What is the Difference Between VPS Hosting and a Dedicated Server?

All computers work on an OS. Most people prefer Apple OS or Windows. You can now access all the files on your computer with the help of these operating systems. These operating systems run various programs as well.

Hosting providers work similarly. They allow the visitors to your website to access all files and enable processes on your site, like scripts. Similarly, with our computers, the amount of storage, bandwidth, and RAM determines how slow or fast access is.

Once the storage, bandwidth, RAM reaches their cap, your website will encounter challenges and may run slowly, especially if you have too many things going on all at once.

You may be starting a new business or simply looking at upgrading the host you’re using. Whatever the reason, selecting a web host that’s suits your requirement is vital. Your websites will be non-functional without a host.

There are plenty of files that need to be stored and displayed on the website. To store these files, you will need a host. While choosing a web host, you will come across a few options. Some common hosts are VPS Hosting, Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, and Cloud Hosting.


Let’s compare VPS hosting with Dedicated Server Hosting and find out which of these will work best for you? We will have a closer look at their differences and similarities.

These hosting providers also vary in cost as well as performance level but exactly how?  Let’s get an insight on both the hosting types to help you decide which of these two options you need to get or upgrade to.

VPS Hosting

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is where various websites make use of the same server. In other words, the resources will be shared between various hosting accounts or websites. It is similar to the way we use the computer at home.

Each member of the family uses the computer for their individual requirements. Virtual Private Server (VPS) has various options available for its users – catering to both the low-end and high-end user. The setup is easier for basic website users; however, you wouldn’t have absolute customization like that of a dedicated server.

This is good for sites that are simple and don’t have a lot of traffic. If you need root access on the physical server and want to reduce the expense that comes with a dedicated server, then VPS is the perfect solution for you and your business.

If your current hosting is a basic shared hosting type and it’s not meeting your requirement, i.e., you need more control of your host, then you need to consider VPS hosting.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Just as the name implies, this is a physical server that is dedicated for your use, i.e., you have it to yourself. So, this physical server will be dedicated to serving you and your business alone. You can now customize it according to your business requirement.

It is just like having an empty shopping cart; you get to fill it with the things you need. You can pick your resource limits. If your business site is anywhere between a medium and a big site, then dedicated hosting is apt.

If you’re very ambitious, you can avoid a lot of hassle and save time in the future by getting a dedicated hosting plan, provided you are confident the site will grow to that extent.

Although we would like to point out that the cost of a dedicated server is very high, so if you’re just starting up and a bit tight on your budget, then you should consider the VPS Hosting until your business begins to generate sufficient funds to pay for a dedicated server.

Decide a Baseline: Now that we know more about both the host, it’s time to determine a baseline. You will need to select a plan depending on the following:

  1. The number of Central Processing Units (CPU) cores. Remember- More = Faster.
  2. RAM – How much would you need.
  3. Disk Space/Storage – how much space would you need. Also, what would you prefer? A traditional option that’s cheaper or a faster Solid State Drive (SSD).

On a physical server, Resource Allocation is one aspect; you need to also consider how many blogs and websites are permitted to use the resources of the physical server.

Compare VPS Hosting to Dedicated Servers:

You will find a lot of resemblance between Dedicated Server and VPS Hosting. Both these hosting’s offer Increased control on your hosting environment, mainly to the installed software. In regards to the hardware you require, both hosts offer an option to buy the required specs.

This analogy is very simple; look at a VPS plan as a lighter version to that of a Dedicated Server. A VPS plan acts as a dedicated server but is similar to a shared hosting plan. With VPS hosting, you can explore premium hosting options, like a dedicated host but without that extra cost.

1) Customize and ConfigureVPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated Hosting and VPS offer unmanaged and managed plans. You can look at it as assembling furniture. The unmanaged plans give you all the tools required; however, you need to assemble it yourself that involves Set up, manage, configure, and maintain the web hosting domain. You will be responsible for everything with regards to the software of the server.

If it’s a VPS plan, the host facilitates the virtual machine and lays the rest on you.  Whereas with a managed plan, you won’t have the hassle of assembling it; it will be assembled and given to you. The host will take care of almost everything for you. All you need to do is inform the host of all your needs and wants, and the host’s staff will get it done for you right from configuration, installation to maintenance.

Managed plans are a bit more expensive, but people don’t mind it because you save up on time and energy. With regards to customization, both hosts allow you to modify the limit on your resource every month. In this matter, there’s not much of a difference.

Once you decide on a web host, you must speak with them and understand what they offer. Managed hosts do not operate similarly or offer similar services. You must decide how many administrative tasks you will handle by yourself and your budget.

You must be aware that every managed service comes with a considerable cost. However, there’s no thumb rule to determine how many of them would be right for you.

Both the hosting offers Unmanaged and Managed plans, and both give you an option to modify your resources every month. However, VPS hosting offers a minute edge; it allows you to use resources from various other sites in case you exceed the monthly limit.

2) PerformanceVPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

A good web host allows your website to quickly load, run and perform well. Performance is like travelling. To understand it better, we’ll compare it to travelling on a bus. Notice how when a bus has many people (Visitors on your site) on it, it tends to make frequent stops. These stops slow the journey (your website). Whereas when the bus has fewer people, it makes fewer stops, hence, saving a lot of time. So, you reach your destination quicker (fast loading speed).

With VPS hosting, you get your own bus. Now, if your bus fills up, you’ll get one more bus (another site bandwidth) to your service. Dedicated hosting offers a supercharged bus that’s capable of carrying and delivering visitors to the site at high speed.

Conclusion: As expected, it’s a win for dedicated hosting. When your site deals with huge traffic, it should be able to load quickly with higher resource limits. You can expect good loading speed from VPS hosting; however, if various sites on the server have a high volume of traffic, the site could slow down.

3) SecurityVPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

Security is vital; it is just living in apartments as compared to living in your own house. Supposedly, someone has left the door of your building unlocked (a site on the server has a breach in security), it can put you at risk. 

You may think they have to get to my specific apartment, but acknowledge the fact that there is a risk. Dedicated hosting has its own place. Yes, someone could break into it, but it would not happen due to the negligence of someone else. In short, you don’t have to worry about your neighbour’s actions.

When you share a hosting plan with your neighbour, and they are under attack by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), you can be assured that it will affect your site too. Both VPS and Dedicated hosting plans come with customized IP addresses, making it rare for your site to be misidentified with some other site. It also offers various benefits for marketing with emails and secured payments for eCommerce sites.

Conclusion: VPS hosting is normally considered secure; dedicated hosting has a greater level of security. Both the hosting permits you to install your preferred security software; however, with dedicated hosting, you will have full control in case of security breaches. If you have an increased requirement for security, then dedicated servers have an edge since they act as independent physical islands.

4) Allocating ResourcesVPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

I would like to look at it as getting your favourite take-out – Pizza along with some dip, fries, and a drink. VPS hosting is like sharing this favourite meal with friends – every slice, fries, dip, and even your drink.

If you run short and need more, there are chances that someone would have extra to spare, but you can’t count on it; it not definite. VPS hosting is not as limited as dedicated hosting.

You hold a sizable portion of the hardware, giving you more resources. You’ll also have root access to the environment of the server. It allows you to install additional software and edit files.

Dedicated hosting is like ordering your pizza (medium, small or large) depending on your requirement. Either way, you don’t have to share it with anyone. Of course, the cost will be higher, but at least you get 100% of it.

Conclusion: We have an obvious winner – Dedicated hosting. It fulfils your resource requirement keeping you independent. VPS hosting has a couple of benefits, but it’s no competition with regards to the sum of resources you receive.

5) ScalabilityVPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

The size to which your hosting plan could grow with the website. This is just like the growth of a plant. VPS hosting can be seen as a budding of an Olive tree- there is plenty to space for it to grow, but it could never reach the height of a great oak tree. 

Dedicated hosting is like an oak tree. You will be equipped with all the security, resource, and performance you can expect, so there is no space to scale. You have an option to adjust the limits every month, but you have successfully reached the ceiling.

Conclusion: VPS hosting is the winner here. It is a middle ground, especially for sites that sit between needing a dedicated hosting or shared hosting plan, and they grow along with the site until you are willing to upgrade. Dedicated hosting meets all your requirements. If you are sure your website is prepared for it, then you have scaled to the top.

6) CostVPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

It’s not surprising that VPS plans are considerably cheaper in comparison to dedicated hosting. When the host adds various customers to the server, the cost is distributed among the users, reducing the cost for each customer. VPS hosting has various fee ranges. Every plan gives you a different resource limit.

VPS hosting plans start with just a few dollars a month, and the high-end options exceed $180 per month. The dedicated servers have their basic plans that begin with $30 per month. However, if you’re looking for a fully loaded plan, it could cost you $100 per month and would increase depending on your requirement.

Conclusion: If you’re on a limited budget and looking at cutting corners, then VPS hosting is the plan for you. There are various providers like InMotion, Bluehost, A2 Hosting, HostGator that provide both VPS and Dedicated hosting.

If you choose dedicated hosting plan, it will give you greater resources, tighter security, and great performance, but all this comes at a higher cost. VPS hosting has sufficient capacity for multiple websites and is affordable to many.

7) Operating SystemVPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

Upgrading comes with various perks, one of which is having full control of the software. The biggest decision to make is which OS needs to be installed. There are options available; however, they are somewhat limited. Windows and Linux are common options, while Macintosh is not commonly used.

Windows hosting has a high hosting fee. Linux is free to use and is open-source. Microsoft needs to be licensed in order to use Windows. Although Linux has a low fee, it may not be suitable for all.

If you have designed the site using .NET and ASP, you will require a Windows host to support it. There are a few reasons for you to consider Windows hosting over Linux hosting:

  1. The database/programming language you are using is not supported by Linux.
  2. You prefer control over a cheaper option.
  3. You have a requirement to access the physical server from a remote desktop.
  4. Your current framework is. NET.
  5. You don’t prefer cPanel.

8) Technical Support and Customer ServiceVPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

When it comes to the dedicated server and VPS, you can look forward to excellent technical support and customer service for both types of plans. The specifics differ between hosts, but if you are a premium customer, you’ll not have a tough time getting a host willing to take up the job and assist you with your concerns, questions, and comments. It is important to find a company that offers good service.

What kind of support does your host offer? Does your host offer 24/7 support? Read the reviews of the support while shortlisting one. When you need help, make sure the host you choose is well equipped to help you, especially during a crisis.

Pay attention to their Service Level Agreement (SLA) with regards to their uptime. You need to know if you can afford for your business to be down for many days. Our advice is you should look for a company that offers 99.9% uptime.

If a company offers 99% uptime, that means you will have entire four days of downtime over a span of one year. This is most definitely unacceptable in the current competitive market. If your current provider doesn’t give you good support, it’s time to look elsewhere and move on.

VPS Hosting or Dedicated Hosting: What’s best for your business?

There are many differences between a VPS and Dedicated hosting. What’s good for your business? That will depend on the specifications and criteria.

To begin, I would like to say that a small to medium-sized business barely requires complete resources available on advanced servers. If your business does not require a lot of resources, then it doesn’t make sense to spend that extra and take on a system that you don’t require. Your growing business, with a stable flow of traffic, can find good power and sufficient resources with VPS hosting.

We have observed in many cases, a small spike of web traffic doesn’t pose an immediate requirement for a dedicated server, especially if it’s a small business. Virtual solutions have low resources requirement and have competitive pricing.

In the SMB space, you will find competitors whose websites live in a VPS world. Most of the dedicated servers have internationally recognized companies at an enterprise level.

Ask yourself how you will use the hosting service in your business. Will you manage the continuous maintenance required? Will you be able to upgrade the hardware?

Now, based on the answers, revise your approach. Traditional hosting costs way less in comparison to Managed hosting. However, it will enhance the efficiency in a VPS hosting environment, just like a dedicated server. This is attainable on a low end of the spectrum, an aspect to think about.

You can look at one more aspect with regards to your company’s future growth. Is your company’s growth quantified?

Choose a platform keeping a five years growth in mind. Don’t overlook the potential to scale up as well as down.

You will always have to pay the same amount for the resources when you plan to use a dedicated hosting service. You will have unwanted expenses if your requirements lessen over time.

Final Thoughts

If you’re genuinely concerned about your business and website, we recommend that you consider moving from hosting that’s shared hosting to Dedicated hosting or VPS hosting. Most bloggers prefer a VPS server as it offers value to your upgrade.

We also suggest considering the plans that Managed WordPress hosting has to offer. If you’re a blogger and you’ve outgrown your shared hosting plan, then both VPS and Dedicated servers are an option, although we do agree they are a bit expensive from your current plan. But they do offer exceptional value.

There is value for your money and the resource you pay for you receive. In the future, when you decide to go in for an expensive plan, you will notice an increase in security and performance. 

The VPS and Dedicated server is an ongoing debate. But at the end of the day, it all depends on the specific requirements of your own website. The only constant thing is change; the world of servers is constantly evolving and ever-changing.

With upgraded technology and an increase in security threats, it’s difficult to be prepared all the time and for everything. Ask yourself the questions that are right for you and your business, look for a flexible technology plan, the needs of your server will be fulfilled.

The host you choose will be the pillar of digital operations. Meet your requirements without falling prey to the bait of paying extra for resources that won’t be used. Don’t squeeze performance from a well-priced solution. Always compare the pricing based on the configuration, security, and flexibility requirements of your business.

If you need a host that’s reliable, has robust performance, and doesn’t put a hole in your wallet, then VPS hosting can be a good choice. Some VPS plans come with cPanel that is user-friendly, and also provides instant resources. You get access to full root allowing you to install an operating system you prefer.

Enterprise-level businesses have more specific needs and prefer dedicated servers. VPS server is always well suited for small to medium-sized businesses. SMB markets work exceptionally well with the agility that VPS offers.

The hosting provider’s reputation is vital, and you must consider it while shortlisting hosting companies. The web host you select now can end up being a long-term provider; this can affect the way you work with them now and in the future.

Don’t rush in deciding; take your time and learn all about VPS and dedicated server and let your decision be an educated one. I trust this article has been informative and will help you to make an informed decision. You can also check our article on What Can You Do With a VPS.

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