Windows Vs Linux Hosting: Beginners Overview

There are two main types of web hosts: Windows and Linux. Each has its pros and cons. If you want to host a website, you’ll need to decide between them.

Linux is an open-source operating system, meaning anyone can download and modify it. This means it’s free, but also comes with some drawbacks. For example, it takes longer to install and configure compared to Windows.

Windows is the most popular operating system for personal computers.

Windows Vs Linux Hosting: Beginners Overview

It’s used by more than 90% of all websites. However, there are many reasons why someone would want to use Linux instead.

In this overview, we give a general overview of each server and explain the advantages and disadvantages associated with both Linux and Windows.

This will enable you to make an educated decision about which server would be best for you.

Linux Server Vs. Windows Server: The Main Differences

Both Linux and Windows come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a brief overview of the main differences between the two servers. 

Security

You can’t beat Windows security. It’s been developed over years, and Microsoft spends millions of dollars every year improving it.

This makes Windows a safe bet if you’re worried about hackers stealing your data.

However, Windows isn’t as secure as Linux. Hackers can easily get into your computer running Windows. They can even change settings without you knowing.

To make sure your site stays safe, you’ll need to keep up-to-date with software updates.

But don’t worry – you won’t need to learn any new skills to do this. All you need to know is how to update Windows.

Updates aren’t always easy though. Sometimes they require rebooting your machine, which can take ages. That’s why you might prefer Linux. It doesn’t have the problems associated with updating Windows.

Speed

Windows is designed to run fast. That’s because it was built from the ground up to handle lots of users simultaneously.

It’s got powerful tools like antivirus software and firewalls to help protect against viruses and hacking attacks.

These features make Windows faster than Linux. On average, a website using Windows should load twice as quickly as one using Linux. 

However, Linux has its own speed advantage too. Because it was originally designed for single-user PCs, it’s optimized for efficiency, so it’s often quicker than Windows.

For example, WordPress runs much faster on Linux than it does on Windows.

Ease Of Use

Windows is easier to use than Linux. This means that anyone who knows how to use Windows will be able to set up a website using it.

In contrast, Linux requires special skills to install and configure. There are many tutorials online explaining how to set up Linux. So there’s no excuse for not learning how to do it.

Cost

There’s no doubt that Windows is cheaper than Linux. However, you’ll still pay quite a bit for both operating systems.

A basic Windows license costs around $100 per year. And you’ll need to buy an antivirus program.

A basic Linux license costs around $30 per year. But you don’t need to buy anything extra.

When you add up all the fees, Windows is actually less expensive than Linux.

However, there’s another cost involved when you choose Windows. If you decide to go down the Windows route, you’ll need to invest some time learning how to use it.

And if you want to host multiple websites, you’ll need to pay for each one separately. With Linux, you only need one account. You can then share files across different sites.

Linux Server Overview

What Is A Linux Server?

Linux is a free operating system based on Unix. It is open-source which means that anyone can see the code behind it and this lets developers improve it. For example, people can fix bugs before they become problems.

In addition, Linux is completely customizable. There are thousands of applications available to download which means that you can tailor Linux to meet your exact requirements.

Advantages Of Linux Servers

Linux has loads of advantages. Here are just a few.

Easy Installation

Unlike Windows, installing Linux isn’t difficult. All you need is a CD/DVD drive and a USB flash drive. Then you can follow the instructions on the screen.

No Spyware

Linux doesn’t come with any built-in spyware. So you don’t need to worry about getting infected by malware.

Free Software

Linux is 100% free. You don’t need to pay for anything, there are no hidden charges that you could find in other software.

Security

Linux is extremely secure due to the fact that it is open-source, you can check the code yourself and you can even modify it to make it better.

Customization

Linux is highly customizable. So you can change almost everything, from the desktop to the browser and beyond.

Scalability

Linux scales easily, this means you can add more memory and hard disk space whenever you need.

Faster Performance

Linux is much faster than Windows, in fact, some studies show that it performs up to 10 times faster.

Lower Cost

Linux is less expensive than Windows. If you compare the two, you’ll find that Linux costs around $10 per month while Windows costs anywhere from $30-$50 per month.

VPS Servers

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is basically a virtual machine, which means it emulates a computer inside another computer.

Disadvantages Of Linux Servers

Of course, there are disadvantages too. Here are a few.

Uses GUI

Operates via a command line rather than GUI. Using this system means you will need experience or you will be willing to learn.

Limited Long Term Support

Long-term support is not included with all versions of Linux servers. This can cause problems for users that would require support not just at the beginning of using this software but throughout.

Complicated Updates Between Major Versions

Updates can be complex, especially when updating from one major version to a newer version.

Why Should I Choose A Linux Hosting Plan?

Why Should I Choose A Linux Hosting Plan?

Linux is great for small businesses because it’s so easy to use. It’s also very secure. In fact, it’s safer than Windows because Linux doesn’t come with any spyware or viruses. 

Plus, it’s totally free. You won’t need to spend money on antivirus software. To top things off, Linux is incredibly stable, it has been running successfully since 1991 which means it’s proven itself as reliable.

Linux Server Pricing

Linux is a lightweight operating system that requires fewer hardware resources to handle more workload, which means that it doesn’t usually require a high infrastructure cost.

Linux only has licensing for Linux distributions with Red Hat and SUSE, these two platforms are used for dealing with enterprise-level companies. 

One final cost to consider is that you will need an in-house administrator that can understand the GUI and deal with Linux configurations or any potential issues that may arise. 

Windows Server Overview

What Is Windows Server?

Windows Server is an operating system developed by Microsoft. It’s designed specifically for business environments.

Like Linux, Windows Server is also completely customizable, but unlike Linux, it comes with lots of preinstalled apps, the most important of which is Active Directory.

Active Directory is a centralized directory service that helps manage user accounts, passwords, security groups, etc. This makes it easier to administer Windows Servers.

Advantages Of Windows Servers

Here are a few reasons why you should consider using Windows Server.

Preinstalled Apps

Many common applications like SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint, and more are already installed on your new Windows Server. This saves time and effort.

Cost-Effective

You don’t have to buy additional licenses for these applications; they are already part of Windows Server.

Easier Administration

Window server devices come preinstalled which means that you don’t have to do any extra work, you can simply just configure them as needed.

Support

Because Windows Server is supported by Microsoft, you get 24×7 technical assistance. Plus, if you ever run into problems, you can always contact Microsoft directly.

Disadvantages Of Windows Servers

As mentioned earlier, there are advantages to using Windows Server however, here are a few drawbacks.

Requires Licensing Fees

Unlike Linux, Windows Server requires licensing fees so you will need to purchase a license before installing it.

Limited Customization

Although Windows Server is fully customizable, it doesn’t allow you to customize every aspect. For example, you cannot install third-party apps, so you are limited to what’s built-in.

Slow Performance

Windows Server has slower performance than Linux and this affects things like file transfers, web browsing, and other network activities.

Why Should I Choose A Windows Hosting Plan?

Windows hosting plans are best suited to small businesses that require basic hosting services including email, databases, FTP access, and more.

In addition, Windows hosting plans come with many pre-installed apps which means less time spent configuring everything manually, helping you to save time on setup.

On top of that, Windows servers are more cost-effective than Linux servers. With Windows hosting plans, you only pay for what you use.

Windows Server Pricing

Windows servers typically require more resources than Linux servers, and they often cost more to maintain. They also include a licensing fee which varies depending on the edition and the vendor. 

The latest version of Windows Server, which includes the latest features, starts at $1,069 for the Standard Edition and $6,155 for the Datacenter Edition. For cloud configurations, you pay for the license every year. 

Regarding software support, Windows Servers include Microsoft Software Insurance which can either be included in the purchase price or purchased as an extra add-on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Choice Have I Other Than Linux And Windows?

Linux and Windows both have their strengths and weaknesses. If you’re looking for something in between, look at VPS servers, they let you access both worlds.

You can use Windows or Linux depending on what kind of server you need. You also get more control over your server and with VPS servers, you can customize them to suit your needs.

Finally, VPS servers are usually cheaper than dedicated servers and this makes them ideal for small businesses that just need a few web pages.

Your business could benefit from having a website. But you don’t really need a full-blown server. Instead, you could try out a VPS server. Most small businesses trying to cut costs will go with this option.

Final Thoughts

There are pros and cons to both Linux and Windows servers and they both offer different features. One thing is for sure though, whichever server you do decide to choose, you will enjoy the benefits!

Matthew Jacobs
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