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Pros and Cons of Using a Dedicated Server

Dedicated Server Diagram

There are 3 main types of web hosting available to the general public. These are shared web hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. This article aims to point out the main pros and cons of using a Dedicated Server and help you in making an educated choice about whether it is suitable for your needs.

What is a Dedicated Server?

A Dedicated Server is a hosting option where a single customer leases one or more physical servers. It gives complete control over the hardware so it can be set up to the customers' requirements. The hosting company supplies the physical hardware and environment, the necessary associated services, and basic technical support. As with a VPS, another choice with Dedicated Servers is Managed or Unmanaged. With a managed Dedicated Server, the price is usually more expensive because the web hosting company oversees things like system setup, control panel installation, software installation, etc. In an unmanaged Dedicated Server, the price is normally lower because the user is offered an empty server and they will have to install and support any operating system or software they need.

A real advantage to using either a Dedicated Server or a VPS is the fact you can install the operating system that suits your needs best. Most providers will let you choose between CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, or even Windows.

When Should You Move to a Dedicated Server?

A suitable time to move to a Dedicated Server solution is when you have outgrown a typical Web Hosting or VPS Hosting option. If you need to install software that is prohibited on your current web hosting or VPS choice, or you just want more control over your hosting then it may also be a good time to move up to a Dedicated Server.

Pros of a Dedicated Server   

  • A Dedicated Server is given a unique IP address whereas you share an IP address with multiple other websites when you use shared hosting. If one of your neighbors in a shared server is an adult or spam website this could mean having your sites’ rank pushed down.
  • With a Dedicated Server, you will receive far more control over your server’s options than with a web hosting solution allowing for greater flexibility with your projects.
  • A major benefit of a Dedicated Server is security. Since the resource is for your exclusive use only there is no need to worry about other users and their potentially outdated applications or bad software.
  • As the only user of a Dedicated Server, you gain access to its full power, storage, and memory.

Cons of a Dedicated Server

  • As the sole user of the hardware, it is usually more expensive to lease a Dedicated Server than to use a Shared Web Hosting or VPS Hosting solution.
  • With a Dedicated Server, you are likely to be entirely responsible for your own backups. This could lead to big problems if there are any hardware issues, and an adequate backup routine has not been followed.
  • A Dedicated Server gives the user a lot of control which can mean small mistakes lead to major problems.
  • A Dedicated Server can be challenging to run efficiently and requires a fairly high technical ability.

Overall, a Dedicated Server is an excellent choice if you expect to receive a lot of traffic, need space to store large files on your site, or plan to run demanding software.

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