Once you have realized the necessity of your site hosting account, the first question you will face is: “Should I choose Linux or Windows?”. However, both options are fine. The choice will rather depend on your personal needs and the line of your business.
Both Linux and Windows are the most popular OS for site hosting. The use of Linux is much more extensive, but the actual difference between the OS is not crucial, So, your choice should rather depend on the structure and specificity of your website, which tools you are going to apply.
Taking into account that Windows and Linux use different scripts and data-centric programming languages, this might be the key factor. So, if you need PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, or MySQL, then Linux OS will suit you better. If ASP, ASP.NET then Windows should be a wiser choice.
Of course, Windows will support most of the development tools as well. But Linux has another important advantage – it is used for 70 % of websites, which is why it is often considered a better solution for hosting. Furthermore, it’s often characterized by stability, safety, adaptability for difficult environments, forums, blogs, content management systems, e-commerce sites.
Let’s have a closer look at the characteristics of both OS, their advantages, and their disadvantages for particular tasks.
Linux OS was created in 1992 and has become the most popular OS for hosting since then, often considered the best one. Its popularity is in many ways because it’s free and open-source, as well as stable, reliable, and effective. Most solutions are free of charge, except for the support of certain distributions. On the contrary, in the case of Windows, you’ll have to pay for the majority of solutions.
Thus, if the economy is the decisive factor for you, Linux OS is most likely the best decision, albeit you’ll often have to pay for support and technical expertise.
As for Windows’ advantages over Linux, we should necessarily mention the environment for web apps development ASP.NET, though its recent versions are compatible with Linux too. There are also other useful tools like Exchange and SharePoint, that facilitate work on various projects.
There is a common misconception that the server OS should be compatible with the system on the client’s PCs. However, it’s not the case. There is no actual relation between the OS used on the VPS and the OS on the PC used to manage it. Using Linux on your PC doesn’t make your work with Windows on VPS more complicated, and vice versa. What matters is the web editor you are using. Otherwise, the interface remains the same. Neither the operating system used on the server affects the remote sysadmins work with them.
As mentioned above, your needs are what matter when choosing between Linux OS and Windows OS. If you don’t know your needs, the choice should be a bit more difficult. If you need apps like ASP, Microsoft SQL Server, ASP.NET, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Visual Basic, Remote Desktop, or C#, choose Windows. Otherwise, Linux OS will be a wise choice, considering as well a bigger amount of apps developed for Linux due to its popularity, together with a large support community.
Linux OS is also a better option if you’re going to use SSH, apps, and scripts needing Apache modules, Linux control panels, like ISPManager or Web Host Manager.
Windows, in turn, offers tools like ASP.NET for creating websites and MS SQL Server for working with databases. Such tools as Joomla and WordPress are also used for efficient content management.
You should also take into account that most sites from Linux OS can be easily moved to Windows OS, but not vice versa.
What about the simplicity of use, Windows OS might eventually be an easier option. But again, you should understand that simplicity depends rather on the tools for host management than on the host OS itself.
What about security, both Windows OS and Linux OS provide decent solutions.
As for VPS on Windows, they provide powerful access controls and centralized authentification through Active Directory.
Linux VPS offers a quite secure authority system for working with any files.
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Recent advances in operating systems and, in particular, in their compatibility and interoperability capabilities have in many ways brought the offerings of different hosting providers closer to each other. While it was much easier to find advantages of one system over the other before, now the differences have become rather insignificant. In case you exactly know what you need, you’ll automatically know which OS suits you best. Otherwise, you can always go and ask your hosting provider and they will definitely help you make up your mind. In case Linux is your final choice, check out our offer for ubuntu vps server.