Updated: September 14, 2016

Virtual Private Servers

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is a solid choice for small to medium-sized websites that require greater reliability and control than Shared Hosting, without the steep costs of a Dedicated Server. Compare the best VPS hosting plans below, ranked according to customer support, performance and value for money. 

Our list of hosting providers is based on:

  • Value of service
  • Performance
  • Technical support
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transparent
Money Back Guarantee
Bandwidth
Diskspace
Monthly Transfer
Ram
Control Panel
cPanel
With well over half of the Control Panel market share, cPanel is a name you can trust
Web Host Manager
The number one Control Panel for managing multiple hosting accounts
Database
Microsoft SQL
Relational database management system developed by Microsoft
MySQL
Open-source and Linux compatible, this is the preferred database choice of most webmasters
Oracle
Object-relational database management system produced by Oracle Corporation
PostgreSQL
Object-relational database management system with emphasis on extensibility and standards-compliance
Backend Control
Free Additional IP
Particularly useful if you are intending to purchase your own SSL certificate
Managed Server
Perfect if you just want to focus on your website and its content - leave the server stuff to someone else!
Full Access
With this feature, access to the root directory is granted, giving you total control of your server settings
Domain
Free Domain
A domain (i.e. www.yoursite.com) is included in the cost of the hosting plan. Free period can be anything from 12 months to forever
Private Domain Registration
Register your domain in the hosting provider's name, to protect your privacy
Site Transfer Service
Includes assistance in transferring your site over from another hosting provider
Easy-Install CMS/Blog
WordPress
Compatible with the industry-leading Content Management System (CMS) currently running over half of the world's websites
Drupal
This reliable and versatile Content Management System (CMS) is popular among business users
Joomla
Mobile-ready and user-friendly open-source website builder and content management system
eCommerce
Magento
An open-source, cross-platform PHP eCommerce solution
PayPal
Fast, secure way to send money, make an online payment, receive money or set up a merchant account.
Email
Anti-Spam
Hosting provider will actively shield you from spam emails
Anti-Virus
Protects you from harmful and malicious software, scripts or websites which can sometimes be received via email
Exchange
Mail server and calendaring server developed by Microsoft. Popular with big business
Webmail
Emails to your domain (i.e. yourname@yourdomain.com) can be accessed via a webmail interface such as Roundcube
Platform / Operating System
Linux
Compatible with various flavors of the Linux operating system - the industry standard in web hosting
Windows
Servers are compatible with Windows Server Operating System - essential for ASP.NET sites
Scripts and Programming
ASP.NET
Open-source server-side web application framework designed for producing dynamic web pages. Works on Windows Server only
JSP/Java
JSP (Java Script Pages) is a technology software developers use to create dynamically generated web pages using the Java programming language
PHP
Server-side scripting language designed primarily for web development but is also used as a general-purpose programming language
Technical Support
24/7 Support
Get assistance with your website any time, any day of the week
Security Features
Backups Included
For extra peace of mind, leave the backups to your hosting provider so you are covered for every eventuality
Free SSL Certificate
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protection encrypts data as it travels between your website and your visitors - essential for eCommerce
Miscellaneous Features
Green Hosting Provider
Green Web Hosting as an eco-friendly alternative to those who want to get their website online but don't want to contribute to ever-increasing pollution levels
Free Ad Credits
Use these online advertising credits to boost traffic and help your site get off the ground
Solid State Drives (SSD)
Widely recognized as superior to standard HDD hard drives, SSDs are more efficient and less likely to fail
 
$29.99 / month
12 month(s): $29.99/month
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90-Day
2 TB
60 GB
2000 GB
4 GB
Best Value
$14.99 / month
1 month(s): $14.99/month
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30-Day
1 TB
30 GB
100 GB
2 GB
Great Service
$40 / month
12-24 month(s): $40/month
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60-Day
Unlimited
50 GB
Unlimited
1.5 GB
 
$16.99 / month
24 month(s): $16.99/month
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30-Day
1 TB
40 GB
1000 GB
1 GB
 
$39.95 / month
1 month(s): $39.95/month
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30-Day
1 TB
25000
100 GB
 
$10.00 / month
1 month(s): $10.00/month
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No
Unlimited
20 GB
5 TB
1 GB
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What is Virtual Private Server (VPS) Web Hosting?

Virtual Private Server Hosting

The red website on the front server is contained within the
Virtual Machine (VM), represented here by a thick white line.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is storing your website on a shared server within its own Virtual Machine (VM), thereby allowing it more capabilities. VPS Hosting is seen as the bridge between Cheap Web Hosting (on a shared server with no VM) and hosting on a Dedicated Server - and the prices reflect this.

Virtual Private Servers utilize virtualization software to split a single physical server into multiple VMs, each acting as separate entities. Separate VMs within the same physical server are able to have their own operating systems and configurations. This provides a degree of customization and security comparable with that of the considerably more expensive Dedicated Server.

Break it down

It’s easier to understand VPS Hosting works if you look at the three individual words:

  • Virtual - In a technological context, it is the opposite of physical (i.e. it cannot be touched)
  • Private - Restricted, not publicly accessible
  • Server - A computer upon which websites are stored and made available to the Internet

Therefore, a Virtual Private Server is a non-physical computer which can only be accessed by certain people - i.e. you.

 

Pros and Cons of Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

Pros

  • Comparable benefits and experience to that of a dedicated server - greater security and flexibility compared with shared hosting
  • Affordable, and service can be scaled quickly
  • Root/administrator access
  • Choose your OS, upload and install your own software (within provider limits)
  • Web Hosting Provider maintains hardware

Cons

  • Less powerful than a Dedicated Server - constrained by the limitations of the physical server it occupies
  • Unmanaged plans require technical knowledge to take care of maintenance and security, and installation of operating system/applications

 

Further Information

The virtualization technology that makes Virtual Private Servers possible was borne out of a desire to maximize computing resources. Physical servers are expensive to buy and maintain, and they take up a lot of physical space. Despite this, data centers often have more hardware resources at their disposal than they’re actually using.

A type of virtualization software called a hypervisor adds an abstraction layer on top of the server hardware, allowing it to be split into multiple virtual servers. 

VPS Server Virtualization Infrastructure

In contrast with Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers do not interact with the other virtual servers in the host machine (hence 'private'). Like shared hosting, though, Virtual Private Servers use the resources (i.e. CPU, disk space, bandwidth) of the host machine. This is important to remember when deciding between VPS Hosting plans - the quality of the machine will still dictate the quality of the service.

Types of VPS Hosting

traditional vps server

Traditional VPS Hosting

Also known as 'bare metal VPS', 'standard VPS', or 'classic VPS', this refers to the virtualization of a physical server. Web hosting companies use these terms to differentiate from Cloud VPS Hosting.

Cloud VPS Hosting

Uses the same virtualization technology as 'Traditional', while leveraging the resources the Cloud to host over a network. 

Hybrid solutions that combine the best features of Traditional and Cloud VPS have also arisen in recent years. A Traditional VPS with cloud infrastructure guarantees uptime in spite of sudden traffic spikes, as well as facilitating migration and offering scalability as required.

Unmanaged VPS Hosting

For technical types, or those who prefer to do things themselves, there is unmanaged VPS Hosting. can be a dream come true. These plans give you full control over the VM being used to host your website. With this comes responsibility for installing the necessary operating system, software and control panel - ideal if you really know what you want and how to make it happen. 

managed vps hosting

Managed VPS Hosting

If you lack the confidence or technical knowledge to configure your own web hosting solution, or if you’d simply rather attend to other aspects of your business, a managed VPS Hosting solution is perfect for you. Your VPS hosting company will provide the virtual machine, and handle the setup, maintenance and backups on your behalf. 

 

Uses of a Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting plan

Aside from hosting websites, you could use a VPS for a variety of other interesting purposes? Having a VPS is like having a remote personal computer – and because it’s yours, virtually speaking, you can do things with it that you can’t on a shared hosting account, such as: 

Hosting games and other applications

vps server ideasMultiplayer games like Minecraft and many multi-user applications are very resource intensive, so why not use a Virtual Private Server? If you plan to host games and apps with numerous users, it is worth considering dedicated hosting or cloud hosting as these solutions may be more suited to the task than a VPS.

Testing and development

Virtual Private Servers are perfect sandboxes, or testing environments. Since each VPS is self-contained, you could run two Virtual Private Servers; one for hosting a live website or application and another for hosting its development version. This setup is more convenient than doing testing and production separately on two physical servers as updates can be quickly rolled out, and you can simulate different testing environments, such as Linux and Windows, on the same machine.

Backing up files

On shared hosting you’re normally not allowed to use the service for backing up your files, and even if you are, you could easily exceed your storage limits. In contrast, you could use any extra space in your VPS for this purpose without issues.

 

What to look for in a Virtual Private Server (VPS) Web Hosting plan

Bandwidth - how quickly can information travel in and out of your server? This will affect loading times experienced by your visitors.

Reliability - look for 99.9% uptime

Hardware - is the computer up to the task?

Storage - is there enough space for your website, both now and in the future?

Trial run - ensure you're getting the service you think you are.

Virtual space - How many VMs are housed per physical server?

Technical support - look for knowledge, availability and attitude.

 

Is Virtual Private Server (VPS) Web Hosting right for me?

is vps for me?If a Shared Hosting plan isn't enough, but you don’t need/want the additional resources and costs of a Dedicated Server, a VPS could well be the perfect solution, as it gives you more granular control while insulating you from the other sites sharing the physical server.

You can get a managed plan so the servers are taken care of by your web hosting provider, or go unmanaged to take full control of your VM.

Overall, VPS is a highly effective and customizable web hosting solution which offers terrific value for money. 

Get your VPS Web Hosting plan today!

If you are still unsure you can use our Hosting Wizard and Knowledge Base for more ideas, and Compare web hosting companies side by side.

Whatever you decide, Web Hosting Search is here to help you find the best deal!