What is a Dedicated Server (and When Do You Need One?)

Updated: 2022-07-11 / Article by: Nicholas Godwin

People often begin with shared hosting when starting their business.

But as the businesses grow, they start exploring scalable web hosting options that can support the growth and meet their new security needs.

If you're in this group, you'll find this article helpful.

We'll cover everything you need to know about Dedicated Server Hosting, when you should go for one, and where to find a befitting option. Let's get started.

Characteristics of a Dedicated Hosting

What is a Dedicated Server?

As the name implies, a dedicated server allows clients exclusive use of an entire server.

The server allocates all its resources entirely to an organization, individual, or application, giving the user complete customization and management control.

However, running a dedicated server costs a premium even if you rent one from a hosting provider.

Renting brings the upside of enabling users to connect their resources remotely to the servers over the internet. So, they'd enjoy the energy, time, and cost savings of using dedicated servers without the need to manage physical servers.

Advantages of Dedicated Servers

Some of the benefits of using a dedicated server are:

  • Handle colossal traffic volumes without compromising site performance
  • Offer users more server customization control
  • Reduce page load time significantly
  • Guarantee users airtight security

Compare Dedicated Hosting with Other Options

Dedicated server, shared server, and VPS are the most common web hosting options available today.

But how do the other two compare against dedicated servers?

Let's find out.

Dedicated Server VS. Shared Hosting

Characteristics of a Shared Hosting

In dedicated servers, users get the entire server to themselves. Whereas shared hosting supports multiple websites on one server, allowing users to share resources, including storage, processing power, and memory. 

Shared resources mean users will split the hosting space and bandwidth, making shared hosting attractive for low-budget websites

But it comes with considerable risk.

For example, other websites are vulnerable to malware if any of the sites on the server gets infected. Also, a traffic surge on one website could deplete the server resources, causing the other sites to experience downtime.

Additionally, the websites share an IP address, which means a spammy site can create problems for others. However, they can pay extra dollars for unique IP addresses, unlike dedicated servers which support them natively.

Dedicated Server VS. VPS Hosting

Characteristics of a VPS Hosting

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a shared server that virtually mimics a dedicated server. It lets fewer sites share a server but allocates resources to them in an isolated environment, providing users similar dedicated server capabilities.

They can also customize the virtual machine, including running their preferred operating system (OS) on the server. Other users' activities don't affect the rest, and users have root access to server-level administrative functions.

VPS is like a condominium where people own their units and share common spaces, unlike dedicated hosting, where the client doesn't share anything.

It's an upgrade to shared hosting, and most users consider VPS hosting the stepping stone to a dedicated server.

When Do You Need Dedicated Server Hosting?

A dedicated server is undoubtedly the best hosting option. But due to its considerable cost, it's best to upgrade if you're in any of these situations.

Your website receives a lot of traffic

A dedicated server is ideal if your website receives much traffic.

The premium package of most shared hosting providers offers 200 GB SSD storage and can handle approximately 100,000 monthly traffic. Some even come with metered bandwidth, limiting the amount of data the server can transfer.

This hosting option wouldn't work for large organizations or eCommerce stores like Amazon, which receive over two billion monthly visits.

Traffic volume of large website

Dedicated servers can solve this effortlessly without breaking your business, even during peak periods. They're scalable options for users dealing with huge web visits or anticipating traffic growth.

You don't want to share server resources

Sharing server resources puts you at the mercy of others.

For instance, it could expose your website to security risks when other users get infected or cause it to experience downtime during their peak traffic periods when they're using up a lot of resources. 

Additionally, your website could be at the risk of country-specific blocking when you share an IP address. It could also harm your email deliverability when another website on the server sends out spam emails or malware.

If you can't bear carrying other people's cross, upgrading to a dedicated hosting will save you a lot of heartaches.

Want to be responsible for your site security

A dedicated server puts you in complete control of your security. 

It could help you reduce the risks of security breaches and identity theft, allowing you to handle online payment processing or store sensitive data more confidently. 

Additionally, a dedicated server allows you to configure additional security measures for all-around security, such as antivirus, firewalls, and SSL. You could also set up virtual isolation environments (VPS) to decentralize the server, protecting them from hackers.

You want to improve the server speed

Site speed is essential—at least, it can help retain your website visitors.

The truth is most people don't have patience for slowing loading pages. Studies found that nearly half of visitors expect a website to load in two seconds or less.

Sadly, 70% will likely not return if it's slow, while 45% will share their poor experience with others.

Google research found that a two-second increase in load time could cause nearly one-third of your websites to leave.

A high bounce rate is devastating. It could wreck your business!

But you could benefit from a dedicated server if you need more server speed. It lets you host only your websites, preventing others from eating up the computing power, bandwidth, storage space, allowing it to perform optimally.

Dedicated servers also come with extra speed features that can save bandwidth, speed up access to data and reduce visitors' wait time.

You need a customizable server environment

A dedicated server gives you complete control over your server management.

You can customize the server to fit your needs. It lets you set up your choice operating environment, install your preferred software and configure the RAM, CPU the way you need them.

Also, a dedicated server offers you full root access, allowing you to optimize your hosting experience to your choice.

Where Can You Find Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated hosting eliminates the upfront costs of purchasing and maintaining physical servers, letting you rent a dedicated server at a fraction of its price.

You can explore the options below to find what's best for you.

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting Dedicated Hosting Packages

InMotion offers three managed dedicated hosting plans ranging between $159.99 to $299.99 per month.

  • RAM: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
  • Data Transfer: 15Tb, 15TB and 20TB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD, 2TB SSD and 2x1TB SSD RAID
  • Cores/Threads: 4C/4T, 4C/8T and 6C/12T 
  • IP Address: 5, 10, 15 

InMotion has a 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot from 600 user reviews. To learn more, visit InMotion hosting online; or read our full InMotion Hosting review here.

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting Dedicated Plans
A2 Hosting Dedicated Hosting Packages

A2 Hosting offers one of the fastest dedicated hosting solutions in the market. Their managed hosting comes in seven plans costing $199.99 to $629.99 monthly. 

  • RAM: 16GB to 128GB
  • Data Transfer: 6TB to 15TB
  • Storage: 2x1TB SSD to 2x960GB NVMe U.2 SSD 
  • Cores/Threads: 4C/4T to 16c/32t
  • IP Address: 2 Free dedicated IPs

A2 Hosting has a 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot from 1,517 reviews. To learn more, visit A2 Hosting online; or read our A2 Hosting review here.

Interserver

Interserver Dedicated Server
Interserver Dedicated Hosting Packages

Interserver allows users to customize their servers with the vast array of available resources. Customers pay between $44 to $700 monthly to use their dedicated servers.

  • RAM: 32GB to 128GB
  • Data Transfer: 150TB
  • Storage (RAID 1): 2 HDD or 4 SSD to 12 HDD or 12 SSD or 2 NVMe
  • Cores: 4 Cores Single CPU to 52 Cores 2 CPU
  • IP Address: Information NA

Interserver has a 4.7-star rating on Trustpilot from 1,108 reviews. For more information, visit Interserver online; or read our Interserver review here.

Dreamhost

DreamHost Dedicated Server Packages
DreamHost Dedicated Server Packages

Dreamhost comes with different storage options and unlimited IP addresses. In addition, it features nine plans with monthly subscription fees between $149 to $379.

  • RAM: 4GB to 64GB
  • Data Transfer: Unmetered 
  • Storage Options (RAID 1): 1TB HDD, 2TB HDD and 240GB SSD
  • Cores/Threads Options: 4C/8T and 12C/24T 
  • IP Address: Unlimited

Dreamhost has a 4.8-star rating on Trustpilot from 2.733 reviews. To learn more, check out Dreamhost online; or read our DreamHost review here.

Wrapping It Up

Dedicated servers host websites without sharing resources, making it ideal for large businesses. They can handle large traffic volumes without experiencing downtime and are also less vulnerable to security risks.

In addition, dedicated servers are much faster, and you can customize them to fit your needs, including running a custom operating system (OS).

You can choose between dedicated server offers that put maintenance responsibilities on your shoulders and managed options. The latter lets you outsource server management at a fee to your hosting providers. 

Dedicated servers are also scalable, so you can upgrade as your business grows.

About Nicholas Godwin

Nicholas Godwin is a technology and marketing researcher. He helps businesses tell profitable brand stories that their audiences love since 2012. He's been on the writing and research teams of Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, AT&T.