This is a very simple question with a very simple answer. If you’ve delved into the world of hosting, then you’ve probably heard about shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. These are the three main types of hosting services that one can avail from a hosting company. You’ve probably used shared hosting services before and are looking for an upgrade to your current server and you’ve read that a VPS hosting is the next logical step. So, now you are looking for info about VPS. You’re in the right place.
VPS stands for virtual private server. It has the features of a dedicated server while still technically works like a shared server at its core. It is virtual because it is an instance of a virtual machine running alongside many other virtual machines in one powerful server, private because although it works like a shared hosting service would, your resources are fixed, yours and only yours meaning that no matter how much traffic your neighboring site gets or how many backups and background processes your other neighbor does, you won’t get affected in terms of performance (very little and unnoticeable if there is), vice versa.
If we can compare hosting services to real estates, shared hosting can be considered as renting a house with other people, you share most of the things within the house. VPS can be considered as owning a condo unit, you share the same building with other people, but you have your own space, where you can do almost anything you want, add and remove things, etc. while dedicated hosting is like buying a full house to yourself, you can do all the things you want to it (except for illegal things).
VPS vs Shared
Shared hosting is usually the very first step taken by aspiring webmasters, here they’ll learn the basics of web hosting, how DNS works, the name servers, and start basic web development and design. They can also study CMS like WordPress, Joomla, Open cart and others. Shared hosting services are the cheapest, but they offer very basic performance, customization, and control.
VPS, on the other hand, is essentially a shared server, but this time, you have your own share of resources. Control and customization levels are higher as you can choose which software you want to install to your VPS. Having your own fixed amount of resources will allow you to do much more, like developing a more complex web application, run a high traffic website, run a highly customized WordPress install and more.
VPS vs Dedicated
VPS, like what we learned earlier is more powerful than shared. Though VPS and dedicated servers are almost the same in features and functionalities, a dedicated server extends it further by allowing you to install even the operating system you’d want. In a VPS environment, you can choose a preinstalled OS and is the reason why there are windows VPS and Linux VPS choices in many hosting providers. In a fully customized dedicated server, you have more control, as if you just bought a new computer and you will be the one who will set up its software from the ground up. Less tech-savvy customers have the options to choose a packaged bundle, though, if they lack the experience and/or the time to configure their own dedicated server.