Quick Pick A2 Hosting is the best price-friendly unmanaged VPS hosting provider and sits at the top of our Best Unmanaged VPS Picks. The basic entry plan offers 1GB RAM / 20 GB SSD storage and starts at $2.99/month.
If you've been exploring the world of Virtual Private Servers (VPS), you've probably noticed one essential detail. That's the fact that prices can vary significantly. Instead of worrying about the all-in VPS plans that may cost hundreds of dollars each month, unmanaged VPS plans can save you a ton of money.
The catch, however, is that unmanaged VPS plans are more challenging to deploy and maintain. That's an area where the hosting provider can make a difference. A2 Hosting, for example, offers unmanaged VPS customers many resources to help with VPS self-management. It isn't the only one, either. Many top hosting brands with great unmanaged VPS plans are available cheaply.Read More
More Hosting Choices: Best Overall / Cheap Web Hosting / Cloud Hosting / VPS Hosting
1. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting started as Iniquinet in 2001. Two years later, the Michigan-based A2 Hosting was born. Since then, they have expanded and accumulated over 110,000 customers in 224 countries. With a 99.9% uptime commitment, A2 Hosting has adequate global data center coverage (the US, Europe, and Asia). They offer shared, WordPress, VPS hosting, and more.
Learn more in our A2 Hosting Review
A2 Hosting VPS Hosting Plans
A2 Hosting provides managed and unmanaged VPS running on OpenVZ and Virtuozzo virtualization technology. If you're experienced and tech-savvy, A2 Unmanaged VPS hosting is powerful and speedy. You get an ‘empty box’ where you configure the exact settings and requirements down to the operating system level. You’ll work with command lines with root access to customize your server.
Why A2 Hosting Unmanaged VPS?
- Prioritizes speed with the Turbo Boost option for faster page loads, Turbo Caching solution, and the use of SSDs.
- Provides unlimited NVMe SSD storage and A2 Optimized technology for enhanced speed.
- Includes a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) for faster website delivery to users.
- Offers 24/7 Guru Support, a free SSL Certificate, and free website migrations.
- Noted for excellent customer support.
A2 Hosting Plans & Pricing
A2 Hosting Unmanaged VPS plans are varied to meet different users’ needs and are dirt cheap. They start from $2.99/month if you commit to a year plan for 1GB RAM and 20 GB SSD storage; starters would find this enticing. However, if speed is the game for you, the SUPERSONIC 8 with Turbo servers could be it. Also, with all plans offering a hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee, A2 Hosting has my vote.
An employee-owned company founded in 2004, Hostinger is in Lithuania. Hostinger has had over 29 million users in 178 countries since last year. They promise global server services with a presence in Europe, Asia, and North America, offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Aside from VPS hosting, Hostinger has shared hosting, WordPress, and cloud hosting.
Read our full Hostinger review
How Hostinger Unmanaged VPS Hosting Works?
Utilizing OVZ virtualization technology, Hostinger’s VPS runs on the latest Intel Xeon processors and NVMe SSD storage. The VPS backbone is on a 100Mb/s network of high-speed connection lines. As such, your website loading speeds are fast. Also, you can have your VPS in the US, Lithuania, Singapore, Brazil, the UK, or the Netherlands for minimal latency.
Hostinger's unmanaged VPS services give you control over how you manage your server and resources through full root access over everything, including the server hosting environment. Track resources in real-time and customize them anyhow you want.
Why Hostinger Unmanaged VPS?
- Utilizes OVZ virtualization, Intel Xeon processors, and NVMe SSD storage for fast website loading speeds.
- Offers servers in multiple locations worldwide for minimal latency.
- Emphasizes security with an AI firewall, native /64 IPv6 block infrastructure, BitNinja's full-stack server protection, and automated backups.
- Provides full root access for complete server control, including resource tracking and customization.
- Manages back-end aspects including physical servers, speed, uptime, and stability, while user manages the virtual server.
- Offers user-friendly control panel and 24/7 support, making it a user-friendly choice for unmanaged VPS.
There are eight tiers to Hostinger's unmanaged VPS plans. From $3.99/month, the VPS 1 plan is for starters with 20GB SSD storage, 1 TB bandwidth, and 1 GB RAM. The next tiered plan, VPS 2, is deemed the most popular at $5.99/month with more resources in play. Hostinger makes it easy for you to upgrade your plan anytime you need to scale up.
3. InMotion Hosting
The California-headquartered web host, InMotion Hosting, was established in 2001. Enjoying more than 170,000 customers with over 500,000 WordPress installations, InMotion Hosting offers a wide range of web hosting services - shared hosting, VPS, Dedicated, WordPress hosting, cloud VPS, and more.
Learn more in our InMotion Hosting review
How InMotion Hosting Unmanaged VPS Works?
While InMotion Hosting offers managed VPS hosting, they have a self-managed Cloud VPS solution. Their unmanaged Cloud VPS runs on Linux (Alma, CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu). You'll need to be familiar with command lines using SSH. Updates, backups, daily admin tasks, and server management are among the few tasks under your responsibility.
You configure your virtual machine precisely how you want it on a bare server. Full root access to your Cloud VPS servers facilitates you to automate server tasks and workflows and leverage frameworks like Ansible and Kubernetes. You get a free Ansible Control Node for your first Cloud Server, exclusive to InMotion.
Why InMotion Hosting Unmanaged VPS?
- Offers self-managed Cloud VPS solution running on Linux, requiring user familiarity with command lines using SSH.
- Provides full root access for automation of server tasks and workflows, with frameworks like Ansible and Kubernetes.
- Offers a free Ansible Control Node for the first Cloud Server, simplifying server deployment through automation.
- Ensures high availability (99.99% uptime) with top-tier networks, enterprise-grade fiber optics, and data centers with built-in redundancy.
- Deploys Corero DDoS protection and a dedicated IP address for security, with live-state and scheduled snapshots for easy rollbacks.
- Provides US-based support only, which may be a limitation for international users.
InMotion Cloud VPS NVME plans become pricier as you go up the tiers. From $7/month, you get 30GB NVME SSD storage with 2GB RAM, which is pricier than most. However, the lowest tier comes with more resources. If you need critical resources, look into their Bare Metal Servers. Also, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Co-founded by Mike Lavrik and John Quaglieri in 1999, the New Jersey-based InterServer is widely known to be budget-friendly with its hosting solutions. Covering shared, reseller, dedicated, colocation hosting, cloud VPS, and more, Interserver's data centers are in the US.
Learn more in our Interserver Review
How Interserver Unmanaged VPS Hosting Works?
InterServer's flexible Cloud VPS hosting platform is available in Linux and Windows flavors. Like others, the Linux VPS is cheaper than Windows. There are 16 types of OS supported (Debian, Centos, Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Windows Server, and others).
Their Cloud VPS plans are on slices. You get a managed hosting service if you purchase at least four slices (portions) and a control panel (cPanel). Else, your Cloud VPS remains as self-managed. For unmanaged Cloud VPS on Linux, CentOS deployment comes with a free Webuzo control panel (one-click installer).
Why InterServer Unmanaged VPS?
- Provides Cloud VPS hosting for 16 different OS types, including Linux and Windows.
- Offers managed hosting for purchase of at least four slices and a control panel; otherwise, VPS is self-managed.
- Gives complete server control through root access and supports one-click installers for popular systems such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others.
- Utilizes AI for self-healing hardware and promises 99.9% uptime with high-performance SSD storage.
- Allows resource customization on Cloud VPS, and provides easy remote file access using Windows Remote Desktop service.
- Offers 24/7 support through various channels and ensures security with multiple virtualization platforms.
Interserver's Cloud VPS plans for Linux and Windows are flexible. Starting from as low as $6/month, you scale up your Linux Cloud VPS as your website grows. Although the price is somewhat higher, you get better specs with 2GB RAM, 30GB SSD storage, and 2TB bandwidth. However, Windows Cloud VPS is pricier at $10/month. Also, there is no extended lock-in since you pay by the month. Anytime you're unhappy, stop.
DreamHost has been in the business since 1997 and has expanded rapidly to hosting over 1.5 million websites in more than 100 countries. They offer shared, cloud, dedicated, managed WordPress, and VPS hosting. They have expanded to provide other services that complement their hosting solutions, such as building custom websites, SEO enhancements, and marketing.
Learn more in our DreamHost Review
How DreamHost Unmanaged VPS Plans Work?
DreamHost’s unmanaged Cloud VPS is powered by DreamCompute (their cloud computing platform). Based on the widely adopted OpenStack (open-source cloud computing platform), the APIs are standard for easy compatibility with other systems. The virtual servers are through the KVM hypervisor.
Why DreamHost Unmanaged VPS?
- Utilizes DreamCompute, an OpenStack-based cloud computing platform, allowing easy system compatibility.
- Offers improved speeds with OpenStack's Neutron service for networking.
- Provides full root access for server control through the DreamCompute dashboard or OpenStack CLI.
- Supports a variety of operating systems with a flexible architecture, advanced SSD-based technology, and a 100% uptime guarantee.
- Uses Ceph for scalable, distributed, and redundant storage, with block storage deployment via OpenStack's Cinder project.
- Supports standard APIs and popular developer tools, including MongoDB, Redis, Node.js, Ruby, and Python.
DreamHost Cloud server pricing depends on the specs you opt for. The lowest plan is ‘ideal for tinkering’ and priced at a maximum of $4.50/month. You get 80 GB SSD Disk, free bandwidth, and 100 GB Block Storage but only 512MB RAM. All the plans come with 100 GB of block storage, 80 GB SSD Disk, and unrestricted bandwidth. Not bad, looking at the overall picture.
The Washington-based web host, Hostwinds was founded by Peter Holden in 2010. They offer web hosting solutions, including shared, VPS, dedicated, cloud, and reseller hosting packages. Hostwinds excel in its feature-packed VPS and reseller offerings.
How Hostwinds Unmanaged VPS Plans Work?
Hostwinds offers managed and unmanaged VPS solutions for Linux (Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu) and Windows (Server 2012, 2016, 2019). Their unmanaged VPS services provide no technical, management, or administrative support. That said, Hostwinds is responsible for maintaining and supporting the infrastructure, such as power and networking.
Despite being an unmanaged VPS plan, Hostwinds monitors in real-time all VPS plans. Hostwinds’ firewalls, implemented outside your server's operating system environment, add an extra protection layer. The automated nightly backups ensure your Linux and Windows VPS data is in order.
Why Hostwinds Unmanaged VPS?
- Offers both Linux and Windows unmanaged VPS solutions.
- Provides full root access for total control over server configurations.
- Uses Hostwinds Cloud Portal and Cloud Environment for server management and maintenance.
- Ensures 99.9999% uptime with SSD storage and 1 Gbps ports on redundant network infrastructure.
- Provides real-time monitoring, external firewalls, and automated nightly backups for added security.
- Offers 24/7/365 support through live chat and support tickets.
Hostwinds is well-diversified in its multiple-tiered VPS plans that differ by CPU, RAM, storage amount, and bandwidth. They are comprehensive enough for different business needs. Like others, unmanaged Linux VPS is cheaper than Windows. Starting from $4.99/month for Linux, you get 1GB RAM, 30 GB SSD storage, and 1 TB bandwidth, which is okay.
What Is Unmanaged VPS Hosting?
Managed and unmanaged VPS hosting uses the same core technologies. The critical difference lies in the services provided at the operations and management levels for managed VPS plans. Specifically, technical management of the VPS.
Since managed VPS plans require more expert manpower, it's generally much more expensive than unmanaged ones. However, while comparatively expensive, managed VPS plans are much cheaper than having to onboard and maintain your technical experts (in almost all cases).
Unmanaged VPS hosting isn't for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of technical expertise in web host management, at least the basic levels of networking, and other areas. If you lack the technical expertise, your unmanaged VPS plan will likely never launch an app or website or be inundated with malware faster than you can say, "Oops."
Server management also requires a fair amount of time and dedication. That's time away from other core areas like sales, business development, marketing, and more.
Unmanaged VPS vs Managed VPS Hosting
|Unmanaged VPS Hosting||Managed VPS Hosting|
|User has full control and responsibility over the server, including updates, backups, and security.||Hosting provider takes care of server management tasks, including updates, backups, and security.|
|Requires technical expertise to manage and configure the server.||Doesn't require extensive technical knowledge; the provider handles most tasks.|
|Typically less expensive, as the provider's involvement is minimal.||Generally more expensive due to the higher level of service provided.|
|Ideal for users with server management experience or those who want full control.||Ideal for users with less technical expertise or those who prefer to focus on their business rather than server management.|
|User is responsible for troubleshooting and resolving all server-related issues.||Provider offers support for server-related issues, reducing the troubleshooting burden on the user.|
|May not include a control panel or it may be available for an additional fee.||Usually includes a user-friendly control panel for simplified server management.|
Unmanaged VPS hosting is undeniably popular for its performance, freedom, and control. While you may feel hesitant to grab the control stick that unmanaged VPS hosting affords you, don’t be afraid, especially if you’re tech-savvy and have the time. After all, you save money with the best unmanaged VPS hosting solution.
Peruse the above, and hopefully, you’ll gain a clearer picture of each provider to help you make a well-informed decision. Remember, each web host in the list above shines in its own right. So, focus on their unique strengths and offerings to see which works best for you.