8 Best VPS Hourly Rate Plans (2024)

Best Vps Hourly Rate Plans

Flexible payment options are a huge plus when you’re shopping for virtual private servers. Most VPS hosts offer long-term contracts, usually one to three years, while others may offer a monthly billing cycle.

Although it’s not common, some companies will let you pay for hosting on an hourly basis — the ultimate flexible payment option.

In this article, I’ll discuss the best VPS hourly rate plans and explain some scenarios where this pay-as-you-go system works best. Stay tuned until the end, when I answer some common questions our readers ask about VPSes.

Best Linux VPSes With Hourly Rate Plans

Most web-based technologies run on Linux servers, including content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. The same applies to Magento, WooCommerce, and even Shopify. This is because Linux is an open-source operating system (OS).

As a result, the web host doesn’t need a pricey license to run the OS on its servers. Affordability aside, Linux also offers stability and airtight security — the perfect combination for your web project.

Now, let’s look at the best Linux hourly VPS plans.

1. Kamatera

Kamatera is a reputable cloud VPS provider and an ideal choice for web projects of all sizes. Whether you need a powerful hosting environment for a resource-intensive project or something smaller, you’ll find the perfect hosting plan at Kamatera.

To me, Kamatera’s biggest differentiator is that it allows you to customize everything. You can select the exact server specifications and add-ons you need.

As a developer, I find this useful because I can create a server with as little as one vCPU, one gigabyte of RAM, and 20 gigabytes of storage or as much as 32 vCPUs, 128 gigabytes of RAM, and 4,000 gigabytes of storage.

The sheer range of resources is impressive. And no matter the size of my site, I get the same powerful infrastructure.


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.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Kamatera: Our Expert’s Review

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 »

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

At Kamatera, you are in charge of what goes into your shopping basket, from the number of processors, data center location, amount of memory, and storage to your preferred operating system.

Once you’ve added everything to your shopping cart, the next step involves choosing the billing cycle. That’s where the hourly billing option comes in.

An important thing to note is that even though Kamatera offers an hourly billing cycle, it actually monitors your usage by the second. This system ensures you only pay for the resources you’ve consumed, down to the smallest increment.

2. DigitalOcean via Cloudways

You can count on DigitalOcean to run a project that requires powerful graphics processing units. I’m talking about websites or web applications, machine learning projects, data analytics programs, scientific computation, or gaming.

This VPS hosting service provides high-performance cloud-based VPS servers. You also have the option to add dedicated GPUs to your hosting plan. In that case, you’ll pay a small hourly fee.


Cloudways Review

Monthly Starting Price $8.25

  • Customizable alternative to traditional VPS hosting
  • Choice of 5 popular cloud providers
  • Scale server resources up and down as needed
  • 24/7 monitoring and auto-healing servers
  • Get 25% OFF first 3 months with promo code HOSTINGADVICE
  • Get started on Cloudways now.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Cloudways: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Choosing a virtual private server (VPS) typically means purchasing a slice of a dedicated server. VPS customers enjoy more customization options than shared hosting users without incurring the price tag of a dedicated machine. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
8 minutes 20 GB SSD – 4 TB SSD 1 – 96 cores 1 GB – 384 GB

DigitalOcean groups its virtual machines into droplets. Each droplet is a virtual machine. When choosing the droplets for any given month, the default value is 722 hours. But keep in mind that you can always adjust these hours to fit your hosting needs.

Also, the pricing depends on how long the droplet will last. The longer it exists (which means more hours), the higher the price. With DigitalOcean’s bandwidth calculator tools, you can estimate your hosting expenses way ahead of time.

Best Windows VPSes With Hourly Rate Plans

Windows VPSes suit websites and applications that run on Microsoft technologies. These include applications that use Microsoft’s .NET framework, .Net Core, or MySQL databases. Microsoft technology aside, the VPS adds an extra layer of privacy and security to your hosting environment.

Whether you’re a web developer, small business, or organization that relies on Microsoft’s technologies in one way or another, this section is for you. I’ll go over the best Windows VPS providers with hourly rate plans.

3. Kamatera

Remember when I mentioned Kamatera’s affordable Linux pricing? Well, this host is still affordable when you choose the Windows VPS hosting plan.

Windows hosting usually costs more than Linux-based servers, and that’s because the former requires a paid license. However, Kamatera keeps its Windows VPSes budget friendly.

When setting up your hosting environment, you can choose your preferred version of Windows, which currently ranges from 2012 to 2022 servers.


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.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Kamatera: Our Expert’s Review

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 »

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

In addition to choosing your hosting environment, Kamatera also comes with many other Windows-supported features and applications for a smooth hosting experience.

For example, you can choose your preferred version of the Plesk control panel, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft applications.

Not sure what option works best for you? That is not a problem; Kamatera also has plans with preselected features, such as virtual CPUs, memory, storage, and bandwidth.

All you need to do is select your operating system (Windows, in this case) and data center location, and you’re good to go.

4. Hostwinds

Hostwinds offers VPS and cloud hosting services. Both are virtual servers that provide the privacy and stability you need for your website or application to thrive. That said, the key difference is in the billing cycle.

The cloud option has an hourly billing VPS system, while the standard version will bill you monthly.

The good thing about this host is that it offers several hosting plans. As long as you know the server specifications you need for your project, you’ll find a package that suits you.


Hostwinds Review

Monthly Starting Price $4.99

  • 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.
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Hostwinds: Our Expert’s Review

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 »

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

For perspective, Hostwinds has 16 different VPS plans to choose from. And these plans are well-balanced to fit different needs, from small personal websites or applications to enterprise-level projects.

It’s also worth mentioning that Hostwinds is a cross-platform host. It supports different Linux-based distributions such as Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and Ubuntu. Not a Linux person? No problem. This host also supports different Windows operating systems and applications.

Finally, each cloud plan comes with an enterprise firewall, a 99.9999% uptime guarantee, a free website transfer, SSD VPS drives, nightly backups, and a fully redundant network.

Other VPSes With Hourly Rate Plans

If Kamatera, Hostwinds, or DigitalOcean are not what you’re looking for, Vultr, Linode, RamNode, or Cloudzy might work for you. The good news is that they all offer an hourly billing option.

The billing aside, let’s see what these VPS hosting providers can do.

5. Vultr

Vultr is a great alternative to DigitalOcean. It’s a powerful web host with large-scale dedicated clusters and on-demand virtual machines. This host offers NVIDIA GPUs, which are perfect for projects that need powerful graphics.

The use of NVIDIA GPUs is a true game changer here. Ask any gaming enthusiast about their preferred GPU, and you’ll hear the name NVIDIA several times. And it’s not just about gaming; any project that requires high performance and computing will benefit from these GPUs.

From professional visualization, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things — the possibilities are endless.

Vultr logo
Vultr provides large-scale dedicated clusters and on-demand virtual machines.

Although Vultr boasts powerful hardware, its hosting plans are priced fairly. Once you’ve purchased your VPS plan, you can obtain a cloud GPU package for just a few cents per hour.

What this means is that you’ll have a private, secure, and reliable hosting environment with powerful graphics to support whatever project you have in mind.

Before I forget, this host has 32 data center locations worldwide. That distributed worldwide presence means fast loading speeds for all your users, no matter where they are.

6. Linode (Now Akamai)

Linode, now known as Akamai, is a great choice for virtual machines with dedicated resources. While its features might seem quite intimidating at first glance, the pricing tells a different story. For perspective, you’ll find powerful hosting plans that cost less than 50 cents an hour.

Linode’s bundling system is the reason behind its cheap VPS hosting plans. Instead of purchasing each resource individually (although you can do it if you want to), Linode bundles everything into one shell at a fixed price.

Akamai logo
Linode, now a part of Akamai, delivers virtual machines with ample, dedicated resources.

Each hosting plan also comes with free additional features. You’ll get free DDoS protection, a cloud firewall, one-click application installation, a 99.99% uptime service level agreement, free server monitoring, and a user-friendly cloud manager.

You’ve heard of virtualization technology (like Microsoft’s Hyper-V) commonly used to create VPSes. Linode does pretty much the same thing but with a little extra. Each hosting plan comes with a virtual local area network.

This essentially works like the standard LAN, but it’s virtual and, importantly, more private, secure, and easier to manage.

7. RamNode

RamNode offers affordable and reliable Linux hosting solutions with hourly billing. This cloud VPS hosting provider boasts a tier-one network with data centers in the United States (Seattle, New York City, and Atlanta) and the Netherlands.

One major benefit of having a Tier 1 network is that it makes your website or application fast and reliable, even during peak traffic.

That’s because a Tier 1 network is more like the main highway system of the internet. It helps data travel quickly and directly without delays, leading to better performance and reliability.

RamNode logo
RamNode is affordable and reliable web host with excellent Linux hosting.

RamNode’s hourly billing system has a catch, though. First, to be eligible for the hourly billing, you’ll need to add cloud credits to your account. At the time of writing, the minimum amount of cloud credit you can add to your account is $3.

You can then monitor credit usage in the Cloud Control Panel. If you’re almost running out of credits and you’d like to keep using the server, the billing section has a top up option.

8. Cloudzy

Cloudzy offers both Windows and Linux VPS hosting services, all of which come with hourly billing. With more than 15 data centers strategically located in different continents, including North America, Europe, and Asia, this host guarantees high availability and stability.

Cloudzy offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model in addition to the hourly billing system. Although these two terms are often used interchangeably in the web hosting sphere, they don’t mean the same thing.

Cloudzy logo
Cloudzy offers both Windows and Linux VPS hosting with hourly billing.

With hourly billing, you pay for the exact number of hours you use the server. If you want to rent it for only 24 hours, for instance, you’ll only pay for the 24 hours you’ve spent. Nothing more, nothing less.

But things are slightly different with pay-as-you-go billing. It mostly focuses on the resources you’ve used on the server. These resources could be anything from time, bandwidth, and even storage.

Cloudzy blends these two billing systems to give you an affordable cloud-based and cross-platform hosting solution.

What Is a Virtual Private Server?

A VPS, short for a virtual private server, is like having your own slice of a bigger server. In the web hosting world, a VPS gives you your own space on a large server where you can run your website and applications or store data in isolation.

Explanation of a virtual private server with illustration
VPSes allow users to get dedicated resources for a lower price than dedicated server plans.

Keep in mind that you’ll share the physical server with other VPS users. While it might not offer total privacy like a dedicated server, a VPS is a step up from shared hosting.

You have more control over the hosting environment, and it’s not as expensive as renting an entire dedicated server for yourself.

As you would expect, a shared server is usually the cheapest hosting option, followed by a VPS and a dedicated server in that order.

What Is an Hourly Rate VPS Hosting Plan?

In the context of a VPS hosting plan, an hourly rate is exactly what it sounds like. Here, you pay for your VPS based on how many hours you use it. It’s essentially the opposite of a monthly or yearly rate (the most common billing cycle).

An hourly billing cycle works best for projects that don’t need a server running 24/7. For example, as a developer, I love to work on my projects locally using code editors like VS Code. Once the project is ready, I’ll want to see how it looks and functions when deployed.

Of course, I can always choose free hosting platforms, but they’re usually not great for resource-intensive projects. For instance, if you’re using a platform like Netlify to test a dynamic web application (assuming you opt for the free plan), the app might lag quite a bit.

You might need something more powerful to test a bigger project without signing a long-term contract. With a VPS, you’ll have more power, privacy, and control over your testing environment.

Importantly, once you’re done with the testing phase, you’ll stop the server and only pay only for the hours used.

Do I Need a Linux or Windows VPS?

This decision has everything to do with what you’re comfortable with and the type of project you wish to run. Think about it like choosing an Android or an iPhone; both are great but operate differently and have their own strengths.

You can’t use an Android phone to access iMessage or FaceTime. Similarly, you can’t use an iPhone to view Google Messages.

As I mentioned, Linux VPSs are often cheaper and more flexible. That’s because they’re open source, meaning anyone can modify them to support different scripts, frameworks, or languages.

Linux hosting versus Windows hosting.
Linux and Windows VPSes have several differing qualities to consider.

In addition, the web host doesn’t need a license to use Linux, which means you, the end user, don’t pay extra to cover the licensing costs.

On the flip side, Linux isn’t the best choice if your website or applications need specific Windows-based software, like ASP.NET, or you’re just more familiar with Windows.

The bottom line is that it all depends on the tools you need and what environment you feel most comfortable working in.

Which Is the Best Affordable VPS Hosting Provider?

The race is pretty close for this one, but I recommend Kamatera, IONOS, and Hostinger. Here’s why:

  • Kamatera lets you build your own hosting environment from scratch. Few web hosts offer this level of customization and variety.
  • IONOS is another strong contender. It breaks down its hosting packages into small components.
  • Lastly, Hostinger wins my vote for the best VPS hosting provider overall, mostly because of its affordable pricing and powerful features.

Note that IONOS and Hostinger don’t offer hourly rate plans, though.

What Is the Average Cost of a VPS?

Given the stiff market competition, VPSes are not as expensive as they may seem.

Top VPS hosts like Kamatera, IONOS, and Hostinger have plans that cost less than what most Americans spend on food in a day. The base plans cost less than $5 for each of these providers.

Note that most VPS hosts offer irresistible introductory deals. For example, you can get up to 57% off VPS hosting at Hostinger.

Is a VPS Cheaper than Cloud Hosting?

In most cases, it is, especially if you’re looking at consistent, long-term use. That’s because, with a VPS, you rent a specific, partitioned section of a server.

On the other hand, cloud hosting uses a consumption-based pricing model. This means that you pay based on how much you use it.

It’s a cheaper option for projects with fluctuating traffic or computing needs, but it might end up being more expensive than a VPS if you use a lot of resources consistently.

How Do I Choose a VPS Hosting Plan?

Choosing a VPS hosting plan doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by answering these questions:

  • What’s your estimated web traffic?
  • What kind of applications do you plan on running on the server?
  • Are the applications you have in mind resource-intensive?
  • Are these applications OS-specific (i.e., Windows or Linux)?
  • How familiar are you with VPSes and web hosting in general?
  • Do you need a managed VPS plan? (if not, choose an unmanaged VPS).
  • How much are you willing to spend on a VPS?
  • What’s your preferred billing cycle?

Understandably, you may not know the answers to all of these questions. This is especially true if you’re new to web hosting.

If that’s the case, look for a plan that offers some flexibility in terms of upgrades or downgrades. Also, check out our VPS hosting reviews to learn a thing or two about this type of hosting and the best VPS hosting plan for your goals.

Discover More About VPS Hosting

You’ll be surprised to find out just what VPSes can do. For example, I use A2 Hosting for Forex VPS hosting. And since it offers managed services, my only focus is on trading, not managing servers.

ScalaHosting, on the other hand, brings highly scalable servers to the table.

If you want to make extra income by reselling VPSes, InMotion Hosting is our top pick for reseller hosting.

Basically, the possibilities are limitless. That concludes my review of the best VPS hosts with hourly pricing. I hope you’ve found what you need. If you’re new to web hosting, we’ve also covered the basics to get you started on your hosting journey.

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