A virtual private server (VPS) gives you a lot of things basic shared hosting doesn’t—like full root access. This means you have administrator level control of your VPS hosting. You can take total control of “your” server and use it for absolutely anything (legal) that you like. Host a number of websites, host game servers, and maintain it exactly as you like. You don’t “have” to take full root access, and for VPS customers who don’t have sysadmin experience, it’s probably not a good idea to learn on the fly. However, for those who are experienced as an administrator but don’t want to pay the daunting prices of buying and managing a dedicated server, VPS gives you almost the exact same perks.
However, keep in mind that full root access isn’t necessarily a given with every single VPS hosting company. If that’s something that interests you, make sure you get a clear answer before signing on (or upgrading from a basic shared plan). Full root access gives many website owners the control they want, and you will also get business taken care of much quicker. There’s no waiting for tech support, getting your support ticket in, or getting lost in a maze of customer service automation. If you want to change something in your server, you do it yourself.
If you do opt for a managed VPS, you’re still allowed full root access. However, you may need a little help getting started and it all begins with knowing what type of server you have. For a Linux-based server, first you need an SSH connection to the server. “Root” should be the username, and you should have the password as well as the IP address that’s linked to your VPS. All of this information should be included in your initial welcome packet. Establishing a connection can be done with SSH Client Software such as Secure CRT (but any such software should do the trick).
For Windows-based servers, you need a remote desktop connection which uses “Administrator” as the username. You’ll also need the admin password and IP address that’s linked with your VPS (again, this should be in your welcome packet). Microsoft has an intuitive, user-friendly Remote Desktop Connection manager which lets you connect easily.
The Root of the Problem(s)
Full root access alone is enough to get some people to switch to VPS, but there are a slew of benefits. For starters, when you’re not sharing resources with other clients, your websites are going to perform better and faster. There’s more security (again, because you’re not sharing). In some cases, you may even get better customer service with VPS vs. basic shared hosting—but if that’s the case, steer clear of that company. You can and should expect top notch service no matter what package you purchase.
Make sure to shop around since VPS is getting very popular and there are many options. In some cases, VPS is the same price as basic shared, so you may as well enjoy a better solution for a similar price.