VPS vs VPN: Do You Need a Virtual Private Network or a Virtual Private Server

While they might sound similar, it’s important to consider the different functions when it comes to VPS vs VPN. In fact, aside from both having the word “virtual” in their names, they don’t have much in common. One is a dedicated operating system hosted offline and offered as a service, and the other is a network of dedicated servers that facilitate the use of the Internet.

As a business owner, it can be difficult to know what you need. You know you need a website and a hosting service, but from there it can get confusing.

This article will explain the differences between VPN and VPS to help you make a more educated decision.

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a network of dedicated servers, which run a VPN service. The VPN service then makes a secure internet connection available through that infrastructure.

These anonymous, secure connections to the internet help keep users’ sessions safe from hacking by routing traffic through a server in a remote site. This masks the location, IP address and online activity of the user. In addition, data is usually encrypted so if any information is breached, the culprit won’t be able to read it. It is worth noting that although the market is flooded with providers offering free VPN services, these options are often unreliable and slow. This is definitely an instance in which it is worth spending a little money. What you end up with will most likely be a better performing product.

How Does A VPN Work?

As an internet user, you start the VPN software using your VPN service.  The software immediately encrypts your data, before it even heads to the VPN server. Once it’s ready to go, it’s sent to the server and then on to your online destination. The destination sees the information as coming from the VPN server and its location – not your computer and its location.

Why Use A VPN?

If you want to browse the internet securely and maintain privacy, a VPN can help you accomplish that goal.

It doesn’t matter if you’re logging on from a major airport or the local coffee shop, a VPN will mask your location and hide your actual IP address, making it very difficult for hackers to access your private information. This is excellent for people who travel a lot, work remotely, or take client meetings in public locations.

What Is A VPS?

A virtual private server (VPS) is a computer, much like the one you use at home. It can install and run any type of software, just like your computer. A VPS is used primary to host websites and provide a reliable hosting solution.

A virtual private server is hosted online and runs a dedicated operating system, usually accessed through a paid subscription. The main server is divided into several virtual compartments, each of which functions independently from the others. Each of those units acts as a private server for one end user.

How Does A VPS work?

Virtualization technology is used to take one physical piece of hardware and divide it into multiple virtual servers.

Layers are created to ensure that each compartment works as a standalone server, with its own operating system that operates independently of the others. Even though the physical server is shared, other users do not have access to your data, just as you cannot access theirs.

Additionally, a VPS typically allows the user to install custom software and applications.

Why Use A VPS?

If your business is growing or you require special software or apps, a VPS is usually a great option.

Typically thought of as a middle ground between shared hosting and a dedicated server, a VPS offers a high level of customization without the high cost. In fact, a good developer can do anything on a VPS that they could do on a dedicated server – without responsibility for the hardware, maintenance, or support.

VPN vs VPS: Similar Names, Different Functions

A VPN is only used for one thing – keeping your data safe and secure when browsing the internet.  

A VPS is a service provided by a hosting company in order to host a website or application. While it can ultimately be used to connect to the internet, it does not inherently keep your information secure.

There’s not a “right” option. When it comes to VPN vs. VPS, it’s just a matter of choosing the right tool for the job. Think about your business needs and what’s most important at this time – if you don’t find that your needs lean heavily in either direction, perhaps you need both. Consider a VPS from InMotion Hosting.

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