In this blog we will explore some of the key differences between Linux and Windows Web hosting, particularly VPS. VPS or the Virtual Private server is a semi-shared and private server that enables clients to have his/her own resources while on a shared platform.
There are mainly two types of operating system used for web servers all around the world – Linux and Windows. Linux is the more popular and widely used option among the two. The flexibility and robustness of Linux is one of the main reasons why web developers, database administrators and web designers prefer Linux as the operating system for their server.
Linux and Windows Hosting difference
Although technically there is not a lot of difference between the two hosting types. It is a matter of personal preference, plus, your requirements.
The stability and security offered by Linux is far better than that offered by Windows. They have been known to last and provide dependable service through many years of operation. Rebooting is also one of the main reasons for the preference of Linux over Windows. Windows VPS servers need to be rebooted every time there is a configuration change, whereas Linux VPS servers can maintain configuration changes without restarting. Even though most people prefer using Linux VPS servers, there are some applications that run specifically on Window. Applications requiring specific server types are discussed below.
Difference between Windows and Linux VPS Hosting
Before discussing the difference between Windows and Linux VPS hosting, we must know the following –
What is Linux VPS hosting?
Linux VPS hosting is when you rent a virtual private server from a hosting provider and install Linux operating system on it.
What is Windows VPS Hosting?
Windows VPS hosting is the same as Linux VPS hosting except that it has Windows OS installed instead of Linux.
Windows Specific Applications
Windows applications which require a Windows VPS Hosting:
- ASP Classic
- MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server)
- MS Access (Microsoft Access)
- Visual Basic Development
- Remote Desktop (dedicated server only)
Windows dedicated servers can support additional Windows-specific applications. For some applications, you may need to purchase a license and install the software on your Windows dedicated server.
- Microsoft Exchange (requires license & Installation)
- Microsoft SharePoint (requires license & Installation)
Note: Software not included with the server is not supported by our technical support staff, since we would not know how your server and applications are setup.
Linux Specific Applications
Applications that require a Linux VPS Hosting:
- FrontPage Extensions
- Scripts or applications that require specific Apache modules
Windows VPS servers and Linux VPS servers use different control panels.
- cPanel is available on all Linux-based hosting plans, such as Linux Shared, Reseller, Linux VPS Hosting and Linux Dedicated Servers.
- WHM (Web Host Manager) is available on VPS Server, Reseller hosting and Linux Dedicated Servers.
- Plesk is available on Windows Shared, Windows VPS Hosting and Windows Dedicated Server.
There is an issue of case sensitivity against Linux though. On Linux file names are case sensitive meaning ‘File Name.html’ and ‘file name.html’ are different. On the other hand, Windows servers do not face this issue and accept names in any case. In other words, the above example would refer to the same page in case of Windows VPS server. The operating procedure to revoke the case sensitivity in Linux is enabling mod_spelling via Apache.
Linux is considered the better secured operating system among the two. Whether it is a server, desktop or embedded environment, Linux offers greater security than Windows. Since Linux was based on Unix operating system, only administrators have editing and security privileges. Then malware, spyware and virus threat are far less as compared to a Windows environment. In Windows, users can hide a file from the administrator view, but in Linux, the system administrator has unilateral control over everything.
Ease of Use
Ease of use depends on the technical knowledge of the user. Windows VPS uses a Graphical User Interface and, therefore, can be easily managed even by beginners. While users with good technical knowledge find Linux VPS user-friendly, it is not the best option for beginners.
For any hosting plan, a reliable technical support is essential. Because Linux is an open-source technology, its users get support from the open-source community. But the quality of this support can be variable unless, of course, you know of the sources to look for. Windows, on the other hand, benefits from more regular updates, which are almost always reliable. Microsoft delivers round-the-clock support through phone and online chat.
Linux is an open-source operating system, so it is free to use. However, Linux VPS has numerous paid distributions that users need to purchase to enhance server performance. On the contrary, Windows is a proprietary operating system from Microsoft. It involves a high licensing fee that is typically included in the cost of the hosting plan. VPS hosting for Windows will almost always have a small licensing fee associated with it. It is for this reason Windows hosting will most certainly cost more than VPS hosting.
The Final Word
Both Linux VPS and Windows VPS have their pros and cons. So, when you have to choose a plan for your enterprise, it is vital to consider the specific requirements of your business.
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