Compare Hosting: VPS vs Shared
Shared hosting and VPS hosting have many common traits - namely:
•Both services allow a single server to provide services for multiple users
•Both services provide some level of compartmentalization to separate a given user's files and services from any other user's files and services
•Both services offer an economical alternative to dedicated hosting
Deciding which type of hosting you will need is as simple (or complex) as your needs. Examining the appeal of shared hosting and VPS hosting is the best place to start when making an informed decision.
Shared Hosting's Appeal vs VPS Hosting's Appeal
Linux virtual private servers offer the same complement of operating systems and software components which one would expect from a dedicated server. Those with experience administering Linux systems see the benefits in having access to configure their service for uses which extend far beyond e-mail service and web hosting. Individuals who are new to Linux administration often find that a VPS is the best place to start learning without buying their own hardware.
VPS hosting is often considered a step up from shared hosting: when it's time start supporting heavy traffic and custom applications, many will make the switch to VPS hosting after encountering the limitations of the shared hosting infrastructure.
The key differences which set VPS hosting apart from shared hosting are not a factor for those who wish to host a low-to-moderate traffic website and are happy with the level of control offered by a web hosting control panel like cPanel or Plesk. These individuals will prefer Shared Hosting for its perceived simplicity and ease of use: they generally do not have Linux system administration experience and they are not interested in picking up any.
Shared hosting also has the appeal of a bargain for those who are hunting "unlimited" bandwidth and storage space - many providers will make "unlimited" claims, despite the fact that there will always be a practical limit (which, to their eventual disappointment, bargain hunters overlook).
Shared Hosting Resources
Accounts share all hardware resources with "soft" limits imposed by monitoring software (shared hosting servers are notoriously over-sold, often to the detriment of individual accounts).
VPS Hosting Resources
Virtual private servers are allotted disk space and memory independent of other allocations on the hardware node; while the potential for individual accounts to affect hardware node performance still exists, hard limits set for each virtual environment and improved monitoring capabilities minimize the opportunities for a single user's activities to impact others.
Shared Hosting Scalability
Shared hosting plans range from minimal allocations of memory and bandwidth to the "unlimited" plans commonly offered by providers which over-sell services - the same e-mail, webserver, and scripting frameworks are available at each allocation level, however, the availability of some features may be restricted; no matter which plan is selected, the hosting account will likely reside on the same hardware with a variety of other accounts with different allocations.
VPS Hosting Scalability
Virtual private servers are inherently scalable - whether you need a minimal allocation to run a simple e-mail server or virtual private network end-point or a webserver with enough resources to support extensive database applications and heavy traffic, VPSLink has a VPS hosting plan to meet your needs; VPSLink accounts are sequestered by plan allocation on high-end hardware to ensure performance beyond any comparison to shared hosting.
Shared Hosting Security
Shared hosting is inherently difficult to secure completely - as multiple users have the ability to upload and download files which can be run under the same operating system instance which supports other users' accounts, the possibility for a malicious user to exploit an operating system vulnerability and gain access to other users' data will always exist.
VPS Hosting Security
It is no accident that the word "Private" makes an appearance between "Virtual" and "Server" - VPS hosting is inherently more secure than shared hosting: its virtual environments have independent file systems and its administrators are empowered to implement secure configurations.