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Are there security disadvantages to using a shared hosting environment instead of a VPS or dedicated server? Could using a shared server or a VPS be considered negligence in the event of a security breach on a client's software?

For example, on some shared hosting I can see all the databases on the same server instance as me. I do not have permissions to access them, but I see their names in SSMS. Could a more experienced SQL Server admin use that as a good attack vector on my site that they would not have if I was using a VPS or dedicated server?

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2 Answers 2

I used to run my own webhost company so I know something about this, however, VPS is a newer feature though I used VPS scenarios while consulting to a global telecom during this period. So I will be working from this point of view.

A dedicated server and VPS are essentially the same for this discussion. This would give you appropriate control and assure (as much as it can be) that no other person can effect your security negatively.

However, a shared server can be very scary. If you are worried about security, then a shared server should not be used. In fact, for many e-commerce scenarios where a bank and/or insurance company is involved with your efforts, they will require that you do not use a shared server, have a dedicated IP address, and have a certificate that is private.

When I was hosting sites, I restricted certain apps from being installed and had agents that constantly checked sites for banned applications or unknown applications and automatically disabled them. I do not think any webhost is doing this.

On Monday, I found a site on a shared 1&1 server that was a hub for a trojan using port 80. This means that any web browser request to any site on the server, was captured and added to a blacklist. This is not something you want.

As well, even if security for your site is not violated using a shared server, if any site on the server acts badly, then the whole neighborhood (being the servers IP address and possibly the whole IP address class in this case) could negatively effect your site.

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If you're very worry about the security, you cant host your site with shared hosting provider. But, based on my experience, if you host your site with famous or reputable hosting provider, you dont need to worry about they will hack you/steal your fies/data. For example, I also host my .net site with shared hosting provider (asphostportal.com), and I dont need to worry about them. Why? Before I purchase their service, I definitely find their reviews first. I find so many good reviews about them, what else do I need to fear?

If you only host simple site, shared hosting is good to save your expenses. If your site requires high traffic and you need to guarantee the security on your files, then the best option is to choose dedicated server. With dedicated server, you have full priviledges to access the server and install the software that you want, but money talk here. hehe...

My advice is if you decide to choose shared hosting, you need to find their reviews first before register their hosting plan. You dont need to worry about the security. The reputable hosting provider will keep your files safely

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