Differences Between A Shared Server Vs A Dedicated Server

If you run an online business, then you must have dealt with choosing between different web hosting types. There are many different types of web server hosting out there, but the most commonly offered are shared servers, which you share with other users, and dedicated servers that give you full access to the hardware you pay for. There are some advantages and disadvantages to both shared and dedicated servers. Let’s take a deeper look at each of them.

What Is a Shared Server?

Shared servers host multiple users on one physical server. The server resources, such as CPU, RAM, and storage are shared between the tenants. This type of server hosting is cheaper, but at the same time it compromises on performance. Shared hosting is a great option for business owners seeking for web hosting on a small budget, or for those who are just getting started online. Shared servers are also the best option for users who don’t have technical knowledge to manage servers. They are managed by the hosting provider, so you don’t have to worry about setting them up and maintaining them.

What Is a Dedicated Server?

A dedicated server is a physical server which hosts only the applications and services of a single hosting client. This means that if you host your website on a dedicated server, your website will be able to utilize all the resources that the server has to offer without having to share the RAM, CPU, or other server resources with other users. Dedicated servers come with many benefits because you are the only user of the server. They are the best type of hosted servers for businesses whose website or web application requite top-notch performance.

What Are The Differences Between a Shared and a Dedicated Server?

When looking for a server hosting solution, it’s important to choose the right hosting package for your organization. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between shared and dedicated servers so that you can get a better idea of which option would suit your needs best.

#1. Speed

Dedicated servers provide fast load times even when facing heavy traffic. As their resources are not shared, your website gets 100% of the processing power. Shared servers, on the other hand, restrict the amount of resources you can use, which results in slowing down the overall speed of your website.

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#2. Performance

Website performance is an important factor to consider when choosing what type of server to get. Shared servers host multiple clients on the same hardware, and you will get just a portion of its performance. If you opt for a dedicated server, you will enjoy the full potential of the hardware you are paying for.

For example, if you experience a spike in traffic on your website, you’d want to have a server that can handle it. Since shared servers split hardware resources between users, it’s likely that a surge of traffic will lead to slow website performance. However, if you’re hosting your website on a dedicated server, you will have more resources readily available to handle the extra traffic.

#3. Bandwidth

Dedicated servers can provide you with high bandwidth for your hosting needs. You can pick how much bandwidth you want, and upgrade/downgrade as you go. But when using a shared server, the bandwidth you have access to is limited and shared between all users. You can expect to experience slower connectivity if you pick a shared server. There are some shared hosting solutions that offer scalable bandwidth too, meaning that the amount of traffic and data that flows between the website and its users is not limited. However, as you might’ve guessed, these packages are generally more expensive.

#4. Security

In terms of cyber security, shared servers tend to be more susceptible to cyber attacks. The reason is that the server is shared by multiple users, which gives more opportunities for security breaches. On the other hand, dedicated servers offer better security because it only has a single tenant. On a dedicated server you may also always install any security software to add an additional layer of safety to your server.

#5. Customization

Shared hosting does not allow customization, as any changes to the back-end would apply to all users of the shared server. Some hosting plans allow for flexibility in the features, such as more FTP users or more cloud storage, but this is the limit to personalization. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, allows for complete customization. Since you don’t share the server with anyone, you can choose the operating system, optimize the bandwidth, upgrade the memory, and configure the environment to run specific applications.

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#6. Scalability

In most cases, shared hosting is not scalable, although some hosting providers offer only scalable bandwidth. With dedicated server hosting, however, you are one step away from scalability. You can easily upgrade the hardware of your dedicated server by simply sending a request to your hosting provider. This makes it possible to accommodate high incoming traffic at any point. Or, you can even downscale if you have lower traffic in certain periods.

#7. Cost

Shared hosting is a winner when comparing costs with dedicated hosting. Since you are sharing the server’s resources, you are also sharing the price for them. On average, shared servers cost from as low as a few dollars per month, to $10-$20, depending if you pay the fees monthly or annually. Dedicated servers are typically more expensive, because they provide you with full access to the hardware you pick, and offer better performance. Prices for dedicated servers generally start from $100 per month, and go up as you add on upgrades.

Shared vs Dedicated Server Pros and Cons

Both shared and dedicated servers have their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your needs, one or the other could be more suitable for your business. Considering upgrading to a dedicated server? Check out our guide to help you decide whether you need a dedicated server!

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Shared Server vs Dedicated Server FAQ

#1. Are Shared Servers Secure?

While shared hosting might be the more economical solution to run your web services, it can compromise your site’s performance and security. Shared hosting suffers from the “neighbour effect”. If one of the websites sharing the server is spamming or posting inappropriate content, it affects everyone in the shared server space. The best way to avoid the risk of sharing a server with such websites is to buy a hosting plan from a reputable web hosting provider.

#2. Who Can Benefit From Shared Servers?

Shared servers are a good choice for website owners who don’t have prior technical knowledge to manage and control servers. With shared servers, you’ll have your servers fully managed by the hosting provider. Servers are suitable for smaller companies and startups, because they can start hosting their web services instantly on instant dedicated server.

#3. Are Dedicated Servers Better?

Dedicated servers offer better performance and security than a shared server. They are highly customizable, giving you room for growth and scalability. With a dedicated server, you can rest assured your web services will run with no issues.

#4. Why Should You Get a Dedicated Server?

Dedicated servers are a good option for businesses that are planning to scale, as they can upgrade the hardware at any time. Dedicated servers are the perfect choice for those who also want an extra layer of security, or who have an experienced IT team that benefit from managing the server. Not convinced? Here are 5 more reasons why you need a dedicated server!

Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap! Let’s look at the main points we covered in the article:

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