How Does a Virtual Private Server Work?

Every website needs a host. Every web host offers multiple hosting options. The most common hosting options are shared, VPS, and dedicated. Shared hosting is the least expensive and provides the least amount of resources. Dedicated hosting is the most expensive and offers the most amount of resources. As the middle option between shared and dedicated hosting, VPS hosting represents more power and flexibility than shared hosting, but not as much power of flexibility as dedicated hosting. In other words, it’s a cost-effective way for a website to gain more flexibility and efficiency than shared hosting while being less expensive than using a dedicated server. Most websites won’t need the power of dedicated hosting, but they will need more than what shared hosting offers. Therefore, VPS hosting is the ideal hosting solution for most websites.

How Does a VPS Work?

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Essentially, it is a server working within a server. Using virtualization technology, called a hypervisor, a single physical server is divided into multiple virtual servers. Each VPS has its own operating system that is separate from the others sharing the server. Furthermore, you can reboot each VPS independently. As a result, there is the illusion that VPS is its own independent server.

The Advantages of a VPS

A VPS is ideal for businesses that have outgrown the available resources of a shared hosting plan but don’t need or can’t afford a dedicated server. These organizations would also benefit from the following advantages of a VPS:

  • Increased Security: A VPS is independent of other websites sharing the server. Therefore, the mistakes, faulty scripts, or resource usage of these sites won’t affect the uptime or accessibility of your website.
  • Root Access: Since a VPS acts like a dedicated server, you have root access. Root access is what you need to install and configure applications and your own operating system.
  • Customization: With a VPS, you can customize your software and hardware configurations and also run your own applications.
  • Independent FTP and POP access: None of the other accounts on the shared server can affect your access to or the speed of FTP and POP email.
  • Less Expensive: Since multiple accounts share one server, the hosting company can spread the cost of maintaining and running the server across all the businesses on the machine. This results in a lower monthly fee. For example, GreenGeeks offers VPS plans starting at $39.95 per month.
  • Less Technical Knowledge Required: Dedicated servers mostly require manual configuration. However, with VPS, you will usually access your VPS through a graphical user interface control panel. From this control panel, you will install and configure your applications.

Reasons Why You Might Need a VPS

How do you know if you need a VPS? If your business meets any of the following criteria, you should choose a VPS over other hosting options.

  • Your Website is Getting A Lot of Traffic: The more traffic your website gets, the more resources it will require. With shared hosting, you share resources with the other accounts on the server. As a result, you may not be able to access resources when you need them, resulting in a slower page load.
  • You Need Better Security: Shared hosting leaves your site vulnerable if another account on the server is breached or attacked. With VPS hosting, you don’t have to worry that another account will compromise your site’s security.
  • You Want More Control: VPS gives you root access to control the configuration of your operating system and the software you install.


A Virtual Private Server, known as a VPS, is a form of hosting where a single server is divided into virtual servers with their own resources, security, and root access. It’s a step up from shared hosting, where multiple sites share one server, including all its resources. It’s a step down from dedicated hosting, where a single physical server and all its resources are used for one account. In other words, it’s the middle ground between sharing a single server’s resources and having an entire server’s resources to oneself. As a result, it tends to be less expensive than dedicated hosting and more advantageous than shared hosting.

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