VPS hosting is type of service provided by Web hosts. Providers may offer unmanaged or managed options. While they may be named differently, the underlying concept is the same.
VPS Hosting Meaning Explained
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a virtual computer system that runs its own own operating system (such as Linux or Windows).
The ‘virtual’ part of the phrase refers to virtualization technology which allows the emulation of functionality found in computer systems.
‘Private’ refers to the way that virtual machines can be isolated from one another. Even though they can be located on the same physical computer.
While the ‘Server’ part of the phrase refers to the ability for virtual machines to serve other computer programs or devices.
When you put all of these together, the term VPS hosting should make sense. It is a standalone server environment that allows you to make files, data, websites and other applications accessible via the Internet.
How a Virtual Private Server Works in Practice
In practice, a virtual private server functions pretty much the same way a dedicated server does. The main differences between them are that: a VPS is defined in software and; it is not a physical ‘bare metal’ machine.
As a webmaster, you might think of virtual private server hosting as a step up from shared hosting. Although your VPS may still share a server with others, the resources available to it (such as memory) are guaranteed.
This means that your virtual machine operates in isolation. It also means that your site security and performance are unlikely to be affected by other users on the same server.
VPS Hosting Advantages
Root Access – One of the main advantages of virtual private servers (over shared hosting) is that you will usually be granted root (or superuser) access. This means you have greater control. You can install any software you like and configure it to your liking.
Dedicated Server Features – In terms of functionality, a VPS is equivalent to a dedicated server. Root users have full control of the operating system and how the inner workings of the system operate.
Lower Pricing – VPS hosting costs less than physical, dedicated, servers with the same specification.
Low Initial Outlay – Monthly pay-as-you go terms are typical. Initial payments tend to be lower than many cheap hosting plans. Which require annual payments in advance.
Improved Security – Potential access to your files (which is a risk in shared hosting plans) is removed. You are in sole control of the operating system and it is not shared with other users or sites.
Guaranteed Resources – Dedicated amounts of memory, disk space, bandwidth and CPU are allocated to you. This means that, unlike shared hosting, your website speed and visitor access to it will not be affected by other users. A VPS often leads to faster page load times.
Scalability – As your website grows and more resources are needed, it is easy to upgrade to a more powerful environment.
Technical Knowledge Required – In unmanaged plans, customers administer their own VMs. This includes taking responsibility for backups, security patches and ongoing software updates.
If you have no desire to learn the technical aspects, consider paying a little more for a managed solution. Namecheap, for example, provides extra help with configuring core services, priority support and weekly backups as part of its fully managed option.
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