VPS vs VPN: Difference You Should Know

Do you want to get the difference or comparison between VPS vs VPN? How are these two different from each other? Let's get all this information inside this post.

Updated: 13 Mar, 23 by Susith Nonis 8 Min

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People are commonly confused between VPS and VPN because they seem like same, while they don't have anything in common. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, whereas VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.

Although both virtual and private, they are used for different purposes. Nevertheless, with the help of some tools and a little knowledge about how these two work, you can use them as the same service. 

If you are new to the virtual world and want to know more about these two terms' operations, we’ll explain it all in this article about VPS vs VPN and what are these, how they are different or similar, and how you can benefit from them. 

To connect to the Internet, your provider will assign a public IP for your router to let you communicate with millions of other people through the same network. Your IP address defines a path to your device so you can exchange information with websites, other people, and so on. 

Although your public IP address can’t tell much about you or your exact location, it can reveal many public data. For instance, your IP address can show your country and region of location, which may prevent you from surfing the Internet freely or privately. 

A VPN is a virtual private network on dedicated servers. It’s like a private tunnel that allows users to have a private and secure connection to the Internet through a server located in another part of the world. As a result, users’ location, IP, and activity will remain hidden while they surf the web.

Moreover, all data saved on VPN services are encrypted. So, nobody can read, track, or use them if breached. Although VPNs use dedicated servers, their free versions are generally unreliable and slow. Because many people connect to it simultaneously, and there is no user limit like paid versions.

If you want a private connection, hide your IP, evade network blocks, and more, you can use a VPN. Each VPN is set on specific software. When you download the VPN and start using its service, the application will add a config to your device and encrypt your data. After that, it will use the server tunnel to send the Internet traffic to your device. As a result, when you use the Internet, the destination servers will only receive the data, location of your VPN server data, and location, not your own. 

Each operating system requires a specific compatible application to use a VPN service. Typically, VPN providers will make their application compatible with all Operating systems, which means you can launch the same application on Windows, Linux, Android, and IOS. You can also use VPN services from your browser, like Chrome extensions. 

A virtual Private Server is a big computer. It runs an OS, and just like your own PC, you can run software on it. These types of computers are used for hosting websites, apps, and other services. 

According to your needs, you can use a virtual private server’s resources to run applications, save your files, and pay far less than an actual computer. You can pay for a monthly or yearly subscription and host your website or run different software without sacrificing your computer's resources. 

We have three main types of servers:

  • Dedicated server
  • Shared server
  • Virtual private server 

A dedicated server means you have the whole computer and its resources. As you have more resources, you must pay more as well. On the contrary, a shared server is a computer whose resources are shared with hundreds or thousands of people. As a result, your privacy is always at risk, and it operates more slowly than other servers. However, shared servers are much cheaper than other options. 

On the other hand, a VPS is something in between. It’s a computer; its resources have been divided into several virtual layers. In this way, although you share the resources of a computer with others, the layer is dedicated to you. The costs are far less than dedicated servers; however, you have your RAM and disk space. Unlike shared hosts, you have full privacy in your virtual container. 

Imagine physical server hardware that has been shared with hundreds of users. However, none have access to others' data because an impermeable layer sets them apart. They all use a physical server separated into multiple virtual servers. 

Therefore, a VPS server allows a high level of customization, just like dedicated servers, in addition to being cheap.

In simple words, a VPS is a server, whereas a VPN is a service. You can use a VPS as a VPN, but not the other way around.

The main difference between VPS and VPN is their function. You can only use a VPN to connect to the Internet anonymously and keep your data secure.  But with a VPS, you can host your website or application, connect to the Internet, avoid getting censored by other platforms, and even set up a VPN configuration to secure all your data. 

However, setting up a VPN on your VPS server is not recommended, as your provider can see your location and monitor your activity. VPS hosting providers can even limit your access if they suspect you are using their services illegally.

Both VPN and VPS have their advantages and Disadvantages. Here are those.

Many people ask why they need a VPN while “incognito” keeps their data hidden and won’t save their search history. Although it won’t keep your searches, that doesn’t mean it’s private. Your Internet service provider can still see your activity log even if the incognito mode is on.

On the other hand, a VPN can mask your data and location no matter where or how you use it. Whether connected to public Wi-Fi at a well-known restaurant or the bank, your location will be the same as the VPN server. In addition, your log of search is encrypted when you use a VPN, so it’s not visible to your ISP or anybody else.

Other advantages of a VPN include the following:

  • Enhances security and privacy while browsing the Internet
  • Bypasses Internet censorship, network block, and regional restrictions
  • It’s easy to use 
  • VPN apps are cross-platform and convenient to use all around the world
  • VPN allows you to connect to the Internet using any country or region’s location. (VPN providers are worldwide, so you can change your online location to the UK without ever setting foot there. 
  • It’s the best way for new and growing businesses to run their websites.
  • There’s no restriction, unlike social media or hosted blogs that censor some content on their platforms. 
  • Your website will run faster because of dedicated resources.
  • You can add a VPN config to your VPS and have a private network as well. 
  • You can scale up your resources when your business grows.
  • It’s more affordable than dedicated servers while providing the same quality for smaller businesses.  
  • You have full control over your server and can use it for different purposes.

Aside from many advantages, using VPN may have the following disadvantages:

  • It will double your data usage, resulting in unexpectedly high costs on limited data plans. 
  • Free VPN services can slow down the Internet speed significantly.
  • VPN service providers can jeopardize your data by slightly altering the system. Although they bring more privacy, they can also make your connection insecure.
  • You’ll have to pay monthly or yearly subscriptions if you don’t want VPN to slow down your Internet speed.

A virtual private server’s disadvantages include the following:

  • It’s slightly costlier than shared servers.
  • It may be difficult for people without technical knowledge to configure a VPS and maintain it.

this is all about a comparison between VPS vs VPN, and we have collected their pros and cons that will help you to choose between VPN vs VPS. You might need both to host your website and secure your connection if you run a business. A virtual private server can keep your files safe, while a virtual private network will keep your data safe when browsing. Now that you know their difference, you can choose the best one according to your needs.

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Susith Nonis

Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.