There’s probably no debate which has lasted longer – or provided more heat than light – among computer geeks than Windows vs. Mac. The debate over the two prominent server operating systems, Linux and Windows, is much less heated, though; most unbiased observers will tell you that Linux is superior for a number of reasons.
However, there are definitely times when a Windows VPS hosting plan is a better choice for a business than a Linux VPS hosting account. Here’s the information you’ll need to make the decision.
Advantages of Linux VPS Hosting
- Cost: Linux server software is open-source and free, while hosting companies have to pay for Windows server software. Even so, most providers will charge the same price for Windows VPS hosting and a similar Linux VPS, while some may charge just a little more for a Windows server platform. But there’s a hidden cost to running Windows on your box, since Linux applications are also free but you’ll have to pay licensing fees for Windows applications that you want to run on your VPS.
- Security: Windows devotees sometimes argue this point, but most experts agree that a Linux platform is less vulnerable to viruses and hacks than a Windows server, for two reasons. First, Windows has been notoriously attractive to hackers because of its prevalence. Second, Linux is open-source so the entire community built around the platform is constantly on the lookout for vulnerabilities in the source code. Patches are available much more quickly than the updates released by Microsoft.
- Universality: Many common applications, both front-facing ones like WordPress and server applications like MySQL and PHP, are native to Linux. Later versions of Windows server software can be made to run them but they’re more likely to develop glitches, particularly on earlier versions.
- Stability and Performance: Anyone who’s worked with Windows on their desktop for a length of time doesn’t have to be told about Windows crashes. Linux VPS hosting is less likely to go down than Windows. Linux is also less of a resource hog, so the system is usually faster than one on Windows VPS hosting.
- Control Panel: Many more people are familiar with the cPanel commonly used with Linux, while the Plesk control panel most often seen on Windows servers is unfamiliar to them.
Advantages of Windows VPS Hosting
- Support for Native Products: If you’re using FrontPage, ASP,.NET or other Microsoft development products, or Access databases, you don’t have much choice. You’ll need a Windows server.
- User Comfort: The GUI used for managing Windows VPS hosting will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s worked with a Windows desktop, so it’s easy and comfortable for nearly everyone and you can easily log into your server via remote desktop on any Windows machine in 30 seconds. The SSH access used for managing a Linux system can be difficult for novices to figure out.
In either case, be sure to give SSD VPS hosting a long, hard look. The speed, reliability and durability gained by using solid-state drives instead of traditional hard drives gives both Linux VPS hosting and Windows VPS hosting an extra kick in the pants, and is well worth any slight additional charge you may have to pay to get an SSD VPS.