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VPS vs Dedicated Server: Which Form of Web Hosting is Right for You?

July 26, 2012
by Jonathan Watkins

The competition between Virtual Private Servers and dedicated servers to lure customers to their service is a closely contested one. Both have earned their way to being included in the final two and maintain the necessary attributes to beat their opponent to the sale. But up against each other which form of hosting prevails and which has to settle for runner-up?

VPS maintains the characteristics of an all-rounder, with desirable functions at an equally desirable price. Its selling point is that it provides a bridge between the two book-end forms of hosting; shared and dedicated.

The latter of these boasts by far the best capabilities making it the strongest performing server; however the price is its detriment. Performance here comes at a cost, with speed, space and security warranting a high price.

With the basic shared hosting being a simple and cheap server, the consideration for larger websites experiencing more traffic comes down to the finale of VPS and dedicated servers, so let's take a look at how they match-up.

A Server Dedicated to you

This model can be utilized by individuals and small - medium sized businesses alike. Its capabilities are its forte and if price is not an option, then this is the hosting that you want to back. By using this server that is quite literally dedicated to you, worries of security breaches from others sharing the server will be absent from your concerns. Also removed is the risk of other website's traffic interfering with the speed of your site, and any malfunctions they may suffer that will have a knock-on effect to the server.

While VPS offer some of the functions that dedicated servers do, it is likely to be a toned down version, be it less speed, space or power. The hook of a dedicated server is that it is fully customizable by the owner. Unlike any other form of shared hosting, if you need to reboot the server, then the decision is solely the users'.

Customization is a vital component for a large and busy websites; this can be due to selecting your required software to installing any required applications. While shared servers will allocate resources and designate which apps can be installed, those opting for a dedicated server need not worry about being granted permission to make changes.

A dedicated server possesses the power, speed and performance, with every specification beating its competitors, including hard drive capacity, memory and processing power. Through utilizing a single server rather than sharing, websites will benefit from privacy, no interference and high performance.

Private Serving and Money Saving

The tagline of a VPS sale should be, "acts like a dedicated server for a fraction of the price." Despite technically sharing the entire server, a VPS is run in its own segment without coming directly into contact with any other websites. As opposed to a dedicated server, there are other users on the account, but you are allocated your own allowance of resources and services without having to share with others.

The restrictions also related to shared hosting are also loosened slightly with a VPS. As the server is technically owned by the user, there is more freedom of what you can do with it. Along with guaranteed resources throughout the day, there are also backup resources if your server is experiencing heavy traffic. Also, as with a dedicated server, due to you operating it solely, if you need to reset the server, just flip a switch and the job is done.

While the price will be substantially lower than a dedicated server, be aware of paying too little as this package may not offer sufficient resources for your website. You need to find a cheap service that also gives you all your requirements to run a quality website.

Decision time

Now you're educated and informed on both these servers, you need to decide which is for you. If you are price conscious then VPS may be for you; however you need to make sure your website can utilize this server as larger sites may require the specifications of a dedicated server. If performance is your key and money less of a concern, then a fast, reliable and secure dedicated server is the right move for you.

There is no overall right or wrong answer with servers; it is down to a case-by-case basis. There is a need to evaluate and analyze both solutions in order to make an informed decision as opting for an unsuitable package could cost you in the long run. Investigate the offerings from different providers, and pick the service that will be best for your website. If the decision is still troubling you, then check out some of the higher-end VPS packages and the lower priced dedicated servers, where the prices and specs will be more similar.

About Author
Jonathan is a senior writer covering web hosting and tech news on FindVPSHost.com. Jonathan graduated from the University of Brighton with a BA (Hons) in Journalism and has been working for various websites, magazines and newspapers.

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