What Is a Virtual Server and Do I Need One?

Primary tabs

If you have a growing or large Internet presence with numerous websites or a website that is quite large, you may want to consider your own virtual server. A virtual server is the step between having your websites hosted with a hosting service company such as HostGator versus having you own private server that is independent.

Let's say you have a website or blog that is hosted by "XYZ" company. "XYZ" takes care of all the operations in the background like keeping track of the bandwidth. Because you are just one of their customers using the server, you are limited in the amount of bandwidth you can use. If you go over your allotted bandwidth you will then need to purchase more through "XYZ" if they allow it.

These companies control the "back office" and you share their server terminals with all their other clients. The hosting company itself is an independent server. They own their own computer banks from which your services are run.

Where Does the Virtual Server Fit In?

A virtual server is somewhere in between these two types. If you had your own virtual private network or best vpn service, you would have total control of your back office. You are not limited to the amount of bandwidth you use and you can install the operating system of your choosing, such as Linux.

Keep in mind; it is more expensive to own a VPN rather than paying a monthly fee to a hosting service company. But if your company and websites are growing and you need more bandwidth then they can provide and you want control over everything including the "back office", then a VPN may be the perfect fit. In addition, having your own VPN reduces security risks.

One drawback to look into might be the element of support. Many hosting services operate under the assumption that if you have your own virtual server that you know what you're doing. Therefore, although they are available to help at any time, there is a fee for their support service which can be $75-$100 per issue.

A VPN allows you to connect to a secure network over a public Internet line to a service provider. Having your own VPN is good if you have the knowledge to operate it yourself or you can afford to have a webmaster to do the more difficult and complex functions required to manage it.

Growing Pains

If you feel you are at a place in your business that you can benefit by having your own virtual private network, check with hosting companies that provide VPN services.