The answer to this question largely depends on two factors. Are you new to server technology and not very interested? In this case, Windows is the easiest option to get where you want to go. Do you already have experience with Linux or would you like to familiarize yourself with this operating system? If so, Linux gives you more freedoms to configure your server, and you will be using an operating system that is less vulnerable to attacks from the Internet. Linux is also open source and therefore free. 

Availability, price and employee familiarity often determines which operating systems are offered on dedicated servers. Variations of Linux and Unix (open source operating systems) are often included at no charge to the customer. Commercial operating systems include Microsoft Windows Server, provided through a special program called Microsoft SPLA. Red Hat Enterprise is a commercial version of Linux offered to hosting providers on a monthly fee basis. The monthly fee provides OS updates through the Red Hat Network using an application called Yum. Other operating systems are available from the open source community at no charge. These include CentOS, Fedora Core, Debian, and many other Linux distributions or BSD systems FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD.
Other software applications available are specialized web hosting specific programs called control panels. Control panel software is an all inclusive set of software applications, server applications, and automation tools that can be installed on a dedicated server. Control panels include integration into web servers, database applications, programming languages, application deployment, server administration tasks, and include the ability to automate tasks via a web based front end.
The server must be able to handle a lot of visitors when your website experiences increased traffic. Online shops, for instance, tend to place high demands on the stability of server capacities. Many shop owners in the eCommerce segment prefer to know that their customer data is hosted on a server that is not shared with others. A dedicated server with “genuine” root access is the better choice in these cases. Moreover, a dedicated server offers more web server options.
Line speed, billed on the 95th percentile, refers to the speed in which data flows from the server or device, measured every 5 minutes for the month, and dropping the top 5% of measurements that are highest, and basing the usage for the month on the next-highest measurement. This is similar to a median measurement, which can be thought of as a 50th percentile measurement (with 50% of measurements above, and 50% of measurements below), whereas this sets the cutoff at 95th percentile, with 5% of measurements above the value, and 95% of measurements below the value. This is also known as Burstable billing. Line speed is measured in bits per second (or kilobits per second, megabits per second or gigabits per second).
Your Dedicated Server means you are essentially renting a server within our data center configured specifically to your needs. Dedicated Web Hosting is designed for the most intensive hosting needs including successful business sites, multimedia sites and sites that use the web's most demanding software solutions. In short, it's perfect for hosting your high traffic and high load web site.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web h... See Full Bio
Launching a business-focused website is not a simple task, as you must build your online destination with commerce, search engine optimization, security, and other factors in mind. For a rock-solid website foundation that can withstand high traffic volumes and let you install your own scripts, however, a dedicated server is an easy choice—if you can afford one.
A gaming server is a dedicated server used for online games such as World of Warcraft or Minecraft. The benefit of a dedicated server for gaming is that your server is often more stable than the game client itself, which is impacted by multiple players and resources. For a smooth gaming experience that you control, a dedicated server is the way to go.
Bandwidth consumption over the last several years has shifted from a per megabit usage model to a per gigabyte usage model. Bandwidth was traditionally measured in line speed access that included the ability to purchase needed megabits at a given monthly cost. As the shared hosting model developed, the trend towards gigabyte or total bytes transferred, replaced the megabit line speed model so dedicated server providers started offering per gigabyte.
Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.
Building your website on a shared server means that your pages may be affected by a neighboring site that devours too many server resources. For example, if that site receives a huge spike in traffic, your pages might load slowly—or not at all. Investing in a dedicated server greatly reduces this potential problem, plus it gives system administrators greater control over the apps and scripts that they can install on the server, too. Shared hosting is far more limited when it comes to what you're allowed to do, because everything you do could potentially affect the other sites with which you share the server. When you've got the server all to yourself, your scripts and apps won't impinge on anyone else's bandwidth or RAM.
Deploy complex applications, streaming media, high-end e-mail solutions, or just host multiple sites on one machine. Whatever your needs, all our solutions are provided on a world-class network connection and include 24x7 monitoring of the server and network availability. Our unmanaged dedicated servers provide you with full remote server administration capability and freedom.
Hosts like InMotion Hosting, for example, pack plenty of RAM, CPU power, storage, and allocated IP addresses into each dedicated server plan, and package pricing starts right around $100 a month. No, this is not the lowest price tag you’ll find in the hosting market, but remember, dedicated hosting is the expensive hosting niche. You’re not sharing any of your server’s compute power or storage or bandwidth with anyone else, so you’re the only one paying for it all.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web h... See Full Bio
You'll also want to consider how long you'll need dedicated web hosting. If it's a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you'll typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, while others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it's beneficial to do your homework.
Dedicated servers continue to be the economical choice for providing an exclusive set of resources solely devoted to your IT needs. With our bare metal servers, you will benefit from increased performance, greater security and exclusive use of the servers system and network resources.  Our dedicated servers are ideal for any of your services that require high traffic, high security, or complex configurations (i.e. e-commerce, dynamic content, database applications and multimedia apps) are better suited for a dedicated server.
A Dedicated Server is a physical server that allows you to have exclusive access to its resources. Choosing a Dedicated Server provides you with the highest level of performance, allowing for peak performance for your web applications. As a single tenant, you can expect to enjoy full control in optimizing, curating an environment tailored your business.
Most dedicated servers are packaged with a control panel. Control panels are often confused with management tools, but these control panels are actually web based automation tools created to help automate the process of web site creation and server management. Control panels should not be confused with a full server management solution by a dedicated hosting providers.
Additionally, you'll want a web hosting service that offers Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) if you plan to sell products. Here's why: An SSL connection encrypts the data that travels between your site and users' web browsers, thus safeguarding the transmission of purchasing information. You've probably seen a green padlock in your web browser's address bar while logging into your online bank account or making online purchases. It's a symbol of trust. Some companies include a free SSL certificate when you sign up for a hosting plan, while others charge close to $100. You can save some money by shopping around for the services that offer the cheapest SSL plans.
The standard configuration on many Linux servers includes an Apache web server combined with an MySQL database and the script language PHP. That’s entirely sufficient for commonly used CMS like WordPress, Drupal, and Typo3, as well as for many forums and wikis. But what happens if an application needs to run on other systems as well? The IONOS Managed Cloud also allows you to mount web servers like Tomcat, Passenger, or Nginx combined with MariaDB and MongoDB as databases and Java or Node.js as programming languages.
Many dedicated server providers include a service level agreement based on network up-time. Some dedicated server hosting providers offer a 100% up-time guarantee on their network. By securing multiple vendors for connectivity and using redundant hardware, providers are able to guarantee higher up-times; usually between 99-100% up-time if they are a higher quality provider. One aspect of higher quality providers is they are most likely to be multi-homed across multiple quality up-link providers, which in turn, provides significant redundancy in the event one goes down in addition to potentially improved routes to destinations.
Unlike a shared server, which powers multiple sites, a dedicated server hosts just one site. Website stability and reliability are the twin benefits of investing in a dedicated server—your site leverages a server's full CPU, RAM, and storage resources, as it doesn't share them with other sites. You shouldn't underestimate the importance of these benefits in terms of site speed and reliability.

Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.


If you register a domain with Bluehost when signing up for a hosting account, there is a domain fee that is non-refundable. This not only covers our costs, but ensures that you won't lose your domain name. Regardless of the status of your hosting service, you'll be free to manage it, transfer it after any required lock periods, or simply point it elsewhere at your convenience. You retain ownership of your domain until the end of its registration period unless you elect to extend it.
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