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5 Reasons Why You Want a Low End Box

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We define a “Low-EndBox” as a cheap virtual server.  “Cheap” is obviously relative and changes over time.  When LEB started, cheap cloud hosting meant a 64MB RAM server for $5 or less.  Today you can easily get 1GB of RAM (16x the resources) for the same price, and without much effort you can probably find a 2GB cheap vps for that price.

We’ve featured insanely low prices on LEB but as with everything there are trade-offs.  When you sign up with a big provider like Amazon or Microsoft, you’re paying for stability.  With Lowend hosts, you may be dealing with a one-man band.

So why might you want a LowEndBox?  Is it just for cheap hosting?  Here are some reasons:

  1. You get more for less.  For example, a 2GB VM with 1 vCPU on Amazon EC2 will cost you $7.56/mo but that’s with only 1GB of bandwidth.  If you want 1TB, add another $92/month, so about $100/mo.  OTOH, that same 1 vCPU with 2GB of RAM and 2TB of bandwidth is only a cheap $10/mo at Vultr.
  1. You want predictable pricing.  Even cheap cloud hosting providers (to the extent they exist) are per-everything.  Bundled bandwidth is a characteristic of more traditional hosting and many LowEnd providers will either stop your bandwidth or provide you the opportunity to purchase more without an unlimited credit card exposure.
  1. Not everything needs production quality. Why pay for uber-reliable hosting for development and test environments?  For the price of one nigh-unbreakable system, you can probably have three LowEnd systems for sandboxes.
  1. You like the personal touch.  With many of the hosts I’ve over the years, I was on a first-name basis with the owner.  You’re not going to be on a first-name basis with the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar corporation.  You can get better, personal service from “the neighborhood LEB shop” than a giant.
  1. You want exotic locations.  Every provider, large or small, has a rack in Silicon Valley and Amsterdam.  But what if you want a game server in Bulgaria, Bangkok, Bangor, or Beirut?  Maybe you want DNS in Denali or Tinc in Timbuktu.  There are a lot more exotic locations in the LEB world that with the big buys who a much bigger footprint.

As with everything, you tend to get what you pay for, and getting the absolute cheapest vps is not always the best way to go.  But that doesn’t mean that overpaying necessarily gets you more either.  Understand your needs, research providers, and search our offers!

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  1. zlayer:

    ditto! couldn’t say it better myself. just got myself one :)
    i’ll keep an eye on this blog of yours so i can optimize its usage, lol…but i’m just learning, don’t expect too much

    April 28, 2008 @ 6:37 am | Reply
    • Daniel:

      It’s kind of a waste. Digital Ocean offers 512 mb VPSs for 5$/month…

      October 23, 2014 @ 9:42 pm | Reply
  2. Hope you won’t mind me spamming your board.

    Here I am, few months later, still running a VPS and learning a lot :) And I’ve learned a lot already.

    I’m here to get something for the MySQL, lol…

    September 6, 2008 @ 7:26 pm | Reply
  3. my question is how i can host site without cpanel/whm.

    December 17, 2010 @ 6:03 pm | Reply
    • adam:

      you can just install apache & mysql from ssh
      then upload your file from winscp and create database from ssh
      or you can use lighttp instead of apache for less memory use
      or you can try using kloxo or webmin those are free control panel

      im still new to these setting up vps too but learning need real object cant practice set up vps if you dont have one so buy 1

      stumble now on optimize mysql on openvz platform it eat a lot of memory even at idle TT

      December 27, 2010 @ 5:56 am | Reply
  4. dd:

    6th Reason, You can host the same domain in multiple cities/countries achieving dns and website redundancy for the same cost or lower.

    March 18, 2011 @ 5:29 pm | Reply
  5. dd:

    7th reason, Because you hate waste and inefficiency. 20 or more celeron 1GB RAM dedis can be accomodated in a single Quad core using less power, wasting less energy, taking up less space. Most of the time in most of the dedis out there the CPU is simply idling wasting enormous amounts of energy twiddling its thumbs.

    8th reason, You can reinstall your OS much more easily on a VPS than on a dedi.

    9th reason, You are more likely to get free backups and free raid with a VPS than a dedi.

    10th reason, Its is easier to upgrade or downgrade a VPS than a dedi.

    March 18, 2011 @ 5:35 pm | Reply
  6. 11th reason: You’re married and your wife/husband/partner/etc won’t let you spend any more money on your internet/computer addiction so you can’t afford a dedicated server. :)

    March 18, 2011 @ 10:47 pm | Reply
  7. Spirit:

    12.th reason: For hobby. To host some small private sites which aren’t there to make profit, for IRC usage in free time.. etc… we don’t need additional huge expences in life as low end box is all what we need to work with.

    March 18, 2011 @ 11:58 pm | Reply
  8. 13th reason: You like trying out multiple providers instead of sitting with just one.

    March 19, 2011 @ 12:08 am | Reply
  9. 14. You want a box where you can tweak, experiment and break things without having people scream MY WEBSITE IS DOWN!!!

    March 19, 2011 @ 1:21 am | Reply
  10. I love the last sentence.

    April 23, 2011 @ 12:21 pm | Reply
  11. Hi

    thanks for providing this great overview and help finding low-priced VPS. Now I found a server in Chicago at a provider I never heared of before as a colocation for my primary vps in Vienna.

    Best regards from Austria / Europe,


    April 26, 2011 @ 10:19 am | Reply
  12. Lothar:


    thanks for this great page, helps me a lot finding a proper VPS provider!

    Best regards vom Germany/Europe

    June 9, 2011 @ 8:49 pm | Reply
  13. luis123456:

    I read and agree with all that until…

    Because you want to learn. Sometimes we can get lazy and rely on GUI and web-based control panels… How dare you?! The best way to learn Linux, xBSD and other operating systems is by dipping into the core. The best control panel? Don’t tell me SSH + Vim is not enough (yes you don’t even need Emacs). A small box will force you to work hard and learn hard.

    For me atleast, Kloxo works, does it job, and does it well, specially on this new 6.1.6 version.

    Kloxo does need 256 MB ram to install, but it can be configured tu run in 24 MB. Lowend, isn’t it? and is better, and more hosting-oriented that Webmin.

    September 18, 2011 @ 4:18 am | Reply
    • Freek:

      Show us your magic how you get it down to 24 MB. AFAIK no-one ever succeeded in tuning it down so low.

      December 31, 2011 @ 6:09 pm | Reply
  14. paul:

    This site is great, thanks for running it. I’ve been following it for months and just bought my first low-end VPS (actually 192MB). A comparable EC2 instance would have cost at least 5x more.

    October 5, 2011 @ 5:06 pm | Reply
  15. I once had a dedicated server but now running on a quite nicely (still need to do a couple of things) configured VPS. It’s not only cheaper but also more flexible…and I won’t start talking about shared hosting which is the biggest horror.

    Thanks for all the information and helpful tutorials!

    December 7, 2011 @ 10:53 pm | Reply
  16. BronzeByte:

    16. Because you have a private server community and run little copyrighted games and can’t risk big servers for it.

    February 3, 2012 @ 2:43 pm | Reply
  17. Neil:

    17. Because you’re sick of your government passing increasingly intrusive laws regarding email retention and web log retention, and you want to do something to protect your privacy. Like direct your HTTP traffic over a VPN to somewhere else: overseas.

    Does anyone know of any VPS hosting in Ecuador?

    August 23, 2012 @ 12:03 am | Reply
  18. Reason # 666
    Because your pastor told you the end of the world will be in three months from now and you think it is useless to rent a dedicated for $349.99 per month when you can do it for $1.99/mo
    After all you know “The End Is Near”®

    September 27, 2012 @ 1:14 am | Reply
  19. AK:

    How do I know the listed VPS will deliver whatever was promised and not misbehave later? I mean some names I know in the VPS field but they are very costly. Though even a little bit of trust would help, after all I am planning to host Owncloud for my personal data. I think I shall need a minimum of 512MB RAM for that.

    March 21, 2013 @ 4:35 am | Reply
  20. Hello,

    I want XEN VPS,my requirement are as follows

    RAM – 4gb
    HDD – 100gb or more
    IPv4 – 1 or 2
    IPv6 – /64
    OS – CentOS
    please suggest the perfect vps for those requirement!

    Awaiting Reply

    December 18, 2013 @ 5:22 am | Reply
    • jvnadr:

      This is the most of-topic comment I have ever read here!

      January 9, 2014 @ 7:18 pm | Reply
  21. I loved it !!!

    April 4, 2014 @ 10:47 pm | Reply
  22. I’ve been lurking around leb/let for quite some time and I just saw this post now haha. I love the last part. “Tell them 64MB is more than enough” sure but it won’t do for people who install literally every WP plugin that’s available. :D

    September 14, 2014 @ 10:41 pm | Reply
  23. rusp:

    LEB more than once led me onto a good hint. I’m lurking around here since some years and had only one disapointment. The other five or so VPS turned out well.
    Regarding web panels, I actually strongly dislike them. At my newest VPS (vstoike KVM) they have a quite rich and powerful solus thingy and all I use is VNC as a software KVM (for installation of custom image), “boot switcher” (hard disk or cd-rom), and reverse dns.
    I fully agree with the LEB advice and manage any and all servers, routers and whatnot with SSH.
    I am amazed though that virtually all VPS providers offer only the big distro images. Because there are some really fine linuxes out there that are tiny, offer anything needed and on top of it have enhanced security. An example: Alpine linux.

    January 15, 2015 @ 10:54 am | Reply
  24. 18. You have some weird IPv6 addiction and love eating lots of VPSes in really obscure locations

    July 25, 2016 @ 3:01 am | Reply
  25. tmwc:

    19. It’s better than you don’t remember.

    December 22, 2016 @ 6:05 pm | Reply
  26. Florence:

    I have mu;ltiple reasons.

    0. Geeky woman.
    1. keeping my sysadmin skills up to date (no install scripts) and my memory fresh.
    2. hobby. I love to test new hosts and experience how they do things.
    3. nostalgia… buying an extremely lowendbox and trying to squeeze everything out of it.
    4. buying different VPS’s to run apps: backups, cloudstorage, MP3 converters, each have a different purpose.
    5. I have run a hosting company before, (retired) and it has become a tradition to buy from colleagues and look around to see how the newbies are doing it these days, and if they want it, give them feedback to be better. :)

    September 22, 2018 @ 5:09 am | Reply
  27. Running multiple test instances on different sites provides far more real world relevant results than a lab on the same LAN or with a single big provider. An infrastructure designed and debugged using a multitude of price competing suppliers will be more resiliant and economical long term than taking the easy road and getting vendor locked to a single corporation.

    May 26, 2021 @ 7:20 pm | Reply
  28. I agree mostly with the redundancy thing. You can get your CDN at mostly 100 Eur a month and you can push terabytes a day. Just one of the simplest and easiest usages.
    This is why I also fail to understand this: “My provider failed, I lost all my data and it costs me a gazillion a day!” If your data is important:
    1. you have back-ups;
    2. You have back-ups in multiple places;
    3. You have back-ups of your back-ups not only of the data, but also fail-over servers;
    4. You can do that very cheaply and it is inexcusable not to do it when it is so cheap and easy unless you don’t need uptime and your data is dispensable.

    May 27, 2021 @ 11:53 pm | Reply
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