Popular VPS Providers

After having introduced several budget dedicated server providers in my last post, I will introduce several VPS providers today. Because there are numerous VPS providers, it is difficult to introduce the “cheapest” VPS providers. Instead, I will introduce VPS providers which I think can provide reliable services. This is not only inferred from their reviews online, but also from my personal experience of using the services of some of these providers. Moreover, I have chosen providers that are easy to use for beginners, with extremely friendly user interfaces

DigitalOcean

One of the most well-known VPS providers currently amongst developers and casual users alike. While they do not necessarily offer enterprise-level service and support, their ease of use and user-friendly control panel makes them extremely popular. Furthermore, they are also continuously improving their product offering, introducing block storage, monitoring and firewall services, in addition to the traditional business of VPS hosting.

This is one provider I will definitely recommend for beginners. Creating a VPS with different Operating Systems (OS) is extremely simple, at the click of a button, without having to deal with any manual configuration of the server if the OS were to be installed using a console.

Here is a screenshot of the VPS creation page:

They also offer a wide variety of locations, ensuring that your server will always be deployed at a location closest to your users, reducing latency to a minimum

DigitalOcean charges for the use of their servers per hour. This means that you can create a “droplet” (what they call a VPS), for just an hour or two to experiment with the server and then destroy it after, spending only a few cents in all. This makes it convenient and cost-effective for beginners to experiment with different OS. While I personally enjoy using Debian/Ubuntu compared to CentOS, there may be certain applications requiring other OS.

All in all, while DigitalOcean is certainly not the cheapest VPS provider by any means, the ease of use and convenience in use of the VPS definitely provides an edge compared to other providers, especially for beginners. More experienced users may look for cheaper options, if you are more familiar with Linux systems.

Vultr

Another provider similar to DigitalOcean. They offer similar VPS at a similar price point with similar specifications. They are also extremely easy to use. Honestly, there is not much difference between using Vultr and DigitalOcean and both can definitely serve your needs well, especially for beginners.

Vultr does offer double the Random Access Memory (RAM) and 5 GB more Solid State Drive (SSD) space compared to DigitalOcean for the USD 5 a month plan which may tip users in its favor. They also do offer more locations than DigitalOcean with 15 different nodes across all the continents.

While their pricing page shows a USD 2.50 plan, this plan is often unavailable due to its popularity. However, if you are lucky, you may manage to snag one of these VPS, which are definitely very value for money.

For advanced users, Vultr allows users to upload custom ISO images of their own OS, something DigitalOcean requires users to open a ticket for, which is an additional convenience. While beginner users may not appreciate this, this is definitely a plus point for Vultr over DigitalOcean.

VirMach

VirMach is a more traditional VPS provider that offers month to month payment, and not hourly payment calculation. Their offerings are in the same price range as the above two providers, with the smallest plan at USD 3. However, unlike the above two providers, they do often have special offers that lower the prices even further.

Their service is also excellent, with prompt and polite replies from their support staff.

While they do not provide services in as many locations as Vultr and DigitalOcean, they do offer services in many different locations within the US. Asian users may choose to use the Los Angeles location for the lowest ping. Indeed, this is definitely a point to consider when choosing VirMach as a VPS provider.

In fact, this site is hosted on a VirMach server, and the speeds I have experienced are excellent at the price point.

However, VirMach is definitely a provider for more advanced users. While they do provide different templates for OS installs, the variety is not as wide as Vultr or DigitalOcean, and they do not necessarily offer the latest versions, which some users may prefer. The control panel is also less user-friendly for beginner users and may require some figuring out.

I would definitely recommend VirMach if you have some experience dealing with Linux systems because they do offer robust systems at extremely low prices. However, because of the lack of beginner-friendly features, the other options are much simpler until you have gained more experience working with Linux servers.

Conclusion

The above three providers offer different services at about the same price points. Before choosing a provider, it is important to consider your level of expertise with dealing with Linux-based systems, as well as your requirements in terms of price and specifications.

All three providers above offer Kernel-based Virtual Machines (KVM). A cheaper option, OpenVZ, is available. However, I have only introduced KVM-based providers as there are certain complications with using OpenVZ-based systems that I will elaborate on in a later post. For beginner users, KVM offers the closest experience to using a dedicated server.

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