Dedicated hosting is the most advanced web hosting solution on the market. It grants you, as the customer, exclusive access to resources, such as CPU, RAM, or bandwidth. You have no neighbouring sites in your server environment, and as the sole “resident,” you’ll benefit from unmatched levels of privacy, security, flexibility, and control.
Our experts with vast experience in the web hosting industry dedicate special attention and time to bringing you the best solutions in each category. And there’s even a higher emphasis on this when it comes to dedicated servers due to their nature, quality, and price. HostAdvice professionals have engaged in long-term real-time performance and customer service testing and gathered thousands of unbiased user reviews.
We bring you the leading dedicated hosting providers!
In this article, you can learn the basics of dedicated servers, the qualities of top dedicated server providers, assess our ranking criteria to decide – is dedicated hosting suitable for your business? If yes, which of the top dedicated server providers is the right fit?
If you don’t have the time or need to read the whole article, here’s our choice of the top 8 dedicated servers.
Here Are the Top 8 Dedicated Server Hosting:
- Ultahost – Best Dedicated Server for Custom Configurations
- Kamatera – Best Cheap Dedicated Servers
- Verpex – Best for Budget Customers
- HostArmada – Best Managed Dedicated Server
- A2 Hosting – Best Unmanaged Dedicated Server
- InterServer – Best Dedicated Server Hosting Provider for Security
- IONOS – Best Windows dedicated server provider for outstanding reliability and performance
- DreamHost – Best Dedicated Server Provider for Uptime
Review Breakdown: The Best Dedicated Hosting Providers
If I were looking for a powerful dedicated server hosting provider that allows you to customize your server’s configurations, I would definitely go for Ultahost. It delivers fast, secure, and reliable services coupled with excellent prices and value for money!
- Overall Score: 4.9
- Performance: 4.9
- Scalability: 4.9
- Features: 4.8
- Support: 4.9
- Pricing: 4.9
With Ultahost, you can choose from Intel XEON and AMD EPYC processors for your dedicated server. You can also choose from a variety of OS for your server, including Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, Red Hat, AlmaLinux, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows 10, and more!
Ultahost does not have a BBB listing (only applicable for U.S.-based companies), however, Trustpilot awards them 4.6 stars out of five (with more than 145 user reviews).
Performance: Intel XEON E, Gold, and E5 processors, AMD EPYC processors, a 100% network uptime, fast-paced SSD NVMe Storage, built-in cache mechanisms, Apache and Nginx web servers, and more. Its dedicated servers use ultra-optimized 14th-generation Dell hardware and ensure that your site is up 24/7.
Scalability: Ultahost offers vertical scaling, which allows you to scale up your server resources with just one click and minimal downtime. You can go up to 512GB RAM, 2x 4TB Soft RAID Storage, and 3.5GHz power.
Features: unlimited bandwidth, team management, BitNinja security, staging environment, SSH/SFTP access, auto-healing, free SSL certificates, dedicated firewalls, unlimited application installation, automated backups, HTTP/2-enabled servers, and more!
Support: You will have a team of experts at your beck and call at all times that will keep your server updated with the latest security patches, OS updates, and more. The team will also monitor for troubleshooting and perform it when needed.
Pricing: Ultahost offers eight dedicated hosting plans that you can pay for monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, biennially, and triennially. All plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and no setup fees.
Pros & Cons
- The ability to choose from various different operating systems and Intel and AMD processors
- Excellent fully-managed services in all plans
- It limits the amount of storage you can get (but offers up to 2x 4TB RAID storage which is plenty)
I suggest Kamatera to anyone looking for superior dedicated servers on a budget – you will benefit from immediate computing power without upfront investment and long-term commitment!
- Overall Score: 4.9
- Performance: 5.0
- Scalability: 5.0
- Features: 4.9
- Support: 4.9
- Pricing: 4.8
Kamatera offers the best cheap dedicated hosting on the cloud, developed for infinite scalability, unbeatable availability, performance, and price; the best part is, you can pay by the minute!
Kamatera does not have a BBB listing (only applicable for U.S.-based companies), however, Trustpilot awards them 3.3 stars out of five (with more than 71 user reviews).
Performance: Kamatera’s cloud infrastructure is distributed across several global, state-of-the-art, purpose-built data centres in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, providing a 99.95% uptime guarantee.
Scalability: You can benefit from cloud server setup in less than one minute and instant scaling up or down as required; up to 104 vCPU, 512GB of RAM, tens of terabytes of block storage, and up to 1,174 various cloud server setup configurations.
Features: Customers can install any operating system they wish, install cPanel or Parallels (in addition to Kamatera’s custom panel), get public IPs, OS add-ons, daily backups, etc.
Support: Kamatera’s agents are available around the clock via live chat or phone to assist customers with all issues. A fully managed service is also available.
Pricing: Benefit from no setup fees, upfront investment, or service contracts. Dedicated servers start at $19 per month for 1 vCPU/1,024MB RAM/20GB SSD/5,000GB monthly traffic/1 public IP. Pay for what you use – adjust configuration if unnecessary resources are allocated.
Pros & Cons
- A low total cost of ownership (pay for usage model)
- Supports both Linux and Windows (all versions and editions available in the market)
- Global data centre network for optimal performance (13 data centres worldwide)
- Extra charges for specific features (daily backups, cPanel, Parallels)
- Managed support is a bit expensive (increase the cheapest plan from $19 to $69 per month)
- Requires technical knowledge to operate (luckily, customer support is available 24/7 for assistance)
Verpex doesn’t offer pure dedicated servers but alternative Virtual Dedicated Servers (VDS). If you ask me, its managed cloud cPanel servers are more than sufficient, offering all the benefits you might need on a budget!
- Overall Score: 4.9
- Performance: 4.8
- Scalability: 4.8
- Features: 4.9
- Support: 4.9
- Pricing: 4.9
Whether you need a small server for personal needs or a large server for your enterprise, one of Verpex’s fully managed servers with dedicated resources will do – its cloud servers come with all necessary tools for business success free of charge!
Verpex does not have a BBB listing (only applicable for U.S.-based companies), however, Trustpilot awards them 4.7 stars out of five (with more than 115 user reviews).
Performance: Verpex is serious about speed and security, offering network port speeds you can count on, 100% server monitoring, customised firewalls, CloudLinux and WAF, Redis & Memcache.
Scalability: Instant deployment with package resources up to 6x Intel Xeon dedicated CPUs, 16GB dedicated memory, 300GB disk space, unlimited websites and data transfer, and 30 cPanel accounts.
Features: All dedicated web hosting plans provide unlimited websites, unlimited email accounts, unlimited traffic, cPanel/WHM, daily off-site backups, SSL certificates, and an App installer.
Support: Fully managed dedicated servers with 24/7 first-class technical support available via phone or live chat and free migrations included in all dedicated hosting plans.
Pricing: Monthly and annual plans are available; VDS plans start at $39.50 for 2 dedicated Xeon vCPUs, 4GB dedicated RAM, and 80GB dedicated SSD. Verpex also offers a 7-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee on its dedicated servers.
Pros & Cons
- Fully managed cloud cPanel servers for optimal performance
- Reseller features included (Whitelabel, custom nameservers, WHM API)
- Excellent feature set (unlimited data transfer, free SSL, daily off-site backups, customised firewalls, and more)
- Prices significantly increase on renewal (you get 50% off on your first month)
- 99.5% uptime guarantee (lower than competitors of the same rank)
I highly recommend HostArmada to anyone looking for a managed web hosting service. It offers the best dedicated CPU cloud servers with many free features and 24/7/365 support for incredible ease of use!
- Overall Score: 5.0
- Performance: 5.0
- Scalability: 4.9
- Features: 5.0
- Support: 5.0
- Pricing: 4.9
With HostArmada, you can expect unlimited management capabilities, including environment maintenance, server monitoring and updates, installations of apps and complex services, website transfer, and location migrations.
HostArmada does not have a BBB listing (only applicable for U.S.-based companies), however, Trustpilot awards them 4.9 stars out of five (with more than 446 user reviews).
Performance: Up-to-date services for optimal performance, NGINX web server cache, native SSD technology, tight website security, and an uptime guarantee of 99.9% of the time.
Scalability: HostArmada can match every server demand no matter the requirements, delivering specs up to 96GB RAM, 48 CPU Cores, 1,920 GB SSD Storage per server, and even more RAM for NodeJS apps.
Features: Full control with root access, free cPanel, free SSL, daily backups, website transfer, unlimited FTP accounts, databases, email accounts, subdomains, multiple PHP versions, 1-click WordPress install, free app install and upgrade, malware scan and removal, WAF & IP firewall.
Support: 24/7 human support is available via live chat, ticketing system, phone, and email support, as well as a Knowledgebase for self-help. Managed support with unlimited capabilities offered.
Pricing: Dedicated hosting plans without cancellation fees and a 7-day money-back guarantee. Dedicated server hosting starts at $111.75 per month for unlimited websites/160GB SSD storage/4 Cores CPU/8GB RAM/5TB bandwidth/40 Gbps speed in/2,000 Mbps speed out.
Pros & Cons
- Easy to pilot service with cPanel and 1-click Application Installer
- Root access available for advanced users
- A lot of free goods included (cPanel, SSL, backups, website transfer, and more)
- More expensive than competitors (but worth the features)
A2 Hosting is an excellent option for those who are looking for unmanaged dedicated server hosting. It offers one of the best unmanaged dedicated servers on the market, powered by enterprise-level hardware and software!
- Overall Score: 4.7
- Performance: 4.7
- Scalability: 4.7
- Features: 4.7
- Support: 4.7
- Pricing: 4.6
A2 Hosting offers state-of-the-art, bare metal dedicated servers to all its users. It offers both managed and unmanaged dedicated server hosting plans, and all of them come with excellent support, performance, and security!
Performance: A2 Hosting offers ultra-reliable, high-performance servers with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and NVMe storage that provides up to 3x faster read/write speeds with Turbo, Intel, and AMD processors, bare metal dedicated server performance, Cloudflare CDN, and more.
Scalability: With A2 Hosting, you can get a server with up to 256GB DDR4 EEC RAM, 2x960GB NVMe SSD Storage, 15TB web transfer, and up to 16 CPU Cores.
Features: full root access, command line management, managed hardware & network, choice of operating systems, including Debian, CentOS, and Ubuntu, Webuzo one-click software installer, 30-day money-back guarantee, SSH access, full network control, the ability to install custom software, etc.
Support: The provider offers 24/7/365 support via its Guru Crew support team, which is a team of experts that can help you with everything you need at all times!
Pricing: A2 Hosting offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to all its users. You can also find many discounts and sales. Its dedicated servers start at $105.99/month for 16GB DDR4 EEC RAM, 2x1TB SSD Storage, 6TB web transfer, and full root access.
Pros & Cons
- Powerful features and excellent performance – 99.9% uptime guarantee
- 10 Gb/s redundant network
- Instant server activation, which allows you to have access to it in 30 minutes or less
- Higher prices on renewal (but even with higher renewal rates, it is still worth the money that you will pay)
InterServer is an experienced hosting provider that was founded in 1999. It provides many top-quality services, including many dedicated server options, like 10 Gbps dedicated servers, GPU dedicated servers, and collocation. Additionally, it offers many advanced security features, like its custom InterShield protection and Inter-Insurance. Also, it uses the latest Intel Xeon and AMD Ryzen processors for its servers. And you can get all of this in under 15 minutes with its rapid deployment and choose the operating system and control panel you want.
- Overall score: 4.4
- Features: 4.4
- Support: 4.3
- User Friendly: 4.4
- Pricing: 4.5
- Reliability: 4.4
Features: Among its free and paid features, InterServer offers InterShield protection, Inter-Insurance, flexible software options, instant provisioning, three control panels to choose from, integration with over 450 apps, DDoS protection, managed support, zero setup fees, 24/7 uptime monitoring, remote reboots, remote KVM, remote OS reinstall, Cloudflare CDN, free SSL Certificates, PHP, ImunifyAV, NodeJs, Atomicorp, Git, root access, free website migration, global content caching, and malware protection. However, we gave it a 4.4 score because it does not offer a free domain.
Support: InterServer provides 24/7 customer support, which you can access via phone, email, ticketing system, Facebook chat, and live chat. However, we gave it a 4.3 score because you have to buy at least four slices to get managed support, and customers have reported some issues with the agents’ response time.
User Friendly: InterServer provides three control panel options for its customers. You can choose from the DirectAdmin, Plesk, and cPanel control panels. Additionally, you can choose the OS you want, as InterServer supports both Linux and Windows-based OSs. However, we gave it a 4.4 score because its design is outdated, its website is overloaded with elements, and it is hard to navigate.
Pricing: There are plenty of dedicated server hosting plans you can choose from at InterServer. The cheapest dedicated server is its Intel XEON E3-1230, which costs $44 per month. It includes 4 cores single CPU, 32 GB memory, 2 HDD or 4 SSD, 150 TB bandwidth, IPMI console, and DDoS protection. However, we gave it a 4.5 because you have to buy at least four slices to get managed support.
Reliability: InterServer provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Additionally, it offers SSD storage and Cloudflare CDN and uses self-healing hardware. Also, it uses the latest KVM, OpenVZ, Virtuozzo, and Hyper-V virtualization platforms for its servers. Moreover, all of its servers use the latest Intel Xeon and AMD Ryzen processors. However, we gave it a 4.4 score because some customers reported slower loading speeds.
Additional parameter – Server location: 4.7: In order to prevent downtime and latency problems, it’s critical to choose a provider with a data center close to your location. Because InterServer has several data centers spread out across the US, it is ideal for US-based businesses or audiences. We assigned it a 4.7 score since it lacks data centers in other crucial areas.
Pros and Cons
- A 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Flexible software options
- It uses the latest Intel Xeon and AMD Ryzen processors
- Remote reboots
- Zero setup fees
- 24/7 uptime monitoring
- IPMI or iLo access
- Remote KVM
- Remote OS reinstall
- Self-healing hardware
- SSD storage
- InterShield protection
- Free trial available
- Root access
- Cloudflare CDN
- Free SSL Certificates
- Some cryptocurrencies are accepted as payment options
- Data is stored on RAID-10 disks
- Free manual data backup
- Free DDoS protection
- Multiple OSs are supported
- Difficult to navigate
- Outdated web design
- Slow loading speeds
- No free domain
- Data centers only in the US
- Overall Score – 4.4
- Features – 4.5
- Support – 4.3
- User Friendly – 4
- Pricing – 4.5
- Reliability – 4.8
Overall Score – 4.4: IONOS employs cutting-edge hardware and networking technology to provide one of the best Windows dedicated hosting server solutions on the market. With more than 20 data center locations worldwide, you will be hard-pressed to find a comparative performance.
Features – 4.5: There are many fantastic hosting features, most of which are free. These include free email addresses, free domain for the first year, free SSL certification, and daily automated backups. IONOS offers a simple and fully functional interface and multiple data locations worldwide.
Support – 4.3: IONOS takes customer service to a whole new level by assigning customer service agents to customers. You can reach your designated support agent via live chat.
User Friendly – 4: IONOS offers a straightforward cPanel with one-click installation processes. Although the control panel appeals to those experienced with server management, even beginners can find their way around and get things done efficiently. They can reach out to their designated support agent if they encounter problems.
Pricing – 4.5: IONOS offers low prices, but the prices can rise when you want to renew your plans. The basic plan comes with 6 cores/12 threads x 3.6 GHz (AMD Ryzen™ 5 PRO 3600), 32 GB RAM (DDR4 ECC) 1,000 GB HDD (2 x 1,000 GB SATA) and costs $0.0903 /hour or maximum of $65/month
Reliability – 4.8: With their state-of-the-art web hosting infrastructure, it is not supposed that IONOS offers exceptional performance. It provides a superb 99.98% uptime guarantee with data center locations across the United States and Europe. The provider also mirrors your data between two data centers, so your server remains operational during routine maintenance.
Additional parameter: web hosting infrastructure: IONOS invests heavily in hardware and communication technology to produce the best server performance for its users. Its windows dedicated server solution runs on cutting-edge infrastructure along with Content Delivery Network (CDN) and the IONOS WebSpaceExplorer interface.
IONOS is better known for its top-of-the-line performance, security, and dedicated customer experience.
Pros & Cons
- 99.98% uptime guarantee
- Competitive Pricing
- Free domain name, SSL certification, and email address
- Dedicated customer support agents
- Easy to use and fully functional cPanel
- No free website migrations
- Higher renewal prices
Have you ever dreamt of a 100% uptime guarantee for your website? Well, DreamHost is here to turn the ‘unimaginable’ into reality. The host is so confident in its infrastructure that it will even compensate you if it fails to deliver, following its Terms of Service.
- Overall Score: 4.3
- Performance: 4.6
- Scalability: 4.3
- Features: 4.3
- Support: 4.1
- Pricing: 4.3
DreamHost provides fully-managed dedicated server hosting, utilizing the best hardware and software available to ensure your site is always up and running at lightning-fast speeds.
Performance: Multiple data center locations, redundant cooling, emergency generators, constant monitoring, Ubuntu Linux, RAID 1 storage, HDD or SSD hard drives, and 2N+2 power redundancy, granting you dedicated resources with 100% availability.
Scalability: DreamHost offers standard dedicated hosting and enhanced plans for hosters that need it all; you can upgrade to Intel Xeon 12-Core 24-Thread, 64GB RAM, and 2TB HDD/ 240GB SSD.
Features: Every dedicated hosting plan includes full root and shell access (SSH), DDoS protection, uncapped bandwidth, RVM, advanced easy-to-use panel, unique IPv4 and IPv6, Node.js, PHP7/Perl/Python/Ruby, MySQL databases, dedicated and sub-account features, and more.
Support: With DreamHost, you’ll get 24/7 tech support and server monitoring. Its in-house experts will continually check your servers so that you can rest assured they are in good hands.
Pricing: You can choose from standard and enhanced monthly and yearly plans, starting at $149 per month for Intel Xeon 4-Core 8-Thread, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, and many extras.
Pros & Cons
- Unique 100% uptime guarantee and lightning-fast speeds
- Intuitive management with custom control panel, full root & shell access (SSH)
- Excellent feature set (unlimited traffic, custom-built panel, DDoS protection)
- Live chat has a limited work time (3 AM to 9:30 PM)
- No phone support is available
- No Windows dedicated servers (focused on Ubuntu only)
How We Rank and How Should You Choose Your Best Dedicated Server?
- Server Performance30%
- Security Features10%
- Customization Options13%
- Customer Support10%
- User Reviews30%
We perform independent and category-specific tests at HostAdvice to decide who ranks accordingly. Our professionals choose the best dedicated hosting providers based on an unbiased study across several aspects or factors contributing to ‘the perfect dedicated server.’ They have carried out real-life measurements of different servers’ speed, uptime, tested customer support, and other variables, such as security firewalls and functionality of backups.
The best part is, you don’t have to rely entirely on our in-house professionals. The following study also considers third-party opinions or customer reviews from around the globe. At HostAdvice, we give significant weight to user reviews since they are the most honest representation of a dedicated hosting company’s quality. In addition, we give extra points for the hardware components of the dedicated server or its performance.
Here are the factors that we’re looking at when we give rank for the dedicated web hosting category:
- Server Performance (30%): The hardware specifications, including the gigahertz, threads, and cores of the CPU, type and GBs of the RAM, storage space, type of storage device, its read/write speeds, and datacenter setup, are the main drivers of the dedicated server’s performance. Here, you need to consider how many users you expect to have; are you looking for a memory, CPU, or disk-intensive service? In general, an uptime of at least 99.95% is sufficient to minimise the chances of costly outages. However, you should also strive towards a dedicated hosting company with multiple data centres to boost connection speeds and reduce latency, SSDs if you prioritise fast loading speeds, or HDDs for higher storage capacity. Other things to analyse include bandwidth for significant transfers of data, a powerful processor, storage compliance, etc.
- Security Features (10%): Speed and uptime won’t “cut it” if not paired with robust security practices. The nature of the dedicated servers makes them a far safer solution than any other web hosting package in this regard. Still, it would be best to look for additional and effective security software that prevents most attacks, such as viruses, malware, spam DDoS, and other threats. Several examples include multi-factor authentication (MFA), intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS & IPS), data encryption protocols, enterprise-grade firewalls, and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
- Customization Options (13%): The best dedicated server provider will grant you the ultimate flexibility – the opportunity to choose the right OS for your business, several CMSs, and the ability to easily upgrade/add resources at a minimum. It would help if you also got control panel options (Plesk, cPanel, and WHM) and administrative/root access.
- Customer Support (10%): Managing a dedicated server is far more complex than getting a basic shared hosting plan, so you should get all the help you can. The dedicated server host should be available to assist you 24/7/365 across several channels, including live chat, email, or phone. More importantly, the support agents should deliver prompt responses and resolve your server issue in no time. While you can expect such support for free in managed dedicated server hosting plans, you might need to pay an extra fee for unmanaged dedicated. Still, this charge shouldn’t be excessive.
- Pricing (7%): While dedicated hosting is the most expensive solution, value for money matters too. In most cases, you’ll encounter a trade-off between price and quality. So, you should ensure to get the best price to value ratio – consider entry-level prices, long-term contract discounts, add-on fees, and renewal rates. For our dedicated servers pricing page click here.
- User Reviews(30%): Our experts checked what customers are saying about the overall customer experience, and you should do so as well. People worldwide are your best benchmark to set your expectations straight.
The Dedicated Hosting Features You’ll Need
While the previous section might serve as an excellent guide and give you direction, you might still struggle with selecting the best dedicated server hosting if you are a beginner. Here’s precisely what to look for in a plan, i.e., the features that make up the top dedicated server providers.
- Managed Dedicated Hosting Plan: While managed dedicated servers are more expensive, they can save you a lot of time and even money in the long term. In this case, the web host is running your server, including maintenance, updates, and patches. Consequently, you can benefit from better uptime, speed, and security.
- Administrative/Root Access: As the user, you should get complete control over your server and the functions it is to provide, even with managed solutions.
- Powerful Processor (CPU): The rule of thumb is that the more processors, the better speeds, performance, and graphics quality. However, more processors also imply higher power consumption, making them more costly. So, it’s best to match your needs with each processor’s recommended use to get optimal performance without overspending.
- The Proper Amount Of RAM (Memory): You will need at least 5GB to start; add 1-2 GB of RAM to every five additional users if you have over 15 concurrent users and at least 16GB RAM for a database of under 50GB. Also, consider the RAM requirements of other components, such as your OS; some apps need more RAM than others.
- Generous Bandwidth Amount (Transfer): Dedicated servers offer limited bandwidth amounts. While you cannot expect unlimited data transfer, you should strive towards a generous offer of at least 5TB per month.
- Significant Amounts Of Disk Space (Storage): Usually, you can choose from SSDs and HDDs. You can expect better speed and reliability with solid-state drives but less storage capacity. In addition, HDD is less expensive, so it’s up to you to choose the storage type. Either way, you should preferably get at least 1TB of disk space for storing files.
- Operating System Compatibility: Are you using Linux or Windows? While you can choose from countless dedicated server options for Linux, the Windows offering is much more narrow. So, remember to weigh the two and choose the right one for your website.
- User-Friendly Control Panel: Your choice of control panel depends on your needs and preferences. The most popular control panels for Linux and Windows are cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, and MSPControl.
- A Server Location Close To Your Visitors: Ideally, your dedicated server should be located close to your site visitors for maximum speed and performance. If you have a global audience, you should focus on speed-enhancing features instead.
- An Uptime Guarantee: The dedicated web hosting company should keep your server up and functional and compensate for any downtime. You shouldn’t accept anything below 99.95% – the closer to 100%, the better. Apart from the web host’s promise, check its uptime history and frequency of outages to date.
- Security Add-Ons: Top dedicated hosting providers combine primary and advanced security measures, such as encryption, regular updates, patches, daily backups, malware detection and removal, SSH, proxy or VPN, SSL certificates, etc.
- Speed Add-Ons: The most popular options include Cloudflare CDN and caching services.
- Scalability: If your business grows and you exceed your dedicated server’s resources, the dedicated host should provide 100% performance on demand.
- 24/7 Customer Service: Support agents should be fast and responsive, available around the clock on multiple channels. Self-help, such as a Knowledge base, FAQ, blog, or video tutorials, should also be available.
- Money-Back Guarantee: If you are unsatisfied with the service, you should be able to get a refund, preferably in a period of 30 days or more.
What Is A Dedicated Web Hosting Server, and Who Is It For?
A dedicated web hosting server is the most advanced web hosting service type. It offers you, as the customer, exclusive access to the hardware components/the physical server itself.
You get a server all to yourself, and since you can “consume” all CPU, RAM, and bandwidth power, you can expect unmatched security, speed, and performance levels for your websites. As the single-tenant, you will get complete freedom to customise your server as you see fit, including choosing the control panel, operating system, and all remaining configurations.
Dedicated servers have limitless use cases, including web hosting, email hosting, database operations, etc. But if a dedicated server is arguably the best form of web hosting, why doesn’t everyone get it? It’s because it has the price to match – dedicated hosting is the priciest web hosting solution of all!
Dedicated web hosting is best for larger businesses and high-traffic websites requiring greater resource allocation and total control over their servers. It’s also an excellent fit for clients looking for a reliable service with stable bandwidth, video streaming sites, medium to large eCommerce websites, agencies with high profile clients, reseller hosting service businesses, dynamic websites with applications, websites with large databases and analytics, revenue-generating websites and big data.
However, the cost isn’t worth the benefits if you are starting your first website or personal blog.
Pros & Cons Of Dedicated Servers
|Better website reliability, faster page loading speeds, and generally better performance due to having exclusive access to the server instead of sharing resources in a shared hosting environment.||More expensive than other web hosting solutions because you are paying for the whole server and can’t split costs with other businesses.|
|Improving website performance boosts organic search traffic. Dedicated IPs also play a key role in boosting SEO rankings and brand visibility.||You need a good amount of technical knowledge, especially with an unmanaged dedicated hosting plan. It will also be very time-consuming to do everything manually.|
|You will get complete control to configure your dedicated server according to your specific requirements or preference.|
|Dedicated hosting is the most secure solution – you won’t have to worry about third parties introducing malware or other security threats onto the server.|
|You can take the hands-off approach with a managed dedicated hosting plan. The web host will guarantee maximum uptime throughout the shortest resolution times, perform security scans and server audits, and fix vulnerabilities. You will not have to spend money and time managing the server as a client.|
What Else Should You Know Before Choosing Your Dedicated Server?
You’ve decided; shared and VPS hosting won’t cut it, so you’re to buy dedicated web hosting. But don’t rush into the purchase. Here are several considerations you must understand to make the best decision for your business.
Managed vs. Semi-Managed vs. Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting
Managed and unmanaged dedicated servers fall on different sides of the spectrum, while semi-managed dedicated hosting combines the two. The first and most apparent difference between managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting is the gap in pricing. But that’s only the start of it.
The provider assumes full responsibility for server management, maintenance, and monitoring with managed dedicated hosting. The company will continually monitor and configure your server, handle security, updates, malware detection, data backups, and operating system hardening. In turn, you can expect the highest performance and uptime levels. But naturally, all these benefits account for a higher price.
Unmanaged or self-managed dedicated hosting is the cheaper alternative. With this solution, the web host offers storage and hardware security. At the same time, you are left with managing the server, including installing scripts, performing updates, handling compatibility issues, security risk mitigation, and attack containment. So, if you go for this solution, you must have enough human resources and expertise in-house.
And finally, semi-managed dedicated hosting implies the web hosting company will handle any hardware, operating system, or basic configuration issues which may arise with your servers, such as load issues or sluggishness. But that’s about it – as a client, you are left with all remaining tasks.
The Difference Between HDD and SSD
Top dedicated server providers offer you the option to choose between HDD and SSD storage. So, the question is, what’s the difference? More importantly, which one is better for you?
Solid State Drives are newer, faster, more energy- and power-efficient. An SSD stores data on instantly accessible memory chips, delivering 50-250 MB/s in 4K read/write speeds. However, this incredible speed advantage comes at a higher price of $60-$150 for a 500 GB SSD.
On the other hand, Hard Disk Drives use mechanical platters and a moving read/writes head to access data, delivering much slower, 0.1 to 1.7 MB/s speeds. However, they are much cheaper, around $25-$50 for a 500 GB HDD.
Essentially, it comes down to your needs; either way, you’ll face a trade-off. If you want a large storage option at an affordable price, HDD is the way to go. If, however, you prioritise performance, you should select SSD instead.
Server Uptime Guarantee (SLA)
There are many features to consider when buying a dedicated server plan. However, none can match the importance of uptime. Downtime translates to the loss of revenues. Why? If people cannot access your website, content, and products, how would they buy from you?
The best dedicated web hosting providers do an excellent job of keeping your website up and running. It’s the only way to get a high score in our system. Furthermore, if an issue is outside the web host’s control, they should address it adequately.
Is a 99.9% uptime sufficient? While it might seem reasonable because it’s close to 100%, “three nines” translates to 8.77 hours of downtime per year, or 43.83 minutes per month, which is a lot. Keep in mind, downtime caused by scheduled maintenance doesn’t count towards the guarantee.
It would be best to strive towards an uptime guarantee of at least 99.95% of the time. Also, if your dedicated server is down at any time other than the scheduled maintenance, the web host should grant you a portion of your monthly fee back.
Potential Use Cases of Dedicated Servers
Up to now, we have talked about web servers. However, dedicated servers find various uses, meaning you can find several types of dedicated servers based on their application and functionality.
Here are the most common uses of dedicated servers worldwide:
- Web Server: you can use a dedicated server to host your website, software, and data
- File Server: exclusively using dedicated servers for storing and distributing files
- Email Server: dedicated email servers are beneficial if you handle confidential information
- Gaming Server: players can benefit from a smooth operation, minimal latency, and ultimate control
- Application Server: excellent for resource-hungry apps and in-house solutions, such as a custom-built CRM
- Database Server: facilitates data management, allowing hundreds of people to access the server simultaneously, without harming speeds
- Trading Server: for foreign exchange (FOREX) trading on the global market
In addition, you might use the dedicated server for whatever other purpose you see fit, such as a print server. You’ll be granted the ultimate versatility, so it’s up to you to decide where to direct these resources.
The Right Time To Consider Dedicated Hosting
Say you have started your web hosting journey on a shared hosting plan. With time, you have transferred to a VPS, and now, it’s time for another upgrade. Should you get a dedicated server? The main question you should answer at this point is how much traffic do you expect?
A dedicated server is the best choice when your website gradually grows and needs to handle increased traffic daily. Upgrading to dedicated hosting will help you reduce bounce rates, improve uptime, and boost the overall user experience, especially if you anticipate growth soon or highly depend on your website or web application.
VDS, or Virtual Dedicated Servers, is the middle ground, but more on those later.
Here are several indicators that you need to upgrade to a dedicated server:
- Your website or application is slowing down during periods of high-volume traffic
- You are facing lots of security threats (DDoS attacks or other malicious activities)
- You want to differ from your neighbour sites (get a dedicated IP and boost SEO rankings)
- Your resource needs are continually growing (as opposed to sudden spikes in traffic)
- You would like better control and flexibility over your operations
Before you purchase one of the best dedicated server hosting plans, you must decide your reason for doing so; develop a cost-benefit analysis to check whether the value is worth your money!
Are These Dedicated Server Hosting Solutions Really Worth My Time and Money?
If you want to have complete control over your server or strive for the highest possible privacy protection, dedicated web hosting is the way to go.
In shared web hosting, you share resources with other users on the same server, so you will run out of resources if another maximises the usage. VPS hosting is pretty similar; once again, you share the same environment; however, you have a more significant say over your website’s limits. At the same time, dedicated servers imply not sharing the hardware with anyone else, meaning you get raw performance for yourself.
Furthermore, top dedicated hosting grants you full access to each aspect of your site, meaning you can configure your server to match your specific needs or wants. A dedicated server is not vulnerable if another site gets attacked, which is the case in shared and VPS environments. You also get a dedicated IP, further decreasing the risks of security breaches, along with faster and more reliable service.
Due to all this, we would recommend the best dedicated web hosting if you want to have a lot more customizability and root access to build your websites. In fact, you will also get a lot of scalability options, which means that the server can be upgraded over time, depending on the specific needs and use-cases you have for it. Since no one else is hosting files on it, your data is entirely safe and secure, so if privacy and security are your primary concern, this is the ultimate solution for you!
What About the Security of Your Dedicated Server?
As explained, you can go for managed and unmanaged dedicated servers. If you select a managed dedicated hosting plan, the web host will take over the responsibility for securing your server. Essentially, this is the easiest way to protect your server – the managed hosting provider will take care of everything related to security, including updates, backups, and regular monitoring for suspicious activity.
If, however, you select unmanaged dedicated hosting, you will be fully responsible for your server security.
Cyberattacks have been increasing in recent years, so setting up your dedicated server security system is a must. You need to protect your server from malware, avoid password breaches, protect against software vulnerabilities, and avoid DDoS attacks. Fortunately, there are many different ways to protect your server, depending on the type of security breach.
Here are the top 10 practices for securing your dedicated server:
- Install security updates and patches
- Perform regular malware scans
- Use DDoS protection
- Use only secure networks
- Change your SSH port
- Create separate accounts for all users
- Change passwords regularly
- Protect your databases
- Backup your data
- Remove unused software
Even with security measures in place, it is vital to analyse the server regularly to understand the kind of attack and vulnerabilities to address. It would help if you used appropriate vulnerability or penetration test tools, such as Netsparker, OpenVAS, Xenotix XSS Exploit Framework, or ScanMyServer.
Virtual Dedicated Servers Explained
A VDS or a Virtual Dedicated Server is a form of multi-tenant cloud hosting. Virtualized server resources are made available to the end-user over the internet through a cloud or hosting provider. Each VDS is installed on a physical machine and operated by the cloud or hosting provider, which runs on multiple Virtual Dedicated Servers.
While they share a hypervisor and underlying hardware, each of them runs its own operating system and applications and reserves its own portion of the machine’s resources, such as memory, computational power, and so on.
|The Virtual Dedicated server can provide flexible and convenient usage for the webmaster.||The webmaster essentially owns a part of the server instead of owning the entirety of the dedicated web server.|
|The VPS can easily use other additional web applications.||The VDS uses many web applications, and if the webmaster cannot control the applications proportionally, it can become unmanageable.|
|Each VPS can be independently rebooted, run its operating system, and has its copy of the operating service.||The server resources are still shared by the many websites that use the server, and you might not be able to use the maximum amount of RAM you need.|
|The webmaster can pick any type of operating system and web application that he requires to run his website efficiently.||VDS can have limited random access memory (RAM) and central processing time, and server disk space.|
A more affordable option than the dedicated server hosting plan.
Best Dedicated Web Hosting: Final Recommendations
The cost of getting a dedicated server is higher than any other solution, but it’s for a good reason. You won’t have to buy the hardware. Still, you’ll benefit from reserved resources, complete privacy, and full control over the components.
The most important decision you’ll have to make is to go for a managed dedicated server, an unmanaged one, or something in between. A managed dedicated server almost always proves the best choice – delivering better ease of use, speeds, and security or overall performance. Well, that’s unless you are a developer with lots of free time or you have one such team available in-house. In this case, you can save some money by getting a self-managed dedicated hosting solution.
Next, you should determine the resources you need and choose a plan that perfectly suits them. Here’s where scalability kicks in; if your business grows, you’ll exceed these resources, and you’ll need to upgrade. You should be able to upgrade quickly, without downtime. In addition, the web host should offer you many customization options – you should be able to configure your dedicated server to your liking and add different add-ons at reasonable prices. Free goods are always welcomed as well.
But nothing’s worth it without quality, technical assistance available at all times. Dedicated servers are more challenging to manage and navigate than any other solution. And if you don’t have much experience in the industry, skilled, helpful, and responsive professionals might as well “save your day!”