Shared Hosting vs. Virtual Hosting

Category: Web Hosting Tutorials

Wondering what the difference is between shared hosting and virtual hosting? Truth be told, they are basically the same type of web hosting service. Virtual hosting is pretty much the old name for shared hosting. In the old days, shared hosting was more correctly called "virtual server" - meaning one actual server box acting like many to serve individual web sites. But web hosts today will use the terms synonymously.

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What is shared or virtual hosting?
The web hosts we list on this site are all virtual or shared hosts. Shared hosting means you do not have to go out and buy your own server boxes and set up an elaborate system of servers, T3 connections, routers, back-up generators, network monitors, and security guards for yourself. You pay your web host a small monthly fee to to do all that to keep your web site running, while you sit back and relax. Good deal, eh?

With shared hosting you do not own your own server box, you share a server with the other users signed up with your web host. Usually about 100-300 others will be hosted on a single server. A bad host will neglect to monitor how much web space and bandwidth their users use and will overload their servers with users. This can cause your site to load very slowly or not at all. Our top ranked hosts monitor the amount of users they place on each server so as not to overload the system.

Dedicated Hosting or Colocation Hosting are for those who need and can afford their own servers and do not want to share with others. With dedicated hosting you rent your own server and colocation hosting you own your own server. Usually large businesses will choose either of these types of hosting if their site is enormous or they have the manpower, building space and knowledge to manage their own systems. For the majority, however, shared hosting is the most efficient and economical.

Do I need shared hosting?
As outlined above, unless you are planning to build an enormous site that will receive loads of traffic, it is more economical to sign up with a shared/virtual host such as those listed in the Top 100.

Who is the best shared host?
iPowerWeb is our #1 choice. They have top of the line servers and equipment, monitored 24/7 in a high tech facility. Also, they offer the best package for the lowest price.

Related Article: VPS Web Hosting >>

100 Best Web Hosting Terms
Term of the day
NIC - Network Interface Card
A part of the computer hardware responsible for connecting a particular machine to the local area network or to other computers.

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