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Brad Smith  — · 10 Comments

Best VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is a mysteriously sounding name to most website owners, and at first sight, it doesn’t quite explain what you really get when you buy it.

So here’s everything you need to know about VPS hosting, plus 8 of the best VPS services in the market right now:

But first, what is VPS hosting?

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server:

  • “Private” means that you get all of the server resources allocated to you privately. You don’t share these resources with other customers.
  • “Virtual” means that your server isn’t a separate machine but runs as a virtual set up on a more powerful server. That “parent” server can have more virtual machines running.

… And what are the benefits of VPS hosting?

There are two main benefits of VPS hosting.

  • The first one is that the VPS setup generally guarantees stability. The server resources are assigned to you alone, which means that you’re immune to what any other users are doing with their servers.
  • You get root access and full control of your server. You can choose the software you’re going to install on the server, and then you can configure that software however you wish (within reason). This lets you match your server configuration to your application/website.

Overall, VPS hosting is a great solution for users who need dedicated server resources and unlimited customizability.

Below is a list of 8 best VPS hosting services (managed and unmanaged). We compared their performance, pricing, and features.

1. Liquid Web – Fastest Managed VPS ($39/mo)


Liquid Web cloud hosting
Visit LiquidWeb.com
Plans start at $39.00/mo

Liquid Web Pros:
+ Fast avg. load time
+ Unlimited websites
+ Fully managed
+ Load balancer, dedicated IP address
+ Daily backups, DDoS protection
+ 24/7 support via phone, email, chat
+ Cloudflare CDN, free SSL
Liquid Web Cons:
– Big price increase if you want to pay monthly


Liquid Web has been known in the web hosting industry for its wide range of hosting offerings. They have everything from affordable optimized setups for small online stores and WordPress sites, all the way to enterprise-level servers that go for thousands of dollars.

Their cloud VPS hosting plans sit somewhere in between price-wise. Plus, they offer excellent uptime at 99.99% and exceptional loading times of ~400 ms.

308 msAverage Speed

100%Average Uptime

Test site URL: hostingfacts-lquidwb-cloud.com / Online since: Feb, 2020 / See full stats

Liquid Web runs their own hosting infrastructure and has five data centers – two of them in the US, and also in London, Amsterdam, and Sydney.

The VPS setups are ready to handle whatever you might throw at them in terms of traffic and offer easy integration with Cloudflare CDN and Akamai. There’s also DDoS protection, a cloud load balancer, server protection layers, and vulnerability assessment integrated.

This is a fully managed VPS that gives you daily backups and free website migrations (upon request).

Last but not least, if you need assistance setting things up, the support is available 24/7. That said, you might have to wait a while for the live chat to reply.

Pricing

Liquid Web offers its VPS hosting packages from $15 / month if you pay for two years upfront. Paying monthly is $59, which is a considerable increase. For that price, you get:

  • Unlimited number of sites
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 2 vCPUs
  • 40 GB of solid-state drives (SSD) disk space
  • 10 TB of bandwidth
  • Runs Linux

It’s worth pointing out that Liquid Web uses InterWorx as its hosting control panel. Although functional, it’s a less popular solution and thus can increase your learning curve. If you want to use something more familiar – like cPanel or Plesk – those are also available, but come at an additional fee.

Hosting on Windows servers is also possible and starts from $54 / month when paid for two years upfront.

Liquid Web offers no refunds on their VPS plans.

Visit LiquidWeb.com to see current pricing

Read Liquid Web review

2. ScalaHosting – Cheapest Managed VPS ($9.95/mo)


Scala VPS review
Visit ScalaHosting.com
Plans start at $9.95/mo

Scala VPS Pros:
+ Unlimited websites
+ Fully managed
+ Free migrations for unlimited sites
+ Good scalability
+ Daily backups, SShield security system
+ Dedicated IP address
+ Cloudflare CDN
+ 24/7 support
Scala VPS Cons:
– SSL certificate paid separately


ScalaHosting was established in 2007 – which is relatively recently by hosting industry standards – with the goal of making VPS hosting accessible to anyone. These days, they offer different types of hosting, but their VPS setups remain to be the flagship.

Scala gives you a 99.99% uptime guarantee. However, in practice, that number is a tad bit lower according to our test setups. The loading times are satisfactory.

1356 msAverage Speed

99.96%Average Uptime

Test site URL: hostingfacts-scla-vps.com / Online since: Feb, 2020 / See full stats

Scala runs its own hosting infrastructure with two data centers: one in the US (Dallas) and one in Europe (Bulgaria).

The VPS hosting plans are scalable and let you configure your machine up to a really granular level. For example, you can pick how many CPU cores, RAM, and SSD storage space you need – independently of one another.

The setup is also fully managed, offers unlimited site migrations and Scala’s own SShield Security protection system.

The support is available 24/7 via live chat. They also boast about their ticket response times being in the range of 15 minutes on the average.

Scala’s servers run a custom management panel called SPanel. On the surface, it looks to be just a skin over cPanel, so there’s no learning curve.

Pricing

As mentioned, this VPS provider offers hosting in many different configurations, plus you can tailor-build your server to fit your needs exactly. At entry-level, their VPS plans start from $9.95 / month when paid for three years upfront ($12 when paid monthly). For that price, you get:

  • Unlimited number of sites
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1 CPU core
  • 20 GB of SSD disk space

The bandwidth is undisclosed. SSL is paid separately and starts from $30 / year.

There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Visit ScalaHosting.com to see current pricing

3. HostGator – Most Unlimited VPS ($19.95/mo)


HostGator VPS review
Visit HostGator.com
Plans start at $19.95/mo

HostGator Pros:
+ Near 100% uptime
+ Unlimited websites
+ Fully managed
+ Two dedicated IP addresses
+ Weekly backups, DDoS protection
+ 24/7 support via phone, chat
HostGator Cons:
– No cPanel included in the base price
– High renewal fees


HostGator is one of the most well-known hosting companies out there. They offer a couple of types of hosting, act as a domain registrar, and have their own custom website builder tool.

The uptime is great, which you can see in our test data below, but the loading times could be better, with the current ones sitting above the one-second mark.

902 msAverage Speed

100%Average Uptime

Test site URL: hostingfacts-hstgtr-vps.com / Online since: Feb, 2020 / See full stats

HostGator has two data centers in the US: in Utah and Texas.

The server specs are okay for the price and offer more flexibility than a shared server hosting setup. You get full root access, which means that you can do pretty much anything you want with your server.

There’s a RAID 10 disk configuration, weekly off-site backups, and unlimited free cPanel-to-cPanel migrations (plus 90 custom migrations).

The support is available 24/7. The staff is helpful, will take the extra time to look into your setup and fix things for you.

Pricing

HostGator offers its VPS options for hosting from $19.95 / month when paid for three years upfront ($29.95 when paid monthly). For that price, you get:

  • Unlimited number of sites
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 2 CPU cores
  • 120 GB of disk space
  • 1.5 TB of bandwidth

There are two hidden costs, though. First, your server comes with no control panel. Having cPanel installed is another $10 / month. Secondly, renewals are $79.95 / month.

There’s a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Visit HostGator.com to see current pricing

Read HostGator review

4. Bluehost VPS – $18.99/mo (Managed)


Bluehost vps review
Visit Bluehost.com
Plans start at $18.99/mo

Bluehost Pros:
+ Fast avg. load time
+ Unlimited websites
+ Fully managed
+ Dedicated IP address
+ Daily backups, DDoS protection
+ Access Control module
+ Free Domain Name for 1st Year
+ 24/7 support via phone, chat
Bluehost Cons:
– Data centers only in the US


Bluehost has a nice selection of hosting options on offer and covers pretty much all sides of the market – from cheap shared servers to fully-capable dedicated servers. Their VPS offering sits somewhere in the middle, providing a good balance of features.

In terms of uptime, Bluehost VPS sits comfortably at 99.99%. The loading times are also good at around 750 ms based on our data.

640 msAverage Speed

100%Average Uptime

Test site URL: hostingfacts-bluhst-vps.com / Online since: Feb, 2020 / See full stats

Bluehost uses its own server infrastructure/hosting environment, but they are not very clear on their data center locations or how many of them there are.

Feature-wise, Bluehost offers everything that a modern VPS host should have, including root access, modern technologies like OpenStack and KVM, guaranteed resources, and dynamic resource allocation.

There are also other original features like instant provisioning and a great access control module (you can give other people access to parts of your hosting account). Managing your server is done via an enhanced control panel of Bluehost’s that’s built on top of cPanel. It features special tools for VPS management and WHM control.

The support is available 24/7, and you will get the assistance and attention you need.

Pricing

Bluehost VPS hosting plans start from $18.99 / month (on a three-year contract). Reducing the length of the contract increases the price (monthly, it’s $29.99). For that price, you get:

  • Unlimited number of sites
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 2 CPU cores
  • 30 GB of SSD disk space
  • 1 TB of bandwidth
  • 1 IP address

Bluehost also includes a couple of useful bonuses like a dedicated IP address, a free domain name for the first year, and a free SSL certificate.

The renewal price is $29.99 / month. Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Visit Bluehost.com to see current pricing

Read Bluehost review

5. InMotion VPS – $22.99/mo (Managed)


InMotion vps review
Visit InMotionHosting.com
Plans start at $22.99/mo

InMotion Pros:
+ Fast avg. load time
+ Unlimited websites
+ Fully managed
+ 3 dedicated IP addresses, free SSL
+ DDoS protection
+ 24/7 support via toll-free, email, chat
InMotion Cons:
– Higher renewal price


What stands out about InMotion Hosting is all the different angles they take in the web hosting industry. They not only offer hosting, but also have tailor-made offerings for freelancers, agency owners, and resellers. Basically, no matter who you are and what you want your hosting to do, InMotion Hosting will have something for you.

They offer two types of VPS hosting: managed and unmanaged. Here, we’re going to focus on the managed setups since this is what most people are likely to choose.

As per our tests, the loading times are very good, at around 500 ms. The average uptime could be a bit better, though – currently at 99.97%.

363 msAverage Speed

100%Average Uptime

Test site URL: hostingfacts-inmot-cloud.com / Online since: Feb, 2020 / See full stats

InMotion Hosting has two data centers of their own: one in Los Angeles and the other in Washington, D.C.

InMotion Hosting certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to features. All accounts come with a neat dashboard that shows you resource consumption; you get root access, scheduled backups, and access to secure email accounts.

There’s also a free website migration transfer – upon request via support ticket. Above that, every account gets two hours of dedicated time with a T3 system administrator as part of InMotion’s Launch Assist™.

The customer support is available 24/7. The support agents are US-based, and you can contact them via toll-free phone lines, email, and live chat.

Pricing

The managed VPS cloud hosting plans at InMotion start from $22.99 / month (on a three-year contract). Paying month to month is $54.99. For that price, you get:

  • Unlimited number of sites
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 75 GB of SSD disk space
  • 4 TB of bandwidth

InMotion Hosting also includes 3 dedicated IP addresses, free SSLs (however many you might need), a free domain, and a cPanel Admin 5 license.

Renewals cost $64.99 / month. There’s a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Visit InMotionHosting.com to see current pricing

Read InMotion review

6. A2 Hosting VPS – $25/mo (Managed)


A2Hosting vps review
Visit A2Hosting.com
Plans start at $25.00/mo

A2 Hosting Pros:
+ Unlimited websites
+ Fully managed
+ 2 dedicated IP addresses, free SSL
+ KernelCare and DDoS protection
+ 24/7 support via phone, email, chat
+ Anytime money-back guarantee
A2 Hosting Cons:
– Slow avg. load time


A2 Hosting is another company on the list that tries to cater to different types of clients and needs. You’ll find multiple types of hosting setups in their lineup (like WordPress hosting or eCommerce), and many of them coming in different configurations as well.

The VPS selection alone offers three main types of setups: unmanaged, managed, and managed + root access (called Core VPS).

The uptime is very good, at 99.99%, but the loading times are a bit underwhelming – currently at around 1.2 s according to our data.

343 msAverage Speed

100%Average Uptime

Test site URL: hostingfacts-a2hsting-cloudvps.com / Online since: Feb, 2020 / See full stats

A2 Hosting runs its own hosting infrastructure with data centers in the US (Michigan and Arizona), Amsterdam, and Singapore.

The VPS server setup at A2 Hosting is developer-friendly, giving you access to cPanel plus all the popular technologies and software platforms. All those also get managed installs and upgrades. Server security and backups are managed for you as well.

The customer support is available 24/7. A2 is very confident of their support quality, calling them their Guru Crew Support.

Pricing

A2 offers its virtual servers from $25 / month on a two-year contract. Paying monthly is around $61. For that price, you get:

  • Unlimited number of sites
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 4 CPU cores
  • 75 GB of RAID-10 storage
  • 2 TB of bandwidth

A2 also throws in free website migrations by their Guru Support Crew, plus you can set up unlimited email accounts.

Note; If you require root access, pick from the Core VPS range (same price; it is basically managed VPS + root-access). A2 also offers cheap unmanaged VPS at just $5 / month.

Renewals start from $49.99 / month (depending on the new contract length).

There’s a generous “anytime money-back guarantee.”

Visit A2Hosting.com to see current pricing

Read A2 review

7. Hostinger VPS – $3.95/mo (Unmanaged)


Hostinger vps review
Visit Hostinger.com
Plans start at $3.95/mo

Hostinger Pros:
+ Fast avg. load time
+ The cheapest VPS hosting on the list
+ Unlimited websites
+ Dedicated IP address, DDoS protection
+ 24/7 support via email, chat
+ Pick your server OS
Hostinger Cons:
– Four-year contract
– Paid backups


Hostinger has been known for its more than affordable pricing across its entire range of different hosting types and tiers. The Hostinger VPS plans are no different, starting at just $3.95 / month, but more on that later.

Hostinger offers truly high performance, and not only in relation to the price, but overall. Our test setups have 99.99% uptime and load in mere ~300 ms.

389 msAverage Speed

99.88%Average Uptime

Test site URL: hostingfacts-hstinger-vps.com / Online since: Feb, 2020 / See full stats

Hostinger has data centers located in the US, Asia, and Europe (UK).

Feature-wise, Hostinger gives you all the basics of VPS hosting, but there are also some extras that even more expensive hosts don’t offer. For once, you can pick your server operating system (OS) – there’s CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and Suse.

Apart from that, you get full root access, a dedicated IP, there’s IPv6 support, and easy web script installers.

There’s 24/7 support available via live chat, but keep in mind that this is an unmanaged VPS setup. This means that the majority of server management tasks are on you, and the support team won’t be able to help you solve a software-related issue due to the nature of it.

Pricing

As mentioned above, Hostinger VPS starts from just $3.95 / month, which is the lowest price on this list and possibly a great choice for a small business. That said, to get this extra-low price, you have to commit to a four-year(!) contract (the longest on the list). Paying monthly is $9.95, and the renewals are also $9.95 / month. For that price, you get:

  • Unlimited number of sites
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1 vCPU
  • 20 GB of SSD disk space
  • 1 TB of bandwidth

One additional cost that can be mandatory for many users is enabling daily backups – at $1.89 / month. Also, if you require priority support, that is $1.99 / month (you’ll get moved to the top of the queue).

There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Visit Hostinger.com to see current pricing

Read Hostinger review

8. DreamHost VPS – $10/mo (Unmanaged)


DreamHost vps review
Visit DreamHost.com
Plans start at $10.00/mo

DreamHost Pros:
+ Unlimited websites
+ Unlimited traffic
+ Dedicated IP address
+ Dedicated server resources
+ Reseller and sub-accounts
+ Free SSL
DreamHost Cons:
– Live chat support only 5:30 AM – 9:30 PM
– Slow avg. load time


DreamHost offers a wide range of different hosting setups, which does a great job of catering to different user needs and requirements. Their VPS setups also offer variety and a good price-to-value ratio.

However, the uptimes we’re observing sit at around 99.75%, which is a bit too much downtime. The same goes for the loading times, currently at above the one-second mark.

608 msAverage Speed

100%Average Uptime

Test site URL: hostingfacts-dremhost-vps.com / Online since: Feb, 2020 / See full stats

When it comes to data center locations, DreamHost has their servers only in the US, making it perhaps not ideal for international businesses and websites.

DreamHost VPS is a managed setup in the sense of performance, security, and updates only. Everything else – from software installs, website management, etc. – you’ll have to handle on your own.

All DreamHost VPS plans come with unlimited bandwidth and traffic, unlimited MySQL databases, and email accounts. You also get unhindered performance thanks to the dedicated resources of your server. Managing your DreamHost VPS is done through a custom control panel. Lastly, you also get reseller and sub-account features.

Customer support is available via live chat, but only between 5:30 AM – 9:30 PM PT, which is not ideal.

Pricing

DreamHost VPS starts from $10 / month on a three-year contract. Paying monthly is $15. For that price, you get:

  • Unlimited number of sites
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 30 GB of SSD disk space
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Unlimited email accounts

DreamHost offers no refunds on their VPS plans.

Visit DreamHost.com to see current pricing

Read DreamHost review

Recap + Comparison Chart

VPS hosting is often the next step up for people who are tired of their standard shared hosting setups and want to get something that’s generally more reliable and powerful.

Luckily, quality VPS hosting providers don’t have to be super-expensive. Here’s a quick summary table of what we’ve found about these hosting solutions:

Web Host Price Bandwidth RAM Storage Money Back Uptime & Load Time
Liquid Web $39.00/mo 10 TB 2 GB 40 GB No refunds 99.99%
360 ms
Scala $9.95/mo Undisclosed 2 GB 20 GB 30 days 99.96%
937 ms
HostGator $19.95/mo 1.5 TB 2 GB 120 GB 45 days 99.77%
1090 ms
Bluehost $18.99/mo 1 TB 2 GB 30 GB 30 days 99.99%
730 ms
InMotion $22.99/mo 4 TB 4 GB 75 GB 90 days 99.97%
455 ms
A2 Hosting $25.00/mo 2 TB 4 GB 75 GB Anytime 99.99%
1227 ms
Hostinger $3.95/mo 1 TB 1 GB 20 GB 30 days 99.99%
298 ms
DreamHost $10.00/mo Unlimited 1 GB 30 GB No refunds 99.75%
1150 ms

Are you interested in testing out any of these VPS hosting setups? Do you have any questions on how VPS hosting works? Let us know in the comments below.

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10 Comments

  1. Interesting Reviews.

    What’s good on it is that interserver isn’t on that list. They too, started out quite good but their service had deteriorated badly. Spending more on Marketing and pitching to get more new business in seem far more lucrative than keeping many years loyal customers.

    That said, cPanel seem to have grown up, too. They too like money more than keeping clients happy and with them. This arrogance (and incompetency, too, with every “Forced” update, though I disabled automatic update, more seems to break and more often) will go down badly on them.

    I now look now for alternative control panels (interWorx seem very promising) and another host and appreciate this comparison together with the comments.

  2. Hostwinds may be cheap, but they don’t have a good product. I ordered my Hostwinds managed VPS August 2019. My managed VPS never worked correctly. Hostwinds migrated my site from HostGator, where it was working fine, but after the migration I started to get customer emails bounced back to me. Sometimes I would have to resend the same email 5, 6, or 7 times before it would go through. The situation was more than annoying. It made me and my business look bad. Sometimes my customers wouldn’t get emails from my website’s automated systems. Other times, I would send group emails and some of the recipients who had Gmail addresses wouldn’t get the email while others without Gmail did. This required me to send my emails again, meaning some people got multiple copies.

    At first I was completely blow off by customer support staff. Eventually someone there did take my issue seriously, but only after I became so frustrated that I demanded to speak to a manager. Still, everything that he tried required action by me, which is unlike any other managed VPS packages I’ve purchased from other companies. After dozens of interactions with with Hostwinds support and months of living with this nonsense I was told that they wouldn’t attempt any other remedies without me paying for additional services.

    I wasted so much effort, tens of hours, discussing this with support and trying things on my own. In the end, I moved my site to A2 Hosting and wouldn’t you know it, *all my problems with emails went away*. Now, all my emails to Gmail recipients succeed just like they did with HostGator. I can’t tell you hope upset I am with Hostwinds. I would like nothing less than a full refund to my credit card because they don’t provide the “managed” product that they advertise.

  3. Avatar
    Philo Phineas Frederiksen

    These are all horrifically expensive. That said, these options may be “managed hosting”, meaning you don’t have root, and don’t need to do the system administration. If that’s the case, perhaps it’s a fair deal. If you’re doing your own system administration, the rates are /far/ lower. I’ve been using Scaleway for a year now, at very low rates and with very little trouble. One of their current offerings is ARM based servers, which are the best bang for the buck. Unfortunately, for the moment, the ARM servers have an annoying halt/reboot problem. However, they’re apparently working with their vendor on a firmware update to fix it. All that said, I don’t know how their bare-metal/GPU/other-power-options compare rate-wise with other providers. They also don’t goof around with Windows, as these are servers, not toys–though you may be able to goof off with Windows on one of their bare-metal boxen.

    Hope this helps.
    ~Cheers

    1. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      Hi Philo,

      Thanks for your comment. This post indeed compares mostly managed VPS hosting options, which aren’t the cheapest. We are in the process of putting together a “cheap VPS” page which would compare the lower-end/unmanaged VPS providers, such as DigitalOcean, AWS, Google Cloud etc. Will post the link once the comparison is done.

      Thanks

  4. InMotion has been a disaster for me. Website constantly down, C-Panel failing on me, intermittent service at best, and horrible customer service — people hanging up on me, and very long wait times.

    They claim that it’s managed hosting but what that means is that they don’t pay any attention to you, and then when you notice your website is broken, you have to call them and get them to run all the diagnostics to figure out what is broken (and EVERYTHING breaks with them — I was getting emails daily saying things were broken).

    The “managed” hosting is really self-managed — you have to do everything yourself, so even if you are super techy, I would not recommend it.

    1. I tried to order an unmanaged VPS with Ubuntu installed from InMotion. They installed it with CentOS, and when I told them I requested that Ubuntu be installed as the OS, they switched me to a new server, but were unable to get the new IP address associated with my account. I tried re-starting the order process two more times, with the exact same results. They were unable to provide a working server with Ubuntu installed. I gave up. Hours of wasted time. I went to a different host and was up in about 5 minutes.

    2. InMotion started out great for us a few years ago, but they went down hill fast. Customer service was the worst and servers were always going down.