What is the Difference Between Managed & Unmanaged VPS and Which One to Choose?

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Updated onFebruary 25, 2022

Not happy with your web hosting service provider?

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Is your site crashing due to unpredictable traffic spikes? You may have to move from a shared server to a more robust server like VPS that is capable of handling a high volume of visitors. A website with high traffic needs a lightning-fast and superior performing server else, the site may face downtime or slow loading issues. A VPS server delivers the power, reliability and functionality, the same as that of a dedicated server but comparatively at a lesser price. In this post, we will put a light on two types of VPS hosting that is managed VPS and unmanaged. Before jumping on to that first, let’s see what is a VPS.

What is VPS?

The Virtual Private Server abbreviated as VPS is a server that offers the same resources as that of a dedicated server by using virtualization technology.
In a VPS an actual server is split into multiple servers- but virtually. Each of these virtual servers functions as individual servers with dedicated resources. This allows them to operate as a stand-alone server. If you decide to host your site or application on VPS, your website will be the only one using that specific virtual server and you will get your operating system, dedicated storage, CPU, RAM and bandwidth. Every VPS account uses a separate operating system and you can install different software packages as per your requirement and get full access to customize your server. You can either choose from managed vps or unmanaged VPS hosting.

If you want to understand the concept of VPS quickly, do watch this video:

Let us now take a look at the types of VPS available.
There are two main types of VPS hosting: Managed VPS and Unmanaged VPS.

Managed VPS

As the name suggests, in managed VPS you do not have to bother about the server related tasks such as managing and maintaining your server. Your web hosting provider will take care of all the functions of the server.
Despite you knowing the technical aspects of the server and managing it, getting it managed from your hosting provider will reduce your burden for carrying out all the tasks. To help you understand managed VPS let’s take an example of the auto-pilot feature. While take-off, the autopilot mode handles everything and guides the plane through its path, analyzes the speed, height and does all the required changes to make sure that the flight flies without any hassles.
An auto-pilot mode eliminates considerable workload from the pilot’s shoulders. In the same way, the web hosting provider specialists undertake complete responsibility of your server resources and monitors your server entire time for any difficulties as they handle all the necessary updates and upgrades. Especially, for users who don’t have much time for the server related tasks.

Advantages of Managed VPS Hosting:

• As your server is monitored round the clock by the web hosting provider, you get time to focus on your primary objectives.
• If you are not much familiar with the server related operations, like setup and configuration of the server then you don’t need to stress about it. Since the entire server maintenance is taken care of by the tech-savvy team at the web hosting company.
• A managed VPS has high-tech tools to fix security issues and eliminate threats. The server is constantly monitored for malware and a security audit is performed to identify any vulnerability to prevent any breach.
• Managed VPS hosting comes with a control panel that allows you to manage your website with ease. With the help of the control panel, you can manage your website management such as adding website files on the server, creating databases, monitoring site performance, etc.
• Your server is being monitored for traffic spikes to ensure your website can handle increased traffic at peak times without crashing.
• A fully managed VPS server is cost-effective as compared to hiring a team of experts especially to manage your server.
• You get round the clock technical assistance by the experts at the web hosting company.

Managed VPS Hosting

Unmanaged VPS

In unmanaged VPS, you are required to handle the server responsibilities such as management and maintenance of the server and your hosting provider looks into a physical server and its availability. It is required to have the technical know-how or a team of experts to manage your server if you opt for unmanaged VPS hosting.
No matter how technically sound you are unmanaged VPS is more favorable if you are a well-established organization. If you are a startup your main focus will be developing your business. Server management needs a full-time role and a team to handle your server.

Advantages of Unmanaged VPS Hosting:

• You get full control of your server in terms of storage space, software installation, bandwidth, usage, memory, etc.
• The VPS server can be fully customized as per your requirement.
• More cost-efficient as there is no need to hire a resource or a technical team to manage your server.
• Full freedom to install and run applications that are generally not given by the hosting provider since everything is in your hands.
• You are responsible for the server so you can make changes to your server anytime you want without being dependent on anyone.
• Take advantage of unlimited optimizations on the server and boost the performance of your website or application to gain more traffic and enhance user experience.

Self Managed VPS Hosting

Core Differences Between Managed and Unmanaged VPS

Managed VPSUnmanaged VPS
You don’t need to have technical skills.Good knowledge of servers is a must.
Server related tasks such as maintenance and up-gradation are taken care of by the hosting provider.Your hosting provider only takes care of maintaining the physical server.
You can invest more time in your business as there are no hassles for maintaining your server.You will have to pay equal attention to your business as well as the server because server maintenance will be solely your responsibility.
You get technical support from your hosting provider anytime you want.In case of any technical issue, you will have to solve it on your own.
Little costlier but ideal if you are a newbie.As the complete server management is up to you the cost of the server is comparatively lower.

Which One Should You Choose?

Now that you are aware of both Managed and Unmanaged VPS, both of them have their own benefits. If you are a techie and have hands-on server management and can spare enough time for managing a server then it is advised to go for unmanaged hosting. While if you are a newbie or a startup that needs to focus on growing business, then handling a VPS server can be a tedious job.
With managed VPS, you get technical assistance that saves your valuable hours. This allows you to focus on your main objectives such as managing your team, generating revenue, building customer relationships, etc. At the same time, if you are worried about the expenses and well aware of the server and its management then unmanaged VPS will be more suited.

Wrapping Up

Even though managed VPS is a little costlier than self-managed VPS, over the period, its price has lowered and users find it reliable and risk-free to get a managed VPS from a hosting provider.
Also, if setting up the server is a time-consuming process and is going to affect your business, then managed to host is preferable. Yet another factor to consider is security. If you take complete responsibility for the security of your server and are confident that it will be safeguarded from the online threats then there is no harm in opting in for unmanaged VPS.


How is VPS hosting Secure?

Being isolated from other virtual servers, VPS hosting is a more secure and stable solution. It offers increased independence, privacy and provides an isolated environment. As your files and databases cannot be accessed by other service users on the same server, a VPS is ideally a more secure solution.

When would you use a VPS?

VPS hosting is a perfect solution for those who want a fully independent server with robust power than shared hosting but don’t need an entire dedicated server.

How to choose the right VPS plan?

If you are still confused if you should choose to manage or unmanaged VPS, the following questions will help you decide:
Can you manage a server on your own?
Will you be able to deal with the server maintenance?
Do you need any specific OS or software on the server?
Can you make time to manage the server on your own?

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