VPN vs VPS Guide

Website Development
VPN vs VPS Guide
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: April 26, 2023

VPN and VPS sound similar, but the two have many differences. Apart from having the term ‘virtual’ in them, they do not have much in common.

A VPN is a dedicated operating system hosted offline and a service, while a VPS is a network of dedicated hosting servers facilitating internet use.

As a business owner, you might be confused about what you need. Remember that both VPN and VPS are necessary, depending on the situation.

This article will look at VPN vs. VPS and explain how each works.

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What Is the Difference Between VPN vs VPS?

VPS hosting is a service allowing you to host your website on a virtual server environment. On the other hand, VPN is a user-oriented tool letting you safely and securely browse the web.

The virtualization aspect is the only common aspect of each of the services. VPN and VPS serve different needs though you can rely on both as a user.

For instance, you should use VPS hosting to host your site if you have a large and high-traffic website. Contrarily, you can use VPN software when you are accessing the internet to manage the site or to protect any data you are sending over the internet.

As business owners, you must understand what VPN and VPS are and the instances when you need each.

What Is VPN and How Does It Work?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPN creates a secure, private network that extends across the entire network. It offers a way to secure any data that moves over the connection while giving a chance to remain anonymous online.

Once you set up the VPN software, the VPN client will automatically encrypt the data sent over the network connection. Before the data passes over the connection, it must pass through the VPN, encrypting the traffic.

When you connect to the internet without enabling VPN, the data you transfer is open to anyone. This is unacceptable when you share sensitive information such as bank details, emails, etc.

On the other hand, VPN data goes directly from the ISP to the VPN server, and the VPN connects to the internet for you. This eliminates or reduces most of the common security risks.

For example, with VPN, connecting your computer to the data you are transmitting becomes difficult. As all the data is encrypted, the information is intercepted, and no one can interpret your data.

When Should You Use VPN?

You can use a VPN whenever you need to connect to the internet. As it runs in the background, it does not impede your online activities.

Here are some of the more relevant situations when you should use a VPN:

  1. While Getting around Content Blocks
  2. While Securing Data and Network Connections
  3. While Wanting to Remain Anonymous Online
  4. While Using Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

1. While Getting around Content Blocks

Some countries censor their internet content, for accessing which you need to get around country-specific blocks anonymously. With a VPN, you can also get around country geo-restrictions on streaming content.

2. While Securing Data and Network Connections

With a VPN, your internet connection is highly secure. Any private data over the internet is safe and encrypted.

3. While Wanting to Remain Anonymous Online

Your IP and other personal information remain fully anonymous when using a VPN IP address.

4. While Using Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

Unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks often put your information at risk. VPN will keep your info safe if you regularly access Wi-Fi outside the home.

What Is VPS and How Does It Work?

Let us now understand what VPS hosting is and how it differs from the other platforms. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, a form of web hosting that offers you a virtual server environment to host your website.

To break it down a bit for better understanding, a server is a computer that stores website data and files. On typing a domain into a browser, the browser communicates with the server and provides all the stored site files.

There are several types of web hosting like dedicated hosting, shared hosting, cloud hosting, managed hosting, and more.

VPS hosting uses virtualization technology and splits a single physical server into different virtual servers. This allows greater access to server resources along with the scope to expand the virtual server when needed.

You don't need to share the server resources with any other users with a virtual server and a private server environment.

So, how does the VPS hosting operate? At the core, this style of software enables you to run several virtualized operating systems from a single machine. You can switch to Windows 10 from MacOs without restarting the computer.

The VPS server uses similar technology to run a virtual server environment. A VPS server pulls from multiple dedicated servers too. As a result, if one goes offline or undergoes maintenance, it does not affect the site's performance.

Each VPS server is private and isolated from other virtual servers that use the same physical server.

When Should You Use VPS?

VPS is an obvious next step after your site outgrows the limits of a basic shared hosting plan. Following are the situations when using VPS is the best way forward:

  1. When You Need More Speed and Performance
  2. When You Need a Custom Server Setup
  3. When You Require Flexible Server Resources

1. When You Need More Speed and Performance

VPS hosting can support high-traffic sites because it is scalable. As your site grows in size, you experience a higher traffic volume. At this point, you need a web hosting plan that keeps up.

2. When You Need a Custom Server Setup

VPS server offers you more control over the server environment. You get to root server access as well as have the ability to choose the operating system and make other customizations.

3. When You Require Flexible Server Resources

With VPS hosting, you can scale up your server resource needs as the site grows. Since you are not restricted to a single physical server, it is easier to increase the resource requirements.

VPN vs VPS Takeaways

A VPN is used for one thing: to keep the data secure when browsing the internet.

A VPS is a service offered by a hosting company to host a website or application. It does not inherently keep the information safe though you can ultimately use it to connect to the internet.

It would help to consider the business needs, what is essential at that point, and the providers' reputation. However, there is no right option. It is more of a matter of choosing the right tool for the job regarding VPN vs. VPS.

You need both if your requirements do not mainly fall in a specific direction.

Professional web development companies can also help you with this process, so we advise looking for the right agency to partner with for your project.

We’ll find qualified website development agencies for your project, for free.
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