How to Ask for a VPS Recommendation

VPS Recommendation

When asking for a VPS recommendation (whether in a forum or to a friend), you need to provide provide all the information necessary to give you a good recommendation.

Example of bad ways to ask for a VPS recommendation:

  • “Who is a good VPS company?”
  • “I need a good VPS for under $20 a month.”
  • “Who is the best Linux VPS company?”

Here is a checklist of questions that you should have answers to.

It’s OK if you don’t know every single answer, but at least be aware it’s something to consider.


US, Europe, or…? Ideally, you want the VPS to be located near those who will be using it, to reduce network lag.

Operating System?

Linux or Windows? BSD is another, less common option. Windows is generally more expensive because of the Microsoft license.

Managed or Unmanaged?

“Managed” means your provider will assist in the system administration, or at least provide a lot of how-to help if you need it. This means that if Apache stops working or you need to upgrade MySQL or whatever, you can ask your provider for help. In some extremes, it even means you won’t have root access, though this is much less common.

“Unmanaged” means you’re on your own. The provider will still troubleshoot any hardware issues, network problems, etc., but the actual care and feeding of the OS is your responsibility. Managed is generally significantly more expensive.

Do you need a panel, like CPanel?

This typically adds $5-15 a month (with $15 being more common). Some providers will set it up for you. If not, you can always get one from for $15/month.

Basic specs?

This is memory, disk, and bandwidth at a minimum. You may not know what you need at the outset and of course, the nice thing about VPSes is that they can be easily scaled up.

Virtualization technology?

Most people do not care if the virtualization technology is OpenVZ or Xen or KVM. But if you need to load a custom kernel module, etc., then you will want Xen or KVM.

Acceptable Use Policy?

If you are planning to host pornographic/adult content, run a torrent site, or run IRC, then you should state this because some providers do not allow this. No provider is going to allow you to do something that is illegal so it’s pointless to ask 🙂

How many IPs do you need?

You will always get 1. Getting 2 is generally not difficult, though sometimes there’s an extra $1-$2 a month and you will need a good reason. More than that depends on provider availability and justification by you.

Do you need backups?

The answer, of course, is “yes!”. If you plan to provide your own off-site backups, then perhaps you don’t need them provided by the VPS company.

Do you have a budget?

If you’re limited to $10/month, then that pushes you into one category of providers. If you need a certain performance level and that’s more important than cost, that’s a different discussion. Have some idea of what your budget is.

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