If you’re looking for your next Linux VPS hosting provider, this guide will help you find it. We’ll go into details of what Linux VPS is, what makes a provider “the best”, explore all the options, and compare the best Linux VPS hosting providers.
Our Top Picks for The Best Linux VPS
Best Linux VPS Hosting Providers Compared
This is the comparison table of the best Linux VPS hosting providers
|Provider||Price per month||Server management||RAM||CPU cores||Storage||Bandwidth||Coupon code|
|SolaDrive||$35||Fully managed||2 GB||2||50 GB NVMe SSD||2 TB||Get here|
|Vultr||$2.50||Unmanaged||512 MB||1||10 GB SSD||0.50 TB||N/A|
|Linode||$5||Unmanaged||1 GB||1||25 GB SSD||1 TB||$100 Free Credits (automatically applied)|
|KnownHost||$44||Fully managed||4 GB||2||60 GB NVMe SSD||2 TB||KH2021|
|Hawk Host||$5||Unmanaged||1 GB||1||30 GB SSD||2 TB||Get here|
|InterServer||$6||Unmanaged||2 GB||1||30 GB SSD||1 TB||1M1CIS|
|ExtraVM||$3.50||Unmanaged||512 MB||1||5 GB NVMe SSD||5 TB||Get here|
|OVH||$4.20||Unmanaged||2 GB||1||20 GB SSD||1 TB||N/A|
|DigitalOcean||$4||Unmanaged||512 MB||1||10 GB SSD||0.50 TB||$200 free credits (automatically applied)|
We only included the best providers. If you have any recommendations for additions to the comparison, leave a comment below or contact us.
If you want to learn more about this type of web hosting, read more below.
What is Linux VPS hosting?
Before we go any further, you should know what Linux VPS hosting is. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, which basically means that you have your own virtual machine on a dedicated physical server that’s isolated and separated from the rest of the VMs on the machine. Unlike shared hosting, you won’t really share any resources with other users on the same server.
Most people use Linux virtual servers for hosting their apps and websites. There are virtual servers that are powered by Windows, and Linux. People prefer using Linux due to its popularity, stability, performance, and security.
What distros can you use with Linux VPS hosting?
In a nutshell, all of them. The most popular distros for VPS hosting are CentOS and Ubuntu, but most hosting providers have other options too.
Here’s a shortlist of some of the distros you can use for your Linux VPS at various hosting providers:
- Alpine Linux
- Rocky Linux
- Arch Linux
- …and more. Most Linux VPS hosting providers offer an option to upload your own custom ISO and use it for your VPS.
As you can see, you can basically use any Linux distro for your VPS, but the most popular and widely used are Ubuntu and CentOS.
Do you have to be a Linux expert to use Linux VPS hosting?
In most cases – no. Even beginners can use a Linux VPS with the help of the hosting providers. If you are a beginner, you should buy a fully managed Linux VPS and/or use a control panel to ease the server management process.
However, if you plan on managing the server yourself, then yes, you do have to be experienced in the CLI and managing Linux servers.
Unmanaged vs fully managed Linux VPS hosting
You’ll often notice the terms “unmanaged”, “managed”, “semi-managed” and “fully managed” when looking for VPS hosting. We’ll explain what they mean here.
- Unmanaged hosting means that you won’t get any help from the hosting provider in managing the server – this means that you’ll have to do all the work yourself. These options tend to be a lot cheaper when compared to fully managed options. If you plan on learning Linux through a VPS, then go with a cheaper, unmanaged one.
- Semi-managed means that only parts of the server management process are included with the VPS – so you’ll still have to do some work yourself, but you’ll get some help from the hosting provider. This is on a case-by-case basis, so you’ll have to check for more information on the provider’s website to see exactly what’s included in the server management provided by them.
- Fully managed means that everything will be managed by the hosting provider – you won’t need to worry about taking care of the server and the hosting provider will help you with pretty much everything. However, this type of Linux VPS hosting is more expensive, as it should be. Again, check what specifically is included in the fully managed support, as different hosting providers offer a different level of server management. Some providers won’t give you full root access to the server if the server is fully managed, so make sure to check with the provider first if full root access is important to you.
So, in short, if you’re a beginner – get a fully managed VPS. If you’re experienced – get an unmanaged VPS.
What makes a Linux VPS hosting provider “the best”?
These were basically some of our criteria in choosing the hosting providers we included in our comparison.
As you’d choose any product or service out there – you should choose Linux VPS providers the same. Meaning, you need to check the reviews, contact the provider and ask questions, compare them to other providers and do the most research you can.
Here are some of the criteria and a few guiding tips on how to choose the best provider:
- Good reviews – most hosting providers that have positive reviews tend to be good. However, a big portion of the online reviews are fake, some are written or paid for by the hosting providers themselves. So make sure to be extra careful when reading reviews and make sure they are real.
- Years in business – you should tend to go with “older” Linux VPS hosting providers since they withstood the test of time. There are a lot of new hosting providers popping up lately and you can’t really know if they are reliable or not when they’re that new. So the more years they’ve been in business – the better.
- NOT being part of EIG – when looking for hosting providers, you’ll likely come across an EIG brand (HostGator, Bluehost, Site5, etc.), you should avoid them. You can read more about EIG and why you should avoid them here, but in a nutshell, they are known for terrible support and bad service. The moment they buy out a brand, the service goes bad. We, of course, didn’t include and EIG hosts in our guide. You’ll notice EIG brands in most “best web hosting” lists, but that’s because the lists are often sponsored by the brand themselves, or the brands are just included there solely for the big affiliate payouts.
Why are some Linux VPS hosting providers much more expensive than others?
When there’s a bigger difference in pricing, the main reason is the server management level – meaning if they are unmanaged they will be cheaper. However, if both hosting providers offer the same level of server management and one is more expensive than the other – that’s just normal. Different providers have different business models and can offer different pricing. Some hosting plans may differ in resources – some may have more RAM than others. In most cases, the price difference is justified, at least for the providers we compared.
Virtualization software in a Linux VPS
There are different virtualization technologies that Linx VPS hosting providers use; KVM, OpenVZ, VMWare, Xen, and Hyper-V. The most common are KVM and OpenVZ. You can do more research and google it to find out more about each technology, but the main difference between them is that with KVM, there are fewer chances of the provider overselling resources (you’re truly isolated), and you can even use Windows. However, with OpenVZ, the provider CAN oversell resources, although it’s rare and that doesn’t happen with reputable hosting providers that are included in this article. In most cases, OpenVZ servers are a bit cheaper than servers powered by KVM or Xen. If you don’t know what any of this means – you basically don’t have to worry about it. Just get whatever Linux server provider you prefer.
Should I use Linux shared hosting instead of Linux VPS hosting?
In short – all shared hosting plans are run on a Linux server (mostly CentOS). So if you do buy shared hosting with a control panel like cPanel, then the server itself will be powered by a Linux distro, however, you won’t have much to do with the server or the distro itself. Some shared hosting providers will give you restricted ssh access, but you won’t have many options or freedom to do anything with the server, unlike a Linux VPS where you can basically do anything on the server as you would do on a physical machine. If you still plan on going with a shared web hosting plan, then most providers listed in this article offer shared hosting aside from their Linux VPS hosting.
Should I use Linux VPS hosting instead of Linux dedicated server hosting?
That just depends on your requirements and needs. In most cases, a Linux VPS is enough to power your websites and self-hosted apps. However, if you prefer the performance, stability, and reliability of running a dedicated, physical server, then get a dedicated server. Most providers listed in this article also offer dedicated servers, but they’re far more expensive compared to virtual servers. Aside from the pricing, VPS hosting has the upside of scalability, it’s much easier to scale up a virtual server than it is to upgrade a physical server.