VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is an ideal middle ground for most hosting customers. The cost of the physical machine is split between numerous users, but at the same time, each user can fully customize his virtual server as if it were his or her own physical machine.
So if customer A wants a cheap Windows VPS, while customer B wants a Linux-based server, they can both purchase a VPS package running their choice of operating system, adding whatever software their chosen OS will run, even though the actual computing for both customers is done on the same machine. In fact, a single powerful web server could support hundreds of individual virtual private servers! A Windows VPS gives the user who wants to run Windows server a cheap and powerful solution.
VPS, which is sometimes referred to as VRS (virtual root server) or VDS (virtual dedicated server), refers to a physical web server that allocates computing resources to individual users as if they had their own dedicated server. This means that one server in a data center acts like multiple individual servers by dividing up its computing power, or virtualizing, to create individual "virtual servers".
VPS represents a way of bridging the gap between a dedicated web server and shared hosting. Shared hosting can be quite cheap, but it forces all users who are sharing a single physical server to use the same operating system, the same software, and the same processing power. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, gives the user a lot of flexibility when it comes to software and operating systems. A dedicated server also guarantees that the user is getting all the processing power available from the machine. What's the drawback? Cost, of course! Dedicated servers can be extremely expensive, potentially costing hundreds or thousands of dollars a month depending on the users requirements.
The benefits of an inexpensive Windows-based virtual private server are numerous. At the top of the list for many web hosting consumers is the competitive cost. With VPS, the user can decide how much processing speed, memory, and bandwidth they need, and then customize their hosting plan accordingly. This allows the user to pay for exactly what he or she needs, no more and no less. Since most of the cost associated with web hosting goes toward the maintenance of the physical server, and that cost is spread between all the users who purchase a virtual server on that physical machine, the cost per user is kept to a minimum. The only other factor contributing significantly to the monthly hosting cost is the cost of bandwidth - the speed of the connection to and from the server - which is generally very manageable.
Another great benefit to a Windows VPS is flexibility. Under a shared hosting plan, the user is locked in to the operating system and software running on the single physical machine. With a cheap Windows VPS, however, the customer enjoys administrative access to what amounts to a functionally independent web server. This means that he or she can load and run whatever software the OS will support, without worrying about how this will affect other users, and without violating any if the terms if service of the hosting company. A true dedicated server offers the same flexibility and user access, but at a much higher cost. It's easy to see why VPS hosting has become the most popular hosting configuration for the majority of webmasters.
Unless you're running a massive e-commerce site with thousands of pages and gargantuan bandwidth requirements to support millions of daily visitors, you probably don't need a dedicated hosting plan. The cost of dedicated hosting is justifiable for large and complex sites with lots of traffic, since these sites usually make a lot of money, but for the rest of us, a cheap Windows VPS is just what the doctor ordered. It represents a happy medium between cost, speed, power and flexibility. Plus, as your website grows, it's easy to scale up your hosting. So check out the available plans; you're sure to find one that suits your needs perfectly.