Host Your Own Website
If you want to host a website (build and provide your own web site) or an application (a computer program) that can be accessed or reached from anywhere in the world, it needs to be installed on a server (a computer) that is always online (24 hours a day) and accessible to everyone. You could host your website on your own computer and that would make your computer the server but there are many problems with that, not least security from hackers! So it’s better to have your website hosted on someone else’s server, where tech staff can provide back-up and security. This server can be in the form of a dedicated server or a virtual private server. As the name suggests, a dedicated server is a physical server that is usually located in a data center. A dedicated server is an extremely powerful computer and is costly. A VPS is totally different from a virtual private network (VPN).
Virtual Private Server
A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual segment (a part) of a dedicated server (computer) that works as a virtual dedicated server. In other words, a powerful computer is shared between many users but the server is in one place (a data center), probably no user knows where it is and no user knows any other user, even though they are all sharing this same computer, located somewhere in the world. Virtualization technology is used by companies offering virtual private servers to virtually segment a dedicated server into multiple VPSs. A number of virtualization technologies are available today for this purpose.
There are multiple uses of a VPS. Most of the times, it is used for Web hosting purposes. Some of the users also rent a VPS for running their software such as Forex trading software or gaming software on a 24-hour basis. Similarly, gamers also rent these servers to run a multiplayer game. Some users rent a VPS in order to have another (virtual) computer that they can run from their current computer without taking up desk space. That VPS works exactly like having a second computer. You run it from your own computer but once set up, it runs 24 hours a day, even if your own computer is turned off. You can add programs to it, just like a laptop or computer that stands on your desk.
One of the biggest advantages of a VPS is that it can be quickly scaled up. For instance, any resources such as IP addresses, hard disk space, CPU, RAM, bandwidth and various other features can be scaled up instantly. A VPS behaves exactly like a dedicated server.
The user is free to install any operating system (OS) and allocate resources as per their needs. Also, the user gets root access to the server which means that any kind of applications can be installed on a VPS.
The VPS provider gives you a URL (a web address, just like any web site) to access the VPS along with the username and password. When you want to access the VPS, just type the provided URL into the browser and login to the VPS panel with the help of the provided username and password.
Once you are logged in, you will be greeted with a desktop screen just like your own home computer if you have chosen the same OS for your VPS. Once you are done, you can simply disconnect from the VPS without worrying about security, power or any other thing.
Renting a VPS has many advantages
One of the biggest advantages is that you can access your VPS from anywhere that you have internet access. On the other hand, a physical server usually does not have this feature. Another big advantage of a VPS is that the providers have well trained and professional technicians on their team to take care of the servers at all hours. They have emergency power backups, resources for flood prevention and fire prevention, and all the other resources that are needed to keep the server running 24 x 7.
This is the reason that the professional providers usually offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Also, these technicians take care of the security needs for a monthly fee.
As mentioned above, it is extremely easy to upgrade your virtual private server. For instance, if you want to run a resource heavy application, you can simply rent a VPS with higher specifications instead of having to invest a lot of money on upgrading the hardware of your own physical server.
If you need more space than your computer has or you have programs you want to run 24 hours a day, a VPS is well worth considering.