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VPS vs AWS - What are they and which one do you need?
To get any website onto the internet and available to web page visitors, you need hosting - that is, a web server to send your website’s details, files, and scripts to anyone who wants to see it.
There are millions of server computers distributed worldwide in various sizes, shapes, and configurations. There are many different kinds and setups of web servers that allow them to host anywhere from one to several thousand websites all at the same time. In the past few years, hosting providers have been investing in new technologies that allow faster connections, higher bandwidth, and better website hosting reliability. Two such methods are VPS and AWS, or more specifically, Virtual Private Servers and Virtual Private Clouds.
In this article, we’ll find out what a Virtual Private Server is and how it works.
We’ll then look at the Amazon Web Service, which falls into the category of Virtual Private Clouds, and see how this compares to a Virtual Private Server.
We’ll then give you some advice on which one would be the best for you!
What is a virtual private server, a.k.a. VPS?
If you want a more detailed understanding and explanation of what a virtual private server is for website hosting, we have written articles about it before that are definitely worth checking out. However, to compare it with AWS (Amazon Web Service), we should check out how it works and the advantages and disadvantages of VPS.
A virtual private server provides a way for you to operate a computer that functions and works just like a unique, individual server machine while being merely a single part - or “slot” - of a much larger computer.
Conventional website hosting, where you share a web server’s resources, computer power, and unique address with hundreds of other websites, is not sufficient for many people and businesses. Especially those who want to run large websites that demand a lot of processing power and Random Access Memory (i.e., RAM) or require specific configuration setups for their servers.
Furthermore, it is also not practical for some people and businesses to purchase their own server machines, set them up, and maintain them. It can have quite a high entry cost, plus a heavy ongoing price of having to employ someone to maintain the server even though it can be difficult and even more costly to customize and modify the server computer to fit your purposes.
Therefore, instead of using conventional website hosting like the vast majority of the internet uses or setting up their own servers, businesses and individuals who need powerful, individual servers can use VPS.
A VPS is a Virtual Private Server. Although it functions in almost an identical way to an individual, unique web server, it is actually one part of a massive computer. However, you have your own slot with unlimited bandwidth, fantastic reliability and dedicated processing and computing resources that are just for you. You never have to share with any other websites.
This also means that if any other websites are hit by a ton of heavy requests, you won’t be affected - because your “virtual private server” will be separate and in its own little slot. It’s kind of like spitting one huge server computer into lots of small computers and running them separately. It’s a fantastic method and has become extremely popular in the past few years.
What are the benefits of using a virtual private server over conventional hosting or owning and maintaining your own server computer? Well, not only does it have a significantly lower entry cost and is more reliable, affordable, and sensible long-term, it will also have a longer and more consistent uptime.
This is because you aren’t sharing resources with any other websites. If you use a virtual private server, you will also have the freedom to customize it to whatever extent you need without affecting anyone else.
Lastly, virtual private servers tend to have unlimited bandwidth and are brilliantly maintained, making them great for intensive experiments, large websites, or web applications!
What is AWS?
AWS means Amazon Web Service, and it falls into the broader category of Virtual Private Cloud computing. This kind of hosting and server setup has a few significant differences to virtual private servers, including the benefit of having unlimited resources.
The configuration of a virtual private cloud means you basically have no limit on the processing resources you can use, making it an outstanding choice if you have an enormous website that is highly trafficked and needs to process a lot of requests at as high a rate as possible.
Amazon Web Service is just one Virtual Private Cloud service that stores your website and computing resources in no physical location. Instead, they will be assigned to your website(s) whenever there is a demand and you need them.
This means that Virtual Private Clouds are effectively the most efficient and reliable kind of web hosting, and they have a nearly one hundred percent uptime.
Amazon Web Service servers are super flexible and can move about, meaning if one computer goes down or is overbooked, then it can simply transition to use resources from somewhere else.
This means it is incredibly reliable. Since a Virtual Private Cloud is like an entity that moves about and can be changed in various different ways, you’ll also have some decent freedom to change your server.
For example, you can even manually turn it on or off whenever you like since it won’t have an effect on anyone else. After all, it’s not a physical server that needs to continue running!
VPS vs AWS - Which one should you use?
Okay, so both Amazon Web Service (a kind of Virtual Private Cloud computing) and Virtual Private Servers sound like excellent choices, so which one do you need specifically? Well, each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
For example, although Virtual Private Servers tend to be cheaper and you can literally set one up and have it up and running within an afternoon for about ten to twenty dollars per month, you will have to take care of all the security for yourself and most of the functionality needs to be maintained by you.
Since you have root access to the server, you will be able to configure it and change it in many ways that are generally not available to Virtual Private Cloud users. Unfortunately, this can also have consequences, because if you break something, you won’t have as much support!
Amazon Web Service is a little bit more expensive than a Virtual Private Server, but it is maintained a bit better, and since you cannot make so many changes, it has a far longer uptime. With Virtual Private Cloud, you get almost one hundred percent uptime and unlimited resources.
Of course, VPS often has unlimited bandwidth, but this is not guaranteed, and the actual computer processing resources are usually not unlimited.
In this article, we talked about Virtual Private Servers and explained what they are, why they are used, and how they work.
We also explored Amazon Web Service, a form of Virtual Private Cloud computing that gives you a lot of flexibility, unlimited computing resources, and virtually one hundred percent uptime. We compared the two and explained the advantages and disadvantages of each and which one you might be best suited to use. We hope this article helped you, and thanks for reading!