Windows VPS hosting vs Linux VPS Hosting: Which one should you choose for your Website?

With virtualization gaining ground, VPS hosting has become one of the most sought-after hosting solutions.

For those who don’t know, a VPS is created when a large physical server is partitioned into smaller virtualized servers, each having its independent environment.

Each VPS has its dedicated set of resources-RAM, CPU and bandwidth which are not shared with other users. As a result, a virtual server offers superior performance, security and high level of customization.

A VPS server in India offers the benefits of a dedicated server at the price of a shared server and, therefore,is a popular choice among website owners.

Businesses choosing VPS hosting often have a hard time deciding the operating system for their servers.

Linux and Windows are the two most popular operating systems used in VPS servers. While Linux is an open-source operating system that can be altered and redistributed freely, Windows is a proprietary operating system from Microsoft.

So, how does Linux VPS hosting differ from Windows VPS hosting?

Let’s deep dive and find out.

Performance

A high-performing operating system is of prime consideration while selecting a hosting service.

In today’s fiercely competitive digital space, it is vital for website owners to offeran impeccable experience to users. Failing to do so can make them lose valuable prospects.

So, let’s see how Linux and Windows fare in terms of performance.

Linux OS is designed to be used with Secure Remote Login (SSH). Linux is managed using a command-line interface. Linux isn’t a resource-hungry OS and doesn’t need regular reboot even when website traffic is high.

In contrast, Windowsrequires rebooting even after a minor patch. Whether it is a software update or installation of a driver, you will be required to reboot each time. Windows, being a GUI-based OS, needs more resources.

Plus, running multiple file servers on Windows can make it unstable. Linux-based servers, on the other hand, are quite stable.

Server Access

A good operating system should offer adequate server access so that you can have better control over your website.

Most of the Linux VPS hosting services offer full server access. With Linux VPS hosting, you get File Transfer Protocol (FTP)as well as Secure Shell (SSH) access. Windows, on the other hand, lets you utilize FTP but not SSH.

Ease of Use

In general, ease of use depends on your level of technical know-how.

Windows VPS comes with a graphic user interface (GUI) and, therefore, an ideal option for beginners. Linux, in contrast, is well-suited for those with sound technical knowledge as it offers a cPanel management tool.

Control Panel

A control panel lets you manage different aspects of your operating system and, in turn, customize the features of your website. Commonly used control panels include WHM,cPanel, Plesk and vDesk.

Most of the VPS hosting providers offer cPanel or WHM with Linux.

cPanel has a simple user-interface that allows you to download applications with a single click. With cPanel, you can easily manage MySQL databases and configure PHP. Users with no coding knowledge can use cPanel to create websites and blogs and manage tasks like setting up e-mail address and configure mailbox size limits.

Windows VPS, on the contrary, offers Plesk which has a cleaner graphical user interface and is a tad easier to use than cPanel.

Compatibility

The operating system you are using needs to be compatible with your existing work environment.

If you have applications running on open-source software such as PHP, Java or Python, Linux is the ideal OS for you.

If you have invested heavily in Windows-specific software like ASP.net, ASP Classic, MySQL, C# and MS Access, then Windows is the right OSfor your virtual server.

Read: The 5 best Linux distros for the enterprise

Technical Support

Technical issues are indispensable while managing a website. In the absence of adequate technical support, even minor issues can metamorphose into major problems hampering the functioning of your site.

Because Linux is an open-source operating system, its users get the support of the Linux community. How reliable this support will be is another matter.

With a Windows-based server, you always have the support of the IT team of Microsoft. This support would be more reliable than that offered by an open-source community.

Security

In light of the rising incidence of cybersecurity breaches, security has become paramount. Website owners need robust security mechanisms to avert malware, data breaches and DDoS attacks.

Being a UNIX-based operating system, Linux offers better protection against malware and spyware. In Linux, the editing privileges are restricted to administrators only.

A Windows-based virtual server is also secure if used with the right set-up. However, in Windows, users are allowed to hide a file from the administrator’s view.

Price

As discussed in the beginning, Linux is an open-source OS and does not involve any licensing cost. It, however, includes some paid distributions (e.g. Red Hat, Ubuntu)meant for enhancing server performance.

Windows, on the contrary, is the proprietary software offered by Microsoft and involves a high licensing fee. Plus, its servers are designed to implement specialized tasks and are, therefore, expensive.

The Bottom Line

Both Linux and Windows offer several unique benefits to website owners. While Linux vps hosting is more stable, economical and offers more control panel options, Windows is easier to use and has more reliable support. The operating system you choose has a lot to do with your personal preferences regarding your virtual server.