Essentially, here’s the criteria I would use to judge things – if your site is made up of primarily static, HTML-based content, then you probably don’t need a VPS package. However, if you have a large amount of files stored, multiple sites, dynamic content, and the possibility of major traffic from time to time, then you might consider upgrading to a VPS. It’s a powerful package that allows you to do more than you could with a shared hosting plan, but requires less investment than a dedicated server.
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Unmetered hosting is generally offered with no limit on the amount of data-transferred on a fixed bandwidth line. Usually, unmetered hosting is offered with 10 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s or 1000 Mbit/s (with some as high as 10Gbit/s). This means that the customer is theoretically able to use ~3 TB on 10 Mbit/s or up to ~300 TB on a 1000 Mbit/s line per month, although in practice the values will be significantly less. In a virtual private server, this will be shared bandwidth and a fair usage policy should be involved. Unlimited hosting is also commonly marketed but generally limited by acceptable usage policies and terms of service. Offers of unlimited disk space and bandwidth are always false due to cost, carrier capacities and technological boundaries.
We think that you should pay even less for cheap VPS hosting. However, you also want to get a host that has customer support, good uptime, and security features. These are important to keeping your website stable and free of issues. While some VPS hosts will promise the world for less than $5, you should make sure that you are getting a good value for the product.
Shared hosting is like you are living in a room with a lot of friends. It means you must fit in the same room and you must split the cost of several things because it is affordable and cheap. However, several individuals are sharing the same space, it means everyone needs to live within a space with restricted resources among them. You will have to use the same things (that sounds a little unhygienic).
And if your “neighbor” on the server is hacked, there’s little chance the infection will spread to your VPS because the hypervisors that are used to create separate VPS environments deliver multi-layered network security and keep tight controls on what enters and leaves. Your root access also means you can add or customize your VPS security software as you please.
As you can see, a VPS can be the perfect middle ground for many – enough flexibility and resources for those who need more access or control than on a shared server but without the cost of a dedicated server. If you need root access, you can’t get that on a shared server, but you can get it on a VPS. If your site experiences unpredictable swings memory usage, and your host provides it, then the presence of burstable memory will be attractive. And, if you’re a fan of customization, then the fact that you can customize server-level software such as PHP, MySQL, and Apache will perk your interest. In short, choosing a VPS will allow you to have many of the same characteristics of a dedicated server but in a more affordable and manageable package.