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What Is A Dedicated Server? (And When Do You Need One)

WRITTEN BY
Daren Low
UPDATED
February 26, 2024

 

tl;dr

A dedicated server services websites, applications, and other online content. It is a powerful computer that is connected to the internet and can be used for hosting websites, storing data, and running applications.

 

Not sure whether you need a dedicated server for web hosting? A dedicated server can be the missing puzzle piece for businesses with very large amounts of traffic, or for companies that require a high level of security.

 

 

In this article, we’ll discuss what a dedicated server is and some of the pros and cons that come with using dedicated hosting.

 

What Is A Dedicated Server?

 

Dedicated server hosting

Dedicated server hosting is one of many types of hosting.

 

Dedicated servers are often used by large organizations that require a lot of server power. When you have your own dedicated server, you don’t have to share server resources with anyone else. This can be great for companies with high traffic or those who need custom configurations and special software.

 

These servers usually come with a higher price tag than shared hosting, because you’re essentially renting an entire physical server. But this also means that you get more control over the server environment, including custom configurations and root access.

 

In relation to dedicated hosting, a dedicated server (often called simply a “server,”) is a computer that is used only as a network server; it stores and delivers websites or other Internet-based content and services to users.

 

A dedicated server can be either a physical machine—a stand-alone computer with its own processing, memory, storage, and networking capabilities—or it can be a virtual machine (VM), which resides on a physical server.

 

 

What Are the Benefits Of A Dedicated Server?

 

dedicated server for web hosting

Dedicated servers come with plenty of benefits.

 

Dedicated servers outperform shared servers in many ways. Let’s dive into a few of the benefits that businesses can experience by using a dedicated server for web hosting:

 

1. Better performance

 

First and foremost, dedicated servers offer businesses increased performance. When you’re on a shared server, your website is vying for resources with other sites hosted on the same server. This can lead to decreased page load times and overall slow performance.

 

Businesses with exclusive access to an entire physical server and its resources. This means that your website won’t be competing with other websites, resulting in increased speed and performance for your site visitors.

 

2. Improved security

 

Shared servers can also be less secure than dedicated servers. Because you’re sharing server space with other companies, it can be easier for hackers to gain access to your site. With a dedicated server, businesses have the option to implement their own security measures. This includes installing security software and applications, as well as setting up firewalls.

 

3. Easier compliance

 

Certain businesses are subject to compliance regulations, such as PCI DSS. These businesses may be required to store sensitive data on a secure server. Shared servers may not meet the same security standards as dedicated servers, which could put your business at risk of non-compliance.

 

On the flip side, dedicated servers can provide the physical security and control that businesses need to meet compliance regulations. When you have a dedicated server, you can choose where it’s located and who has access to it. This helps businesses meet compliance regulations and keep sensitive data safe.

 

4. Increased reliability

 

Shared servers can be less reliable than dedicated servers because if another website on the server crashes, it could take your site down with it.

 

Dedicated servers can be more reliable because your website is the only one hosted on the server. And because you have exclusive access to the resources of the server, your site won’t be slowed down by other sites.

 

5. Greater flexibility

 

With a dedicated server, you have more control over the server environment. You can install the operating system and applications of your choice and customize the server to meet your specific needs. This is not possible with a shared server, which comes with pre-installed software that cannot be changed.

 

Note

We’ve wrote some detailed review on the cheapest dedicated servers, Linux-based dedicated hosting, Windows-based dedicated hosting, managed dedicated servers, do check them out and chose the one that suits you the most.

 

 

How Does Dedicated Server Hosting Compare To Other Hosting Types?

 

Dedicated server hosting

We compare dedicated server hosting with the other types.

 

Dedicated server hosting certainly comes with its perks. But, how does it compare to other hosting types? Let’s take a look.

 

1. Dedicated servers vs shared hosting

 

Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting, and involves sharing server resources with other customers on the same server. Because of its affordability, it’s a go-to hosting option for small businesses or anyone just starting out.

 

Dedicated servers cost a great deal more, but can be great for larger organizations that require a lot of server power to themselves. It’s better suited for businesses with high traffic or those who need custom configurations and special software.

 

2. Dedicated servers vs virtual private servers

 

When comparing virtual private servers to dedicated servers, it’s important to keep in mind that a virtual private server is still sharing resources with other customers. However, each customer has their own “slice” of the server, which gives them more control than they would have on a shared server. Dedicated servers allow you to have complete control over the server environment.

 

Virtual private servers also differ from dedicated servers in that they’re usually managed by the hosting company. This means that the hosting company will take care of patching, security updates, and other server maintenance tasks.

 

Note

Check out our guide on the best VPS web hosts if it sounds right for you.

 

3. Dedicated servers vs cloud hosting

 

Cloud hosting is a newer type of hosting that’s becoming more popular for small businesses and organizations. With cloud hosting, your site is hosted on a cluster of servers, which can be great for scalability and redundancy.

 

In fact, some cloud hosting providers offer “pay as you go” pricing, which can be great for businesses that experience spikes in traffic. On the other side of the coin, dedicated servers offer more control and power, but they can be more expensive.

 

 

How Much Does Dedicated Hosting Cost?

 

The cost of dedicated hosting will vary depending on the provider you choose and the specifications of your server. In general, dedicated servers are more expensive than shared servers and range in price from $100 to $1000 per month. To get an accurate estimate of the cost of dedicated hosting for your business, reach out to a few different providers and get quotes for the specifications you need.

 

 

Other Uses for Dedicated Servers

 

Dedicated servers uses

Dedicated servers have plenty of uses.

 

Here are a few other uses for dedicated servers:

 

  • Storage
    Dedicated servers can be used for storing large amounts of data. This is a common solution for businesses that generate a lot of data, such as ecommerce stores.
  • Application hosting
    Another use includes hosting applications, which can be a good solution for businesses that have specific software requirements or need custom applications.
  • Testing
    When implementing new applications and software as well as website changes, businesses can use dedicated servers for testing purposes.
  • Backups
    Ensuring data is safe in the event of a crash or another disaster is crucial for businesses. Backing up data to a dedicated server can help businesses avoid losing important information.
  • Gaming
    Online gaming requires fast and reliable performance. Dedicated servers can provide the low-latency connections that gamers need.
  • Video Streaming
    Video streaming also requires fast speeds and dedicated servers can offer the high bandwidth needed to stream video content.

 

 

So, Do You Need Dedicated Servers?

 

Now that we’ve discussed what a dedicated server is, you may be wondering if your business needs one.

 

To summarise – dedicated servers are best for businesses that experience high amounts of traffic or need a high level of security. If your business falls into either category and you have the budget for it – dedicated server hosting could be worth checking out.

 

If you’re looking for scalability and redundancy, then cloud hosting might be a better option. And, if you’re just starting out, shared hosting could be a good way to get your feet wet.

 

After all, dedicated servers come with a higher price tag and may not be the right solution for small businesses or startups that are working with a tight budget. These types of businesses may want to consider using a shared server until their traffic and security needs increase.

 

 

 

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