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1
InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $14.99

  • High-availability powered by the Cloud
  • FREE SSDs for 20x faster hosting
  • Includes cPanel and CentOS 6 Enterprise class Linux
  • Snapshot rollbacks for instant partition reversion
  • Get 50% off your first month (was $29.99, now $14.99)
  • Get started on InMotion now.

VPS
RATING

★★★★★
4.9

InMotion: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere.Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6, which is incredibly fast and... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameVPS Hosting Plans
90 days60GB - 200GB SSDNew or Transferwww.inmotionhosting.com/vps

2
Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $14.99

  • Choice of 2-4 cores and 4-16GB of RAM
  • Redundant storage and optional Sitelock security
  • Seemless switching from Bluehost shared plans
  • Endorsed by WordPress itself as their host of choice
  • Get 50% off your first month (was $29.99, now $14.99)
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

VPS
RATING

4.6
★★★★★

Bluehost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): When comparing the performance-versus-price of VPS plans, Bluehost is a solid value in VPS hosting. In addition to great pricing, they offer premium support and excellent uptime compared to other VPS options in the industry. If you’ve outgrown shared... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameVPS Hosting Plans
30 days30GB - 240GB SANFREEwww.bluehost.com/vps

3
iPage.com

iPage review

Monthly Starting Price $19.99

  • Includes cPanel
  • Instantly deploy, grow, and scale as demands increase
  • High-speed mirrored SAN storage
  • Pre-installed scripts: CGI, Perl, Rails, Curl, and more
  • Join today for 20% off your first term
  • Get started on iPage now.

VPS
RATING

4.6
★★★★★

iPage: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): If you are looking for affordable VPS hosting and cPanel support, iPage offers a great deal. It's perfect for those savvy enough to know they need VPS hosting, but who don’t have the time or skill to mess with a self-managed system. Their managed services... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameVPS Hosting Plans
Anytime40GB - 120GBFREE (for 1st year)www.ipage.com/vps

4
HostGator.com

HostGator review

Monthly Starting Price $19.98

  • Full root access
  • Redundant network with multiple layers of network security
  • Fully- or semi-managed options
  • FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
  • Use code HA30OFF for 30% off first month
  • Get started on HostGator now.

VPS
RATING

4.5
★★★★★

HostGator: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 7 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for their shared hosting options. Their VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those that are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameVPS Hosting Plans
45 days25GB - 3TBFREEwww.hostgator.com/vps

5
MediaTemple.net

Media Temple review

Monthly Starting Price $55.00

  • All-SSD servers, guaranteed resources, and auto-backups
  • 1-click installations of hundreds of scripts and applications
  • SLA that guarantees 99.999% uptime
  • Ultra-fast scalability
  • Use code AFF25HOST to get 25% off
  • Get started on Media Temple.

VPS
RATING

4.5
★★★★★

Media Temple: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): While more expensive than some hosts, MediaTemple's managed VPS hosting is second to none from a performance perspective. With an incredible amount of hardware for the price and fully-managed virtualized servers, they offer serious VPS hosting for serious... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameVPS Hosting Plans
30 days30 GB - 600 GB SSDNew or Transferwww.mediatemple.net/vps

6
FatCow.com

FatCow review

Monthly Starting Price $19.99

  • Instantly deploy and scale
  • Predictable monthly costs with no overage fees
  • Guaranteed RAM and resources
  • Fully-managed, monitoring site load and any issues
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Get started on FatCow now.

VPS
RATING

4.3
★★★★

FatCow: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): FatCow offers very customer-friendly VPS plans with a lot of storage for the price. If you are looking for a reliable host, with great support and a lot of disk space, give FatCow a serious look.FatCow’s VPS plans are all fully-managed and come with cPanel... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameVPS Hosting Plans
Anytime40GB - 120GBNew or Transferwww.fatcow.com/vps

7
JustHost.com

JustHost review

Monthly Starting Price $14.99

  • Guaranteed server resources from enhanced virtualization
  • Instant provisioning
  • Scalability from cloud technology
  • Feature-rich enhanced cPanel control panel
  • 24/7 technical support
  • Get started on JustHost now.

VPS
RATING

4.1
★★★★

JustHost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): JustHost is a mid-tier web host that has somewhat pricey VPS options given the amount of processing power that you get. With that said, their interface is extremely simple to navigate and their live chat and phone support team is very quick to... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameVPS Hosting Plans
Anytime30GB - 240GBFREEwww.justhost.com/vps

8
NetworkSolutions.com

Network Solutions review

Monthly Starting Price $40.00

VPS
RATING

3.8
★★★★

Network Solutions: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Aimed at tech-savvy users, Network Solutions offers reliable, yet minimal, semi-managed VPS services. While costing a little more for equivalent hardware on competing plans, each VPS plan is backed by the Network Solutions name, excellent support, and great... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameVPS Hosting Plans
N/A10GB - 50GBFREEwww.networksolutions.com/vps

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Choosing a Virtual Private Server: 5 Things to Know About VPS Hosting

Alexandra Leslie

Having trouble wrapping your head around VPS hosting? Would an in-depth guide to virtual servers help?

By: Alexandra Leslie, Tech Editor

Talking about all things hosting every day means terms like “VPS,” “virtual machines,” and the at-times nebulous (pardon my pun) “cloud” come up a lot in my day-to-day dialogue. Sure, we all love to talk up the scalability potential, and being able to “virtually” share space on multiple machines sounds like a great middle ground between traditional shared server hosting and dedicated options. Tons of major companies thrive on VPS hosting — for example, we at HostingAdvice love our VPS host.

Still, it’s one of those subject areas where everyone feels the need to toss around a lot of ill-defined marketing words.

If you had to explain the difference between virtual servers and cloud servers to a fifth grader, could you do it? I decided to test myself by covering all the basics (and not so basics) of this particular server niche.

1. What is VPS Hosting?

In short, a virtual private server (VPS) is just a physical server whose hardware has been divided into multiple partitions, each acting as its own server environment (a “virtual” dedicated server, or VDS).

As with any other niche in this industry, the companies selling “virtual” machine hosting, allowing sites to live online, are called web hosts.

What is a VPS? – Terms to Know

As you familiarize yourself with this market, you’re bound to come across some commonly used, easily confused terms. Let’s clarify, shall we?

  • VPS stands for Virtual Private Server: the physical server that’s been partitioned into several “virtual” servers, each acting independently of one another
  • VDS stands for Virtual Dedicated Server: an individual slice of the VPS that’s acting as its own server environment
    VM stands for Virtual Machine: this is a cloud server that’s actually a collection of servers backed by SAN storage (NOTE: Cloud hosting, or VM hosting, is NOT the same as VPS hosting… More on this later.)
  • Dedicated Virtual Server Hosting: another way of saying “VPS” or “VDS hosting”

FYI: Please don’t say “VPS server.” This is redundant. Saying “VPS servers” is like saying “virtual private server servers,” and that’s just silly.

“Virtual” Hosting vs. “Cloud” Hosting

Alright, we’re going to go a bit beyond the basics here. The distinction between cloud hosting providers and virtual private server hosting providers can be a tough one to grasp.

To compare the two, I’d like to throw it back to 10th-grade geometry: In the same way that a square can also be called a rectangle but a rectangle is not necessarily a square, a personal cloud server can also be a VPS but not all VPSs are cloud servers, necessarily.

The main differences you’ll see:

  • Scale: Since cloud providers allow you to take advantage of multiple machines, you get unlimited storage, mega bandwidth, and superior load balancing all on the fly.
  • High Availability: Cloud hosting offers high availability because if a single physical server fails, all data is seamlessly transferred to another physical server. VPSs don’t do that.
  • Price: With the added server power and flexibility comes added cost for cloud hosting.

While a VPS offers your site room to grow, a cloud server is known for offering on-demand resources. You can often pay for said resources by the hour, which has its perks, but this means you have to be vigilant about how long you keep your servers spun up.

What About “Managed” VPS Hosting?

Managing servers is time-consuming and technically demanding. It can be expensive to staff an entire team dedicated to maintaining hardware updates, monitoring security, and all in all keeping things online. With this in mind, some of the leading hosts offer their IT expertise to manage the infrastructure for you in addition to hosting VPSs. It’ll cost you a premium but, more than likely, also save you a priceless amount of headache. InMotion’s DV service is top-of-the-line when it comes to managed VPS hosting.

2. What are the Advantages? Who Uses It?

Alright, what is a private server from an end-user point of view? Let’s cover the perks, the downsides, and who’s typically using this particular hosting product.

At a very high level, VPS hosting is considered a bridge between shared and dedicated hosting. It’s often said that once your site “outgrows your shared hosting environment” — meaning you need more RAM, more storage, or the ability to accommodate higher traffic volumes — it’s time to consider a VPS.

That’s really the biggest benefit to migrating from a shared to a virtual server: Your site can grow to receive more visitors without you having to eat the higher cost and hardware responsibility of a dedicated server. VPS users are rarely first-time site owners or folks seeking a personal email server. Typically, the people using VPSs are those whose sites or apps are receiving upwards of 100,000 visitors a month.

3. Finding the Best VPS Plan for You

Let’s examine the features we looked for when conducting our VPS hosting comparison above. What separates the so-so from the best private servers? We found flexibility to be a common theme, and that begins with having your choice of operating system.

Linux VPS Hosting

Below are some of the buzzwords we look for when judging the best Linux server(s):

  • CentOS, Ubuntu, or Debian operating system
  • Linux-friendly software like CGI, MySQL, or Apache
  • 24/7/365 expert support
  • Managed security patches and updates
  • Uptime (preferably 99.99% or better)

Whether you’re hosting your increasingly popular website or you’re in need of a Linux backup server for secure storage, hosts like InMotion and Media Temple never cease to exceed expectations in terms of service.

Windows VPS Hosting

For those shopping for Windows server hosting, here are the things we look for:

  • Choice of Linux or Windows server, backups included
  • OS-friendly applications with easy management via cPanel
  • 24/7/365 expert support
  • SSH access with Windows SFTP servers
  • Uptime (preferably 99.99% or better)

If you’re wondering, ‘Windows or Linux: Which is for me?’ chances are you should go the Linux route. Only go the Windows way if you have a really specific reason for doing so (i.e., you’re going to be running some sort of software that’s not Linux-compliant). The vast majority of y’all are going to want to run Linux, so we’ve reviewed the top shared hosts for Linux and the top plans for Linux VPS hosting.

Top Cloud Providers

Since we’ve covered the differences between VPS hosts and cloud hosts, feel free to delve deeper into the nuances of what makes for the best cloud hosting providers here.

4. Finding Cheap VPS Hosting

The question of the hour: How much does VPS hosting cost? First, it’s important to remember that “the cheapest VPS” is not synonymous with “the best VPS.” It’s important to consider the overall value that a web host is offering.

Free Virtual Private Servers

There are VPS providers out there offering free hosting or a VPS free trial, and this can be great for gamers, part-time vloggers, or developers spinning up mini side projects from time to time.

If you’re serious about getting a site online and you’re expecting serious performance and/or traffic, you need to be able to pony up the cost of a decent plan. A cheap server rack can offer VPSs in the $15-a-month range, which is really not too extravagant, especially when you compare it to the cost of your average dedicated server.

Cheap Cloud Server Pricing

As I mentioned, cloud hosting can be a bit more expensive than VPS hosting, but if you opt for a shared cloud server, you can cut down on that expense significantly.

5. Common Confusion: Other “Cloud Service” Providers

Lastly, I’d like to clear up any confusion around similarly named terms. Especially with so many “cloud services” popping up these days, one can easily get lost in cloud-related phraseology amid all the acronyms with similar lettering.

Cloud Server Providers vs. Cloud Computing Services

A company selling or reselling cloud servers is different from a company offering various services that use cloud resources, e.g., cloud computing providers. This gets confusing because those providers may use what’s called a cloud computing server, but that’s just referring to the hardware they’re using to conduct their services.

VPS vs. VPN Hosting

Though only one letter off, a VPS service is very different from VPN hosting. First off, VPN stands for virtual private network, which is a collection of Internet protocols that allow you to send and receive data anonymously. This allows you to keep your private information private, even while on a public Internet connection such as the free wifi at your favorite local coffee shop.

Many larger corporations and institutions use VPNs to allow remote workers to securely log into the company network while abroad. Say an agency dealing with sensitive client information wants to add an extra layer of anonymity to their private email service. A VPN can offer that extra veil of privacy for as little as a few dollars a month.

The Best VPS Host Will Help You Deploy in Minutes

I don’t know how many fifth graders are studying up on virtual servers, but nevertheless, I hope you all found my no-guesswork guide to our VPS hosting reviews to be informative, actionable, and snarky in a good way. With all the main questions answered, you’re ready to sign up and spin up.

Providers like Bluehost and iPage offer instant deployment, so you can quickly get on to business. The InMotion Hosting team offers Launch Assist — two hours of assistance from experienced SysAdmins — to customers who sign up for 12 months or longer. Our team tested all the top VPS hosts and found the sign-up times to be in the 6- to 7-minute range, so getting started is, virtually, a snap.

Alexandra Leslie

* HostingAdvice.com makes great efforts to maintain accurate data for our visitors. However, as certain data may change without notice to us, it is presented as is and without warranty. Always check current pricing and other terms on a hosting site before completing signup. You should also be aware that this is a sponsored listing. Thank you for reading this far, and for visiting HostingAdvice.com.