There are two main factors that make a dedicated server different from a cloud instance. First is the raw performance of your machine: there is no virtualisation layer consuming resources on a dedicated server, so you are guaranteed full use of the physical resources. Second is the level of freedom you get when managing your server. With a dedicated server, you manage everything from its configuration to the data hosted on it, and you're also responsible for ensuring its security. This way, you have full control, and can dedicate all of your server's resources to a single purpose, which is essential for certain business software applications, for example. The main benefit of a dedicated solution is the total freedom you get as a user. However, if you prefer to avoid technical constraints and focus solely on your project, an OVH Public Cloud instance might be a better choice for you.
Lastly, what kind of support does the hosting provider give to the customer? Customer support should be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, especially if you are running an online business or a game that supports multiple users. You will want a hosting provider that makes it easy to get in touch should something go wrong or you want to upgrade before something does go wrong.
Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.
You'll also want to consider how long you'll need dedicated web hosting. If it's a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you'll typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, while others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it's beneficial to do your homework.
Other software applications available are specialized web hosting specific programs called control panels. Control panel software is an all inclusive set of software applications, server applications, and automation tools that can be installed on a dedicated server. Control panels include integration into web servers, database applications, programming languages, application deployment, server administration tasks, and include the ability to automate tasks via a web based front end.
Dedicated web hosting is an attractive option for people and companies who require a rock-solid website foundation. Sure, it's more expensive than shared web hosting, but you get greater reliability and more flexibility in exchange for the additional money that you pay. We've reviewed many dedicated hosting services and included our nine favorites in this guide. The chart above gives you a quick overview of the features you can find with each service. It includes pricing, hardware specs, data caps, and other pertinent information. If you want a more in-depth look at dedicated web hosting services, take a look at the blurbs—and links to full reviews—below.
Many dedicated server providers include a service level agreement based on network up-time. Some dedicated server hosting providers offer a 100% up-time guarantee on their network. By securing multiple vendors for connectivity and using redundant hardware, providers are able to guarantee higher up-times; usually between 99-100% up-time if they are a higher quality provider. One aspect of higher quality providers is they are most likely to be multi-homed across multiple quality up-link providers, which in turn, provides significant redundancy in the event one goes down in addition to potentially improved routes to destinations.