Best cloud VPS hosting of 2021 – TechRadar

IaaS

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At its most basic, a server is a collection of physical components such as motherboard, processor, RAM, storage drivers, etc. A server however is more than the sum of its physical parts. Your server will have an operating system, on top of which you install or deploy additional software or applications. The additional applications can include a control panel to manage different applications and services, and additional applications such as a Content Management System (CMS), an email service, database, etc.

Shared hosting is one of the most common and popular web hosting packages. In such a setup, the resources of a single server are split across multiple users. The obvious advantage of such a setup is low cost, but this is at the expense of performance of your own website. The large demand on the resources of the server means more downtime and other problems as well.

But if you’re a business, or a professional, and want your pages to load in the least amount of time, even when you experience sudden spikes in visitor traffic, you must opt for either a VPS or a dedicated server.

In a dedicated hosting environment, the entire resources of the server are utilised by a single tenant, instead of being spread across multiple users or hosted websites. This means that your website can leverage the server’s full CPU, RAM, bandwidth, and storage resources, as it doesn’t share them with other sites. The benefit from a singular use of such resources to a hosted website cannot be overstated.

While Virtual Private Server (VPS) is also home to a number of clients, it simulates an environment where each client appears to be on a uniquely dedicated machine. It achieves this virtual separation through the use of a hypervisor. Unlike a shared hosting server, with VPS you can stake a claim to resources such as RAM and bandwidth, notwithstanding any other websites and users who you share the server with. This means that you will always have at least the agreed upon resources available to you at all times. The hypervisor technology also permits VPS clients to borrow resources from one another, such that clients which need more resources are allotted resources from other clients that aren’t using their assigned allocation of resources. In this manner, a VPS hosting guarantees availability of resources, and thus performance, which isn’t possible with a shared hosting server.

In recent years, Cloud VPS hosting has presented itself as a viable alternative to dedicated or VPS hosting. Cloud VPS shines as a viable hosting solution because it provides for the ideal mix of performance, security, reliability and costs. You pay only for what you use. The benefits of Cloud VPS hosting are listed below:

By their very nature, shared hosting plans will be of little use to businesses and professionals. Cloud VPS would appeal to those websites and online ventures which seek flexibility to handle sudden spikes in visitor traffic, without letting costs spiral out of control.

Why use Cloud VPS hosting?

You should consider a Cloud VPS hosting solution if you find dedicated hosting solutions cost-prohibitive, but require vast resources, and also expect your online venture to grow significantly in a short span of time, and need to accommodate the surge in traffic.

Apart from striking the right balance between performance and costs, there are many reasons for opting for Cloud VPS hosting.

Firstly, it provides for better performance capabilities with the help of dedicated resources. Your website/application responds faster because they are not waiting for resources to be freed up for processing. Also, Cloud VPS hosting can be self provisioned, which means that any spike in traffic or unexpected demand on resources can be handled quickly and efficiently by the administrative tools at your disposal. The distributed nature of Cloud VPS hosting also ensures high availability and most hosting providers offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee on their Cloud VPS plans. 

Kamatera

(Image credit: Kamatera)

1. Kamatera

Premium hosting provider for large enterprises

Reasons to buy

+30 day free trial+24/7 phone/email support+Worldwide network of data centres+High level of flexibility, scalability and customization  +Precise hourly/monthly billing means you pay for what you use

Reasons to avoid

No live-chat supportManaged service is a separate add-onAdd-on services make it quite expensive

Kamatera has been in the business for 20 years. It operated 13 data centres that are part of a very large network spread across the globe. The hosting provider promises optimum speed and performance, thanks to its 600GB Bandwidth capability and servers powered by Inter Xenon Platinum/Cascade Lake  2.5GHz+ processors.

The hosting provider offers the flexibility of rather impressive specs. You can tell that the service is intended for medium-large business by the server customisation options on offer. To begin, one can opt for single to 72 Core CPU’s, coupled with 1GB RAM to a maximum of 131GB. The lowest space offered is 20GB SSD storage, but you can get as much as a 4000GB, and a 1000GB/month website traffic.

Unlike some hosting providers which restrict the underlying operating system powering the server, Kamatera again offers the choice of Windows or Linux. This naturally means that you also have the choice of cPanel or Plesk control panel to manage your server.

There do not seem to be pre-defined plans for clients, this is a good thing because it ensures you pay for what you plan to use. You can start hosting for as low as $4/month but that will only get you the basic server. You must purchase other essentials separately, such as Firewall, starting at $70/month, or Load balancers starting at $19/month, etc. 

Also, you can opt for a monthly or even hourly billing, which is quite rare. 

Read the full review: Kamatera

IBM Cloud

(Image credit: IBM Cloud)

2. IBM Cloud

Reasonably priced cloud services

Reasons to buy

+Great degree of customizability+Management tools+Focus on security

Reasons to avoid

Expensive add-onsComplex range of options can be confusing

IBM Cloud offers a wide range of services. Not all of them are cloud based: it covers both virtual and hardware –based servers, composed of public, private and management networks.

As hardware and virtual-based servers are combined into one on demand cloud-platform, you have complete infrastructure control. IBM refer to their hardware servers as ‘bare metal’. These provide clients with sole access to their entire server. This reduces the ‘noisy neighbour’ effect and greatly improves performance.

With its Cloud VPS service, IBM Cloud offers the choice of hourly or monthly billing. The customizations on offer start with the server itself, as you can choose the barest of resources for your server

You can get the Cloud VPS experience for as little as $0.04/hour, which offers 1GB RAM, a single CPU, and CentOS 7.x. The choice of RAM and operating system is referred to as a profile and there are different profiles to choose from, which will affect the final price. All plans include a choice of data centres, with three in the USA, and one each in Europe (London), Asia-Pacific (Tokyo) and South America (São Paulo). The IBM Cloud Backup up to 10GB comes at no additional cost, but charges start post 10GB. Security conscious users have the option to purchase a hardware firewall subscription. This could set you back by as much as $79/month. 

IBM provides for an on the go interface for infrastructure upgrade. This means that you can tweak any of the server components at any time. 

Fast Comet

(Image credit: Fast Comet)

3. Fast Comet

Fast and expensive – for more demanding users

Reasons to buy

+Feature rich plans+Various security and performance features+High availability through hardware redundancy

Reasons to avoid

7-day money back guaranteeLacks customization optionsPricier than its peers at first blush

Apart from fully managed SSD Cloud VPS hosting solutions, Fast Comet also offers Shared Hosting, and even Dedicated CPU servers for high-performance. At first glance, the pricing may seem steeper than its peers, but a look at the server specs and the services on offer explains why. 

To begin, FastComet boasts data centres in 11 locations across the globe, which is considerably more than the choice of 4-6 data centres that most hosting providers offer. 

The hosting provider offers a choice of four Cloud VPS hosting plans, ranging from $50.95/month to $118.95/month. Keep in mind that this is only the introductory offer, and the prices will go up further at renewal.

The cheapest plan, Cloud 1 includes a single 2.5GHz process with 2 GB RAM and 50GB SSD storage space, but you are restricted to 2 TB data transfer. 

All the Cloud VPS plans include site migration, SSH access, site setup, cPanel & Softaculous, optimized server setup, Cloudflare CDN, network and web application firewall, brute force protection, malware protection, daily and weekly backups and restoration, 24/7/365 server monitoring, as well as power/network/hardware redundancy at no extra cost. Most other hosting providers charge a hefty premium for several of these additional features, so the inclusion of them in the default offering helps explain the sticker price of the Cloud VPS plans.

FastComet doesn’t let you customize its plans, which sets it apart from most other  Cloud VPS hosting providers which pride themselves on this feature, as it offers unlimited potential for clients. 

InMotion Hosting

(Image credit: InMotion Hosting)

4. InMotion Hosting

Self managed hosting for tech-savvy users

Reasons to buy

+Economical+Server snapshots+High availability through hardware redundancy

Reasons to avoid

No managed hostingDoesn’t allow customization beyond choice of OS1 month plan duration, requiring frequent renewalsNo graphical control panelNo Money back guarantee

InMotion Hosting is a popular US-based web hosting provider with plans for just about everyone. Whether it’s shared hosting, WordPress or managed WordPress, managed and cloud VPS, reseller plans, managed and bare metal dedicated servers, high-end enterprise products, or something else, InMotion has your needs covered. 

The hosting provider only provides Unmanaged Cloud VPS hosting plans. However, if you need a bit of hand-holding for configuring the server, you can purchase a 1hr, 2hr or 3hr Managed Hosting add-on, which will set you back by $40, $70 or $100 respectively. 

InMotion offers a choice of eight Cloud VPS plans. At $5/month, the cheapest plan only includes 1GB RAM, a single CPU, 25GB SSD storage space and caps the data transfer to 1TB. The costliest plan on the other hand features 32GB RAM, 8 CPUs, 640GB SSD storage and 7TB data transfer limit at $160/month.

For each plan, you can choose between CentOS, Ubuntu or Debian. All the plans include Corero DDoS protection, a dedicated IP address. Even better, InMotion ensures high availability by providing hardware redundancy across all its data centre locations. 

Unlike other hosting providers which let you choose the duration for the purchase, ranging from 6 months to 3 years, etc., InMotion Hosting restricts the purchase of every Cloud VPS plan to 1 month only. 

On offer are 4 plans starting at USD 31.99/month and these plans seem to offer the same features InMotion’s rivals offer for a lesser price. With all the list of features you get you can be assured that the emphasis is on speed and performance. Features like UltraStack, Brotli Compression, NGINX and more are included in all plans. Security features are not ignored either; you get DDoS and Unlimited Spam Protection. 

Read the full review: InMotion Hosting

Interserver

(Image credit: Interserver)

5. Interserver

Affordable and responsive machines from an industry veteran

Reasons to buy

+Economical+Managed/Unmanaged VPS+Professional support+Large number of supported Operating Systems

Reasons to avoid

No Money back guaranteeData centres in USA onlyNo free backup

You can’t get very far with the offerings provided by Interserver if you don’t spend some time on its website scrolling through the FAQ, and assorted information. This is because the hosting provider makes use of non-industry standard terms, such as Slices, for its plans.

When you access the Cloud VPS plans, you’re presented with a slider on the screen, The default selection is the most basic, and at $6/month includes a single CPU core, 2GB RAM, 30GB SSD storage and data transfer limit of 1 TB. This is the most basic Slice on offer. There are 16 such slices, and you can use the slider to move through them to see what each includes. 

For each slice, the RAM increases by 2GB, storage by 30GB and data transfer by 1TB. So, the most expensive slice provides 16 CPU cores, 32GB RAM, 480GB storage space and 16TB data transfer limit.

The first three slices are completely Unmanaged, which means users are responsible for all tweaking and problem solving. However, if you opt for four slices or more, Interserver offers Managed support, offering to help with deploying security patches, diagnosing failed services, etc. 

If you opt to install a Linux distribution (the hosting provider offers the choice of Windows, BSD and various Linux distributions), you can choose between cPanel and Direct Domain control panel.

You must purchase a backup plan separately, and this can affect the cost of the plan considerably, depending on your use case.

Read the full review: Interserver