Linux vs. Windows Hosting: Which One Should I Use?
Linux Hosting versus Windows Hosting: what’s the difference?! Well, it’s in the name—both Linux and Windows are two competing Operating Systems [OS]. Linux is a more popular Server OS among hosting providers. Why is it more popular? Well, it is because of it’s cost—it has the best price in the world. It is FREE! Why is it free? Well, it is quite simple. It is because there is no Big Greedy Corporation behind it. Linux is an open-source operating system that was created by an altruistic global community of software developers who gave it away for free to anyone who wants it.
So, when should you use the Windows OS on your server? Remember, compared to a Linux-based server a Windows-based one will always be more expensive [those suits at Microsoft love charging leg and arm, and they do not mind getting your first-born either!]. So, use a Windows server only if you absolutely must use [for whatever reason] one of Microsoft’s products or applications. Here are some examples of such Microsoft platforms and applications: ASP Classic, ASP.NET, MSSQL [Microsoft SQL Server], MS Access [Microsoft Access], Visual Basic Development, C#, or Remote Desktop [can be used only with a Dedicated Server]. If none of these apply to your situation, then save your money and use a Linux OS hosting.
What Types of Linux Hosting do Exist Out There?
In general, there are 4 [four] types of web hosting that do exist [in the order of least to most expensive]: (1) Shared Web Hosting, (2) VPS Hosting, (3) Dedicated Hosting [aka Dedicated Server Hosting], and (4) Cloud Hosting. All four types of hosting can run either on Linux or on Windows.
Shared Hosting: Linux vs. Windows
In vast majority of the cases Shared Hosting, where super-low price [often $1-$3 per month] is the main selling point, Web Hosting Providers use Linux to keep their costs down. Though there are some providers who offer Windows-based Shared Hosting as well. Check out our Cheap Hosting as well as our Shared Hosting top charts for the least expensive options.
VPS Hosting: Linux vs. Windows
In our Top 100 VPS Hosting Plans charts [we’ve ranked Top 100 VPS hosting plans across 10 different groups by the number of CPU cores] we explicitly indicate which hosting plans are Windows based. Those hosting plans that do not explicitly state that they are run on Windows by default they use one of the Linux-based OS [such as Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, RHEL, etc.].
Dedicated [Server] Hosting: Linux vs. Windows
If your business is big enough and requires its own dedicated server check out our Top 85 Dedicated [Server] Hosting Plans rankings. In these Top Charts we specify physical server characteristics but not the operating system. Why? Well, it’s because when you rent your own server during the initial setup and configuration stage you can decide if you want to load a Linux OS or a Windows OS.
Here is an example of this very stage from VPS.com: as you can see once you have selected your server physical attributes you can also select one of 9 [nine] operating systems. Six of these are Linux kernel based, and the other three are from Microsoft [Windows] and VMWare.
A Dedicated Server Operating System Drop-down Menu Example
Cloud Hosting: Linux vs. Windows
Very similar to the Dedicated Hosting above Cloud Hosting allows customers to select whatever Operating System they’d like to use. In a nutshell, Cloud Hosting is basically a whole bunch of “dedicated servers” all linked together into one “gigantic” server. This server has a lot more computing power and storage compared to just one server you rent under a dedicated hosting plan. But it also has an ability to run whatever OS you prefer. Here is an example of various Operating Systems offered by the Google Cloud service. Once you decided on which Cloud Hosting provider to use you can then decide on the “physical” service configuration [number of CPU cores, RAM, storage, server control panel, etc.] as well as whether to use Linux or Windows.
Google Cloud Operating System Selection Example
If you are looking for a Cloud Hosting provider check out our Top 10 Cloud Hosting Plans ranking with prices starting as low as $4.95 per month.