My VPS Advice
The VPS FAQ
The Problem with VPS Reviews
How to Ask for a VPS Recommendation
How to Find a Good VPS Provider
BlackBeltDL.com: Martial arts home study advice
My Favorite Registrar: Internet.BS
Good Shared Hosting: DreamHost.com
NodePing.com - very good monitoring service
The Admin Zone
My VPS Advice
I frequently see people asking for VPS recommendations in various forums and in email discussions. Unfortunately, when the average bear goes looking for VPS reviews or recommendations, he often encounters one of the many problems with VPS reviews.
Here are my recommendations for VPS providers. Some things to keep in mind:
- I have personally used all of these providers, and still use several now.
- You'd be amazed how many providers approach me and say "would you like a free VPS for a month so you can write a review?" That's not the point of this site. All of the experience I share is based on a long-term relationship.
- There are many fine providers who are not listed here.
- I only use Linux VPSes.
- Most of my VPS needs are web-hosting related in some way. I don't really have any experience to share about Minecraft/game servers, VPN, etc.
- The links do indeed contain my referral codes - if you find this site useful, I'd appreciate your clicking here when you decide to buy.
If you are not sure what you need, then you may wish to read the VPS FAQ first.
General-Purpose, High Quality Managed VPS
This is my first recommendation for anyone looking for a VPS, particularly people who are looking for their first VPS. WiredTree provides managed Virtuozzo-based VPSes with true 24x7 support. Their staff is friendly and knowledgeable and will do hand-holding if you need it. They offer an array of products - VPS, SSD VPs, "hybrid" (dedicated core) VPS, and dedicated servers.
Why do I recommend them? Several reasons:
- The support is excellent. A lot of companies say "24x7 support" on a checklist of features, but WT actually has the senior techs to offer it. If you have a problem and want to talk to them at 3am, they will have someone who can actually fix the problem available to help you. In fact, to they answer the phone 24x7.
- WiredTree's default setup is very strong security-wise. If you go through a best practices checklist and compare it to what WT does by default, you'll find everything checked off. CSF/LDF, mod_security, mod_evasive, rootkit hunter, etc. - their "out of the box" security setup is stronger than most "hardened" sites.
- Backups are included (with no charge for restores) and bandwidth is generous.
- They off an in-house monitoring/graping portal (Grove) which is very good. I really like this product - see their site for screenshots.
- Free cPanel/WHM (or at least, it's included in the price).
- Many little things that are the mark of a well-run operation. When you sign up, they call to verify. Why? To keep miscreants out of the neighborhood. Have several VPSes and want to talk between them? No problem - they have in-datacenter networking for you to use. Need ipv6? No problem.
You really can't go wrong with WT - fast non-overloaded servers, excellent setup, and support at the ready. About the only drawback is that they only offer service out of Chicago. For most people, distance won't make much difference unless you're looking to run a game server or something latency-critical.
KnownHost is also a quality managed VPS provider. They offer service on both coasts and out of Texas. Like WiredTree, they offer Virtuozzo-based VPSes on non-overloaded servers. Their suppor tis also excellent and they enjoy an excellent reputation.
A couple points to consider:
- WiredTree offer similar pricing. Generally, you get more disk with WiredTree and somewhat more RAM with KnownHost, but you have to look at specifics.
- KnownHost discounts many add-ons (WHMCS for $5, cPanel/WHM for $5, etc.) If you're going to compare, make sure you add up everything you want and compare what different vendors charge for each item. You really have to go item by item. For example, for cPanel, WiredTree includes it in the price, KnownHost charges $5/mo, and some vendors charge $15/mo.
Backups are included, and their bandwidth is quite generous. Although I prefer WiredTree, I've used KnownHost in the past and they're certainly a solid choice.
High Performance, Premium Unmanaged VPS
I love 6sync. Their server speed smokes the competitions and their custom, in-house control panel ("biscuit") is pleasant to use.
6sync consistently provides jaw-dropping performance on their KVM-based VPSes. For lots of things, I don't need super-fast IO and super-fast CPU, but when I do, 6sync consistently impresses. They also have very good pricing on r1soft backups.
However, they are not cheap. You won't get the same bandwidth you'll get with KH, and you don't get all the extras in terms of discounted licenses. However, if you want a blazing fast box that is rock solid, I highly recommend 6sync.
I've had a few chats with the owners and they are really sharp folk. You can't go wrong with 6sync.
Linode is very similar to 6sync, offering speedy Xen-based VPSes. One advantage linode has is their tremendous community. They have an excellent documentation library, wiki, and forum. Their users love them and are passionate about their community. They've also been around for a very long time. Their support is top notch as well.
You really can't go wrong with linode, but I find 6sync to be a bit more generous with disk and bandwidth, and 6sync's boxes are more performant at the extremes. On the other hand, Linode has many more locations around the world.
If community is more important to you than performance and you don't mind low caps on disk and bandwidth, look at linode. If you want more power and space, look at 6sync. Both are excellent providers.
Note: You should calibrate your expectations when using these providers. While they ones I list here are very good, don't expect the same 24x7 support, high availability, integrated backups, etc. that you get with a premium vendor.
buyvm.net (Fremont, CA) borders on a cult (in a good way). They only release stock when they feel they can adequately support it. Used to be that when they announced stock is coming, people watched countdown pages and hung out on their IRC channel, salivating. Seriously - it was like a new iPhone or something. Nowadays they have more consistently available stock.
The reason for this Apple-store-like behavior is that they are one of the best budget providers. Good plans, sterling reputation, and they participate on WHT. You won't find the smoking hot performance of a 6sync or linode here - though they're pretty speedy - but you will find solid nodes that don't bounce and good service (for a budget provider).
On top of that, buyvm has continually added very cool features, such as offloaded MySQL for $1/month, DDOS protection for $3/IP/month, a custom control panel, etc. I highly recommend BuyVM. You really can't go wrong.
Blazing fast. That pretty much summarizes RamNode. Their VPSes run on pure SSD and they are smoking fast. I really enjoy my RamNode VPS.
They offer service out of several locations and also offer DDOS protection. What little support I've needed has been excellent. And did I mention blazing performance? A joy to use!
Host your data with a dragon! SecureDragon (Tampa) is a young company but run by a very passionate crew. Uniquely, they offer very small VPSes (as small as 32MB/64MB), as well as larger full-featured OvZ/KVM systems. The VPS I've had with them has been snappy and they enjoy an excellent reputation. One thing that sets them apart is transparency - they regularly send out news, updates, and information to their customers. A real class act in the VPS industry.