Dedicated vs Virtual Private Servers, which one should you go for?

We are here to help you decide with this detailed virtual private server (VPS) vs dedicated server hosting guide. We’ve explained both hosting types along with their pros and cons over each other, and likewise examined differences in features, resources allocated, security, performance, pricing and more.

To host an outstanding high-quality application, website or eCommerce store with heavy traffic, you’ve got to use a reliable, powerful and resource-rich hosting service plan. If you’re stuck on shared web hosting, you’ve been holding your site’s performance back. Don’t believe me?

The perfect way to confirm this is to evaluate your site’s loading speeds, performance, and responsiveness from your visitor’s point of view in the worst-case scenario. How does it fare compared to the competition? Are you delighted with the loading speed? Do you think random visitors will stick around?

Truth be told, most people don’t waste time with unresponsive and slow loading sites. If you want to keep hold of your visitors, rank higher and avoid high bounce rates with slow loading speed, lets dig in.

Difference between VPS and Dedicated Servers

Quick Answer

In a nutshell, with a dedicated server, you get a physical server for your website(s) use with no sharing. With a VPS you share a physical server with other clients where each one of you gets their resources.

A dedicated server is the fastest and also the most powerful web hosting solution. You get a physical server and all its resources all to yourself. You can host as many websites and services as you like.

dedicated servers illustration
In dedicated hosting, your website gets all the resources of the physical server unlike a VPS

On the other hand:

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a hosting service where different hosting accounts on the same main physical server get their physical resources which include CPUs, memory, Graphic power (GPU) and storage. The web hosting company uses a hypervisor and through different virtualization technologies such as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware everyone gets their private server. You install your preferred operating system and perform configuration changes on your VPS.

8 Key Differences in Features: VPS Vs Dedicated Server Hosting

#1 Resources Allocation

In dedicated hosting, all the server resources including CPU, GPU (processing power), bandwidth and network speed are all yours. You still get greater resource limits e.g. if you want 160TB storage space, only dedicated servers have such limits.

In VPS hosting, you too get your dedicated resources but performance can get affected by other VPS e.g. if there are traffic spikes on other websites and you are using the same public network for your plan, your VPS bandwidth quality gets overwhelmed. However, some providers allow you to get more power if there are unused VPS instances, but it’s not guaranteed.

Pro Tip

A VPS uses a small fraction of the server’s resources for virtualization, but a dedicated server gives you the full raw power of your resources.

#2 Maintenance

With a dedicated server, you can schedule your maintenance at your convenience. For most VPS services, maintenance gets done depending on.

  • How soon they have to implement critical patches.
  • A fixed schedule- mostly around 2 months–by your web host.
  • The convenience of your hosting company

#3 Pricing

When comparing Virtual private servers vs dedicated servers, a VPS is the most affordable solution. VPS costs $8 to $300/month. The reason being the hosting company divides the cost of hardware operations between the hosting accounts on the same physical server.

In contrast, dedicated servers are very expensive because you pay your server bill alone. Prices start from $50 up to 1800/month.

Pricing can rise to $1800/month depending on the features

#4 Configuration, Customization, and Management

Your webmaster configures, customizes, optimizes, and manages your dedicated server according to your needs without restrictions. He/she can set virtually limitless configurations. You could even host your own Virtual Private Servers if you wanted to. Reconfiguring is also easy and efficient. When you request help, server support technicians can easily find problems. All dedicated server providers provide root access as long as it’s not a managed plan. Some VPS–like DreamHost’s – do not have root-level access. Most VPS have a few limitations where you can’t set and run configurations that hurt other VPS. Dedicated servers’ are superior in terms of flexibility and freedom

Pro Tip

High CPU clocking configurations, resource-intensive mods for games, extreme actions that tax resource usage on VPS hosting affect the physical server’s performance and can cause overheating. Some hosting companies, e.g. HostGator suspend such noisy neighbors with such configurations.

#5 Software

With a VPS plan, you may not easily install or move

  • Full-stack software that requires lots of memory and storage
  • Large-scale software packages for running a major business
  • Software that requires advanced installation
  • Software that pose security risks for other VPS on the same server

All the above are limitations you don’t run into with a dedicated server.

#6 Scalability

A VPS wins in natural scaling, upgrades, and downgrades. They can get done on-demand and in real-time with the click of a button.

In dedicated hosting upgrades can have extra costs and also require more time. Mostly, its slots or modules that get added to the physical server. Extra redundancy measures, as well as reliability testing, has to get done which means you’ll have downtime. Downgrading dedicated servers is also more limited since you’re already paying for a whole server.

#7 Security

A VPS is less secure than a dedicated server in that

  • Harmful scripts running on websites hosted on other VPS can affect your VPS or even the whole server.
  • Other unsecured VPS are backdoors that can get used for attack from outside the server.

Dedicated server hosting resources have enough resources to help run security apps at full functionality and also prevent potential security threats. The admins can also handle installations efficiently, eliminating malicious attacks linked with genuine software.

#8 Performance

Generally, dedicated servers have more resources and are miles better than VPS. To add on dedicated servers don’t have virtual layers, hence there is lower latency for data movement. This results in faster site loading and server response times.

With a dedicated server, you get your server’s raw performance there are no virtualization layers that consume some resources on physical servers with VPS.

With a VPS, other users with heavy resource usage (noisy neighbours) can affect your VPS performance. It happens when they put a heavy load on the main server.

Pro Tip

The main culprits are VPS on the same physical server that is performing large disk operations like heavy gaming (involving high disk input/output).

Advantages: Dedicated Server vs VPS

Here’s how dedicated servers are better than virtual private servers

  • Dedicated servers have more power and give better performance. You get better website loading speed and smoother user experience.
  • They have dedicated IPs.
  • Latency and ping are much lower.
  • They are more secure
  • Dedicated servers are for premium users and they enjoy getting better support.
  • You get more (higher) resource limits e.g. RAM in TBs
  • Configuration, optimization and customizable is more flexible and efficient with dedicated servers
  • They come in different customizations according to different use cases e.g. storage, game, AI & Machine Learning, GPU intensive dedicated servers and more

Disadvantages of a Dedicated Server

  • Unused resources still get paid for
  • Downgrades and upgrades are more limited. You also don’t get them in real-time.
  • They require more resources and personnel to manage

Advantages: Virtual Private Server vs dedicated server

  • They are much easier and faster to upgrade (scale). It gets done in real-time.
  • They are much more affordable.
  • Operational costs are very low, and you require fewer personnel

Disadvantages of a VPS

  • They come with lower resource limits
  • You get lesser processing and compute power
  • Other VPS can affect your VPS in terms of security and performance
  • VPS resources may not be enough for some use cases.

Conclusion: VPS vs Dedicated Servers

If you are running a small to medium-sized business or a growing company, you can get all the power you require in a VPS. A minimal spike in web traffic shouldn’t scare you if your VPS is still giving a top performance. You don’t have to go for a dedicated server which you will pay for unused resources. You should upgrade to a dedicated server if you have justified reasons, or you have special needs.

Most important of all, don’t be a noisy neighbour if you go for a VPS plan.

Let me know your thoughts on VPS vs dedicated server in the comments sections.

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