12 Best Unix Web Hosting Plans (Feb. 2024)

Best Unix Web Hosting

When tracing the history of the best Unix web hosting, developers credit the popular operating system as the impetus for affordable and user-friendly hosting services — much like how the Big Bang kicked off the start of the universe.

While the universe likely started with a massive explosion, web hosting traces its roots to Bell Labs and AT&T in the 1960s and ’70s. Unix, which provides the groundwork for everything from Linux and FreeBSD to macOS, now powers more than 71% of all websites. Thanks to Linux and its many distributions, the software is often a free and open-source component of many successful hosting stacks.

Given the widespread popularity of Unix-based systems, identifying the best environments is a daunting endeavor. That’s why we’ve sifted through the cream of the crop to give you the hosts that showcase all the wonderful features Unix pioneered.

Best Value Unix Web Hosting

Despite being created in a commercial environment, Unix revolutionized early computing by prioritizing affordability and accessibility. Developers charged only a nominal fee for the educational use of Unix, which ran on inexpensive hardware and was easy to adapt and migrate to different machines.

Now, dozens of Unix, Linux, and BSD variants and distributions are free and maintained by open-source communities of programmers around the world. In addition to commercial Unix operating systems, the platform is especially popular via the BSD brand — particularly FreeBSD and OpenBSD. Linux-based operating systems are the base layer of the ultra-popular LAMP stack powering most hosting environments: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Given the cost-effectiveness of running Linux on servers hosting thousands of websites, it’s no surprise that the world’s largest hosting companies all promote Unix-based packages. Here are a handful of companies we think rise above the crowd when it comes to high-value Linux hosting:

1. Hostinger.com

Hostinger review

Monthly Starting Price $2.69

  • Industry-leading CloudLinux for top reliability
  • FREE domain, SSL certificate, and software installs
  • High-speed performance with LiteSpeed caching
  • Support for CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, and others
  • GET 78% OFF when you sign up
  • Get started on Hostinger now.
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
Hostinger: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Hostinger is quickly making a name for itself behind hosting services that value both performance and price. The web host primarily operates on the speedy and reliable CloudLinux operating system, ensuring wide-ranging compatibility and efficient management. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD - 200 GB NVMe FREE (1 year) 3 minutes

2. IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS review

Monthly Starting Price $1.00

  • Pay just $1/month for 12 months, no hidden fees
  • Choose Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, or openSUSE
  • Mirrored data storage in georedundant datacenters
  • Fast performance with easy scalability
  • Unlimited storage, traffic, and databases available
  • Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
1&1 IONOS: Our Expert's Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): 1&1 IONOS clocked its US-based servers at speeds faster than the likes of Bluehost, GoDaddy, and HostGator — ensuring your Linux website will load at peak performance. The company’s shared servers rely on Debian, while VPS support extends to CentOS, Ubuntu, and openSUSE. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB - Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

3. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • Supercharged CloudLinux operating system
  • Support for CenOS, Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora
  • Go beyond LAMP with PostgreSQL and NGINX
  • Daily, automatic OS updates via KernelCare
  • All-SSD storage in RAID-10 arrays
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
A2 Hosting: Our Expert's Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Offering a familiar Linux hosting experience that’s perfect for beginners and seasoned developers, A2 Hosting relies on the efficient CloudLinux operating system for speed and security. The company’s servers are optimized for speed with modern processors and solid-state drives to make sure your Linux environment won’t slow you down. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD - Unlimited SSD New or Transfer 4 minutes

4. Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • Linux, cPanel, and 1-click software installations
  • Support for PHP, Apache, MySQL, and Ruby
  • Secure FTP access and IP blocking
  • Tons of Linux-friendly eCommerce tools available
  • 24/7 support and advanced spam protection
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Bluehost: Our Expert's Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): For Linux-friendly shared hosting, you can’t go wrong with Bluehost. The company offers all the software support you’re looking for, including Apache, PHP, and MySQL. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD - 100 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

See other top Unix hosts »

Best VPS Unix Web Hosting

For those looking for more computing resources or control over their hosting environment, virtual private servers open up a treasure chest of more Unix-based operating systems you can choose from. Thanks to server virtualization, each VPS tenant can install his or her own operating system independently of the hosting provider and other customers on the same physical machine.

Even better, Unix VPS hosting doesn’t have to break the bank. Our list of the top cheap Linux VPS hosting plans show that you can get started for roughly $5 per month, with site owners still able to find a ton of value by spending up to $20 per month. Because of the added technical pressure placed on VPS customers (with great power comes great responsibility) to properly customize, secure, and optimize their environments, you’ll want to be sure to sign up with a host that offers always-there support alongside the powerful infrastructure and technologies.

Here, we’re highlighting the VPS hosting providers we trust the most to find that sweet spot of managed services, affordability, flexible environments, and superb operating system options. These hosts represent the best of the best when it comes to Unix-based virtual private servers.

5. Hostinger.com

Hostinger review

Monthly Starting Price $4.49

  • Affordable cloud VPS hosting built for speed
  • CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian & SUSE
  • Full root access with a dedicated IP address
  • NVMe SSD Storage and AMD EPYC Processors
  • Use multiple OS kernels and install with 1 click
  • Get started on Hostinger now.
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
Hostinger: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Hostinger might be more known for budget-friendly shared hosting, but the hosting company’s cloud VPS service is just as impressive. You’ll get oodles of SSD storage and access to a wide range of operating systems — all for less than $5 per month. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 50 GB NVMe - 400 GB NVMe 1 - 8 cores 4 GB - 32 GB

6. Kamatera.com

Kamatera review

Monthly Starting Price $4.00

  • 40+ Linux distros, from FreeBSD to CloudLinux
  • Create and deploy servers in less than 60 seconds
  • Unlimited cloud-based scalability on SSD storage
  • Simple management console and API
  • Sign up today for a 30-day free trial
  • Get started on Kamatera now.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Kamatera: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Offering cloud computing that’s more affordable and better supported than the likes of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, Kamatera is an excellent option for developers looking to build customized environments. We adore this host for giving site owners ultimate control for incredibly affordable rates. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
5 minutes 20 GB SSD - 4 TB SSD 1 - 32 cores 1 GB - 128 GB

7. Hostwinds.com

Hostwinds review

Monthly Starting Price $4.99

  • Choice of Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and CentOS
  • Cloud VPS hosting with hourly or monthly billing
  • Impressive 99.9999% uptime guarantee
  • Real-time monitoring and instant scalability
  • Easy server administration via custom control portal
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Hostwinds: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): As a VPS hosting provider, Hostwinds gives site owners tons of advanced options without overwhelming them. Custom server images include configurations for several Linux operating systems, including Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Fedora. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 30 GB SSD - 750 GB SSD 1 - 16 cores 1 - 96 GB

8. InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $14.99

  • Enterprise-class CentOS 6 operating system
  • FREE OS security patches and updates for VPS
  • Root & SSH access, and reseller option with WHM
  • FREE cPanel, SSL, and speed-boosting SSDs
  • Unlimited FTP accounts and MySQL databases
  • Get started on InMotion Hosting now.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
InMotion: Our Expert's Review

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion is a powerhouse VPS provider, and their Linux offerings only affirm that fact. These scalable solutions include a Linux operating system with fully managed OS patches and updates, plus root and SSH access via the command line. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 90 GB SSD - 360 GB SSD 4 - 16 cores 4 GB - 16 GB

See other top Unix VPS hosts »

What is Unix Hosting?

Now that we’ve run through the top features and price points to look for, let’s take a step back and talk about Unix hosting more broadly. Site owners will more commonly see plans marketed as using a Linux-based operating system, but there are slight differences between Linux and Unix you should know about.

As we alluded to earlier, Unix is specifically a largely commercial product with closed, vendor-specific costs and development. In addition to the work done by AT&T (that continues today), Unix has been popularized through distributions from Oracle (Solaris), IBM (AIX), Hewlett-Packard (HP-UX), and Apple (macOS). Unix is typically used on servers, mainframes, and other complex computing systems, while Linux distributions tend to be more prevalent on consumer-oriented devices. A third option, BSD-based operating systems like FreeBSD and OpenBSD, resides between the two extremes as a developer-friendly open platform.

In response to the 1980s launch of the GNU Project, an ambitious undertaking to create a free and open Unix-like system, Linus Torvalds released the Linux kernel as free software under the GNU General Public License in 1991. The Linux kernel, along with collections of compatible software packages, combines to form dozens of Linux distributions popular with PC users, developers, and website owners:

Thanks to the global communities of developers, Linux has been adapted to serve a wide variety of requirements, technologies, and tech-savviness. Cost-effective Linux and BSD operating systems cover most hosting needs and are expanding into new markets like consumer-grade desktop, mobile, and embedded devices.

Unix vs. Windows Web Hosting: Which is Best?

Before you even get to the point of choosing which Unix or Linux operating system to use, you’ll first probably want to rule out one other option: Windows. Despite the familiar name, the Windows Server operating system is vastly different than what you’re used to seeing on your PC.

At the most basic level, the Linux hosting vs. Windows hosting debate boils down to the programming language and software components you wish to use to build and operate your website. Linux hosting is the natural choice for most hosting customers. Unless you have a specific reason to use Windows, such as running a website or application through the ASP.NET or the .NET frameworks, chances are that a Unix-based hosting environment will be best for you.

For comparison’s sake, however, take a look at our highest-recommended Windows shared hosting plans. You can get a sense of the important features, technologies, and prices you should look out for when shopping for Unix alternatives:

9. InterServer.net

InterServer review

Monthly Starting Price $8.00

  • ASP.NET, ASP, MSSQL, Silverlight, and MVC6
  • FREE RAID-10 storage and SSD caching servers
  • Unlimited storage, websites, transfer, and email
  • Automated weekly backups and FREE CDN
  • NO contracts and price is guaranteed for life
  • Get started on InterServer now.
★★★★★ 4.7 Our Review»
InterServer: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Built for speed, InterServer is a perfect solution for developer-friendly Windows shared hosting. In addition to offering a free site migration, the company uses only 50% of its server capacity to guarantee resources are available as your site grows. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days Unlimited SSD New or Transfer 4 minutes

10. GoDaddy.com

GoDaddy review

Monthly Starting Price $17.99

  • Windows Server with 24/7 security monitoring
  • Recommended for ASP.NET, ASP, and SQL users
  • Unlimited MySQL or MS SQL databases
  • 1-click installs for 50+ FREE apps
  • FREE domain from the world's top registrar
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
★★★★★ 4.6 Our Review»
GoDaddy: Our Expert's Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): The web’s leading domain registrar also tops the charts when it comes to Windows shared hosting. These GoDaddy plans come equipped with a state-of-the-art Windows server, 200MB of MSSQL database storage, and easy installations for popular Windows-friendly scripts. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 25 GB - 100 GB FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

See other top Windows hosts »

Because of Microsoft’s reputation in the business world and the popularity of the company’s Azure cloud platform, Windows represents a secure and scalable option for established organizations with more demanding computing workloads. Here are our rankings of the best Windows VPS hosting plans to compare with the Unix and Linux options above.

11. Kamatera.com

Kamatera review

Monthly Starting Price $23.00

  • Cloud-powered SSD VPS with Intel Xeon vCPUs
  • Run any Linux or Windows operating system edition
  • Superb 99.95% uptime rate and 24/7 support
  • Up to unlimited Plesk licenses available
  • 30-day FREE trial with no hidden fees
  • Get started on Kamatera now.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Kamatera: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Featuring tons of scalability and operating system choices, Kamatera represents an affordable VPS hosting provider for Windows users. The web host’s global presence and optional managed services ensure your site is performing optimally. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
5 minutes 20 GB SSD - 4 TB SSD 1 - 32 cores 1 GB - 128 GB

12. IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS review

Monthly Starting Price $12.00

  • Powerful Windows VPS for $12/month
  • 100% SSD storage and 99.99% uptime guarantee
  • Full root access and optional Plesk control panel
  • Unlimited bandwidth and instant scalability
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.
★★★★★ 4.7 Our Review»
1&1 IONOS: Our Expert's Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): A long-time internet industry innovator, 1&1 IONOS maintains competitive pricing and robust in-house technologies. The host’s virtual cloud servers accommodate unlimited site traffic, and you’re given the power to choose your operating system, datacenter location, RAM, and storage configurations. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 10 GB NVMe - 640 GB NVMe 2 - 12 cores 2 GB - 24 GB

See other top Windows VPS hosts »

What are the Advantages of Unix?

Although Windows and macOS dominate the personal computer operating system landscape, Unix and Linux are the major forces when it comes to servers and web hosting environments. Why, you may ask? And we’re glad you did, as here are some of the top benefits to using Unix hosting:

  • Cost: Thanks to Windows’ high licensing fees, price-conscious hosting consumers will find better bargains with Unix and Linux hosting. Many of the programs and associated technologies, including MySQL databases, are free and developed in open-source communities.
  • Compatibility: Sure, you can run databases, PHP, and other applications like WordPress through Windows environments, but you may notice some subtle differences or jump through a few extra hoops.
  • Performance and stability: Unix-based operating systems are designed to handle high traffic loads without as many reboots and updates as those Windows requires. That means more efficient page load speeds and less downtime.

Naturally, Unix and Linux hosting is not always sunshine and rainbows. Some potential drawbacks to Unix include not being able to run Windows-friendly technologies like Microsoft SQL databases or the .NET family of languages and frameworks.

Perhaps a larger sticking point is the operating system’s reliance on secure shell commands in a terminal or other command line interface. This can be especially intimidating for newbies getting started with their first VPS because you can royally mess up your environment with the wrong commands. Fortunately, most users won’t have to go down that rabbit hole with user-friendly Unix plans.

Unix vs. Windows Hosting: Which is the Best Hosting for WordPress?

Given the power and popularity of the LAMP stack (remember, that’s Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP), Unix is generally considered the supreme option for WordPress and other content management systems. However, Windows users can still run and optimize WordPress in much the same way— it just may not be as smooth a process.

Illustration of command line interface on a Unix system

Unix and Linux systems often rely on shell commands for advanced customizations.

Site owners will notice a few subtle differences in certain components and functions, depending on which operating system they’re on. For instance, Windows users will likely need to update the web.config file in the ASP.NET framework to allow for pretty permalinks. Additionally, PHP operates differently on the two operating systems when it comes to mail — meaning that contact forms on your WordPress site may transmit messages a little slower if you use Windows.

The Linux speed benefits especially shine through with WordPress hosting. The content management system can be a heavy consumer of server resources at times, but an estimated 20% edge in performance for Linux offsets any potential slowdowns nicely.

That being said, keep in mind that content management systems (including Joomla, Drupal, and others) have web-based administrative portals, making your interactions with writing posts, adding media, and updating your theme exactly the same across operating systems.

What to Look for in a Professional Unix Web Hosting Provider

Because Unix, BSD, and Linux-based systems are so popular in web hosting, the attributes for a strong host are pretty common. Obviously, the price is always one of the first characteristics that hosting shoppers look at, but it’s not necessarily a good descriptor of the quality of services you can expect to receive.

You can find stellar Unix hosting for just a few dollars per month, but those willing to spend even more can discover upgraded features and add-on tools.

In this case, uptime guarantees are a good indicator of the attention a hosting provider pays to effectively running, maintaining, and supporting Unix systems. Because the family of operating systems is known for stability to start with, any extra promised uptime is icing on the cake. Don’t settle for anything less than 99.9%.

Naturally, you may prefer a specific Unix flavor for your hosting stack. CentOS and other Linux-based distros are generally the most common, but you can uncover plenty of Ubuntu, Debian, and FreeBSD options with a little more digging.

Because of the benefits to performance and email, look for a plan that capitalizes on those Unix-based advantages. Click here to check out our favorite email hosting providers, along with those with high-powered solid-state drives that promise up to 20-times-faster page loads.

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