VPN Versus VPS: What is The Difference?

Today, it would be difficult to deny that the digital landscape has become just as important as our physical world. Whether it’s work, social interactions, or entertainment, much of our daily activities now occur online. Consequently, safeguarding online privacy and security has become paramount. This is where essential tools like VPNs and VPSs come into play, serving as indispensable assets for both individuals and businesses.

In this article, we’ll dive into the functionalities of VPNs and VPSs, exploring their definitions and applications to pinpoint the scenarios in which each proves most beneficial. Gain clarity on these, admittedly very similar-sounding, acronyms so you may grasp the fundamental differences between them.

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How Do VPNs Work?


VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, enable internet users with a private and protected internet connection. A VPN can be thought of as a private tunnel which encrypts data transmitted through it. By doing so, it provides a shielded connection thus ensuring a safe browsing experience.

In addition to encrypting data transmission, VPNs also mask users’ IP addresses, further preserving privacy and anonymity while online from wherever they may be.


What Is a VPS?


On the other hand, a VPS, or Virtual Private Server, not to be confused with the former, essentially acts as a virtual environment wherein a server is split into multiple machines. In contrast to shared hosting, where various users share resources on the same server, VPS facilitates multiple private environments, thus helping to ease online traffic.

As such, VPS differs from shared hosting. VPS hosting utilises virtualisation technology to emulate the experience of having your own dedicated server, despite sharing the physical server with others. With VPS hosting, you thereby gain dedicated server space with allocated resources, providing greater control and customisation compared to shared hosting.


Do I Really Need a VPS?


Of course, there is no one right answer to this. The necessity of a VPS will depend on the specific requirements of your online endeavours. To determine whether a VPS aligns with your requirements, delve into the uses of VPSs outlined below.


What Is a VPS Best For?


VPS hosting is somewhat of a middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting, and this space provides many advantages. By choosing VPS hosting, your website is essentially running on a virtual machine with its own dedicated resources meaning you get your own operating system, dedicated storage, powerful CPU, scalable RAM, and unlimited bandwidth.

The benefits of this are fairly obvious. As every user on the website has their own access to these resources, VPSs are ideal for any circumstance wherein several people need to have quick and secure internet accessibility. Examples of when this may be include:

  • Managing Web Traffic: Hosting a website or application expecting significant web traffic? Utilising a VPS with dedicated resources like RAM and bandwidth ensures seamless handling, averting frustratingly slow loading times.
  • Enhancing Security: VPSs allow you to implement advanced security measures tailored to your requirements, bolstering your website’s protection against potential threats.
  • Business Applications: Many businesses leverage VPS hosting for its scalability, reliability, and adaptability. VPSs enable websites to scale alongside business growth, offering a flexible solution for managing fluctuations in web traffic or maintaining isolation from other server users.
  • Streamlined Troubleshooting: With VPSs facilitating distinct online environments for each user, identifying and resolving issues such as server problems becomes more straightforward. This streamlined troubleshooting process can save both time and resources.

If you’re running a small personal blog or website with minimal traffic, shared hosting may suffice. However, for businesses experiencing growth or requiring dedicated resources and enhanced security, investing in a VPS can yield significant benefits in terms of performance, reliability, and control.



Can a VPS Change an IP Address?


Every VPS comes with its own unique IP server address. While a VPS doesn’t automatically alter a device’s IP address, it is possible to change the IP address of a VPS itself through server access settings.

However, if concealing your device’s IP address is your primary concern, opting for a VPN may be the better solution. VPNs inherently cloak your device’s IP address, thereby preserving anonymity and protecting users’ online activities from unauthorised third-party access.

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To gain a deeper understanding of the distinctions between VPNs and VPSs, let’s break it down for added clarity. Despite their similar names, as previously discussed, VPSs and VPNs have distinct roles and cannot be used interchangeably.


Virtual Private Server (VPS)


A VPS is a server that hosts your service, creating a virtualised server environment utilised for hosting websites and applications, and for managing online projects.


Virtual Private Network (VPN)


On the other hand, a VPN is primarily employed for encrypting internet traffic, enhancing privacy, and bypassing geo-restrictions. Its capability to safeguard online activities enhances anonymity and security, providing an added layer of protection.


Do I Need a VPN and a VPS?


Having covered the uses of VPSs and the uses of VPNs it becomes immediately clear that these can be invaluable tools for navigating the online realm. But is it really essential to equip yourself with both?

As covered, VPSs and VPNs are not the same. Although they share some common functionalities, such as enhancing privacy and security, they cater to different needs and scenarios. VPNs prioritise user privacy and data encryption, while VPSs provide dedicated resources and server control primarily for hosting purposes.

If you have a necessity for all of the above, investing in both is worthwhile. This may be particularly true in the case of businesses, where the combination of both VPSs and VPNs is invaluable for professional safety and scalability.

Ultimately, one can only decide if having both is essential by understanding the disparities between them. Whether your priority lies in safeguarding online privacy with a VPN or harnessing the capabilities of a VPS for hosting endeavours, selecting the right solution depends on your specific needs and objectives in the digital sphere.

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