What is a VPS?
In web hosting, virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine that allocates resources to each user. These users don’t share resources like RAM or processing power and often allow better performance and customization that traditional shared environments.
VPS hosting operating systems come in precisely two flavors: Linux and Windows. Linux and Windows people are the “dog people” and “cat people” of the tech world, as they tend to have strong opinions about their preference.
Which Is Right for You?
Ultimately, the choice boils down to several factors, only some of which may matter to you more than others.
Linux VPS: Linux open source and free to use, though consider the cost of hiring potential technical know-how.
Windows VPS: Microsoft owns the license, and you must pay to use it, in addition to any other costs.
Linux VPS: In general, Linux is the best option for PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python, or MySQL.
Windows VPS: Best for applications specific to Windows like ASP.net, MySQL, C#, VB Development, MS Access, and other Microsoft products.
Linux VPS: Linux is easy to use… if you’re comfortable working from the command line interface or can hire someone that is. Hands-on techs with the know-how tend to prefer Linux because they find it easier to control the environment than with Windows.
WIndows VPS: The graphical user interface (GUI) and remote desktop make everything a little more intuitive for those without access to an IT team.
Linux VPS: If used for appropriate tasks, Linux uses less demand on your hardware. It’s stripped-down approach makes it easier to optimize in most situations.
Windows VPS: The frequent updates mean frequent reboots, and the GUI use resources you’d prefer to use elsewhere.
Linux VPS: Open source means community-driven, and Linux is no exception. This means the abundance of online help, though reliability and quality can be variable unless you know where to look.
Windows VPS: Windows benefits from more regular updates, which tend to be reliable although they almost always prompt a server restart. As for tech support, Microsoft offers reliable 24/7 support by phone and online chat.
Linux VPS: Being open source and less accessible to laypersons, Linux gets less attention from wrongdoers. It also restricts editing and security access to administrators, preventing more user error.
Windows VPS: Microsoft’s operating system has a much larger target painted on its back, and it’s relatively low barrier-to-entry creates a larger potential for user-made errors if not configured properly.
Linux VPS: Linux servers support File Transfer Protocol (FTP), but SSH is only possible with Linux.
Windows VPS: FTP is available, but SSH is not.
Linux VPS Vs Windows VPS Summary
- Paid license
- Has regular updates, but requires occasional restarts
- Easier to use
- More vulnerable to malware
- Free to use
- Open source
- Requires more technical skill
- Less vulnerable to malware