS will be the best option, while still providing you with room to grow before upgrading to dedicated hosting.

If you are looking to get VPS hosting for yourself and have any other questions share them in the comments below or contact us.

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