If you are technically savvy and you are the lucky owner of a successful website or application or you have that golden idea of which you’re sure that it will bring success, you may be wondering whether it is worth having your own web server at home or would VPS hosting be the smarter choice.
Most experts recommend VPS in such a case because this form of hosting is much cheaper than having a home server. Moreover, a virtual private server is a lot easier to handle, especially if you opt for Managed VPS. With Managed VPS, the web host takes care of all technical matters that come with VPS so that you have more time for your website or application.
What is the best VPS server provider in 2021?
According to us (and many others) the best VPS server provider is Linux Hosts Inc. They are based in the US and UK. It’s our own web host. The company has the lowest cancellation rate in the web hosting industry. You can order their fantastic VPS servers from $15 per month.
Important Note. Most providers of cheap VPS plans practice overselling. Overselling means putting too many customers on the same server. Linux Hosts Inc. is the only web host with a very strict NO OVERSELLING policy.
After checking online we noticed that there is a substantial number of people asking Google questions or searching phrases such as:
- Own server or hosting?
- Home server vs VPS.
- Home server vs web hosting.
- Self hosting vs web hosting.
- Self hosting vs VPS.
- VPS or home server?
Actually all these questions and phrases mean more or less the same and can, for example, be translated to: “should I build or buy a web server for at home or is it better to go for VPS hosting?” Well, let’s take a look at the two options so that, eventually, we can draw our conclusion:
Let’s start with your own home server.
The idea of buying your own server is of course tempting for a reason. There are many advantages associated with it, especially for larger web projects.
Advantages and disadvantages of having your own home server.
The advantages are:
If you have your own server, you don’t have to share its capacity with other users, as is the case with shared web hosting. This also applies to a lesser extent to VPS solutions. Providing the full performance of the server to just one user usually results in shorter loading times and shorter response times. If the content of a website or application appears faster, this will have a positive impact on the search engine ranking and thus on the visibility and success of a professionally operated project. For Google, for example, the loading time of a website is an important ranking factor. It is statistically proven that online shops with longer loading times have a higher bounce rate which will rank them lower in Google which eventually causes significantly less sales.
No server overload or failures
The full performance of the server, i.e. server processor (CPU), main memory (RAM) and hard disk space (SSD or HDD), is available to your own web project. This means that when you choose a correspondingly powerful server, even with peak visits to the site, there is no longer any overload or reduced availability. With shared and sometimes even with VPS hosting solutions, a customer’s project can overload the entire server. And, every second in which a professional website cannot be reached means a loss of sales.
Flexibility and individuality
Your own server offers you complete freedom to make any configuration settings, to install the desired operating systems, services, programs and applications, without having to adhere to any specifications of a provider or having to get along with their repertoire of software. As the administrator you also define the scripting languages and database applications. As server owner you have more flexibility and you can design your website or application more individually than you would be able to do as a customer of a web hosting provider.
Security in your own hands
You are of course responsible for the security of the data and the software. The risk of data loss, theft or misuse is lower compared to other hosting solutions because the server is only used by one party. Hacks of other accounts cannot endanger your own web project. An experienced administrator can configure the server via free root access so that it hardly leaves any security holes.
It goes without saying that it are not only advantages that your own home web server has to offer. There are a number of perfectly reasonable arguments against purchasing and operating your own physical server.
Having your own server usually causes significantly higher costs than a web hosting package such as VPS. Not only the acquisition costs but also the operating costs, which are made up of power consumption, maintenance and administrative work, have to be considered. This is by no means worthwhile for privately operated websites such as blogs or smaller company websites.
In depth know how required
The operation of your home server requires the knowledge of a professional administrator. Watching a few videos tutorials is definitely not enough to keep the system running as it should.
Possible legal consequences
Anyone who runs his own server without in-depth knowledge should be aware of the fact that improper handling can lead to damage. If third parties hack the server because of inadequate security settings and use it to spread spam, malware or illegal data via your hardware, software and internet connection, the server owner will be liable for this.
So, what are the alternatives?
The alternative to having your own server is represented by web hosting services. There are a large number of different variants. We present here the most important and most popular alternative: VPS hosting.
What is a VPS?
Anyone looking for the right web hosting for their own website, online shop or application will come across the term “VPS” again and again. We will therefore first explain to you what a VPS is exactly and, after that, compare it to having your own home server.
VPS stands for “Virtual Private Server”. To put it simply, a virtual private server is a virtual machine that uses the resources of a physical server. The server functionalities of a VPS are comparable with those of a dedicated server. For this reason, it is also referred to as a Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS).
So VPS hosting is all about hosting a virtual private server. The hosting environment provides an independent server within a shared hosting environment. Technically, it is both dedicated and shared hosting. However the big difference with shared hosting is that only the physical machine itself is shared with others and nothing else. The RAM, disk space, and processing power that is allocated to you cannot be used by others. Also the software and operating system are not shared with other users.
If users are looking for the strengths of complete packages for web hosting and dedicated physical servers, VPS hosting is the right solution.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a VPS?
To make it easier for you to choose for or against a VPS, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages below.
Advantage: data protection
Since your operating system is not shared with anyone, the risk of other users gaining access to your data is much lower.
You are in full control of your server applications. If, for example, a system restart is required, this can be done at any time. Even if you technically share a physical server with other VPS, the server of other users is not affected when you restart.
Advantage: freedom of adjustment
As already mentioned, with a VPS you have your own operating system. At the same time, it also means that you have your own server applications. If you have to adapt one of your applications, you can make the changes as you like in order to adapt your server to your individual requirements.
The proportion of hardware resources made available to each VPS is usually predefined. All users are guaranteed a minimum server performance. Think about disk space, RAM and processing power. The actual performance can, however, be higher than the guaranteed figures, since unused resources are allocated to the other users who need them.
If a project suddenly requires more performance than initially assumed, users will have the ability to easily and quickly scale up to better or higher resources.
Disadvantage: sharing the virtual private server with too many other users.
All virtual servers on a system are controlled via a certain number of network cards and LAN connections. Unfortunately, this number often does not correspond to the number of VPS. Meaning to say that many very cheap offers often result in too many customers sharing the VPS server. This is called overselling. Therefore you should only opt for real top quality VPS solutions such as the ones offered by the company Linux Hosts Inc. (see the start of this article). This company allows sharing the virtual private web server with only a very few other customers. We wish all web hosting providers did this but, unfortunately this is not the case.
Disadvantage: Unlike having your own web server at home you don’t have full control of your server’s physical hardware.
Who is the use of a VPS suitable for?
A VPS is particularly suitable for technically experienced users. Mostly they are looking for an individual hosting model, but do not want or can not afford the costs of their own home server. Managed VPS is a good option for those with less experience and/or less time with regard to maintenance, updates, backups, software installations etc. which will all be taken care of by the web hosting provider.
With manageable monthly costs, a VPS is perfect for medium-sized companies. VPS are particularly suitable for demanding projects, large communities and online shops with large numbers of visitors.
VPS or home server – a conclusion.
In most cases, buying or building your own home server is not recommended. Anyone who prematurely purchases or builds a home server that, after a few months, no longer meets the requirements should first have carried out a specific needs analysis in order to prevent a bad investment.
On the other hand, large online shops or malls, should seriously consider the option of purchasing their own home or office server or a dedicated server in a data center in order to keep loading times, response times and down times as short as possible.
However, for privately operated website and application projects, a VPS is a better solution in most cases. Actually a VPS is like having your own server in a data center and not at home. If you have a shared hosting account and the number of visitors to a website increases significantly or the number of application users are peaking and, at the same time, the website’s or application’s performance declines, then it may be time for your own virtual server. Thanks for reading and good luck!