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Virtual Private Server (VPS) Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions: Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

What is a Virtual Private Server (VPS)? Why would I want one? How much does a cheap VPS cost? These are all great questions and we have the answers to plenty of common questions below.

Some of us are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars per month on a dedicated server with multiple cores, gigabytes of memory and a huge disk array. Some of us, however, only have a few bucks spare each month to pay for a low end box, and some of us just want to pay as little as possible…

LowEndBox.com is dedicated for running websites and services on low end virtual private servers (VPS), where you only need to pay a few dollars a month to get full root access. Most of them will be CPU, memory, space and bandwidth limited, but can still be a work horse if tuned properly. In the past ten years we have saved our users hundreds of thousands of dollars by connecting shoppers with hosting companies providing Cheap VPS, Cheap Windows VPS, Dedicated Servers, VPN and Web Hosting.

A VPS is a Virtual Private Server. It is a private server which is exclusively yours to use, and can be installed with any operating system of your choice. A VPS service provides you with a carved out amount of resources that are dedicated to you (and not shared with anyone else). A VPS gives you more resources and flexibility compared to shared hosting.

On LowEndBox, the cost of a VPS is anywhere from $1/month to $10/month. The cost of VPS hosting varies, depending on how much resources you’re looking for. Using a resource website like LowEndBox, you can find a great deal from various VPS hosting providers. Because LowEndBox only features VPS deals that are less than $10 per month, you will be sure to find a value packed offer.

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.

  1. You get more for less
  2. You want predictable pricing
  3. Not everything needs production quality
  4. You like the personal touch
  5. You want exotic locations

Looking for more information? We’ve written a full length article on the “Top 5 Reasons You Want a Low End Box” that’s worth a read.

What are 5 common uses for a LowEndBox (aka a cheap VPS)? LowEndBox recently ran a poll asking that question and in this FAQ article, we’ll highlight the most common use cases for a LowEndBox. Are you looking for ideas on what to purpose your VPS for? Looking to get started on a new project? A VPS is a great solution to your hosting needs however broad or unique they may be. Whatever your specific needs are, the list below is just a few top reasons our readers tell us they use their VPS for:

  1. Web / Application Hosting
  2. VPN / Proxy
  3. Hobby Use
  4. File Storage
  5. Game Server Hosting

Looking for more detailed information? We’ve written a full length article on the “Common Uses for a VPS” that’s worth a read.

All hosting and VPS providers featured on LowEndBox pass a basic review and reliability check prior to their offers being published. That said, we always recommend that buyers conduct their own research to ensure they are making an educated buying decision.

To help make the search for VPS providers easier we have compiled a number of lists worth checking out:

There is no best datacenter location for VPS hosting, just the location that is best for you. In the United States, datacenters in California and New York are especially popular because of their ability to serve the United States effectively plus either Asia (CA) or Europe (NY).

If you have a large US audience and along with an Asian audience then a VPS in Los Angeles (or any other place on the US West Coast), for example, would make more sense than one in the Central or Eastern United States. LowEndBox has VPS deals available in many different cities all around the world, and you can either use the search function or select one of our most popular cities in the main selection box on our home page. Nearly any location you pick is likely to be perfectly fine for almost all use-cases, so don’t let a location decision influence your decision making process.

If you are looking for a VPS in Los Angeles consider reading our recently posted Los Angeles VPS Hosting Frequently Asked Questions article which answers a number of questions specific to hosting in Los Angeles.

Yes and No. A Linux VPS does require some technical understanding because you will generally be accessing it using either a web hosting control panel, like cPanel, or by a terminal session (text only). On the other hand, a Windows based VPS is very easy to use because you access it using Windows Remote Desktop, and the interface is nearly identical to your computer at home if it runs Windows. Many people find that having a “cloud based” desktop running on their own cheap Windows VPS is a great way to have an always-available desktop for security reasons, data storage, web browsing, and more. Whether you pick a Linux VPS or Windows VPS, take a look at our Tutorial Section where we frequently publish how-to guides and other informative articles about using your VPS hosting service.

That depends on a number of factors which we’ve explained in detail in a recent article about Why and When to Use a VPS instead of Shared Hosting. Essentially it comes down to:

If you are just looking to host a simple website or blog and do not anticipate much traffic/visitors, then starting off with a shared hosting account might be a cost effective and fast way to get set up.

If you are looking to do more than host a website (i.e. run scripts, develop programs, host a game server, host a VOIP server, and so on…), or if you run a busy website/database – then a VPS is the way to go, given the extra control and scalable resources that it has to offer.

The good news is LowEndBox features great deals on cheap Linux VPS, cheap Windows VPS and cheap Shared Hosting, so whatever is the best fit for you we’ve got you covered.

Just about any! Depending on the underlying virtualization engine, you may or may not be limited in your choices. For example, an OpenVZ based virtual private server may be limited to certain Linux distributions where as a virtual private server running KVM virtualization, VMWare, Xen or Hyper-V may have a winder selection of operating system options including Windows (with a full desktop graphical user interface, just like your home computer may have).

We’ve written articles comparing the benefits of each popular hypervisor which is worth reading if you are just getting started.

To log into a Linux based VPS (i.e. CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora) you would utilize an SSH client such as PuTTY or WinSCP. To access a Windows based VPS, you would use Remote Desktop Connection, making it very simple and similar to your at-home Windows based desktop computer.

LowEndBox is a resource website which has dozens of different tutorials published, designed to help you navigate the use of your VPS server. Just go on our website and click on the Tutorials section on the top.

A VPS is generally as secure as a private dedicated server. Ultimately how secure your virtual private server is depends on the steps you take to securing it. At LowEndBox we are big on security and have written dozens of articles and helpful tutorials about how to best secure your Linux or Windows VPS. Specific Virtual Private Server plans are available that include DDoS protection (distributed denial of service attacks) as well.

Most VPS providers provide a VPS control panel where you will be able to administrate your server’s state – this is usually powered by either SolusVM, Virtualizor, or a custom control panel solution that your hosting provider utilizes. Within this control panel, you will be able to start, stop, restart, console, or even re-install your server’s operating system.

Yes! While DDoS attacks are getting a little less common when it comes to simple high-volume/high-traffic attack patterns LowEndBox has featured numerous cheap VPS plans that offer DDoS Protection. Check out a full list of DDoS protected hosting plans.

Every project has different needs and takes different demands. You should consider numerous factors when determining how much storage space you might need, such as the operating system, and the type of projects/applications you’ll be hosting on the server. Nowadays, VPS hosting is generally scalable and can be upgraded – so it’s not the end of the world if you run out of storage.

Yes, VPS’s generally include a dedicated IPv4 address. If your provider advertises that they are providing you with a “NAT IP” – then be aware that this is not a dedicated IP. Otherwise, if there is no such indication – your VPS runs on a dedicated IPv4 address. Don’t hesitate to contact your hosting provider for further clarification.

Yes, gameservers are commonly hosted on VPS’s because of the great amount of flexibility and root access that VPS servers come with. Common gameservers hosted on VPS include, but are not limited to: Minecraft, Rust, CS:GO, ARK: Survival Evolved, Garry’s Mod, Terraria, Team Fortress 2, and more.

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates a private, encrypted tunnel between your PC, tablet, or phone and an endpoint.

For example, let’s say you’re staying in a hotel in Anaheim, California, USA.  You connect to the hotel’s wifi, and then connect to a VPN in Los Angeles.  Once connected, all traffic between your device and the VPN is encrypted.  This has numerous benefits:

  1. Any weaknesses in wifi security are handled because you’re only transmitting already encrypted data over the network.
  2. Your IP is hidden.
  3. Your ISP can’t spy on what you’re doing, throttle your traffic based on what you’re doing, etc.
  4. If you want to appear as if you are in Los Angeles, this is one way to do it because you’ll appear to have the VPN’s IP.
  5. Some VPNs have integrated ad blocking, malicious site blocking, etc.
  6. If you live in a country more prone to, shall we say, proactive investigation, you may find the privacy benefits of avoiding Big Brother helpful.  Then again, if you’re using a VPN, it will be obvious so they may just come with a rubber hose.

Self-Hosted vs. VPN Service

A VPN is pretty easy to spin up on your own.  We have a tutorial on this.  You only need a small VPS – even a 128MB is more than plenty.  Obviously what you want is a lot of bandwidth.

But do you want to run your own VPN?

You do gain many of the benefits but there are drawbacks:

  • The providers’ network may not be optimized for this kind of activity, or the experience may be uneven.  The only way to know is to test.
  • Sometimes a 128MB or 512MB VPS will not have enough bandwidth, forcing you to buy a more expensive plan just to add bandwidth.
  • Since you’re always connecting to the same VPN endpoint, your privacy is reduced.  Instead of coming from your home ISP, now you’re always appearing on the Internet as your VPN’s IP.
  • There’s the usual security work, patching, VPS administration, etc.

VPN Services

An alternative is a VPN service.  Some of the benefits of these services include:

  • They’re cheap!  Cheap VPN services abound and are competitive with self-hosted.
  • They typically have many servers in each geography, which enhances privacy.  One night you’re appearing from this Chicago IP and a few hours later from that Minneapolis IP, etc.
  • If you travel, they likely have a VPN endpoint near you so no latency issues.
  • They’re handling all the admin work- you just connect and enjoy.

We’ve recently been featuring some of the better VPN providers in a very crowded marketplace here at LowEndBox, and one of our favorite providers is PureVPN! Plus we’ve got an exclusive discount coupon to share with our readers.

  • Not only do you get a 10-multiple-login account you can use on 6500+ servers in over 78 countries, you get it for less than $2/month with their current promotion!
  • AND for LowEndBox readers only, you can get an additional discount of 20% off by using our code “lowendboxmax”
  • Order Now

A special thank you to PureVPN for this awesome deal!

The promo code to get this special offer is: “lowendboxmax”

If you are wondering why you may want the added security offered by a VPN, check out our recent article on the topic.

PureVPN has over 13,000 reviews on Trust Pilot, and a 4.7/5 rating. They are a global leader in the VPN security space and offer datacenter points of presence all over the world.

LowEndBox.com is made up of a small team that have a common interest in the community and the low end box field as a whole. Our mission is to help our users find really great hosting solutions, including virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, VPN and web hosting at a great price. If you are searching for cheap VPS and cheap dedicated servers you’ve come to the right place. We’ve also recently created a mailing list, so be sure to join to make sure you’re in the know.

We will be listing virtual server deals for less than $10 per month, shared hosting for $2.50 per month, reseller hosting for $5.00 per month and dedicated server deals equal to or less than $84 per month along with other services and managed products. We also write about getting more out of your servers with helpful tutorialsnews and interviews.

One of the Internet’s busiest and most engaging hosting related forums is our very own LowEndTalk.com – the message board companion to LowEndBox.com. Known for its spirited discussion and strong community, LowEndTalk.com is a great place to chat about the hosting industry, technology in general, or anything at all! On top of all of the smart (and funny) conversation that calls LowEndTalk home, there are plenty of hosting providers posting fantastic deals on cheap VPS hosting, shared and reseller hosting, and dedicated servers (plus more). Come visit and join the community.

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