What is VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting is essentially web hosting with a few extra benefits. The best way to understand how it works is to think about an apartment building. An individual private server acts as a one bedroom apartment. You install any software that you want and can also restart a server without affecting any other apartments stored on a machine.
It's different from shared hosting, which shares resources with other websites. This means that other websites can actually affect your bandwidth and load time. If one website is pulling in a lot of traffic that you share resources with, your website and any others connected to it are likely to go down as well.
This problem doesn't happen with virtual private servers because you are separate from all other websites. It's the main advantage for using a VPS as opposed to shared web hosting.
Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting
Install applications and software
Create your own private cloud
Maintain your own bandwidth and storage
Choose your operating system such as Linux or Windows
Acts like a dedicated server but without the cost
VPS may cost more than shared hosting plans
Better suited for business sites and applications in need of bandwidth
Most VPS providers also offer technical support and free applications to go with your server so you can install Drupal, Joomla or WordPress for example.
Costs of VPS Hosting
VPS web hosting does have a higher cost than shared hosting, but you also get more. For example, with a shared hosting plan, you may get 100GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth, but you still have to share that bandwidth with other sites. Although you pay only $5.99 for that plan, you may run out of space or need more bandwidth to support your site, and you don't have as much control.
Linux VPS is cheaper than Windows private servers, which require a certificate from Microsoft, which automatically ups the price. You can typically find Linux servers for about $10. With Linux, you have more control over your security and can build private and public clouds.
Windows VPS may be more expensive than Linux, but it's easier to set up and manage if you haven't used Linux before. Some people find that Windows VPS machines are just better to use overall.
How to Pick a VPS
The main thing that separates one VPS from the next is the amount of RAM, storage and bandwidth. On the low end, a VPS will have 4GB of RAM, 60GB of storage and 1TB of storage. You also want to see how many CPUs are powering your VPS. This number ranges from one to four CPUs typically.
VPS companies should also offer free inbound bandwidth, free private network bandwidth, public IP address and choice of operating system. You also want to check out how powerful their datacenter is. If they aren't offering 99.9 percent uptime guarantees, then they likely don't have a fully redundant datacenter, which could mean your site is down in the event of an outage. Most datacenters back up their servers by having several locations.