What is the Difference between Windows vs. Linux Hosting?

When comparing web hosting systems, it is important to understand that there are many differences between the basic Windows and Linux systems. Comparing the two is like comparing a man to a woman. Being the two primary choices for hosting, Windows and Linux are often talked about in comparison terms. While it is difficult to pinpoint one as better than the other, it is possible to come to a decision by analyzing the types of scripting languages you will need.

Linux:

For a long time, Linux was the only serious player in the world of web hosting. It was the king of hosting, with most users still preferring the Linux hosting platform to alternatives. However, its popularity has decreased a lot over the past four to five years, mostly due to the emergence of Windows as a serious competitor. There are hundreds of variants of the basic Linux web hosting platform, such as FreeBSD. Here is a look at some of the advantages Linux has on Windows

  • Cost: Linux is a completely free platform. There are no costs for its standard operating system, or when it is used for web hosting. This makes it a few dollars a month cheaper to customers when they are deciding between Linux and Windows.

  • Languages: If you are looking for a hosting platform that allows diverse scripting languages, Linux is your best bet. PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python and Perl are all supported by default in Linux.

Windows:

The reason most people sign up for Windows hosting is because their desktop or laptop computer is also running the latest Windows operating system. However, there is no relation between what OS you use for your personal or work computer and the server you want for web hosting. The Windows server is radically different from Windows desktop operating systems, and most of your dealings with this server occur through FTP servers or web interfaces.

One advantage that a Windows hosting solution has over Linux is the ability to run classic .NET and ASP scripts. These are very powerful scripting languages, and have been gaining popularity in recent years.

Here are a couple disadvantages of running a Windows sever for web hosting purposes:

  • Popularity: Windows is still less popular than Linux, which means that it can be harder to find a Windows hosting system with all the features that you might be after. If you are committed to having a Windows server, you will have to dig deeper in your search of the perfect web hosting company.

  • Cost: Windows servers can cost anywhere from a little more to a lot more than their Linux counterparts.

Similarities Between the Two Servers:

Sometimes the comparisons between Windows and Linux get so intense that people lose sight of the fact that both systems have a lot in common:

  • Performance is solid with both Windows and Linux.

  • Stability used to be an issue with the Windows servers, but that is no longer the case. Linux has always been extremely reliable, but the stability difference between the two is nonexistent.

  • Static HTML pages are hosted by Windows and Linux in identical ways.

  • The ease of use associated with both systems is identical, due to the fact that most of your work is done through a FTP server or the server's default control panel. Windows does provide an attractive GUI interface, but you are unlikely to use that more than one or two times.

  • The security features with both systems are excellent, even though hosting purists will argue that Linux is less susceptible to viruses.

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