Virtual Private Servers (VPS) reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting providers offer access to computer servers with rentable virtual machines (VMs) that act as if they were each a unique server in and of itself. VPS hosting is a type of website hosting used to host websites in scalable virtual environments within a partitioned server. Through VPS hosting, multiple virtual instances can reside on a single server without interfering with other server residents’ website performance. VPS hosting is used by organizations that require more server resources than are offered in shared hosting plans, but do not wish to pay for the sole use of a server for dedicated hosting. Overarching server resources, such as available CPU, RAM, and Internet bandwidth, are shared by all accounts hosted on the server, while some portions of those resources are reserved for each VPS user. VPS hosting providers use server virtualization software to create each virtual instance within a single physical server, and often provide support for a variety of content management systems, web frameworks, and control panel software.
To qualify as a VPS provider, a service provider must:
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Virtual private servers (VPS), in general, are simply servers that a company can use but does not need to build or operate. These virtualized servers are owned and maintained by hosting providers. Such companies sell virtual space within their data centers for private use by customers.
VPS providers allow their customers to share their infrastructure by running a hypervisor on their on-premises servers. The hypervisor facilitates the creating, deployment, and release of copies of an operating system where each individual operating system is a VPS.
What Does VPS Stand For?
VPS stands for virtual private servers. The servers are deployed remotely in a provider’s data center, which is why they’re referred to as “virtual”. The virtual server operates as a standalone server with the customer as an administrative “super user” with root access to the server. The servers then allow customers to run instances that allow them to deploy, maintain, and manage applications.
The following are some core features within VPS that can help users deploy, manage, and optimize VPS environments:
Hosting: Hosting services of VPS allow customers to host an account on virtualized servers. The overall server resources are shared across all accounts, while some portions of those resources are reserved for each account.
Control panel: In a VPS, a control panel integrates hosting plans with either open-source or proprietary web hosting control panels. This helps to provide customers with a graphical user interface (GUI) that facilitates access to additional web hosting management features.
Supported operating systems: Various operating systems have their own strengths and weaknesses with respect to performance, security, and integration. Some VPS offerings allow customers to choose from multiple supported operating systems while others only support one.
Graphing capabilities: Graphing features allow users to communicate complex information clearly and effectively through advanced graphical techniques. These features of VPS help visualize networks, workflows, and performance indicators.
One-click apps: One-click apps within a VPS are typically cloud-native applications with prebuilt integrations. These tools allow users instant additional functionality depending on the deployed application.
Security and distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection: Security features like DDoS protection helps defend against DDoS attacks and other cyber threats. Other security features within the VPS assist in managing configurations, protecting data, and maintaining compliance.
Monitoring and analytics: Monitoring and analytics features allow users to observe environments at all times and customize analysis with granular or individually specific metrics that are pertinent to the business’ relevant resources.
Load balancing: Load balancing capabilities of a VPS help to manage and control high peak web traffic by distributing network traffic evenly. This feature helps to optimize performance and ensure availability during high-demand times.
Backup and recovery: Backup and recovery features provide backup functionality to store and protect redundant data sets and protect and restore a database. Recovery features will help revert systems in the case information is deleted or destroyed.
Some important benefits of VPS solutions include:
Lower barrier to entry: Virtual servers offer a lower barrier to entry than traditional on-premises servers because they negate the initial investment in physical infrastructure. This allows smaller companies to utilize server functionality without needing the server itself.
Flexibility: If a company is purchasing or has purchased physical servers, it will be much harder to justify altering the infrastructure of the applications. Inversely, companies running virtual servers can add and subtract servers and only pay for what they use.
Deployment speed: Companies utilizing virtualized servers can set up and deploy virtual servers much faster than they would physical servers. This will be especially true if the company is utilizing a managed VPS service, which offloads most IT management and maintenance responsibilities.
Alternatives to VPS can replace this type of software, either partially or completely:
Virtual private cloud (VPC) software: VPC technology is similar to VPS in that it uses third-party infrastructure and shared, fixed resources, but most VPC offerings can manage numerous servers and virtual machines to build their own cloud services rather than a single VPS.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): Both VPS and IaaS can be used to create individual servers, but IaaS has a significantly larger scope. IaaS operates with pay-per-use pricing and in many cases can virtualize entire data centers.
Managed hosting services providers: Many managed hosting services providers offer VPS hosting, but they also offer various additional services for hosting websites, dedicated servers, and cloud environments.
Software solutions such as VPS can come with their own set of challenges.
Shared responsibility: The shared responsibility model makes it clear that the VPS provider will ensure the security of the server itself, but securing any other information processed on the server is the customer’s responsibility. So companies with high compliance requirements, inexperienced security teams, or little experience managing complex computing environments might benefit from a managed service paired with protection services.
Performance challenges: Many VPS solutions run on shared machines, unlike dedicated servers. This can cause a few issues. Each additional virtual server running on a single physical server will slow performance. It will also impact scalability, performance consistency, and storage capacity.
Generally, VPS solutions will be used by companies that are too big for shared hosting offerings, but not large enough to invest in physical or dedicated servers.
Growing startups: VPS solutions are ideal for growing startups that have surpassed the usage of shared hosting solutions and do not own or have access to a dedicated server.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and software companies: Many companies utilize VPS solutions to build software testing environments for new applications. This is more secure than other environments and often does not require the capacity of a dedicated server.
The first step to purchasing a VPS solution is to outline the options. Companies should be sure whether they need a managed, shared, or dedicated solution. Additional and possibly obvious requirements should also include budgetary considerations, staffing limitations, and required integrations.
Create a long list
Once the requirements are outlined, buyers should rank the tools by priority and identify the ones with as many of the features that fit the budget window. It is recommended to restrict the list to products with desired features, pricing, data center locations, and deployment methods to identify a dozen or so options. For example, if the business needs a managed VPS service for less than $10k a year, half of the options will be eliminated.
Create a short list
Once the long list is limited to affordable products with the desired features, it’s time to search for third-party validation. At this point, for each tool, the buyer must analyze end-user reviews and analyst reports. Combining these specified factors should help rank options and eliminate poorly performing products.
With the list narrowed down to three to five possible products, businesses can reach out to vendors and schedule demos. This will help to get first-hand experience with the product, ask targeted questions, and gauge the vendors’ quality of service.
Choose a selection team
To choose a selection team, decision makers need to involve subject matter experts from all teams in the company that will use the system. When purchasing VPS software, this selection team primarily involves IT managers, developers, and security staff. Any manager or department-level leader should also include individuals managing any solution the backup product will be integrating with.
Depending on the maturity of the business, the seniority of the negotiation team when buying VPS solutions may vary. It is advisable to include relevant directors or managers in the security and IT departments as well as from any other cross-functional departments that may be impacted.
If the company has a chief technology officer (CTO), that individual will likely make the decision. If not, companies must trust their security professionals’ ability to use and understand the product.
There are three main variables that determine the cost of a VPS solution: managed services, usage, and server dedication. Managed services will cost more than pure-play VPS offerings as they typically come with implementation, maintenance, and management services. Usage factors will vary depending on the standard monthly prices along with disk space, data transfers, and memory usage. Dedicated servers will cost more, but they guarantee additional performance speeds, storage space, and uptime as customers will not be sharing an individual server.
The managed service versus pure-play VPS hosting solution dichotomy will be the most important factor to be considered for ROI. Managed services will likely have a slower ROI because of additional continued costs. VPS hosting solutions will be less expensive initially but will require additional staff for continued management and maintenance.