A virtual private server (VPS) is a web hosting service that lets users have their own exclusive web hosting environment. There may be several virtual servers running within a single physical server. But to the customers, each one looks and feels like an independent machine. Compared with other web hosting services, a VPS is more stable, performs better, provides more disk space and memory, and is more flexible in terms of features.

A VPS is like a luxury apartment. While a low-end apartment complex could have hundreds of tenants, your high-end building only has a handful, allowing you to enjoy prime accommodation and facilities.

Other interesting terms…

Read More about a “Virtual Private Server”

The following sections tell more about the inner workings of a VPS and what it’s for.

How Does a Virtual Private Server Work?

A VPS mimics the experience of having a dedicated server even if you still share a physical server with other users. To work, a web hosting provider installs a virtual layer over your operating system (OS). That way, the server is effectively separated into compartments with virtual walls. This virtual layer lets each user have his/her own OS and software, making the server private. That means the site stays inside a secure container with access to disk space, memory, and central processing unit (CPU) cores.

What Are the Pros of Using a Virtual Private Server?

Like a luxury apartment, using a VPS comes with a host of advantages that include the ones below.

Cost-Effectiveness

VPS hosting can be a cost-effective option for those who need more than just a shared server. It allows users to have access to a dedicated server without spending on a physical server.

Customizability

VPS hosting lets the user choose and pay only for the features he/she needs to manage his/her website.

Scalability

VPS hosting allows users to enjoy the flexibility of expanding or downgrading servers, depending on business and operation requirements.

Technical Support Availability

One of the primary advantages of using a VPS is access to a technical support team that can readily address issues as they emerge.

Despite the many benefits of VPS hosting, however, it is not a perfect system. It also is not for every website owner.

When Should You Use a Virtual Private Server?

Consider using a VPS in the situations cited below.

Security Is a Huge Concern

When working on a project that needs advanced security features or monitoring requirements, using a VPS is ideal. It offers a wide variety of security features, such as automatic patch management for software.

Your Website Traffic Increases

Users whose website traffic had grown a lot from when they started need to upgrade to a VPS, so they don’t suffer from a site slowdown or crash.

You Are Running an E-Commerce Site

An online store can experience huge spikes in traffic and so can benefit from the scalability that VPSs offer. It’s also worth noting that most VPS hosts adhere to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standard, which leaves one less thing for you to worry about.

You Use Custom Software

Shared hosts don’t give much leeway when it comes to using custom software. But because a VPS is more customizable, it may be better when your business relies on personalized applications.

How Does a Virtual Private Server Differ from Shared and Dedicated Hosts?

Using a VPS is a combination of dedicated and shared hosting.

Like dedicated hosting, VPS hosting lets users have a dedicated server that only they have access to. That means having total control over the VPS, including memory allotment, software installation, and user access. Unlike a dedicated server, which comes in physical form, a VPS is virtual in nature. Several VPSs can exist in one physical server but they are totally separated from one another by walls.

Shared and VPS hosting, meanwhile, are similar in that several users get to share a physical server. The difference lies in that a shared host has no walls to separate one user’s server space from those that belong to others.

The following table summarizes how VPS, shared, and dedicated hosting differ from one another.

VPS HostingShared HostingDedicated Hosting
CostMidlevelLowHigh
PerformanceMidtierLowHigh
SecurityHighLowVery high
ConfigurabilityMidlevelRestrictedHigh
ScalabilityHighLimitedMidlevel

Users can use the table when deciding if they need to switch to VPS hosting.

Do All Users Need to Switch to Using a Virtual Private Server?

While the need for VPS hosting depends on users’ business requirements as discussed earlier, the current threat landscape may necessitate VPS usage. VPS hosting provides greater security, not to mention flexibility and cost savings.

In a nutshell, VPS hosting gives users the best of both worlds—enjoying their own space without the hassle of slowdowns and downtime due to lack of bandwidth.

Using a VPS can be advantageous for website owners who have a good number of followers. It ensures that your website remains up and running all the time.