20 Nov 2018

6 Common Uses of a VPS (Virtual Private Server)

What Are The Uses of A VPS?

What is a Virtual Private Server (VPS), and what are the uses of a VPS? First, we have to understand what is a Virtual Machine (VM). A VM is like a computer, it uses physical resources such as CPU, RAM, disk space to create a virtual computer space. Think of it like a room in a room scenario where you can, run a virtual copy of Windows from a physical computer that’s also running Windows. Data centers are full of servers, where each server is running several VMs. These VMs then are rented out to users, and when this happens the VM becomes a VPS. Technically, nothing has changed but only the terminology.

VPS vs VPN

Don’t confuse Virtual Private Servers (VPS) with Virtual Private Networks (VPN). VPNs use secure private connections that take place over a public network to simulate a private network. A VPS can be used to facilitate a VPN, but otherwise the two aren’t directly related in any meaningful way.

VPS and Competitors

The main competitors to VPS hosting are dedicated hosting and shared hosting.

  • Dedicated hosting
    Renting the whole server space. They are more expensive but powerful. For large websites and applications.
  • Shared hosting
    Sharing the server space. Cheaper but less flexible. For small websites and applications.
  • VPS hosting
    Cheaper than dedicated hosting and more powerful than shared hosting.

VPS hosting is often seen as a transitional option for website owners who have outgrown shared hosting but aren’t big enough to need a dedicated server.

Uses of VPS

What are the uses of a VPS? Think of it as a remote computer. Anything that you can do on a computer, you can do with a VPS. This means you won’t be limited to just web hosting, though most virtual servers are used to host active websites.

One major bonus of using a VPS is the sandbox security. If you mess up a virtual server, it won’t harm the physical server’s operation because everything is running in a virtual sandbox. The VPS can be rebooted or reinstalled without much issue except maybe for lost data (so always keep backups). On a dedicated host, a mistake could cause permanent damage.

  1. Running A Website
    This is the most common and popular use. Since virtual private servers provide more resources for your website like CPU, RAM, etc. than shared hosting, you’ll find that your website feels more responsive. Plus, with full control over the virtual server, you can install and remove software as you like rather than being stuck with what the host offers.
  2. Hosting A Server
    Or if you’re looking more towards professional uses, you could use a VPS for hosting files and other media. Basically, anything that runs as a server can be run on a VPS.
  3. Hosting A Gaming Server
    Have you ever thought of running your own game server for your favourite multiplayer games? Well you can do that too.
  4. Testing New Environments
    Since dedicated hosting is expensive, virtual servers can be used as testing grounds for server setups that aren’t ready to go live.
  5. Seeding Torrents
    Also known as a seedbox, you can use a virtual server only for torrenting. If you torrent frequently, migrating the effort to a remote VPS not only frees up a lot of home bandwidth, but it also allows you to torrent 24/7.
  6. Private Backups
    It’s cheaper to use cloud-based storage, but if you’re already using a VPS for some other reason and you have leftover space, you might as well think of it as free file storage for documents and important files.

How Can You Pick a Reliable VPS Provider?

As a start, a VPS is definitely more worth it compared to shared hosting or dedicated hosting in terms of the power of its physical resources (RAM, CPU, storage, etc) and its flexibility (having root access to your very own VPS). The uses of a VPS vary, and it really depends on your own intentions of usage. It could be hosting a game server, a website, as a private backup, to test new codes, and many more. Now that you’re clearer about what you might want to use a VPS for, check out our blog post on how you can choose the most reliable VPS provider.


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