Choosing a VPS provider can be an intimidating process. First, there are countless shady providers that offer cheap but unreliable servers. Oftentimes, these providers go out of business after just a few months, or simply take your money and disappear!
Although our VPS reviews help you narrow down to the best VPS providers that are here to stay, there are still many options. This guide helps you pick the provider that best matches your needs!
Evaluate Your Needs
Essentially, choosing a VPS provider is all about taking a step back and evaluating your needs.
What is most important to you in a VPS? Is it proximity to your users? Is it features like block storage and an API for automation? Or do you simply want to get the most bang for the buck?
Below, we introduce different types of needs, and summarize the best choices for each need. If you were already able to figure out what you want most in your VPS, then just jump to the relevant section below! Otherwise, reading through the rest of this article might help you determine what you want.
Location is crucial for latency-sensitive applications like game servers and VPNs, but less important for web applications since CDNs like CloudFlare can effectively speed up most websites.
If you decide that location is most important for you, the next question is whether you are interested in just one location, or if you’ll need several. And, if you do need several, do you want to host all of your services on one provider, or are you okay with paying bills to several companies every month (and using different control panels and APIs)?
If you’re looking for one provider to satisfy your needs for several locations, Vultr and EDIS are your best bets. Vultr has 16 locations and EDIS has 28 locations. Vultr has better pricing and features: EDIS lacks hourly billing and support for snapshots, and a 2 GB RAM VPS is $10/mo on Vultr but anywhere between $12/mo and $20/mo on EDIS (depending on location). Both Vultr and EDIS have good coverage in western Europe and east Asia. While Vultr has better coverage in North America, EDIS has datacenters in South America and eastern Europe, and several unique locations like Iceland, Isle of Man, and Israel.
On the other hand, if you’re interested in just one specific location, or if you’re fine with purchasing services from multiple vendors, the list below should be helpful! We show the providers available in several regions in alphabetical order, from our Top Ten Best VPS Providers.
- California: DigitalOcean, Linode, RamNode, Vultr
- Chicago: Vultr
- Florida/Georgia: Linode, RamNode, Vultr
- Nevada/Oregon: Amazon Lightsail, BuyVM
- New York/New Jersey: Amazon Lightsail, BuyVM, DigitalOcean, Linode, RamNode, Vultr
- Quebec: LunaNode, OVH
- Seattle: DigitalOcean, RamNode, Vultr
- Texas: Linode, Vultr
- Toronto: DigitalOcean, LunaNode, Vultr
- France: Amazon Lightsail, EDIS, LunaNode, OVH, Vultr
- London: Amazon Lightsail, DigitalOcean, EDIS, Linode, Vultr
- Netherlands: DigitalOcean, EDIS, RamNode, Vultr
- Germany: BuyVM, DigitalOcean, EDIS, Hetzner Cloud, Linode, Vultr
- Russia: EDIS
- India: Amazon Lightsail, DigitalOcean
- Singapore: Amazon Lightsail, DigitalOcean, EDIS, Linode, Vultr
- Tokyo: Amazon Lightsail, EDIS, Linode, Vultr
- Australia: Amazon Lightsail, Vultr
If cost is your sole concern, Hetzner Cloud blows their competitors out of the water. While you can get a VPS with 2 GB RAM for only $3/mo on Hetzner Cloud, the same amount of RAM will cost you $7/mo on LunaNode or $10/mo on Vultr and DigitalOcean.
That said, Hetzner Cloud is only available in Germany and Finland, while LunaNode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean are available more globally. Additionally, Hetzner Cloud is still very immature, as they just launched in early 2018.
We discuss additional low-cost VPS providers in our Cheap VPS list.
If you plan to automate the management of multiple virtual private servers, you’ll need a provider with a solid API.
Here, Vultr, LunaNode, DigitalOcean, Linode, Hetzner Cloud, and Amazon Lightsail all fit the bill. Of those, Vultr and DigitalOcean have the easiest-to-use API client libraries in multiple programming languages.
Do you want to be able to add large amounts of storage to your VPS, independently of other resources like RAM and CPU? Block storage services let you do exactly that.
Of our top ten providers, only LunaNode and BuyVM provide block storage at reasonable prices (<$50/TB/mo). BuyVM is substantially cheaper (6x!) if you need large amounts of storage: 1 TB on LunaNode is $30/mo, but 1 TB on BuyVM is just $5/mo.
However, LunaNode lets you deploy smaller block storage volumes. If you just need a 50 GB volume, then you can create one and attach it to your VM for only $1.5/mo. Additionally, LunaNode allows you to deploy a VPS using a volume as the boot device.
If the quality of the support team for billing and technical issues is important to you, Linode is a great choice: they respond quickly, and actually answer your questions or solve your problems when they respond.
We have also had a good experience with support from LunaNode and BuyVM.
OVH offers phone support, but oftentimes this isn’t useful because the support agents that you talk to have to forward your requests to datacenter technicians, leading to a convoluted communication process
All of our top ten providers have excellent reliability, so the support experience here is about getting a response from a human for a non-downtime issue.
Most providers accept payments via Paypal and credit card. Recently, though, we’ve observed increasing demand for VPS providers that accept Bitcoin payments.
Vultr, LunaNode, and BuyVM accept Bitcoin. (RamNode also accepts Bitcoin, but only via BitPay, which requires BIP-70 Payment Protocol.)