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Definitions of Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting Services

"Shared, Reseller, VPS, or Dedicated?"
by Archbob

When it comes to choosing a plan or upgrading, there are usually four options in the web hosting world to choose from: Shared hosting, Reseller Hosting, Virtual Private server, and dedicated server. If you're wondering "Which one should I choose?", then this article may help you decide. First off, let's get the definitions of these four services straight.

Shared Hosting -- This usually refers to buying a bit of space on a server. You are sharing the server with tens, maybe even hundreds of other people.

Reseller -- This is really for people who have multiple domains or who want to host other people. Depending on the size of your reseller package, you may be sharing the server with many other people.

Virtual Private server -- This is for people who need root access to the server to install their own software. Basically a chunk of the server is blocked off for each VPS user. There are usually not that many people sharing a server with VPS plans.

Dedicated server -- This is where you get the whole server to yourself and share it with no one. This is for large or CPU or RAM intensive sites.

Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is for small to medium sized sites. Shared hosting is the cheapest of the four but has many drawbacks. You are probably sharing the server with many, many other people so performance may sometimes be an issue. With shared hosting you risk more downtime since if any of the accounts on the server you are hosted on generates excessive CPU or RAM usage, it will slow your sites down. If you own a large site or a busy forum, you may want to think about upgrading your hosting. Shared plans usually limit the number or domains you can host per account.

Reseller accounts are for people who host multiple sites or want to start their own hosting company. You are sharing a server with several other people. Unlike a shared account, most reseller accounts come with a generous number of domains allowed or an unlimited number of domains. You and the people you host also risk the chance of suffering performance setbacks if any of the accounts on the server drain too much CPU or RAM.

VPS (Virtual Private Server) is for those people who need the control of a dedicated server but cannot afford the price. In a VPS, you are guaranteed a certain amount of CPU usage and RAM usage. While this may be restrictive at times, it saves the risk of other people on the server bogging your site down. VPS accounts generally have full root access and can install their own software. VPS acts as a dedicated server except with less space, CPU availability, and RAM. You are usually sharing a server with a few others on a VPS account.

Dedicated Server
A dedicated server is a server fully to yourself. You do not share the server or resources with anyone else. This is generally for high-intensive sites or sites that have a lot of visitors. With a dedicated server, you have full root access, can install your own software, and can do pretty much whatever you want with the server. Dedicated servers are generally pretty costly in terms of price. This kind of hosting is best suited for a busy portal or forum.

About the author: PHP and Flash programmer. Owner of Web Hosting Gate

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