A Virtual Private Servers (VPS) is a type of web hosting server that has been virtually divided so that it operates as many different individual servers. Each client on a VPS machine has control over their own section of the server, including the freedom to install a new operating system or reboot the server. A middle stepping stone between shared web hosting and dedicated servers, VPS hosting comes with many advantages.
When you purchase a shared hosting account you are at the mercy of your web hosting company. Should they decide to reboot the server during your peak sales hours of the day, you have no choice in the matter. Not so with a VPS. When you have your own virtual private server you’ll be in complete control of things like what software gets installed, what ports are closed or open, and when the server is rebooted. As a VPS client you’ll be given root access to your part of the server which gives you the freedom to do what you want, when you want.
If you have bad neighbors on a shared web hosting account it can have a negative impact on your own domain name’s performance. For example, if another client on your server decides to send out a mass email to 2,000 people one afternoon, your website may slow to crawl or even go offline.
As a VPS client you’ll be given dedicated resources and will never be affected by anyone sharing the same server. You will be in complete control of how you use and manage the CPU, memory and space included in your VPS plan.
Because VPS accounts are insulated from each other and act as though they are true dedicated servers, your risk of being hacked or infected with a virus intended for someone else is greatly minimized. Now, you will be in charge of your server’s firewall configuration and virus protection.
With a shared hosting account, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to run certain scripts that require ports to be opened in the firewall. It would be impossible for a hosting company to manage security with such a setup. With VPS hosting, you’ll be managing your own firewall and can customize it as you like. This gives you greater flexibility in choosing what software to install and how to deal with things like SPAM.
Virtual private server accounts are managed as server images by your web hosting company. That means that if you decide to upgrade or downgrade your account, your hosting company can move that image to a new server at any time without a moment of downtime.
Many web hosting clients have done away with shared hosting altogether, choosing instead to invest in virtual private servers that give them the control and flexibility needed to manage their domain. Virtual private servers are an inexpensive way to get all the features and resources of a dedicated server without all the cost.