When it comes to web hosting, VPS hosting bridges the gap between shared and dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is where your account is one of many small accounts sharing a web server. A dedicated server is where you rent the entire server, so that it is dedicated to your business.
VPS hosting offers a mix of both worlds, where only a handful of VPS accounts share the same server, but come with all the software management responsibilities you would get with a dedicated server – hence the name, Virtual Private Server (VPS).
This offers a number of advantages, not least that more resources are available to your account under a VPS that wouldn't be available with a shared hosting account. Additionally, shared hosting accounts tend to be rigid in their software outlay, which means they often cannot cater for customized server or software settings – something that isn't a problem at all with a VPS hosting account.
Even better, because you are only renting a fraction of a web server, you only pay a fraction of the price. So you have the benefits of significantly more resources and customization options, all at a competitive cost. So while VPS costs more than shared hosting, it's not often by much, and VPS hosting is almost always cheaper than dedicated hosting.
However, if you worry that server management is beyond your IT skills, have no fear – many VPS hosting companies provide both managed and unmanaged options. This means you can pay a little extra to ensure your VPS server settings are looked after after the hosting company's system administrators, so you don't have to get your hands dirty.
Here we'll look at some of the cheapest VPS hosting deals out there.
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The best cheap VPS hosting deals are:
Starting from only $5.17 per month with no gimmicks, you will be very hard pressed to find a cheaper VPS deal with managed hosting. Hostwinds doesn't do half measures when it comes to VPS and while you will be able to get more cores elsewhere, Hostwinds' offer feels more balance.
You get one core, 1GB of RAM, 30GB SSD storage space, 1TB bandwidth with a 1Gbps port (which allow for burstable traffic) plus 99.9999% uptime guarantee, the highest we've ever seen at this price, which translates into a maximum downtime of 31.56 seconds.
You do get root access and a huge choice of Linux distros (and versions). Unlike some cheaper competitors, you do not have to pay for a few essential things (WordPress daily backups and cPanel) and you still can enjoy free website transfers, and a long 60-day money back warranty.
- Hostwinds VPS 1|1-core, 1GB RAM, 30GB SSD, 1TB BW, managed|$5.17/month
- Hostwinds VPS 4|2-cores, 6GB RAM, 100GB SSD, 2TB BW, managed|$23.97/month
Ionos brings a European flavor to the lower-end of the VPS market with its Virtual Server Cloud M offering. At $5, it is one of the cheapest on the market, although note that the price increases by 100% after the first 12 months.
You get one virtual Intel Xeon E5 core, 1GB of RAM, 50GB of SSD grade storage and unlimited traffic over a 100Mbit connection (that’s 30TB per month). You can choose the location of your data center (US, Spain or Germany) and you have a choice of Linux distro (albeit more limited than VPSCheap); Windows is also available as an option.
As expected you get full root access, snapshot backup as an option, an SSL Wildcard certificate, Plesk Onyx control panel and the web host guarantees a ‘four-nines’ uptime (99.99%), not bad for such a cheap hosting package. You get one IPv4 (but not IPv6) address and 500GB storage spread across 250 email boxes.
As the designated data center partner for the Olympics committee, Alibaba Cloud happens to be the biggest cloud provider in China and its ECS (Elastic Compute Service) – which is its take on the VPS concept – is being aggressively marketed online as a compelling alternative to Amazon’s more expensive Lightsail VPS.
With 19 data center regions located worldwide and a starting price of only $4.50 per month, it is one of the cheapest VPS deals around. You get one vCore CPU, 1GB memory, 40GB of SSD storage, 1TB of data transfer plus a free anti-DDoS Basic service, automatic snapshots, and triplicated backups.
The data is far lower than the competition which means that the ECS starter pack is ideal for non-bandwidth hungry applications.
As with other rivals, it uses Intel Xeon E5 processors and SSDs, paired with Linux. It is also the only provider that serves the billion-plus Chinese audience directly (although you will need to apply for an ICP license to deploy your website).
Hetzner might not be a well-known brand outside its home country (Germany) but this internet web hosting company punches above its weight despite having only 200 employees. It uses Skylake Xeon processors rather than the older Broadwell models and bundles 20TB of data with all its tiers. You pay by the month and there’s no minimum contract period.
Even the cheapest tier (CX11 for €2.49, about $2.82) comes with 2GB of RAM, 20GB of drive space (NVMe SSD), and one vCPU, with data centers located in Germany and Finland, which is great if you like strict European data protection regulations.
Hertzner manages to keep prices low by offering only core features with its own proprietary cloud console. You have to pay for everything else including backup snapshots (€0.01 per GB per month) and IP address (€1 per month).
OVH is the third European company in our list and the only one of that trio from outside Germany. At $6.87 per month (for the annual plan) for the VPS SSD 2 package, it includes local RAID-1, 40GB SSD space, one vCore and uniquely for this price, 4GB RAM, which is four times what Alibaba Cloud or Ionos provides.
Five European data center locations are available plus one North American. Uptime guarantee is 99.95%, slight worse than, say, the Ionos package, and OVH is good at communicating what is available in its bundles.
Unlimited traffic over a 100Mbps port is included, as is anti-DDoS protection, KVM, root access, IPv4/IPv6 IP and free ready-to-go packages like WordPress, PrestaShop or CozyCloud.
You might also want to check out our other website hosting buying guides:
- Cloud hosting
- Dedicated server
- Small business
- Email hosting
- Website builders
- Best website hosting
- And we consider the merits of shared hosting vs VPS hosting here