How VPS is Different from Dedicated Server or Shared Hosting? What good is a VPS?
A VPS hosting is something between a shared hosting and a dedicated server. But it has certain advantages over each of those two.
A dedicated server is a physical server usually placed in a data center, that you buy or rent. Its control and management is all up to you. And since it is a full, powerful machine, it’s expensive.
A shared hosting is when a group of clients are given access to a single server, each with their own. Everybody is using the same device, but (hopefully) not all at the same time. All resources are shared between users.
A VPS is something between, in the sense that a physical server is portioned into smaller virtual servers, and each virtual machine is given to a single user or client.
A VPS’s advantage over a dedicated server is its cost. It’s several times cheaper than a dedicated server because, well, that physical server has been broken down into several smaller ones. Of course each of the smaller VPS are cheaper than the original.
A VPS hosting’s advantage over shared hosting is control and non-competition. Unlike shared hosting where all resources are shared among all users, on a VPS, you are allocated a specific and dedicated portion of those resources. No one can touch that other than you. Thus, the private in VPS.
In short, a VPS’s advantage is that you have around the same amount of control as on a full, dedicated server, but it doesn’t cost nearly as much.
What is a Windows VPS? What Are Its Uses?
As I explained above, VPS is like a lightweight server. You have control on what to do with it, unless it’s a managed VPS where most of the maintenance is managed by the hosting provider.
To run programs or launch websites, or even use your VPS as a remote desktop, you’re going to need an operating system. Usually you are free to install and launch most operating systems, while different versions of Windows OS family or different distros of Linux are a given choice.
Windows family of operating systems are a great choice for most purposes, from remote desktops with Microsoft’s RDP technology to running websites to running applications and software, for example Forex trading robots. Each of these different uses may have its own requirements or recommendations, as to what factors you should look for in your Windows VPS hosting plan.
Choosing the Best Windows VPS Hosting for Forex
Many professional Forex traders use a Windows VPS as the base of their operations. There are many reasons for that. The VPS is cheaper than a whole dedicated server, that’s why they don’t get a whole server, but why do they use a Windows VPS instead of shared hosting or their own PC?
Forex traders use certain software to monitor the markets and make calculations, or even make decisions and put deals automatically. The software they use, usually MetaTrader 4 or MT5 or cTrader, runs best on a Windows machine. Their trader bots need to have a fast and reliable access to the internet, 24/7 (because forex markets work around the clock), and the bots need to run smoothly and continuously. A VPS in a data center with power backups and always-online maintenance, provides a reliability that their PC can’t. On the other hand, running smoothly needs dedicated resources so that forex bots and programs don’t compete over resources with other software or clients using the same machine, as is the case in shared hosting. And this is the reason forex trader consider a Windows VPS the best option over shared hosting or a dedicated server.
Naturally, these are the factors that make up the best VPS for forex trading:
- Fast and reliable internet connection
- Reliable hardware
- Data centers near forex trading hubs or brokerages for low latency
- Enough memory to run smoothly (at least 1GB or RAM)
- Enough cores to run smoothly (at least 2 CPU cores)
- An affordable or cheap Windows VPS plan
- Control over the VPS
- Remote desktop capability (RDP)
- Preferably fast SSD storage
- VPS security (usually part of managed Windows VPS services)
Choosing the Best Windows VPS Hosting for Game Server
Another common use of a Windows VPS is for gamers. There are many popular online collaborative or multi-player games that come with an optional server software. You can join the many game servers out there or launch your own game server, for example for your friends to join and play.
Typically, these game servers have Windows Server installed on them, while Windows 10 is also popular. Sometimes another OS like Linux or FreeBSD is installed. What is very important in a game server though, is low latency. It’s all about the speed, the speed of the connection, how many people can connect to the game VPS at the same time before it lags, fast RAM, fast SSD storage, what hardware the gamer server software needs to run smoothly, etc.
The factors for the best gamer server Windows VPS is quite similar to that of a forex VPS. Except maybe for remote connection capability. Although, based on the type of the game and its game server software, you may need more than just 1GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores.
Windows VPS for is also commonly used for TeamSpeak Server. TeamSpeak is a group voice chat platform and software with free and premium versions of its server software available. Many gamers and Game streamers use TeamSpeak server for their voice chats. Although low latency is still the most important factor, hardware requirements for a TeamSpeak server are typically lower than that of a game server.
Choosing the Best cheap Windows VPS Hosting for Remote Desktop
Setting up a remote desktop system is one of the most common uses for a Windows VPS server, if not the most. It is like having a fast and reliable computer that is always online and always available through the internet. For that reasons, there are as many uses possible for a remote desktop Windows VPS as you can imagine.
Since mobile connections are typically not reliable, and mobile internet connections face a lot of ups and downs in a single session, managing a critical software or making deals on a mobile internet is not for the faint of heart. Where you need a reliable desktop that never goes offline and is safe against power outages, you should go for a remote desktop in a data center. Plus, it is much easier to secure a remote computer against cyber-attacks, unlike a PC or that MacBook you carry around with yourself which is physically vulnerable to both accidents and hacking.
Windows is the most common operation system for remote desktops not only because of its universality and ease of use, but also because of its great Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and the other protocols, tools and software in that family. It is the best remote desktop software and protocol in the world.
Generally what you need from your remote desktop Windows VPS, is a reliable connection (which is a given, normally) and enough hardware to run that remote Windows desktop smoothly, or as smooth as you need it to be. How much resources you need is completely up to you. Although, Windows 10 is the number one choice for remote desktops and it doesn’t work smoothly on lowest price plans. A fast storage like SSD storage or even better, NVMe SSD storage is highly recommended.
Choosing the Best Windows VPS Hosting for WordPress
If you intend to launch your website on a Windows VPS, it’s actually a very standard thing to do. For this purpose, usually a Windows Server operating system is implemented, such as Windows Server 2019 or 2016. Then, the WordPress content management system or CMS is installed and set up on the VPS.
What’s important in a WordPress Windows VPS, is how fast it can answer visitors, how many visitors it can answer simultaneously, and how secure it is.
For speed, your hardware and the number of CPU cores on the machine is very important. Having fast SSD storage is a must, and super-fast NVMe SSD storage is a great bonus. Having some memory helps too, but unless you’re website is going to be very busy with a lot of content, you won’t need a lot of RAM.
Again, fast internet is a must; but most VPS plans come with at least a 1Gbps connection which is usually enough. You need to be careful about your bandwidth though, because if you have a lot of traffic or some heavy media content, you’re going to run out of monthly allocated bandwidth too soon and then some hosting services charge extra rates for added bandwidth.
Security is probably the biggest concern for a WordPress VPS, especially Windows VPS, because it is generally much more vulnerable to hacking than other OS such as Linux distros or the BSD OS family.
Some of the security issues are easily covered with a little effort from you. Since you (hopefully) aren’t going to use your WordPress VPS for other purposes, you can safely close most common ports and protocols that you are not going to use. If the Windows VPS hosting plan you rent is a managed plan, you will get a higher security level, although losing some control over your VPS machine.
If the Windows VPS hosting company provides a DDoS protection solution on its plan, it’s a sweet deal. DDoS attacks are the most common type of cyber attacks and they especially target small websites. Your hosting company or their cloud security partner are several times fitter to fight off bulk attacks (i.e. DDoS) than a small VPS server.
Top Windows VPS Hosting Providers for 2021
Windows is not a free OS. Its license actually costs quite some money, and may be the costliest part of getting a Windows VPS. This is where my No.1 candidate shines: they offer the Windows OS for free. On all of their plans. Any version of Windows. This is a quite unique offering which makes RouterHosting probably the cheapest service in the market, starting at only $.795 a month for 2 CPU cores and 2GB of memory.
This is not all RouterHosting has to offer. They are cited for caring support and very flexible plans. They have a lot of different plans for Forex trading VPS, game server VPS, TeamSpeak VPS, remote desktop VPS, and more.
As a proprietary VPS provider with over a decade in the market, they know how to provide quality plans despite their low prices. They offer fast SSD storage, DDoS protection, and locations to choose from all around the world, from the US to Europe to East Asia.
You can have your choice of Windows OS, from Windows XP to Windows 10, and from Windows Server 2019 to 2008. As you will find soon this is a rather unique offer, since most other VPS hosting providers don’t even provide Windows Server 2019 or even 2016, let alone for free.
- Free Windows
- All Versions of Windows
- 7-day Money-Back Guarantee
Kamatera is a well-established provider of both MANAGED and UNMANAGED Windows VPS services. They offer very flexible hosting locations, from the US to Europe to East Asia (Hong Kong.) They are one of the few providers on the list that offer various versions of Windows Server, from 2008 to 2019.
The off-point with Kamatera is the price of their fully managed plans. But they offer a 30-day free trial, so you can test out their services before deciding. Their services are available starting at $23/month.
- Robust infrastructure with excellent coverage
- Offers a range of OS options
- Managed and Unmanaged plans
Hostwinds is a fair and transparent company who details every feature in their plans. you’ll have absolute control over your server configuration and what it includes. HostWind VPS plans are among the cheapest on the market. But you should note that their introductory prices usually double after the first payment period. Additionally, you will have to pay for Windows Server OS licenses and Plesk license at the check-out. They don’t offer Windows Server 2019.
- High Level of Customization Available
- Snapshots (Nightly Backups)
- Free Website Transfer
Liquid Web offers completely managed VPS services, and they come with a handful of great advantages. Windows VPS is available only from the second plan up, and only when purchasing monthly hosting. This makes their starting Windows VPS plan not as cheap as some others. Once again, Windows Server 2019 is not part of their offers.
- CloudFlare CDN
- ServerSecure and DDoS Protection
Hostinger offers cheap unmanaged VPS hosting only. They are cited for their great technical support. A Basic plan with 4 Core CPU, 50GB SSD, 2GB RAM at $26/mo (when bought for 24 months) makes it the perfect Windows Virtual Private Server for small to mid-scale eCommerce sites and .net applications.
- Top-Notch Performance
- Great Support
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
InterServer is an American VPS hosting company which operate at three data centers in New Jersey and Los Angeles. They provide a wide range of Windows VPS plans, covering many different uses. They provide Managed VPS with run-of-the-mill 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Scalable with Slice-Based Packages
- Latest Windows Server Versions ( 2016, 2019)
- Free Migration on $40/mo+ Plans
OVH offers feature-rich Windows VPS hosting at data centers in the EU, Canada, and the Asia Pacific. Standard Edition of Windows Server OS + 1vCore CPU, 2GB RAM at $10.50, makes it a quite affordable VPS hosting plan.
- Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 Virtualization Technology
- Free Backups
- 30 days Money-Back Guarantee
HostPapa offers excellent plans if you’re looking to host Microsoft’s business apps, reselling Windows hosting, or other such projects. The plans get you an abundance of server resources, two IP addresses, and are very easy to manage. In addition, you can choose how much assistance you want from HostPapa’s support team.
- Xen virtualization
- Hefty resource allocation
- Three levels of management
1&1 might be one of the top providers out there, but its plans are a bit too pricy. 1&1 lands among the best Windows VPS hosts, but nowhere near the cheaper options.
- Solid features
- Helpful support
- Nice platform
GoDaddy is the best-known domain reseller on the internet, and they offer some hosting plans that go well with setting up a new website. Their unmanaged plans don’t actually include Windows OS licenses or Plesk Control Panel license.
- KVM Virtualization
- Managed VPS Comes with Plesk Control Panel
- 3 Dedicated IPs On Fully Managed Plan
Many of the names mentioned in the above list may sound familiar to your ear, but sometimes the underdogs win the competition in price or service. That’s because they don’t have a large budget for advertisement and marketing and need to keep the fewer number of clients they acquire, fully satisfied.
For most purposes, a cheap Windows VPS starter plan does the work. You can always scale up your resources if you’re going to need more.
A big part of the cost of Windows VPs, is its Windows OS license. Although the first one in the list offers that for free.
For the purpose of forex trading, some forex brokers provide forex VPS services on the side. Those hosting plans are managed and unfortunately, only work for forex trading with that same broker.