Home Managed vs. Unmanaged VPS Hosting – What Are the Differences?

Managed vs. Unmanaged VPS Hosting – What Are the Differences?

Providing your website with solid foundations, like the ability to withstand traffic surges, is just one of the reasons why hosting is one of the most important facets of any web-based business. Therefore, you need to consider your choice of web hosting service carefully.

There are many aspects to selecting a web hosting service. The first thing you need to decide is the type of web hosting you want to use (shared, VPS, cloud, dedicated), and then you need to choose a provider. Lastly, you need to decide whether you want to manage your hosting service yourself or whether you want the provider to handle things for you.

VPS Hosting

Let’s imagine that you decided to go with VPS hosting for your website. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, and its name refers to the fact that the hosting provider divides a physical server into multiple “virtual” servers. VPS hosting is advantageous for a number of reasons. For instance, it has more resource allocation when compared to shared hosting. With shared hosting, all websites on a server share in the processing power of that server. As a result, if any single website on the server experiences a surge in traffic, the performance of every other site on the server will be affected. By contrast, VPS hosting gives each website on the serve a specific amount of computing power. As a result, websites that use VPS hosting won’t be affected by the traffic levels of any other sites on the shared physical server. Furthermore, because of this resource allocation, websites that use VPS hosting also load faster.

When you choose VPS hosting, you have the option to have it managed for you by the hosting provider, or you can manage it yourself. These options are known as Managed and Unmanaged VPS hosting.

Managed Hosting

The hosting plans that providers offer consist of several elements, the most basic of which is the server hardware. This server generally has an operating system and a variety of software necessary for running websites.

Additionally, hosting companies may offer many different services such as automated backups, status monitoring, security sweeps, malware scanning and removal, and more.

The additional features are what’s known as management services. This is where the “managed” part of the term “managed hosting” comes in. Therefore, managed hosting simply refers to a hosting plan containing various additional benefits or services. Furthermore, instead of implementing these features and services yourself, the host will do it for you. This not only makes things simpler since you don’t need to be a technical expert, but a managed VPS hosting plan also saves you time, allowing you to focus on running and growing your website.

Services Included in Managed VPS Hosting

The precise services you’ll receive with managed VPS hosting vary depending on the hosting provider you choose. However, there are a few services that most companies typically offer.

●      Automated Backups

Your website data can disappear for any number of reasons, but regardless of its reason for disappearing, you’re going to want to get it back as quickly as possible. This is where automated backups come in. Automated backups ensure that there’s always a copy of your website available, so you can restore it quickly if something goes wrong.

●      Performance Monitoring

By monitoring the performance of your site, you can be alerted to disaster before it strikes. For example, your host may notify you if you’re close to using up all your available resources (such as memory). With this warning, you’ll have enough time to upgrade your resources before your website goes down or becomes so slow that you lose potential visitors.

●      Automatic Software Updates

Core software programs like PHP, Apache, MySQL, and others will sometimes need to be updated to ensure that they have the latest security patches. Fortunately, your host will keep track of any updates that need doing and do them for you.

●      Security, Malware Scanning, and Removal

Server security needs to be a top priority for website owners. Fortunately, security and malware scanning can identify any issues, and removal/cleanup services can eliminate them.

Unmanaged Hosting

Unmanaged VPS hosting is a VPS hosting plan that has no or very few additional services. For example, with this hosting plan, your server may have nothing but an operating system installed. As a result, you’ll need to install all necessary software on your own.

Furthermore, the hosting company won’t provide any services or carry out management tasks on your server. Therefore, if you want something done, you’ll be the one who has to do it.

However, there are a few reasons why you might want to choose unmanaged VPS hosting over managed VPS hosting:

  • You want to learn more about server management and are interested in tinkering with the server independently.
  • You want to save money.
  • Your website requires special handling at the server level.
  • You have the necessary skills and time to manage the server on your own.


The main difference between managed and unmanaged VPS hosting is that the former gives you additional services which the hosting provider manages and the latter does not. Deciding which one to use will depend on your technical experience, the needs of your website, your budget, and how much time you have to spend managing the server. For example, if you don’t know anything about servers and would rather spend time developing and growing your website, then managed VPS hosting is the choice for you. However, if you prefer to handle things yourself and save money, you should go with unmanaged hosting.

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David Balaban

David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 17 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. David runs Privacy-PC.com and MacSecurity.net projects that present expert opinions on contemporary information security matters, including social engineering, malware, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy, and white hat hacking. David has a strong malware troubleshooting background, with the recent focus on ransomware countermeasures.

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