A VPS, or virtual private server, is a form of multi-tenant cloud hosting in which virtualized server resources are made available to an end user over the internet via a cloud or hosting provider.
Each VPS is installed on a physical machine, operated by the cloud or hosting provider, that runs multiple VPSs. But while the VPSs share a hypervisor and underlying hardware, each VPS runs its own operating system and applications and reserves its own portion of the machine’s resources.
A VPS can be used for a wide variety of tasks. For example, it can host a website, run an online shop, operate a small business, test web apps, run a game server, or be deployed for education and training. Unlike shared hosting, data is isolated onto a virtual machine which is dedicated to the user. Using a VPS requires basic knowledge of server administration.
We’ve read hundreds of reviews of VPS services which offer no real insight into the actual performance of the service being offered. Instead we’re treated to a regurgitation of the features offered or told about things that are impossible to evaluate over a short period (such as uptime guarantees). Often reviews offer no more information than the promotional material offered by the service provider themselves.
We’ll take a more technical approach by examining what’s actually being offered by a VPS provider. For this review, we are looking at a VPS plan from hostworld.uk.
Hostworld offer a range of plans starting at £2.99/per month (excluding VAT). We’re reviewing their VPS-3 plan which offers 4 vCPU, 4GB RAM, together with 100GB of storage space. The plan costs £9.99/per month (excluding VAT). From a survey of other UK VPS providers, that’s a competitive price point.
The plan has various options available including:
- Location – UK and US locations are available. As we’re based in the UK, we chose London.
- Backup – 300GB of backup storage is included in the plan with automated backups. Bear in mind that many VPS providers offering low-cost plans charge extra for backups. Always factor in that extra cost when comparing plans, as having a reliable backup plan is essential.
- Control Panel – There’s the open source webmin control panel available together with other proprietary panels that require a license.
- Operating System – A good range is available. We can choose from CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Webuzo Ubuntu, and Windows. We chose Ubuntu 20.04.
Let’s examine what the plan offers from a hardware perspective.