Many people like to have full root/administrator control over their own server. One of the most inexpensive ways to do this is by obtaining VPS hosting. Virtual Private Servers are servers that run on shared hardware (see my prior article describing the difference between physical and virtual servers). Note that cloud servers generally means the same as VPS. However some cloud hosting want to charge you like a utility (e.g. per resources you use every hour).

In this article, I only focused on VPS servers that are $30/mo or less. There are many more than I have listed. Several options that are only $2 to $5 per month as great starters for people. Most offer a choice of operating system (typically some flavour of Linux). This list is sorted alphabetically. I have included the pricing range with the specifications you receive, the location of their servers (most let you choose where you want your VPS), and the operating system choices available for your VPS server. Most of them only guarantee about half the ram and allow you to burst to twice the amount. Some offered SSD storage space (which would be way faster than typical SATA storage).

Uses of VPS servers can be for external monitoring, offsite backups, or your own webservers. Depending on what are your needs, you must determine the minimum amount of RAM and/or storage space required. Also keep in mind that if a hosting provider has oversubscribed their physical infrastructure, this could make your VPS server slow as you are sharing the resources with the other virtual servers.

 

 

1and1.com

$30/mo (2GB RAM, 1 core, 50GB storage, 1TB traffic)
Europe and USA
CentOS, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian, Windows Server

 

AzzaVps.com

$2-11/mo (96MB to 1GB RAM, 1 core, 3-15 GB SSD storage, 0.1-1 TB traffic)
Chicago
CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Suse, Ubuntu

 

BlueHost.com

$15-30/mo (2-4GB RAM, 1-2 cores, 30-60 GB storage, 1-2 TB traffic)
Utah
CentOS

 

CatalystHost.com

$8-16/mo (256MB to 2GB RAM, 2-4 cores, 30-60 GB storage, 1-4 TB traffic)
Dallas
Various Linux

 

CirrusHosting.com

$17-$25/mo (1GB to 2GB RAM, 1 core, 20-40 GB storage, 0.3-0.6 TB traffic)
Canada
CentOS, Debian, RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu

 

CorgiTech.com

$14-30/mo (750MB to 1.5 GB RAM, 1-3 cores, 30-75 GB storage, 1-2.5 TB traffic)
London, Amsterdam, LA, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Miami, NY
CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Windows Server (+$10)

 

DFGHosting.com

$10-25/mo (512MB to 2GB RAM, 2-4 cores, 50-100 GB storage, 0.3-1.4 TB traffic)
Chicago
CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu

 

DigitalOcean.com

$5-20/mo (512MB-2GB RAM, 1-2 cores, 20-40 GB SSD storage, 1-2 TB traffic)
NY, San Francisco, Amsterdam
Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Fedora, Arch

 

Edis.at

$2-20/mo (128MB to 2GB RAM, 1-2 cores, 2-500 GB storage)
Many European countries, Chile, HK, Iceland, Russia, UK, USA
CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu

 

GoDaddy.com

$30/mo (1GB RAM, 1 core, 40 GB storage, 1 TB traffic)
Singapore, Europe, USA
CentOS

 

HostGator.com

$20-30/mo (384-576MB RAM, 1core, 10-22GB storage, 0.25-0.375 TB traffic)
Houston
CentOS

 

Hub.org

$6-12/mo (192-384 MB RAM, 1 core, 2-5 GB storage, 0.1-0.5 TB traffic)
Panama
FreeBSD

 

Linode.com

$20/mo (1 GB RAM, 8 cores, 48 GB storage, 2 TB traffic)
Tokyo, London, Newark, Dallas, Atlanta, Fremont
Arch, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, openSUSE, Slackware, Ubuntu,

 

PoundHost.com

$30/mo (1 GB RAM, 1 core, 40 GB storage, 5 TB traffic)
UK
Windows Server, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS

 

RackSpace.com

$16/mo (512MB RAM, 1 core, 20 GB storage)
Texas, Chicago, UK, HK, Sydney
Linux

 

SimpleNode.co

$2-11/mo (256MB – 1 GB RAM, 2 cores, 10-30 GB storage, 0.25-0.5TB Traffic)
Dallas, Phoenix
Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Fedora

 

SSDVPS.com

$5-20/mo (0.5-2 GB RAM, 1-2 core, 20-40 GB SSD, 1-3 TB traffic)
LA, Buffalo, Toronto
CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu

 

VelociHost.net

$5-22/mo (256MB to 1GB RAM, 1-4 cores, 5-20 GB SSD storage, 1-2 TB traffic)
Miami
CentOS, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Scientific, Ubuntu, Windows Server

 

VPSHosting.com.hk (Asia Web Services)

$12-20/mo (512MB-1GB RAM, 1 core, 10-20 GB storage, 0.2-0.4 TB traffic)
Hong Kong
CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian

 

 

23 Comments
  1. This is very informative. And thank you for providing the link for the comparison between physical and virtual servers. I don’t know what I might use it for though I would think this would be used well if you have a business? As far as the list, I only know of Bluehost and Hostgator since they are the ones you can use for Wordpress. I might just stick with those due to that specialisation.

  2. Thank you David! These comparative lists are always really helpful for me. I’ve been using GoDaddy as my server host, and while I haven’t had anything to complain of, it seems like I could get a better deal for the money. I guess my only concern would be reliability, as I would hate to change services looking for a better price, and work with a company that can’t keep their servers functional. I’ll definitely look into these sites, as they seem like good contenders.

    • I agree. Reliability is crucial. Checking online reviews can provide some cue to this. Likewise, checking a company out on Twitter to see if there have been incidents of customers Tweeting because of servers being down.

      Of the companies listed, I have had firsthand experience with HostGator. I had a VPS there for a few years and overall I was pleased. What I also found advantageous was being able to upgrade or downgrade as needed.

      • Thanks for the comparison listing and to others for sharing their thoughts. I like the price advantage of doing the VPS, but I worry about the inherent drawbacks of not actually having full control.

        I compare it to virtual mobile networks. They pay for access to the big telecom’s networks and offer the consumer a cheaper deal. But if the big telecom wants to throttle the network, there’s nothing the virtual network can do.

        Maybe it’s a control thing, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the cost difference.

  3. Also, wow. I’ve always heard the Linux is the best for servers. I didn’t really understand much about it, and this article shows how Linux reigns at it. I wonder what makes it preferable to Windows though, if it’s a security thing or just that Linux is better overall.

    • The big reason is the overhead. Notice that these servers go as low as 128MB in RAM. You could not boot a Windows server, it is much more resource demanding. Everything on Linux is done command line though (which I feel is way more efficient if you can get used to it). They do have the option for XWindows for a graphical environment. I was fortunate to have grown up in the DOS days (command line interface operating system) and I feel this has been instrumental to my knowledge, capabilities, and comfort in IT.

      • That’s very useful. I guess that’s also why Linux is what people use with Raspberry Pi. Aside from being able to work with less resources, is security a plus too with regards to servers?

  4. This was very interesting, I’m definitely going to need a VPS soon anyway – I’ll probably pick one of these.

    It’s very easy to have all the prices in one format, much easier to compare. Thanks!

  5. Wow! I just found lots of nice features that I did not know.
    But if it’s cheaper, it is often less powerful.

    I still think this article will be useful to me for quite a loop of time.

  6. Thanks for putting in the effort in making this list. I currently use free shared hosting. Since my sites are not making that much money at the moment not having to pay host fees, I can work on writing content and promoting the site. It takes work and time, but it all pays off if you do it. I will definitely consider VPS hosting when my websites expand.

  7. This is definitely a valuable resource for a comparative analysis on some decent VPS providers! I remember using some of these when I used to do personal blogging and building up my site as well. Very interesting tip on the subtle difference between cloud hosting and VPS as well, I always pondered if the two were akin to each other.

    Thank you very much for the information provided here, will have to keep this bookmarked for further research!

  8. I’ve heard good things about SSDVPS and VelociHost. A friend of mine has used both and said that they are serious and reliable. From what he said, SSDVPS seems to be the best between the two as they have a great support system in place.

    Don’t know much about the others, but it’s nice to have such a big list of VPS options.

  9. While it is true that there are some very cheap starting alternatives there, I’m sceptical that they would prove to be useful for even a beginner. 128MB RAM does not get you very for nowadays and it would quickly become fully utilised with just an application or two running. Maybe it’s useful as a sandbox or for people to learn how to use Linux in general?

  10. The site I usually use to find inexpensive Virtual Private Servers is LowEndBox.com. I like their offers can be filtered by location or by type of virtualization.

    I also enjoy that members of low cost VPS industry respond to threads about their services routinely. LowEndBox is a good community. Recommended.

  11. I have heard positive feedback about most of the sites mentioned here. This is an excellent way for freelancers, students, small businesses or people with not much finance to get a presence online. I am currently thinking of building a website for myself. I will look into these server providers. Thank you very much for the list!

  12. I needed this! It is great to have someone compile this list. Thanks for putting the warning in the article about how some hosting providers over subscribe VPS. When you have a service that is low cost like these are it should not be a surprise if this happens to us from time to time.
    All the same, I will look at each one of these sites to see what they have to offer.

  13. This is an interesting article thanks. I have standard web hosting for a couple of sites I have made. I always thought a VPS was an expensive private hosting package that means your site is not sharing hosting? But now I learn that it is shared too …

  14. This information seems very useful. Now days there are free VPAs that you can use. Honestly I never understood the reason for using VPA and still don’t. I do not see how it could be useful.

  15. It’s really great that there are so many options out there these days. Rates are competitive and it’s easy to find a reliable, affordable VPS. I have tried a couple of these but most of them I will look into. Thank you for the list!

  16. $20 a month for about 2GB of RAM and an SSD for storage is pretty good, but I think it’s be better to just host a server from home on a laptop. It’s not that hard to create a server and host it, along with port forwarding. The only part is that you leave your own network susceptible to attacks.

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