VPS Servers – For more than just Web Hosting

April 16th, 2012 @ 9:30 am

When discussing servers and hosting we often immediately put it within the context of hosting websites, but a VPS hosting plan is actually flexible enough to do a whole lot more than that. A Virtual Private Server has much of the same functionality of a dedicated server without the need for extensive technical knowledge to setup and maintain it, making it an attractive option for webmasters, but also an obvious choice for other server-reliant activities.

VPN

A VPN or virtual private network allows you to use a VPS server like you would a desktop computer via an OS and GUI (such as Linux Ubuntu), essentially giving it unlimited functionality. One popular reason for implementing a VPN is the anonymity it provides when using the internet- in fact in many countries where the internet is heavily censored and monitored VPNs provide citizens with a way of accessing otherwise forbidden parts of the net safely. With the growing trend of politicians and corporations both in America and around the world wanting to force ISPs to monitor your web use and punish those who deter from their approved sites, getting a VPS server to browse anonymously seems like a very smart idea.

Game Servers

When gamers come together online to perpetually murder each other, they need to connect to a server that hosts the game and handles all the information being transmitted. This can easily be done using a VPS server- in fact chances are if you’ve played Counter Strike before you’ve probably played on someone else’s VPS server. Owning and operating your own server for your favorite online game can be a rewarding hobby for you and your friends to enjoy or a lucrative community building venture, it all depends on what you want out of it.

Backup and Disk Space

Since a VPS server can be used in much the same way as a home computer can, it makes sense that we are able to store files on the disk space that’s available to us. The cool thing about storing your files on your own server is that you can access them wherever you can connect to the internet, which makes it very convenient for sharing files amongst your friends or collaborating on a project with a group. This might also come in handy when you have big files that need to be transferred but don’t have a USB stick big enough to handle the job.

VoiP

While there are a myriad of VoiP (voice over IP) services out there, hosting your own can have plenty of benefits. Sure, you can pay to rent space on someone else’s server to use Ventrilo or TeamSpeak, but there’s much more security and reliability in owning your own setup – not to mention that there isn’t any arbitrary limits on how many clients/users can be chatting together, the only limit is the resources.

Other Stuff

VPS servers have loads of different functionality and can be used almost any way imaginable, chances are if you need to use a server for something then a VPS hosting plan should accommodate you. Keep in mind that things like proxies, IRC, and P2P/torrents/filesharing are technically possible but against the terms of service of many providers, so always double check before doing anything that might get you banned. Other than those few exceptions, VPS servers really are the Swiss army knife of the web and are capable of much more than just hosting web sites.

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