Virtual Private Servers fall somewhere between entry-level shared hosting and high-end dedicated servers. While VPS is an excellent choice for hosting your website, there are many other things that a VPS can be used for.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the world of VPS hosting. Whether you are looking to switch to VPS hosting or you are looking for extra options to do with your server, here are the top ten most popular VPS use cases!
1. Hosting a High-Traffic Website
The first and most popular indicator that you need a VPS is when you have outgrown your shared hosting plan. If the shared hosting plan (even the most expensive one) cannot deliver you a smooth experience, it means it’s time for a change.
A VPS is typically used for smaller workloads that need consistent performance. You can use it for anything you would use a dedicated server for, with less overall storage and bandwidth.
VPS hosting also comes in handy if you have an eCommerce site. It reduces the risks associated with security breaches and identity thefts. In turn, you can expect a fast and stable environment, allowing for secure payments for your customers. Furthermore, a Virtual Private Server can handle traffic spikes on your website. Therefore, it can help you in times of event planning or selling tickets.
Reasons for switching to A VPS:
Shared hosting users upgrade to a VPS because they need root access for specific applications, more resources, enhanced security, reliability, and performance.
Users aiming for the advantages of a dedicated server might settle for a VPS due to the lower cost and less technical knowledge required.
Dedicated server users might decide to scale down at some point if they no longer need the dedicated environment and resources.
2. Creating a Gaming Server
VPS is also useful for gaming. It’s an excellent solution for hosting private servers for gaming sessions on top-rated games, such as Minecraft, WoW, or Runescape.
Creating a gaming server with a VPS offers several advantages:
- You will get incredible customization capabilities,
- There are few limits on performance and stability,
- VPS has superior privacy, less lag, and dropped connections.
- You can host the connection of other players instead of relying on the game publisher.
VPS for gaming grants you access to top-of-the-line hardware at a fraction of the price. Still, you have to be wary of any potential resourcing limits required by your web host. The best part is that using VPS as a gaming server is cheaper than a home server.
3. Developing and Testing Code & Applications
If you are in the business of developing apps, a VPS might come in as the perfect solution.
A VPS is somewhat of a virtual working space. It allows team members to assess the central, virtual location, regardless of their original whereabouts. In turn, teams worldwide can enjoy remote development work.
For instance, other developers or clients might connect to the VPS to check the development versions of the developer’s code. Furthermore, there’s an option for pair programming, allowing developers to work side by side. In turn, VPS has eliminated the need for meeting in person for any slight change but introduced more efficient alternatives.
Some of the advantages include:
- Developers can test applications in a live setting before the release using a VPS.
- Cost efficient - A VPS eliminates the need for owning an expensive, dedicated server for the developer teams.
- Scalability – If a website experiences a major growth period, the deployed resources would no longer be sufficient, resulting in slower response times and worse overall performance. Upgrading the VPS solves this issue.
- Isolated environment - VPS allows each client an isolated environment regarding system services, libraries, gems, and legal boundaries.
4. The Flexibility of an API
API, or Application Programming Interface, is a connection between computers/computer programs. It is a type of software interface offering a service to other pieces of software. The API is the exposed code, allowing developers to build tools, widgets, and other stuff in the form of apps. APIs are essential in web hosting in general, and especially for Virtual Private Servers.
Creating an API on a VPS allows those with coding skills to:
- customize how their account works,
- automate tasks,
- or even resell parts of the server.
For example, let’s say you are a developer building your own website. You might have specific requirements for the VPS server team, such as a particular accounting software integration for your business. If they aren’t tech-savvy enough to fulfill these requests, an API can grant you the authority to do so.
With an API, you can build the modules you need and make the most out of your hosting experience. This also works the other way around – if you are reselling VPS or building websites for clients, you can grant them the authority to work on the site.
If you are a less-demanding user, you can always go for a micro VPS. It’s an excellent entry into the world of virtual private servers combining great hardware and connectivity. As a customer, you can instantly set the server up without much IT skills or experience.
5. Access to many Domains & as many IPs
A VPS allows you to host several domains with enough resources for each domain to load quickly. It is convenient if you are building websites for clients, thus earning profits. Each VPS comes with at least one dedicated IP address. However, as a user, you can choose to have as many IPs attached to your VPS as you like.
It is possible to use shared hosting for this. However, the provider will probably charge you extra for the websites up to the point where the shared hosting plan becomes more expensive than the VPS. Keep in mind; that you also won’t enjoy any of the VPS benefits over shared hosting.
Furthermore, when it comes to IP, not many providers offer more than two IPs per hosting unless it’s a reseller package.
|Question: Is an IP address different from a domain name?|
Answer: Yes, it is. The IP address is a set of numerical instructions that makes sense to a computer but isn’t understandable to humans. The domain name, in turn, serves as a link to the IP address (what we humans use and recognize).
6. Encrypting a Wireless Connection
You can use a Virtual Private Server (VPS) to host a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN creates a secure and private connection on a public network. It routes all internet activity of the user through an encrypted connection. In turn, third parties cannot track what the user is doing online, nor from where the traffic is coming in. In other words, hackers (even ones on the same network) cannot intercept the connection or break into the device.
Using a VPS for a VPN comes with several additional benefits. You can connect to your VPN regardless of your original location, meaning you can easily bypass regional restrictions. For instance, you can use Google and Facebook as a US citizen visiting China or watch BBC shows on Netflix if you are a British citizen visiting the US.
7. VPS as an Image Server
If you are looking to gain maximum control over the image files you are hosting online, you might as well consider purchasing a VPS. A Virtual Private Server might represent an excellent alternative to any other image hosting and video hosting service in this regard.
You can use several apps to self-host your images, such as Lychee – a free photo-management tool that runs on a server or webspace. Today’s market offers many alternatives, some of which are more basic while others are more advanced. So, at this point, it all depends on your needs and preferences.
For instance, you might want to mark photos as private or password-protect specific website areas. In any case, you will need to find a suitable app, install it, and finally, configure your new photo-sharing application on your VPS.
8. VPS as a Hacking Tool
One of the most exciting yet unpopular uses of a VPS is for ethical hacking endeavors.
If you have been doing ethical hacking challenges or on pen-testing lab platforms like Hack the Box, Try Hack Me, or Cyber Sec Labs, you have probably done so using a VM. A VM is much slower in this regard, while using SSH on a VPS significantly speeds up the process. It’s primarily because the VPS takes over the local machine’s load (RAM, CPU usage) during hacking activities.
The best part about hacking VPS is that it doesn’t limit you to the local network. For instance, a firewall might block your reverse shell connections when trying to hack something on HTB or CSL if you are on a school or college campus. Using a VPS will help you overcome this issue stemming from a restrictive network in no time.
9. VPS Seedbox
Seedbox generally refers to a high-bandwidth remote server for uploading and downloading digital files from a P2P network.
A VPS seedbox is a remote server. It separates one physical server into multiple virtual servers where each VPS behaves like a physical server with its operating system.
A Seedbox usually has bandwidth ranging from 100 Mbit/s to 20 Gbit/s. It can use different networks and protocols, such as BitTorrent or eDonkey2000. Still, it’s essential to connect Seedboxes to a high-speed network, such as a VPS.
Once the seedbox acquires the files, it allows users to download them to personal devices via HTTP, FTP, SFTP, or rsync protocols. In turn, clients benefit from anonymity and don’t have to worry about the share ratio.
A seedbox can be special-purpose only, running various torrent-specific software, such as web interfaces of popular clients like Transmission, rTorrent, Deluge, and μTorrent.
VNC or Remote Desktop Protocol might also be supported by higher end seedboxes, allowing many popular clients to be run remotely. Finally, clients such as Transmission offer mobile interface support.
The seedbox can download large files in minutes when the network can handle high upload bandwidth. In simpler terms, if you have a 1GB heavy file, a seedbox can download it in less than 30 seconds. Furthermore, it can upload the same file to other users again in less than half a minute. In turn, this accounts for a 1:1 share ratio for that individual file.
10. Offshore VPS
An Offshore VPS refers to website servers hosted far off from the country of your business operations. It represents an excellent hosting solution for many start-ups as well as well-established corporations worldwide. While hosting your website locally might seem like a smart idea, several benefits stem from Offshore Hosting.
An offshore VPS might help you maneuver over strict cyber laws in your origin country or avoid hefty taxes, thus cutting down operational costs. Furthermore, an offshore VPS might improve your website performance, uptime, speed, and security.
The most popular reasons for choosing offshore VPS hosting are the following:
- Benefit from copyrighted content and DMCA ignored hosting
- Use a VPS for hacking websites and related purposes
- Hosting adult content on a VPS
- Evade legal ramifications and make it hard to contact them
- To get a better hosting package unavailable in their country
The Bottom Line
What is a VPS used for is a simple question, yet the answer is pretty wide-ranging. As you have learned, you can do basically anything with a VPS, as long as it doesn’t break the law or violate the VPS provider’s terms of service. You can use the server for simple things, such as hosting your website, up to the most fun activities, like playing games with your friends, testing code or apps.
The possibilities are endless, but one thing is for sure; a high-quality VPS provider is a must to support all your requests. So, feel free to check out the best VPS companies and choose one for yourself!