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How to find web hosting that meets my requirements?

What is the difference between virtual private server and dedicated hosting for my website?


3 Answers 3


A Virtual Private Server is where you are running a virtualised OS sitting on top of shared hardware - so you're probably sharing the physical machine with a number of other servers.

Dedicated Hosting is where you are renting the entire server, and get all its resources to yourself.

That's why VPS is usually a lot cheaper than Dedicated, because the host can effectively sell one server 8 or more times, taking up much less rack space, etc, for the same price as one dedicated server.


They both have pros and cons.

A Virtual Server gives you the ability the easily change (scale) the hardware on the fly without having to touch a physical machine. Most hosting companies allow you to expand the RAM, provision more CPU and add additional disks or expand existing disks. Which requires restarting the (virtual) machine, but that's all the downtime you experience. The cons to this is that your VPS shares physical hardware with other peoples VPS's. So if you have some particularly "bad neighbours" who are doing really disk intensive work you might notice poor performance.

The pros to having dedicated hardware are you know exactly what is happening and why on your box. If the disk is taking a thrashing, that's your fault, and you probably know why, or at least have the ability to stop it. The cons are, you have to pay for actual hardware, which is eventually going to get out of date. Upgrading the box requires a visit to the data centre and a bit more downtime while you unscrew the case and mess about inside.


It depends on the host. Often a "Virtual private server" will be essentially fully managed hosting with no access to the operating system, or it could mean that you have root access to the server.

Typically with all hosts "Dedicated" means that you get full access to the server to modify the OS as you please. Dedicated also means that you have hardware that you'll be the only one using, whereas "Virtual Private" means you are sharing hardware with other customers.

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