What is a VPS and how does it work? Which are the best VPS?

VPS is a hosting service that divides a server into several virtual servers. Find out which are the best VPS on the market!

best vps

Nowadays, VPS is a must-have aspect for anyone trying to run their own successful website.

Whether you are a complete beginner or you already have some experience with managing websites, VPS hosting can bring you countless benefits – both on the technical side and on the financial side.

So let’s take a look at what a VPS actually is and how it works, as well as how you should choose a VPS to suit your needs.

At the end, we will also review several of the best VPS providers (+ a VPS that you can try for free even now).

What is a VPS?

VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a hosting service that divides a physical server into several virtual servers thanks to virtualization technology.

Each virtual server is separate from the others, has its own size of RAM and CPU and serves the user as storage for the web or for other private purposes.

How does VPS work?

VPS is essentially a simulation of a real, dedicated server, although it shares the resources of a single, physical server with others.

The VPS principle can generally be described as a certain virtual layer that lies on the server’s operating system with the help of virtualization technology.

This layer is therefore a server that is separated by “virtual walls” from other virtual servers and on which the user can install his own operating system or any software without other users having access to it.

Since VPS is a private virtual server, the user has a higher level of security and can use the reserved resources of the physical server (in other words – memory, RAM, CPU, etc.) for his own needs without other users “stealing” them.

Shared hosting vs. dedicated hosting vs. VPS

In order to fully understand how VPS works, it is necessary to characterize the other types of server hosting that are commonly used in practice and describe the differences between them.

The most common web hosting used are:

  • Shared hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • VPS hosting

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the most common form of server hosting for websites used by thousands of people around the world.

When buying shared hosting, the user shares important resources of the physical server (memory, RAM, CPU, etc.) with the rest of the users who also use the given server.

For a better understanding, we can use the analogy of living in a hostel – as a user, all you need is a place where you can live.

Although each user pays for housing himself, individual items of the apartment (bathroom, toilet, kitchen, energy, etc.) are shared with all people who live in the dormitory.

And although such housing may not bring a lot of comfort, its shortcomings are compensated by the very low price of housing – and the same applies to shared hosting.

The main advantage of shared hosting is its price – these types of services are mainly used by people who do not have a high budget.

All they need is a place where their websites can exist (or “live” 🙂 ).

On the other hand, however, this type of server hosting also brings several disadvantages – in the event that one of the users with whom you share the given server has too much load on his website in the form of a large number of visitors, this can significantly affect the performance and speed of your own website.

For this reason, shared hosting is recommended only for completely new websites, where you do not expect a huge number of visitors yet – all you need is to be online.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is the exact opposite of shared hosting – instead of having to share server resources with other users, you have your own dedicated server reserved purely for your website.

In other words – you live in a nice apartment by yourself and it belongs only to you – of course for a significantly higher rent for housing.

The price of dedicated server services is significantly higher than that of shared servers – but for a higher fee, you have 100 percent control over the server’s resources, which you can customize to your liking.

For this reason, dedicated servers are mainly recommended for websites that need high performance without any restrictions so that they run smoothly from a technical point of view.

VPS hosting

In a way, VPS hosting is a hybrid between shared and dedicated hosting.

Although with a VPS you share physical server space with other users, each of them has their own dedicated virtual space on it – this includes their own operating system, dedicated amount of memory, CPU and RAM resources.

This makes a VPS an excellent compromise that has the benefits of both a shared and a dedicated server: for a reasonable price, you can have a place for your website with the server resources you need for it, which are reserved just for you.

Why is it worth switching to a VPS?

1. Increased security

If you need more security features, more advanced monitoring functions or a better backup method and more reliable operation of your website, VPS is definitely worth considering.

A VPS is considered one of the best ways to secure your server (and website) while still having enough server resources available to run your website.

VPS are also recommended if you plan to implement any form of online payments on your website (since you need a high level of security and reliable performance for this).

2. Greater capacity

If you have just created your website and you do not expect too many visitors to your website, shared hosting is enough for the relatively smooth running of your website – otherwise, you should consider VPS.

With an unexpected number of visitors or users accessing your website, the performance of your website may slow down significantly or even a server failure may occur, which would simply be overloaded with a large number of people.

So if you expect more traffic on your site now or in the near future, you should consider switching to a VPS

3. Higher speed

VPS brings with it one great advantage compared to shared hosting – it prevents the slow down of loading content on your websites that may eventually occur.

If your website grows quickly and has too much content, the RAM memory on your server will gradually become more and more crowded with data.

With shared hosting, overload may occur, or reaching the maximum capacity of the given server, which will subsequently significantly slow down the loading of your pages for users.

For this reason, it is recommended to consider whether you will need to switch to a VPS if your website starts to grow more and more along with its content.

4. Customizable interface

In general, shared hosting is recommended for users who use popular CMS platforms such as WordPress for their websites.

However, if you need to install your own software on the given server or configure the server according to your own ideas, shared hosting will no longer be enough for you.

For this reason, VPS hosting is also recommended for programs that deal with tax systems, accounting or other interactive programs that need server flexibility as well as high-speed Internet.

5. Better server reliability

If you often encounter errors such as “Service Unavailable” or any 50X errors that relate to the internal systems of the server, it is likely that this is a problem with the hosting and its services – this is especially true for shared hosting.

For this reason, it may be better to switch to a VPS and avoid these errors in the future.

6. Reasonable price

Although all of the above-mentioned problems you may encounter can be easily switched to a dedicated server, one problem cannot be avoided even with them – and that is the price.

Dedicated servers offer excellent services, but at a relatively high price, which can discourage many users.

VPS hosting is therefore a great compromise – you get a lot of benefits in contrast to shared hosting and at the same time you avoid high fees as is the case with dedicated hosting.

How to choose a VPS hosting plan?

When choosing the right VPS for you, it is important to realize what you need it for, what your “budget” is, what your technical skills are, and what kind of website you need the VPS for.

So let’s look at a few factors that can influence the choice of VPS hosting.

a) Controlled vs. unmanaged VPS service

When choosing VPS hosting, you usually have 2 options to choose from:

  • Independently managed VPS service
  • Managed VPS service

With a self-managed service, you are in control of the server administration, the solution of technical errors, the management of applications, software as well as the services that are connected to the given VPS.

On the other hand, unless you have a lot of administrative experience or lack technical skills, you should definitely choose a managed hosting plan where the provider takes care of your VPS itself.

b) Operating system

Although this point may seem unnecessary, it is not entirely true – some providers only offer the Linux operating system.

In that case, for anyone who needs Windows for some reason (for compatibility reasons), such VPS hosting may be completely useless.

Always review in detail what operating system the VPS service offers.

c) Reliability

When choosing a VPS hosting service, you should also look at its rating – definitely do not choose a VPS that has a user rating lower than 99 percent.

With a low rating, you’ll simply never be sure how reliable that VPS is.

d) Hardware

When purchasing a VPS hosting plan, be sure to make sure that the server has the latest and greatest hardware components – this includes, for example, the type of SSD, CPU, type of RAM, etc.

e) Customer support

Although it may seem like an unusual factor, 24-hour support can save you from unexpected server outages.

For this reason, be sure to check whether it is possible to solve technical problems with the VPS provider at any time it is necessary.

f) Backup

This point probably does not need to be discussed too much – data loss or extreme server failure is a common part of every website.

However, since such a problem can cost you a lot of money and time, you will certainly appreciate it if the given VPS provider also offers easy, fast and regular backup of all important data for you.

Top 10 best VPS

1. Bluehost

Bluehost VPS logo

Bluehost is considered one of the leaders in VPS hosting.

As part of its hosting plans, it offers a wide range of VPS services that can satisfy anyone who is just starting out with VPS hosting.

The main feature of Bluehost VPS is that it focuses primarily on beginners – and tries to help them.

With its massive content on the web, it provides knowledge for anyone interested in VPS hosting. Together with excellent customer support, it can help anyone who does not have the best technical knowledge about VPS hosting.

2. Hostgator

Hostgator VPS logo

HostGator is another popular VPS provider in the world.

Thanks to its excellent customer support, you can, for example, migrate your website and one hosting to HostGator for free.

Among other things, HostGator provides its clients with a reliable, multi-layer protection network against attacks as well as unlimited MySQL Databases, full root-access and 24/7 support in case of problems.

3. Friend

Kamatera VPS logo

Kamatare ranks among the most interesting VPS providers thanks to its unusual package of VPS services.

With Kamatera, the user does not choose a price package as such, but can independently set the exact settings of the server resources he needs to run the website.

Kamatera allows you to set not only the type of server but also the operating system, the control panel of your VPS hosting, etc.

4. Hostinger

Hostinger VPS logo

Hostinger is one of the cheapest VPS providers that offers its clients great services at a reasonable price.

Literally for a few euros, you can have a few GB of storage space, full root access or even customer support that will gladly help you day or night.

Of course, Hostinger offers several price packages, thanks to which it can help complete web beginners as well as more demanding clients.

5. HostPapa

HostPapa VPS logo

HostPapa is one of the fastest growing VPS providers in Canada and already hosts over half a million websites worldwide.

As a VPS, HostPapa meets practically all the criteria of a good hosting provider – it offers access to the root level for VPS, has a high server speed, as well as a large amount of server resources and also offers decent protection in the form of a server firewall.

6. Inmotion hosting

Inmotion hosting VPS logo

Inmotion VPS hosting offers 2 versions of its VPS services – managed and cloud.

The main advantages of this provider include a high level of control that the user can have, good protection against DDoS attacks or even an unlimited number of MySQL databases.

Inmotion hosting also offers an extremely large number of price packages of services, from which you can choose exactly according to your wishes.
In addition, this VPS provider offers a 90-day money-back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction.

7. Liquid Web

Liquid Web VPS logo

Although the Liquid Web brand is relatively unknown in the VPS world, its services also cover giants such as Toshiba, FedEx or even Warner Music Group.

Liquid Web is distinguished from the competition by its simplicity – the care of the servers is fully in the hands of the provider, who will solve any problem with hardware or network for you.

This philosophy is also reflected in the price packages of VPS hosting. Instead of some fancy names, the customer can directly read the price of VPS hosting along with all the important parameters for it.

8. Scala hosting

Scalahosting VPS logo

VPS providers usually provide a lot of resources according to their pricing packages – even though you don’t have to use them 100 percent.

But this does not apply to Scalahosting VPS.

This VPS provider offers the possibility to set the exact amount of server resources you need – and by “precise” we mean really precise.

When buying a plan, you can precisely set the number of processor cores along with the exact amount of RAM memory or even the amount of SSD disk that you will need.

Thanks to this, you have a wide space for configuring server resources, which you can set according to your wishes.

9. iPage

iPage VPS logo

IPage is a great VPS provider especially for people who are just getting started with VPS services.

Thanks to great customer support and a perfect interface, even absolute beginners without any coding knowledge can navigate it.

In addition, iPage also offers a drag-and-drop builder for creating a website, thanks to which you can get functional websites up and running really quickly.

10. A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting VPS logo

A2 hosting offers one of the fastest hosting you can find on the market.

The interesting thing about this VPS provider is that the price of the package does not increase with an unmanaged VPS plan with root access – which cannot be said for most of the competition.

This can be of particular interest to people who need more control over virtual servers with the possibility of custom configurations.

Free VPS

Although VPS services are not always cheap, in some situations you can save quite a lot of money without paying for them up front.

VPS providers often lure potential customers with various free trial versions for a certain period of time – 7, 15, 30 days, but sometimes more – or offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

And although you can’t avoid paying for a VPS in the end, you can certainly save at least some money this way and try out the VPS before you decide to switch to the paid version:

  • HostPapa – offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to new customers
  • IONOS – thanks to it you can try VPS hosting for free for 30 days
  • GreenGeeks – also offers a 30-day money back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction
  • Accu Web Hosting – provides a 7-day money-back guarantee for classic VPS hosting.
  • Woomhost – offers an interesting option of free VPS hosting on WordPress.
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