Best VPS Hosting

By Jovana Letić October 8, 2020

The era of shared hosting is coming to an end. It’s slow, unreliable, and too constrained. Even if you’re not a so-called power user, you’ll quickly discover the limits of a traditional hosting solution. Today, online users expect everything to load instantly, and anything that falls short of that can have a serious impact on your website’s ranking.

You can avoid all these complications by getting a VPS. You’ll get all the resources and tools you need to bring your dream website to life. It’s fast, stable, and secure. Keep reading to find out which companies offer the best VPS hosting.

Best VPS Hosting in 2020

  • Very affordable
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Highly customizable
  • No unlimited option
Price $$4.99 /mo
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  • Unlimited websites and emails per account
  • Sub accounts supported
  • Impeccable uptime record
  • Limited server options before signup
Price $10/mo
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  • Near 100% uptime
  • Great security features
  • Affordable add-ons
  • Low amount of storage
Price $19.95/mo
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  • Near 100% uptime
  • Great security features
  • Affordable add-ons
  • Low amount of storage
Price $17.99/mo
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What is a VPS?

A VPS or virtual private server is a service that’s become quite popular in recent years. It involves the creation of a virtual machine on an existing server with dedicated processing power and a pre-installed operating system. The best VPS hosting provider offers a choice between a Windows server and a Linux server, with CentOS usually offered at the more advanced user-oriented websites.

A VPS basically runs like a standalone server within a server, but the user cannot access other virtual machines on the same branch. The providers often give root access to these servers, so users can install any software they like as long as it’s supported by the OS. Many choose this option for hosting a website, running web tools in a simulated environment, or even hosting gaming servers.

Why do I need a virtual private server?

The VPS hosting vs shared hosting debate has been ongoing ever since providers started offering VPS en masse. But why would anyone get a VPS when their website runs well on a shared server? The answer is simple: performance.

When you get a shared hosting plan, you’re not guaranteed any specific processing power or a certain amount of RAM. There are too many websites running on a single machine, which slows everything down and ultimately leads to a bad experience for those visiting your website. It can even cause your website to rank lower on Google due to visitors leaving before the pages load, and it’s especially bad for dynamic websites.

Employing the services of the best VPS hosting company gives you a slice of an entire server all to yourself. You know exactly how much RAM and CPU power you have available, so you can build a dynamic website or a webshop accordingly. Even if another user on the same node overloads their website with scripts, it cannot affect your site’s performance. Virtual hosting might be more expensive, but in the long run it’s worth the money. It’s also a great choice for anyone looking to get into eCommerce.

1. A2 Hosting

" Best all-rounder "

  • Storage
    20-250 GB
  • Bandwidth
    2-9 TB
  • Uptime
    99.9%

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Very affordable
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Highly customizable
  • No unlimited option

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Very affordable
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Highly customizable
  • No unlimited option
  • Storage
    20-250 GB
  • Bandwidth
    2-9 TB
  • Uptime
    99.9%

If you need the best VPS hosting with a lot of customization options, look no further than A2 Hosting. This hosting provider is a favorite among many web developers and website owners due to its affordable plans and plethora of options for customizing the VPS.

Features

A2 Hosting offers both managed and unmanaged servers. Therefore, the company provides multiple hardware combinations to suit everyone’s needs. The hardware configurations start with single-core virtual machines that include 512 MB of RAM and 20 GB of SSD storage.

That doesn’t sound very impressive, but the company’s secret weapon is the configurator tool available directly from its website. Granted, it’s not available for managed server hosting, since those plans are fixed. But in case you prefer to manage your own server, this is the tool for you. With these sliders, you can get up to 12 CPU cores, 32 GB of RAM, and 250 GB of high-speed storage space. There’s even an option for increased monthly bandwidth, although there’s no option for the unmetered plan. A2 also offers several OS options, including CentOS and several popular Linux distributions, optional cPanel and Webuzo licenses, and server location selection.

With managed server hosting, you’re losing root access, but benefiting in other ways. These VPS hosting plans come with SSL encryption, free cPanel license, and transfer tools for quick and easy website migration. Security features include a firewall and DDoS protection, as well as automated backups. Some competitors might offer better uptime, but at 99.9% it’s still a highly stable service.

Plans & pricing

All of the plans at A2 are constrained by monthly bandwidth. While this can be mitigated by switching to an unmanaged plan and upgrading to a higher tier, it’s still a far cry from the highly popular unlimited plans.

VPS hosting pricing plans are straightforward. The plans start at a very affordable $5 per month for unmanaged hosting and $25 for managed servers. There are no hidden costs and no sneaky upsells – what you see is what you get. Of course, if you want your VPS to pack a bit more horsepower and you want to add more sliders, the price can rise pretty quickly. The great thing is that you make all of these adjustments from the shopping cart, so there’s no need for any back and forth when placing an order.

Like many of the best VPS hosting services, A2 Hosting also offers a handful of add-ons and licensed software. First up is cPanel, which comes with a license for five accounts and bumps up the price by $15. It will cost you another $15 for CloudFlare firewall, and there are two additional turbo boosts that go up to about $30 per month. For managed servers, there are a few more add-ons, mainly the upgraded cPanel licenses for up to 100 users and five additional IPs. Overall, the cost of these extra features is fair and with multi-year plans, you can save a lot of money.

A2 Hosting is one of the best web hosts when it comes to refund policies, too. The company has an anytime money-back guarantee, offering a full refund if you cancel within your first month or a pro rata amount after the initial 30 days. It’s a truly risk-free service.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re starting a website or looking for an upgrade of your existing hosting server, A2 Hosting will provide you with some of the best tools and servers in the industry to ensure that your project is a success.

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2. DreamHost

" Best for resellers "

  • Storage
    30-240 GB
  • Bandwidth
    Unlimited
  • Uptime
    100%

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited websites and emails per account
  • Sub accounts supported
  • Impeccable uptime record
  • Limited server options before signup

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited websites and emails per account
  • Sub accounts supported
  • Impeccable uptime record
  • Limited server options before signup
  • Storage
    30-240 GB
  • Bandwidth
    Unlimited
  • Uptime
    100%

If you’re looking for the best VPS hosting for WordPress, DreamHost is an ideal option. Among the many hosting companies competing for their piece of the pie, DreamHost has an offer that’s hard to refuse. This combo of unmatched uptime and reseller-friendly plans comes at an incredibly low price.

Features

Even before you sign up, you’ll frequently come across the word unlimited. The provider offers unlimited monthly bandwidth, an unlimited number of websites and domains per account, as well as unlimited emails and MySQL databases. This lays a solid foundation for your next enterprise or even reseller business.

But before you purchase the best website hosting, you have to pick a virtual private server. The servers come in four flavors and, unfortunately, can’t be tweaked during the checkout process. Your options range from 1 to 8 GB of RAM, with up to 240 GB of storage on ultra-fast SSD drives. If you need more storage and RAM, you can sign up for a plan.

Aside from the aforementioned unlimited deals, DreamHost has an interesting guarantee. With any of the servers, the company guarantees no downtime. The 100% uptime policy is one of the company’s unique characteristics. It also says a lot about the stability of the servers, making it the best hosting service for customers who need rock-solid infrastructure.

DreamHost also has a set of sub-account features. These too have no limits on the number of accounts and web domains you can create. This is ideal if you want to provide further hosting to third parties or just want to host a lot of websites under one account. Since the servers are managed, you don’t have to worry about updating your Linux VPS. The service supports one-click installations and all the popular scripts like Ruby, PHP 7, Perl, and Python.

Plans & pricing

DreamHost is also a great option if you need affordable VPS hosting. Even though you can’t customize plans, the prices here are some of the lowest in the business. You also get a choice between four plans, each coming with a different amount of RAM and storage.

The cheapest option is just $10 per month, while the VPS Enterprise plan costs $120. But the price can be reduced further if you choose to pay on an annual basis instead of monthly. It’s a simple pricing model, and you can get a preview of various discounts that are based on the billing period. The checkout process is quick, and it allows you to switch to a different plan with updated VPS server prices before you enter your payment information.

As for add-ons, there’s really only one option available during the purchasing period. It’s called MySQL VPS, and it’s an AI-powered auto-scaling tool. If you enable it, the system will monitor your database resource consumption and scale your plan accordingly. You can try it for free for a week or pay $15 per month to have it on all the time.

Final thoughts

DreamHost truly is a dream come true for anybody who’s searching for the best hosting providers. It’s an affordable, straightforward, and customer-focused service with a lot of great tools.

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3. HostGator

" Best for beginners "

  • Storage
    30-120 GB
  • Bandwidth
    1-3 TB
  • Uptime
    99.98%

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Near 100% uptime
  • Great security features
  • Affordable add-ons
  • Low amount of storage

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Near 100% uptime
  • Great security features
  • Affordable add-ons
  • Low amount of storage
  • Storage
    30-120 GB
  • Bandwidth
    1-3 TB
  • Uptime
    99.98%

Another provider vying for the title of the best VPS hosting is HostGator, a Texas-based company that offers many solutions for website owners. Promoting its VPS plans as flexible, user-friendly, but also powerful, this provider is a favorite among both developers and beginners.

Features

Hostgator promises users “more control + extra flex.” All of the servers come with root access, unmetered bandwidth, and a suite of tools for different kinds of webmasters.

When it comes to hardware specs, there’s a lot to like. VPS servers start with 2 CPU cores, 2 GB of RAM, and 120 GB of SSD storage. That’s already enough to place this company among the top VPS hosting providers, but it’s just the starting offer. The maximum horsepower on offer includes 4 CPU cores, 8 GB of RAM, and 240 GB of storage. Of course, you can increase all of that once you sign up, but we would have liked to see the site allow any customization of these plans right off the bat.

The provider really stands out by removing limits that some other virtual web hosts impose on their VPS offering. That means unlimited bandwidth, email accounts, databases, and FTP accounts. Other companies give you just one free web domain, but HostGator has an unlimited offering.

A lot of user reviews of VPS hosting providers commend this company for catering to both beginners and advanced users. That’s because of the toolset you get with each VPS, which includes site templates, one-click installers for CMS and scripts, and even development tools. It doesn’t matter if you’re building an eCommerce site, a batch of portfolio websites, or just want to launch a gaming VPS – HostGator has you covered. Even better, the provider runs automated backups, with manual backups as an option, so your hard work is always protected.

Plans & pricing

While the plans cannot be customized until you start using the VPS you’ve paid for, HostGator doesn’t make the purchasing process complicated in any way. The VPS hosting price is listed underneath all three plans, and it starts at $19.95. Granted, it’s a little bit steeper compared to the previous companies we reviewed, but you won’t get stuck with a slow server that has no room for any of your files.

As always, picking an annual or three-year billing cycle is the way to go if you want the best bang for your buck. This way, you can get a discount of up to 75% off the full price. There aren’t many add-ons, either. In fact, there’s only one, an optional cPanel license that costs $10 per month. The purchase is risk-free with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Final thoughts

HostGator offers the best VPS server hosting for anyone looking to get their VPS operational right away. It’s simple, powerful, and affordable.

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4. Bluehost

" Best for small businesses "

  • Storage
    30-120 GB
  • Bandwidth
    1-3 TB
  • Uptime
    99.98%

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Near 100% uptime
  • Great security features
  • Affordable add-ons
  • Low amount of storage

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Near 100% uptime
  • Great security features
  • Affordable add-ons
  • Low amount of storage
  • Storage
    30-120 GB
  • Bandwidth
    1-3 TB
  • Uptime
    99.98%

Bluehost’s services are an ideal option for modern eCommerce entrepreneurs who need a lot of speed and a high level of security. In many ways, this is the best VPS hosting for startups.

Features

When it comes to hardware, you can choose from 2 or 4 CPU cores as your starting point, accompanied by 2 to 8 GB of RAM. That’s more than enough to run several high-bandwidth web services. Speaking of bandwidth, the minimum is set at 1 TB per month, while the most expensive plan triples that and adds another IP address into the mix. Yes, you can get multiple IPs without having to pay for add-ons.

Unfortunately, there is little storage. In default plans, which you cannot customize beforehand, the maximum you can get is 120 GB. Compared to other top VPS hosting sites, this is a bit of a letdown. We would also like to see an option for unlimited bandwidth, since there’s already an option to get more server resources once everything’s up and running.

If security is one of your priorities and you care about having SSL certificates, you’ll be glad to hear that your VPS gets a free SSL with an optional CodeGuard security tool. In fact, there’s a slew of security features like SiteLock – which detects vulnerabilities and prevents malware attacks – and domain protection, which masks your identity. The provider also accommodates people who need multiple virtual machine hosting options and includes an easy server management tool.

Finally, this is one of the rare providers that offers a set of SEO tools. Bluehost has its own toolset for search engine optimization. The tools are easy to use, with step-by-step optimization and insights so that you can monitor the performance of your websites.

Plans & pricing

Pricing plans start at $17.99 and include one year of free web domain, or you can connect an already existing domain to your VPS. This might not be a cheap VPS hosting option, but the security features justify the price. And, as always, the longer the billing period is, the better the monthly price.

There are precisely two paid extra services you can add to your plan. The first one is Codeguard, which costs $2.99 per month and provides another layer of security, while the aforementioned SEO toolset costs an additional $1.99 per month. In case you’re eligible for any tax exemptions, you can provide the relevant documents during the checkout process. The refund policy is pretty standard. You get a full refund if you cancel your subscription during the first 30 days.

Final thoughts

Bluehost is one of the best VPS hosting options thanks to its focus on security and a modern toolset that no other provider offers right now. Small businesses that decide to run multi-VPS configurations should look no further than this hosting service for all their needs.

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Review Methodology

There are several critical factors to consider when identifying the best VPS hosting service. Our criteria for evaluating each provider pinpoints certain features and identifies the few services that we can truly call the best of the best. Each of those services is then thoroughly reviewed, detailing every factor that affects the final rating.

Server resources and scaling

One of the most important things to look out for when choosing a hosting provider is the hardware on offer. In other words, what kind of options are available for configurations. Different webmasters have different needs, so the service has to be flexible and offer more than just a couple of plans that you can’t customize.

The best VPS hosting providers create plans and hardware combinations for both beginners and power users. That means you can get everything from a basic 1 CPU core and 1 GB of RAM combo to more processing cores and up to 100 gigs of RAM. It’s even better if they disclose what processors the servers are equipped with – Intel’s Xeon is the prefered choice.

Another very important piece of the puzzle is storage. First of all, the servers need to use SSD storage in order to deliver the performance of top hosting companies. Solid state drives (SSD for short) are much faster than traditional hard drives, enabling your website and apps to run up to 20 times faster. The amount of storage is crucial, as you don’t want to end up with insufficient room for data once you install all the apps and scripts on your VPS.

Finally, there’s the matter of scalability. Once you get past the early stages of launching your project, it’s bound to grow. That’s why, in our VPS hosting reviews, we also talk about upgrades and scaling up the servers. Some hosting companies let you customize their plans and get these upgrades early on, while others only offer the option to upgrade once you’re a customer. In any case, scaling should be an easy and fast process that requires just a few clicks.

Uptime and bandwidth

Obviously, you want your VPS server to be available at any time of day, every day of the year. After all, your customers come from all corners of the world and from many different time zones. But the truth is that some of the best VPS hosting companies aren’t able to keep the servers online 100% of the time. Whether it’s due to regular maintenance or external factors, hosts will usually set their server uptime guarantee somewhere around 99.9%. This is still impressive because it means your VPS won’t be offline for more than a couple of hours per year.

Aside from keeping the server online, the amount of traffic supported is another important factor. Spending all that data before the month comes to a close means your websites will go dark until the start of a new month. The best hosting sites usually provide 10 to 20 times more traffic than storage space, or even unlimited bandwidth, which is a desirable option.

Other features

VPS servers aren’t just about sheer power and bandwidth. There are many additional things you can tune up or install on your server. For example, it’s important to know whether you can choose what operating system the servers are running on, as some prefer CentOS over Windows VPS. Do you get root access? Is there even an option for the unmanaged server? What other apps are readily available for one-click installation?

Other than unmanaged VPS hosting, we look for anything else that may add value to the plans, like unlimited email accounts and web domains. When it comes to security, nearly all VPS hosting providers offer one free SSL certificate. But not all of them offer additional encryption or multiple IP addresses per account. These are all small things that end up making a big difference.

Pricing

Lastly, we look at the price. Hosting can get very expensive very quickly, especially when it comes to VPS, because the price rises with hardware components. Also, it’s not always a good idea to go with cheap VPS hosting, as you may end up with an underwhelming server that hampers your website’s performance. We’re looking for the best value – the right balance between affordability and good performance. We also compare the prices of unmanaged and managed servers, as well as any deals a customer can get if they sign up for years of hosting.

FAQ

What are the benefits of VPS hosting?

VPS is the best way to host dynamic websites. It provides more computing power than shared hosting, allowing more advanced scripts to run and making it easier to optimize websites. Finally, it scales better, so expanding storage or getting more CPU power doesn’t require website migration.

What is the best free VPS?

There isn’t really a fully free way to get a private server. Hosting doesn’t come cheap, so you can take advantage of the refund policies to test out the hosting solutions before deciding to stick with one company.

Do I need VPS hosting?

Depending on how dynamic your website is, you might need a VPS. Bloggers and webmasters who want to create simple, static websites are better off with shared hosting. A switch to VPS is required when you need to run some automation, scripts, or other tools that need more horsepower than what the cheapest hosting solutions offer.

Are VPS secure?

In our reviews of VPS hosting services, we listed the different security features that virtual servers are equipped with. An SSL certificate is a must-have for a VPS, with many providers offering additional security tools like domain protection, antimalware, firewalls, and anti-DDoS tools. In short, yes, VPS is a highly secure solution.

Why is VPS so expensive?

A VPS is more expensive than shared hosting because of the processing power that is dedicated to each user/website. Each customer gets a dedicated amount of CPU power, RAM, and storage, so they can rest assured that their websites will always run smoothly. Therefore, the best VPS hosting is more reliable and powerful than traditional shared hosting, and that comes with a higher price.