We’ve evaluated over fifty virtual private server (VPS) hosting providers to find the best VPS providers of the bunch!
A VPS is a virtual server that comes with RAM, CPUs, and a disk. Depending on the operating system installed, a VPS may be managed with SSH, remote desktop, or VNC.
Below, we rank the top ten best VPS providers. For each provider, we include the monthly price of a VPS with 2 GB RAM. If you’re overwhelmed by the options, check out our buying guide!
#1 – Vultr ($10/mo)
Few VPS providers can match Vultr in network performance, the range of services provided (including bare metal and block storage), pricing, and the sheer number of locations that they offer. None can match Vultr in all four.
With 16 locations in nine countries, Vultr’s platform truly gives you global coverage. We’ve tried out 14 of their locations, and each has stellar network quality and reliability. And they’re continuously adding new locations! Toronto was just launched in December 2018.
Additionally, their speedy and powerful control panel makes deploying and managing your virtual private servers painless. From hourly billing to snapshots, Vultr most likely has the features that you need.
#2 – LunaNode ($7/mo)
Only the largest cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine can rival LunaNode in the range of features that they offer. That, combined with their amazing pricing and high performance and reliability, puts LunaNode at #2 on our list.
With live snapshots, block storage, load balancers, and free DNS and e-mail hosting, LunaNode’s platform is super flexible. Plus, if you enable uptime monitoring, you can receive SMS or phone call alerts when your website goes offline.
Cost-sensitive customers will find LunaNode’s Shelve feature particularly interesting. If you “shelve” a temporarily unneeded VPS, it’ll be powered off, and you’ll only be charged for storage and IP address costs; it takes just one click, and reduces the cost of a 2 GB RAM VPS from $7/mo to just $1.6/mo. When you need it again, another click “unshelves” the VPS and brings it back online. None of our other top-ten best VPS providers support this!
Read more of our thoughts on LunaNode.
#3 – DigitalOcean ($10/mo)
DigitalOcean is widely known for their well-written and well-maintained tutorials, discussing topics from installing Nginx to deploying a redundant MySQL cluster.
You can be sure that they pay just as much care and attention to their VPS platform! Their highly polished control panel makes it incredibly easy to get started with launching a VPS, and every feature on the panel is concisely documented. And they provide beautiful graphs showing bandwidth, CPU, and disk I/O usage so that you can quickly get an idea about the load on your VPS.
To make things even easier, they provide over ten one-click-deploy applications. For example, you can launch a VPS from their WordPress application template, and configure your blog without ever having to SSH into the VPS!
#4 – BuyVM ($7/mo)
BuyVM regularly refreshes their product line to keep ahead of the competition. In 2017, they launched their dedicated KVM slices, which give ample performance at low price points, and can be configured with Microsoft Windows Server at no additional cost.
In 2018, they released block storage slabs, which are the cheapest block storage option on the market: a 1 TB disk is just $5/mo! That same 1 TB storage would cost you $100/mo on Vultr or $30/mo on LunaNode.
That said, BuyVM lacks several of the core features that our other top-five providers support. Most critically, BuyVM doesn’t offer hourly billing. Instead, their VPS services are billed monthly, which makes it impossible to quickly test an application at a reasonable cost. BuyVM’s panel also doesn’t allow you to define startup scripts and add SSH keys.
#5 – Linode ($10/mo)
Linode used to be our favorite provider, but stagnation in features and pricing and two hacking incidents have pushed them down to #5. Nevertheless, their pricing remains competitive, at $10/mo for a VPS with 2 GB RAM, and their load balancing service is one of the most mature.
Where Linode truly excels, though, is the level of support that they provide. We’ve found the response times and technical competence from Linode’s support team to be the best in the unmanaged VPS industry. On top of that, they offer an infrastructure management service at an additional cost that gives you 24/7 incident response support.
#6 – RamNode ($10/mo)
RamNode’s SSD VPS plans outperform most of their competitors in both disk I/O and CPU. However, they have not released new features or product updates for a few years; their pricing used to be significantly cheaper than other providers, but now is merely comparable.
RamNode repeatedly announced an upcoming OpenStack service, which would open up many new features, but after two to three years from the first announcement, this service still hasn’t launched.
#7 – OVH ($3.35/mo)
OVH’s cost-per-GB-RAM ratio is lower than every other provider except our next pick. That said, this comes with two caveats. First, you’ll have to pay substantially more ($9/mo) to get CPU performance that’s comparable to other VPS providers, with their VPS Cloud line, and to unlock additional features like automatic backups. Second, we’ve experienced some issues with VPSes being automatically powered off and network speeds dropping to less than 10 mbps.
Still, OVH’s 99.95% SLA and unlimited traffic (with a 100 mbps port speed) make them an excellent choice, especially for bandwidth-intensive applications.
#8 – Hetzner (~$3/mo)
Hetzner is traditionally known for their low-cost dedicated server offerings in Germany. However, in early 2018, they announced Hetzner Cloud, a public cloud platform that beats other providers in pricing on virtually every service. $3/mo will not only give you a VPS with 2 GB RAM, but also an account with 20 TB traffic included.
Nevertheless, their platform is still relatively immature. We encountered a problem where their panel gave an error when booting a VM, and it took two days before they fixed the issue and apologized for the downtime.
#9 – Amazon LightSail ($10/mo)
Amazon launched their VPS platform, LightSail, amid growing frustration among small-scale AWS EC2 customers over confusing and complex pricing schemes. With 13 locations at our last count, features ranging from block storage to load balancers, and the stability, robustness, and security of the AWS platform, LightSail is certainly a compelling choice.
Still, although LightSail is a great provider, pricing issues and user-unfriendly functionality prevent it from being ranked higher on our top VPS provider list. While the VPS products are priced competitively, block storage is $100/mo per 1 TB and load balancers are $18/mo. Furthermore, there are several nasty surprises that users may encounter; for example, shutting down a VPS causes you to lose your external IP address, unless you first took care to assign a static IP to the VPS.
#10 – EDIS ($12/mo)
EDIS is one of the very few providers that beats Vultr on the number of locations that you can deploy a VPS in. And they don’t just beat Vultr by a small margin — EDIS has 28 locations to Vultr’s 16.
Moreover, many of their locations are in regions that are not covered by other providers. For example, they have several datacenters in eastern Europe, including Moscow, Slovenia, Hungary, and Romania. Their Chile location offers decent connectivity to much of South America, and their Iceland and Isle of Man locations are particularly unique.
However, EDIS is substantially more expensive. Although pricing for a 2 GB VPS starts at $12/mo in their cheapest locations, the pricing varies between datacenters, and in some locations goes up to $20/mo. Reliability, while good, doesn’t quite match that of the providers on this list, and their platform is also short on features.