The best VPS hosting (opens in new tab) sees virtual private servers (VPSs), provided by the best web hosting (opens in new tab) services, that offer users high-powered, dedicated hosting via virtualized servers. Many hosts provide VPS web hosting (opens in new tab), but not every service offers resources and quality hosting at the same level of performance.
With virtual servers being by their nature more technical to manage and understand, newcomers to hosting might find confusing or overwhelming. Don't worry: we're here to help, and all you need know is that with VPS hosting, your site will be allocated specific resources on the virtual shared server, and won't be affected by other sites because it's "virtually" separate from them.
You get your site resources, namely bandwidth, storage, and RAM, for your site alone to use. There are both unmanaged and managed (opens in new tab) options available, often from the same service, and you're also able to choose between Windows or Linux operating systems.
These factors mean VPS hosting is a leading option for sites that are too large for shared hosting, but aren't large enough for a dedicated server. For those with even larger hosting needs, the best VPS cloud hosting (opens in new tab) providers are worth considering.
Below, we ranked and reviewed the best VPS hosting available right now, taking into account key factors such as tools and features, pricing, management options, and server configurability.
The top 3 best VPS hosting providers right now
Hostinger: the best VPS hosting provider (opens in new tab)
Hostinger's VPS solutions offer low prices and a no-frills, highly-secure service, alongside a highly redundant server network and excellent scalability, for when your website needs to grow. More powerful plans offer wider amounts of bandwidth and other tools, making it a clear leader.
Hostwinds: huge range of high-performance VPS plans (opens in new tab)
Hostwinds' wide selection of top-performing VPS plans cover Windows and Linux, both managed and unmanaged. Whether low-powered budget options or high-powered plans for large, resource-intensive sites, all Hostwinds VPS plans have an industry-leading 99.9999% uptime guarantee, and top tools.
HostGator: discounted, unmetered VPS packages (opens in new tab)
HostGator offers three tidy, uncomplicated VPS plans that offer excellent introductory discounts, generous allocations of resources (including some unlimited coverage), full root access, and sector-leading customer service and support.
What are the best VPS hosting providers?
We found Hostinger offers the best VPS hosting, alongside Hostwinds, HostGator, InMotion Hosting, and A2 Hosting.
Hostinger offers excellent budget solutions, with some of the lowest prices we’ve seen, while Hostwinds is another great option when it comes to performance, and offers a wide selection of Windows and Linux solutions.
HostGator stands out with consistent service across the board, full root access and unmetered bandwidth, excellent customer service, and generous resource allocations. A2 Hosting is known for its highly configurable unmanaged VPS plans, which are backed by a selection of developer tools including command line management.
Finally, InMotion Hosting is a little expensive, but ranks here because of its advanced VPS options, which include optional server management and great security tools.
|Web hosting provider||Entry price||Unmetered bandwidth?||Root access?||Linux and Windows options|
|Hostinger||$3.95 a month||✖||✔||Linux only|
|Hostwinds||$4.99 a month||✖||✔ (if required)||Both available|
|HostGator (opens in new tab)||$19.95 a month||✔||✔||Linux only|
|A2 Hosting||$7.99 a month||✖||✔||Linux only|
|InMotion Hosting (opens in new tab)||$19.99 a month||✔||✔ (if required)||Linux only|
The best VPS hosting you can buy today
Hostinger is our choice for the best web hosting (opens in new tab) overall, and as well as being the best VPS hosting provider, it's top of our rankings for the best web hosting for small business (opens in new tab), the best cloud hosting (opens in new tab), and the best unlimited web hosting (opens in new tab). As befits such a high-ranking provider, its VPS solutions don’t disappoint.
Prices are extremely low, starting from just a few dollars a month for a long-term introductory plan. These will rise on renewal, though, and shorter subscriptions attract much higher monthly prices.
One thing that stands out about Hostinger is its no-frills service. We found its hosting plans to be backed by great security, a highly redundant server network, and excellent scalability. But you won’t be plagued with a host of extra—and often unnecessary—tools like you would be with some other providers.
The cheapest plans do have quite limited amounts of bandwidth, RAM, and storage. They are still more than good enough for basic websites, though, and it’s very easy to scale to a more powerful plan when required. The bottom line: Hostinger is a clear leader when it comes to budget VPS hosting.
Hostwinds is known for its high-performance hosting options. It offers a large selection of Windows and Linux managed and unmanaged VPS hosting plans. We found that there’s everything from low-powered budget options to high-powered plans for large, resource-intensive websites.
In addition, all Hostwinds VPS plans are backed by a leading 99.9999% uptime guarantee. Connections are made through fast 1Gbps ports, and performance is generally great across the board. Tools such as automatic nightly backups, proactive server monitoring, free website transfers, and an enterprise-level firewall are also available.
Hostwinds has no money-back guarantee with its VPS plans, though. Its terms of service state that you can request a refund within 72 hours of any payment, but this is very short when compared to the minimum 30-day guarantee made by most hosts. Despite this, it’s still a great option for those looking for highly customizable, scalable VPS hosting solutions.
Read our detailed Hostwinds review (opens in new tab).
HostGator is known for its competitively-priced, beginner-friendly shared hosting solutions, but its VPS options are excellent as well. They are tidy, there aren’t too many complicated tools to deal with, and you'll have the freedom to do what you want with your hosting.
There are three plans available, all with excellent introductory discounts and generous resource allocations—including unmetered bandwidth across the board. Even the cheapest plan comes with 2GB of RAM and 120GB of SSD storage, which will be more than enough for most websites.
You will also have full root access, which means that you have the freedom to configure your servers exactly the way you want. On the downside, there’s no option to use a Windows operating system. All plans come with Linux CentOS 7 installed, and there’s the option of adding a cPanel control panel for an extra $10 a month.
Another positive we noted is HostGator’s customer service, which is top-notch. The support team is friendly and knowledgeable, and there’s an excellent knowledge base full of useful self-help resources.
The main downside is the price structure. The introductory prices are very reasonable, but increase significantly on renewal. For example, at the time of writing, the cheapest Snappy 2000 VPS plan costs between $19.95 and $29.95 a month (depending on your subscription length), increasing to a much higher $79.95 on renewal.
Read our full HostGator review (opens in new tab).
A2 Hosting offers both managed and unmanaged Linux VPS options. Its unmanaged solutions are what stand out for us, largely due to the huge range of developer features and advanced tools they come with. You will have full root access and command-line management capabilities, so you can configure your server exactly as required.
In addition, all servers are connected to a 10Gbps redundant network, which provides excellent speed and performance. You will be able to install and configure software as required, and there’s a selection of global data center locations to choose from.
There are no Windows VPS options, and server resources are a little limited, but you will love A2 Hosting’s unmanaged VPS plans if you value the ability to configure your server exactly as you want to.
Read our A2 Hosting review (opens in new tab).
InMotion Hosting is an excellent all-around web hosting provider that offers leading VPS hosting solutions. All plans come with free website migrations, free cPanel accounts, a 99.9999% server uptime guarantee, and unlimited bandwidth.
In addition, you will benefit from a free SSL certificate for added security, a built-in server monitoring dashboard, and DDoS attack protection. Server snapshots are taken at predefined intervals, and you can roll back to a previous version with the click of a button.
On the downside, when it comes to VPS hosting we found that InMotion only offers Linux hosting. This effectively eliminates it as an option for those looking for a Windows server. Data center locations are also limited, as they are all located in the United States. This isn’t a major problem, but it could result in slight performance issues if your main audience is elsewhere in the world.
Overall, InMotion Hosting is a great choice for businesses looking for a powerful, high-performance option, and its leading 90-day money-back guarantee enables you to test it with zero risk.
Read our detailed InMotion Hosting review (opens in new tab).
VPS hosting FAQs
Which are the best cheap VPS hosting providers?
The best cheap VPS hosting services come from Hostinger, Hostwinds, and A2 Hosting, which offer baseline VPS hosting for $3.95 a month, $4.99 a month, and $7.99 a month respectively.
Hostinger's VSP 1 plan includes 1GB RAM, 20GB SSD storage, 1TB bandwidth, a dedicated IP, and full root access. Hostwinds' single CPU unmanaged Linux plan offers 1GB RAM, 30GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth; while A2 Hosting's Runway 2 package includes 2GB RAM, 250GB SSD storage, two cores, 3TB transfer, and root access
How to choose the best VPS hosting for you
VPS hosting can be quite technical, so you need to think carefully to ensure you choose the right option. Start by identifying the operating system you want to work with (Linux or Windows). Most providers offer Linux VPS, although Windows is a little more uncommon. Hostwinds is one notable option if you would like to use Windows.
The amount of resources such as storage, RAM, and bandwidth that you require is also important. For example, HostGator is known for its generous resource allocations, while Hostinger is much cheaper, but offers significantly less storage and bandwidth.
Managed, semi-managed, and unmanaged options are all available. Managed VPS hosting tends to be less flexible and more expensive, but you won’t need nearly as much technical knowledge. Platforms like Hostwinds offer excellent managed options, InMotion Hosting is known for its semi-managed VPS, and A2 Hosting’s unmanaged options are powerful and flexible.
It’s also important to set a clear budget and stick with it, and platforms such as Hostinger are great for those looking for an affordable choice. Create a shortlist of viable options—we’d recommend starting with the providers listed in this guide—and perform further research to identify the most suitable selection.
Remember above all that everyone’s needs are different, so there’s no such thing as one single best VPS hosting provider.
How we review the best web hosting providers
When reviewing the best VPS hosting providers, we first look to test response times and uptimes over a two-week period. This is because that way, we can see how the site performs, and how the host's services compare. If your site is offline or slow to respond, that can have a huge impact on your business's profile and revenue.
We test the site's performance via a custom-built tester website. Should the host being reviewed include a website builder we'll test the building process with this platform; if it doesn't, we'll use another service, and then in our review of the hosting platform, we'll focus on testing another unique or important tool or feature provided.
It's also important that we study how comprehensive a given host's web security (opens in new tab) features and settings are, as well as how responsive its customer support and customer service teams are. The last thing you need as a user is to not be able to solve an issue, or to encounter a site-wide problem that you need your host's help to sort out, and find they're not quick to respond and help.
One important factor we explore in-depth is pricing, because web hosts are known for their confusing packages, which can begin with large initial discounts but result in huge increases after your first term. Finally, we ensure that every one of our detailed reviews also compares the host being reviewed to competitors, to give you as much detail as we can about the many various services available to you.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting (opens in new tab) leases online server space and infrastructure to users, and refers to the storage of website files and content (images, videos, or text). When a user visits your site, a host loads all of this content onto the user's device from their hosting server.
All websites are essentially a composite collection of files, which when linked creates a functional, visual collection of webpages. Web hosts provide this storage on an internet-connected server.
Find out in our video, which also highlights what you need to know to choose the right hosting provider.
Next steps with web hosting
When it comes to web hosting from a no-knowledge starting point, it's best to first learn how to host a website (opens in new tab), and how to avoid common hosting mistakes (opens in new tab). Finding out more about hosting security (opens in new tab) is key: and if you want a new site made simply, check out our list of the providers vying to be the best website builder (opens in new tab).
It's also important to choose a domain name (opens in new tab) and then register your domain (opens in new tab), and for security's sake it's wise to look at domain privacy (opens in new tab). In turn, your web hosting can affect SEO (opens in new tab) for your site, so make sure you're up-to-date with the information you need before you take the plunge.
Make sure to read our other buying guides for different hosting types, including the best anonymous hosting (opens in new tab), the best WordPress hosting (opens in new tab), the best European web hosting (opens in new tab), and the best free web hosting (opens in new tab) if you're on next-to-no-budget. It's also worth comparing dedicated servers vs VPS (opens in new tab) if you want to understand the differences ahead of investing.