What is a dedicated server? Glad you asked! This page outlines what a dedicated server is, and explains the benefits of dedicated server hosting over shared hosting.
Dedicated server hosting refers to a type of web hosting plan where you are allocated a whole server to yourself. Therefore, a “dedicated server” refers to the “dedicated” server that you rent (or purchase) in order to host your website (or websites).
Dedicated server hosting can give you more control over your website. It can also help to ensure that other customers’ websites don’t impact on your website. Using dedicated servers is much more expensive than shared hosting, but if your site receives lots of traffic or you have other requirements (such as extra security requirements), dedicated server hosting could be for you.
With dedicated server hosting, you are able to log in to your dedicated server just as you would log in to your own computer. Once logged in, you can install and configure software as you wish.
Some dedicated server hosting plans are fully managed, meaning that your web hosting company performs regular administration duties, such as initial server setup, patching, anti-virus, security scanning, monitoring, and more.
Other dedicated server plans are self managed – you are responsible for the server setup, patching, anti-virus, etc
As you might expect, fully managed plans can be much more expensive than a self-hosted option. However, unless you have the time and inclination to look after your server 24/7, you might be better off looking for some sort of managed hosting plan.
Some dedicated server hosting plans are managed by default, others are self managed with an optional “service plan”, meaning, you pay extra for your web host to manage your server. Some of these self managed plans have various “add ons” that you can pick and choose. For example, you could add on a backup plan, a server maintenance plan, a security scanning service, etc. With these options, your web hosting company will perform these duties as outlined on a regular basis (for example, weekly or monthly) or perhaps on a one-off basis as required by yourself.
To get a better idea of what’s included with dedicated server hosting, check out these dedicated servers at our partner site, ZappyHost.
The term “dedicated server” can also mean a single computer within a network that is reserved for a specific purpose. For example, within a network, you could have a computer dedicated to printer resources, another computer dedicated to Internet connections, another computer serving as a firewall, etc. These computers would all be dedicated servers, as the whole computer is allocated for a specific task within the network.
A virtual dedicated server is a variation on the dedicated server concept. Instead of hiring the whole physical server, you hire a virtual server.
A virtual dedicated server is also referred to as a virtual private server (VPS). To learn more about VPS hosting, see What is VPS Hosting?.