Advertiser Disclosure

1. Hostwinds.com

Hostwinds review

Monthly Starting Price $5.17

  • Managed or unmanaged, in Windows or Linux
  • Cloud hosting with hourly or monthly billing
  • Instant upgrades without downtime
  • FREE around-the-clock monitoring
  • Automatic nightly backups available
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.

VPS
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Hostwinds: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 6 minutes

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds. The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
N/A 30 GB - 750 GB SSD New or Transfer www.hostwinds.com/vps

2. InterServer.net

InterServer review

Monthly Starting Price $6.00

  • $0.01 for the first month using code HOSTINGADV
  • Then $6 monthly with no contracts, no changes
  • Latest of PHP, MySQL, Perl, Python, and Ruby
  • 7 operating system options for Linux or Windows
  • Full root access and choice of datacenter
  • Get started on InterServer now.

VPS
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

InterServer: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 6 minutes

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): InterServer's on-site datacenter and hands-on involvement with configuring and provisioning virtual private servers give customers a level of flexibility not seen with many other hosting providers. InterServer rations VPS and cloud resources through slices. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
N/A 30 GB SSD - 480 GB SSD $7.99 New or Transfer www.interserver.net/vps

3. Kamatera.com

Kamatera review

Monthly Starting Price $4.00

  • Cloud VPS that's more flexible and affordable
  • Load balancer, firewall, and managed services
  • Premium Intel CPUs with 300% more power
  • Choose between monthly or hourly billing
  • Sign up today for a 30-day FREE trial
  • Get started on Kamatera now.

VPS
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

Kamatera: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 5 minutes

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Backed by cutting-edge cloud computing technology, Kamatera adds instant and limitless scalability to the VPS hosting marketplace. Each cloud or virtual server is equipped with blazing-fast SSD storage and Intel Xeon Platinum CPUs. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
30-day FREE trial 20 GB - 4 TB SSD New or Transfer www.kamatera.com/vps

4. LiquidWeb.com

Liquid Web review

Monthly Starting Price $39.00

  • High-speed hosting that's faster than AWS, Rackspace, and Digital Ocean
  • FREE backups, CDN, and DDoS protection
  • Up to 16 processors with all-SSD storage
  • Choice between cPanel or Plesk Onyx
  • Real-time monitoring and 100% uptime guarantee
  • Get started on Liquid Web now.

VPS
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

Liquid Web: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes

Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): It's no secret by now that Liquid Web is known for best-in-class technology and reliability that exceeds expectations. The company's cloud VPS environments embody that reputation to its fullest — including managed WordPress and WooCommerce products. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
N/A 30 GB SSD - 150 GB SSD New or Transfer www.liquidweb.com/vps

5. InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $22.99

  • 63% off the first month with added discounts
  • Real-time redundancy and cloud infrastructure
  • FREE cPanel with enterprise-grade CentOS
  • FREE server management for patches & updates
  • Get 2 hours of setup time with a SysAdmin
  • Get started on InMotion now.

VPS
RATING
4.7 ★★★★★ Our Review

InMotion: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 6 minutes

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion Hosting offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere. Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in a RAID-6 array, which is incredibly fast and secure. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
90 days 75 GB SSD - 260 GB SSD FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/vps

6. Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $18.99

  • 2-4 cores and 2-8GB of RAM
  • Endorsed by the WordPress team
  • Optional SiteLock security & CodeGuard backups
  • Seamless migration from Bluehost shared plans
  • Get 37% off at sign up (was $29.99, now $18.99)
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

VPS
RATING
4.7 ★★★★★ Our Review

Bluehost: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 6 minutes

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): When comparing the performance versus price of VPS plans, Bluehost brings supreme value to the table. In addition to competitive pricing, the company offers premium support and excellent uptime compared with other VPS options in the industry. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
30 days 30 GB SSD - 120 GB SSD FREE (1 year) www.bluehost.com/vps

7. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $5.00

  • Turbo server & cache options for faster page loads
  • Well-built plans starting with 4GB RAM
  • FREE CDN plus auto-installs with Softaculous
  • Multilingual support and up to unlimited databases
  • Enhanced security with and daily kernel updates
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.

VPS
RATING
4.7 ★★★★★ Our Review

A2 Hosting: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes

Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): While A2 Hosting's turbocharged shared hosting platform gives site owners ample room to grow, the company's tech prowess is on full display with its portfolio of VPS options. Ranging from unmanaged, bare-metal environments to stress-free, fully managed space, A2 Hosting is sure to have the perfect option for your expanding online presence. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
30 days 75 GB SSD - 150 GB SSD New or Transfer www.a2hosting.com/vps

8. iPage.com

iPage review

Monthly Starting Price $19.99

  • Includes cPanel, CentOS, and optional root access
  • High-speed mirrored storage and guaranteed RAM
  • Pre-installed scripts: PHP, Perl, Python & Rails
  • Get 20% off your first month when you sign up
  • More discounts available with long-term plans
  • Get started on iPage now.

VPS
RATING
4.6 ★★★★★ Our Review

iPage: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 6 minutes

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): If you are looking for an affordable VPS hosting solution 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. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
30 days 40 GB - 120 GB FREE (1 year) www.ipage.com/vps

9. HostGator.com

HostGator review

Monthly Starting Price $19.95

  • Full root access with fully or semi-managed options
  • Redundant network with multiple layers of security
  • FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
  • RAID-10 storage for data protection
  • Get up to 75% off when you sign up
  • Get started on HostGator now.

VPS
RATING
4.5 ★★★★★ Our Review

HostGator: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for its shared web hosting options. The company's VPS hosting solution, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those who are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a typical shared plan. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
45 days 120 GB - 240 GB New or Transfer www.hostgator.com/vps

10. 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 with around-the-clock monitoring
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Get started on FatCow now.

VPS
RATING
4.3 ★★★★ Our Review

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. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
30 days 40 GB - 120 GB FREE (1 year) www.fatcow.com/vps

11. GoDaddy.com

GoDaddy review

Monthly Starting Price $4.99

  • Designed to handle traffic with Linux or Windows
  • Admin access via root access, cPanel, and Plesk
  • High-speed SSDs and 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth and lots of processing power
  • Fully or semi-managed servers with optional control panel
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.

VPS
RATING
4.2 ★★★★ Our Review

GoDaddy: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): If you're looking to grow and scale your website, GoDaddy has you covered. Developers and web enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that GoDaddy offers root access, making it easy to install PHP modules, applications, stacks, and various customizations to fine-tune your virtual server for peak performance via the command line or remote desktop. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
30 days 40 GB - 400 GB SSD FREE (1 year) www.godaddy.com/vps

Review Breakdown: VPS Hosts

To help you quickly make an informed decision, we compiled the following VPS hosting comparison table. As you're deciphering between the top VPS reviews, consider setup time, uptime rates, operating system options, as well as the ratings given by our web hosting experts. The best VPS hosting providers for 2021 are up next!

Here are the best VPS hosting services:

2021's Best VPS Hosting
Rank Web Host Setup Time Disk Space Expert Rating
1 Hostwinds 6 minutes 30 GB - 750 GB SSD ★★★★★ 4.9
2 InterServer 6 minutes 30 GB SSD - 480 GB SSD ★★★★★ 4.8
3 Kamatera 5 minutes 20 GB - 4 TB SSD ★★★★★ 4.8
4 Liquid Web 7 minutes 30 GB SSD - 150 GB SSD ★★★★★ 4.8
5 InMotion 6 minutes 75 GB SSD - 260 GB SSD ★★★★★ 4.7
6 Bluehost 6 minutes 30 GB SSD - 120 GB SSD ★★★★★ 4.7
7 A2 Hosting 7 minutes 75 GB SSD - 150 GB SSD ★★★★★ 4.7
8 iPage 6 minutes 40 GB - 120 GB ★★★★★ 4.6
9 HostGator 7 minutes 120 GB - 240 GB ★★★★★ 4.5
10 FatCow 6 minutes 40 GB - 120 GB ★★★★ 4.3
11 GoDaddy 7 minutes 40 GB - 400 GB SSD ★★★★ 4.2

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Choosing a Virtual Private Server: 4 Things to Know About VPS Hosting

Laura Bernheim
By: Laura Bernheim, Expert Contributor

Updated:

Sure, we all love to talk up the scalability potential of virtual private server hosting and being able to virtualize computing resources, but it can sound like a bit of science fiction to those who don’t understand web hosting.

However, tons of major companies thrive on VPS hosting — for example, we at HostingAdvice love our VPS host. Still, it’s one of those subjects where everyone feels the need to toss around a lot of ill-defined words and technical jargon.

If you had to explain the difference between virtual servers and cloud servers to a fifth grader, could you do it? We’re 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 that uses virtualization software to divide the processing power and storage into multiple partitions, each acting as its own separate server environment. Because of the separation, a VPS is occasionally called a virtual dedicated server.

VPS Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting

All right, 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. Even if you understand the differences, the similarities between the two services mean the lines are sometimes blurred.

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

The main differences you’ll see:

  • Scale: Because 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 of redundancy across the network. If a single physical server fails another is ready to fill in.
  • Price: With the added server power and flexibility often comes added cost for cloud hosting — or at least a more confusing bill-by-the-minute invoicing system.

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 or minute, 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 generally keeping things online. With this in mind, some of the leading hosts offer IT expertise to manage the infrastructure for you. It’ll cost a bit more but, more than likely, managed support will also save you a priceless number of headaches. InMotion Hosting’s service is top-of-the-line when it comes to managed VPS hosting.

2. What are the Advantages? Who Uses It?

Let’s cover the perks, the downsides, and who are 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 a VPS are those whose sites or apps are receiving upward of 100,000 visitors a month.

3. Finding the Best VPS Plan for You

Let’s examine the features we look 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 servers:

  • 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 Hosting and Bluehost 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 modern Windows versions, backups included
  • OS-friendly applications with easy management via Plesk
  • 24/7/365 expert support
  • SSH access with Windows SFTP servers
  • Uptime (preferably 99.99% or better)

If you’re wondering which operating system to choose, chances are you should go the Linux route; only go the Windows way if you have a specific reason for doing so, such as running some sort of software that’s not Linux-compatible.

Roughly 70% of websites online operate within a Linux-based environment, with Windows only accounting for 30%. That being said, check out our reviews for the best Linux VPS hosts and top Windows 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 necessarily 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 or traffic, you need to be able to pony up the cost of a decent plan. An entry-level VPS plan used to cost around $20 per month just a few years ago, but prices have dropped rather rapidly to less than half that amount.

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 I hope you all found our guide to our VPS hosting reviews to be informative, and actionable. With all the main questions answered, you’re ready to sign in 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 signup times to take around six or seven minutes, so getting started is — virtually — a snap.

About The Author

Laura Bernheim Expert Contributor Laura Bernheim
Laura Bernheim has spent more than 12 years crafting engaging and award-winning articles that share the passion behind organizations' products, people, and innovations. As a freelance contributor to HostingAdvice, she combines a reputation for producing quality content with rich technical expertise to show experienced developers how to capitalize on emerging technologies and find better ways to work with established platforms. A professional journalist, Laura has contributed to The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, the Sun Sentinel, and the world's top hosting providers. In addition to conducting interviews with industry leaders, Laura drives internal writing and design teams to deliver stellar, timely content that clearly explains even the most difficult concepts.
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Laura Bernheim