Which Email Protocol do I choose? IMAP or POP3?

Email is, by far, the most common means of online communication these days. Believe it or not, email dates back nearly 50 years and has seen little change in that time. An email sent in the early 1970s would look much as it would today. The key to email’s success is that it is based on a series of well-defined standards with a decentralized design that will likely help email remain in wide-spread use for a very long time.


Email operates using a classic client-server model. A client is a program that end-users (you) interact with. Common email clients are Outlook, Thunderbird, various email clients built into operating systems (like Microsoft Mail and Apple Mail), and web-based email clients (Hotmail, Gmail, to name a couple). This is where incoming messages are read and outgoing messages are composed.

The server is another program that makes the whole system work behind the scenes (at least from the end-user point of view). Email clients connect to the server regularly to check for new messages and to dispatch outgoing emails. Each email server connects to the global network of email servers in order to route mail all over the world, making sure each message is delivered to the correct server, and eventually to the recipient when their client connects to their own server.

Configuring Your Email Client

Inbound and outbound email messages are handled by different protocols, and often – especially with larger email systems – by separate servers. Configuration of the client requires you to know the hostname and port used for both inbound (new mail) and outbound (sent) messages. This information is often found on the mail server’s interface, if you are managing your own email server. Otherwise, it can be requested from the server’s administrator. 

Outbound (sent) messages are handled almost universally by SMTP, so we’ll address that first.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol)

Outgoing email configuration is usually as simple as specifying the SMTP server, network port, and supplying credentials for authentication. The SMTP server is the device your email client connects to in order to relay messages sent by you to the email server corresponding to the recipient’s email account. It is typically something like smtp.domain.com or mail.domain.com.

A network port is a thread of a network connection. If you transmit data on port xyz, it will come out port xyz on the other end. SMTP historically uses port 25, but modern systems tend towards port 587 these days. Occasionally you will see 465 (deprecated), 2525 (non-standard), or less commonly a unique port number.

Finally, you will need to authenticate with your SMTP server to prove that you are authorized to send email through this email relay server. This will be the same username and password you use to log into your email account.

Configuring a client for incoming email is a bit more complex because there are two commonly-used methods to choose between. Some email servers may only support one method, so your decision has already been made for you.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol)

POP3 is a protocol that mail clients use to download email messages from an email server and store them on the local machine. This is the original protocol that is used to fetch email from a mail server and the most widely available. When using POP3 your mail client will contact the mail server to check for new messages. If any are found, they are downloaded to the email client and deleted from the server (there is often a setting to delay this deletion). 

POP3 was at its prime during the age of dial-up and transmits a minimal amount of data between client and server. It also keeps the space used by your email account low since messages are only stored on the server until they are downloaded by the client. While these were both big selling points when dial-up was the norm, they are pretty much inconsequential now unless you are dealing with a poor or spotty internet connection.

POP3 can be problematic when using multiple clients to access the same email account. Since messages are deleted after delivery, by default, they only appear on the client that downloaded them. This can lead to some messages on your phone client, and others on your desktop client, though this can be mitigated somewhat by delaying the deletion on the server. Additionally, POP3 clients lose all messages if the data on your client device is lost or destroyed with no way to recover them if you don’t have a backup.

Configure POP3 on your client by entering the server name, network port, and authentication. POP3 typically uses port 110 for unencrypted connections, and port 995 when encryption is used.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

IMAP differs from POP3 in that it leaves email on the server. When a client connects to check for new mail, the latest messages are synchronized with the server, downloading copies of new messages. IMAP clients often cache a number of messages on the client for off-line access, but local storage use is minimal. This fits well with the always-online reality of today, and doesn’t bog down mobile devices with large email archives, where storage can be at a premium. You can access your mail from any number of IMAP clients and see the same messages, and losing a device or upgrading to a new one doesn’t cost you your email history. 

In most ways, IMAP is superior to POP3, but it may suffer when your internet connection is spotty or you want to have access to your entire email account off-line.

Configuration of a client for IMAP uses the typical server name, network port, and authentication we’ve seen before. In this case, the standard ports are 143 for a standard connection, and 993 for an encrypted one.


Which do I choose? IMAP or POP3?

POP3 is an old protocol and it has had its time and place. As a result, IMAP was designed to address the shortcomings of POP3 and keep up with how email is used in this modern day and age. Given a choice, go with IMAP. There are a few situations where POP3 may be prefered, and in some cases is the only option available. Should you find yourself having to use POP3, do yourself a favor and set it to put off email deletion on the server for as long as possible (indefinitely, if you can).

Hopefully, this guide has helped you better understand how email works – which is a good thing, because it will likely be around for a long time. I find it interesting to see how the protocols that facilitate client-server communication have evolved to keep up with the times, yet the appearance of an email message has remained essentially unchanged.

Despite being one of the foundational pillars of the Internet, DNS is often a poorly understood service, even by otherwise tech-savvy people. We often find DNS nameserver setup to be a frequent source of confusion for new clients migrating to our servers. 

Due to the nature of shared hosting, DNS services are typically managed by the hosting provider. However, when upgrading to a dedicated server or to a cloud server, that responsibility will typically fall on you. Hopefully, we can help shed some light on DNS to improve your understanding of this important component of your environment. Continue reading…

Typically, managing servers and websites require a fair bit of knowledge, plus a good familiarity with the command line. For some, this can be a bit daunting – and that’s where control panels come in. A control panel collects most of the functions and tools needed to manage a server in one interface and presents it in a way that doesn’t require one to be especially technically adept. Once installed, most server functions can be handled in this one GUI, with no knowledge of the command line needed. A good control panel makes managing a server accessible to anyone.

If you already use a control panel, chances are it is cPanel, one of the most widely-used web hosting panels, especially in the US market. With recent changes to cPanel’s pricing structure that have sent prices for some of their users through the roof, you may be searching for alternatives. The good news is, there are plenty and most of them are free and open source. In this post, I’ll be doing an overview of some of the best free cPanel alternatives I’ve come across.


This first one is my personal favorite due to its extensive OS support and rich feature list. Virtualmin runs on almost any Linux or BSD based operating system with wide support for CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu. By building upon Webmin, a solid control panel in its own right, Virtualmin boasts a wealth of features and makes it easy to host your websites, email and DNS. While Webmin is more about overall server management, such as editing configurations for your database server, web server, and mail server, Virtualmin adds features enabling it to directly manage your sites and databases. You can create new virtual hosts, manage databases, add or edit hosting packages, manage email accounts, view website statistics, install scripts and much more. Virtualmin is by far the most comprehensive free control panel that I’ve come across. Virtualmin also provides a professional version of their panel that includes support. Otherwise, they maintain active community forums where users help each other with support issues.


VestaCP is another free and open-source control panel that I’m a fan of. Like Virtualmin, VestaCP is fully supported and runs on CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu, but it is much easier to set up and manage. VestaCP handles all the basics with ease, allowing you to create virtual hosts for your sites, email accounts, and manage DNS – just as you would with most other control panels. It’s also much more pleasant to look at with its clean interface and much less clutter than Virtualmin’s GUI. While VestaCP is great due to its ease of use and clean aesthetic, it doesn’t give you the wide range of functionality that Virtualmin provides. I believe VestaCP is best for new users, especially those that want something simple and easy to use. Unfortunately, VestaCP has been plagued with a number of critical vulnerabilities that have been trivial to exploit. VestaCP offers support but it’s quite expensive in relation to the sparse feature set.


HestiaCP is a newer control panel that’s a fork of VestaCP code. Like VestaCP, it is free and open-source, although HestiaCP now maintains their own code and no longer merges code directly from VestaCP. It’s completely independent and more actively developed than VestaCP, which has lead to it gaining popularity among previous VestaCP users. While a lot of the code is identical to VestaCP, I believe they’ve made significant improvements to the UI. VestaCP is quite bland and lacking in detail, whereas HestiaCP looks polished and professional while adding the detail missing from its predecessor. The downside of using HestiaCP is that it has a significantly smaller community behind it, although it seems the developers are very helpful and responsive. I couldn’t find out if HestiaCP offers paid support, which would be a nice option to have, especially if you’re looking to run this in an enterprise environment.

CentOS Web Panel

CentOS Web Panel is a fully-fledged control panel with many great features. As the name suggests, it’s CentOS based which is a favorite OS among people looking for stability and long-term support. CentOS Web Panel provides the same fine granular control over your server as Virtualmin while touting some additional interesting features. The AutoFixer feature, for example, is designed to detect and fix configuration issues with your server. On the down-side, the web interface for CentOS Web Panel, unfortunately, doesn’t look as nice as the others reviewed here and it isn’t as popular as Virtualmin or VestaCP. This leads to a smaller community, though it does provide support as a service. It also looks like CentOS Web Panel hasn’t released an update since 2018, which suggests that the project is no longer actively being developed you may want to proceed with caution.

As you can see, there are a number of alternative control panels out there, freely available for use. While most of them are not as comprehensive as cPanel, they are never-the-less quite decent and robust enough to be deemed production-ready by many. Hopefully, this brief overview will help navigate some of the better open-source alternatives to cPanel.

We are posting this notification to inform you that cPanel is changing their pricing structure, effective September 1, 2019. This change is not only an increase in price but also a change in how their license fees are calculated.

Beginning September 1, 2019, cPanel licenses will still charge a base fee for their licenses, with different pricing for physical and virtual servers. In addition, they are now charging based on usage. The base licenses will cover a set number of cPanel accounts and going over that number will incur a per-account charge.

We understand this is a significant price increase, especially to those with a large number of cPanel accounts. Our relationship with cPanel gives us access to discounted pricing, which will hopefully help to dull the impact of this change. We intend to forward our costs for these licenses to you with no markup by GigeNET, as we have always done. Most licenses do not exceed the base number of accounts, but those that do will incur an overage charge at the end of the month, but the exact method to bill for these overages is still to be determined.

A summary of the pricing changes can be found below.


 # of Accounts Current Price

(Unlimited Accounts) 

Up to 5  Up to 30  Up to 100  Over 100
Virtual Machine  $11.00  $12.50 $17.50 $32.00 + $0.10 per Account
Physical Server  $25.00 N/A N/A $32.00 + $0.10 per Account

Under the new pricing, a virtual machine license with 7 accounts would increase in price from $11.00 per month to $17.50 per month. This is because the account usage is more than 5, but less than 30.

The same usage on a physical server would change the price from $25.00 per month to $32.00 per month. This is because there are no pricing tiers with fewer than 100 accounts available to Physical Servers.

A physical server using 107 accounts would change from $25.00 per month to $32.70 per month. The base price of $32.00 covers the first 100 accounts, and the additional 7 accounts add $0.70.

We are still determining the logistics of billing for cPanel licenses under the new pricing structure but wanted to make sure we communicated this upcoming change as soon as possible. Please bear in mind that this change is originating with cPanel and that it is being extended to all of their license holders and resellers.

We will personally follow up with any clients that are about to exceed the base account limit. In addition, this change may force some to look into other options, and our team is ready to assist. Please reach out to your GigeNET account manager at (800) 561-2656 (option 1) if you have any questions or concerns.


GigeNET Management

Speed is one of the most important features of a successful website. It affects a variety of key metrics – like search engine rank and conversion rate. In other words, a slow site not only annoys visitors to the site, but it also gets your site punished by Google. This affects your traffic and can have a large impact on how likely visitors are to find your site in a search. With today’s online consumers expecting websites to load in 3 seconds or less, your site’s speed is more important than ever. So if you’re noticing delays, here are 7 possible reasons why your website may be slow and how to fix them.

  1. Too Many Plugins
    If you’re running a WordPress site, you may need to take a look at all the plugins you’ve got running behind the scenes. Each one makes its own file request, so more plugins, mean more file requests. Even if you only have a few, bulkier plugins, their size could be slowing your site down as well. Remove any of the unnecessary plugins or ones you aren’t using to minimize this risk. Try to use popular, well-maintained plugins when possible, as these tend to be better optimized for performance.
  2. Poorly Written Scripts
    If JavaScript is written poorly, it can cause compatibility issues with other parts of your site, resulting in – you guessed it: slower site speed. You can run various tests on Pingdom, or other online tools to figure out which scripts are taking longest to load. It may require a little more auditing to decide how to improve on these and remove what you don’t need, but it may be well worth it. You may also want to try turning off any troublesome scripts temporarily to see if there is any immediate change in your site speed.
  3. Optimize CSS
    When it comes to coding, attention to detail really matters. The more elements you add to your website’s stylesheet (ie. excessive white spaces, inline stylings, empty new lines, etc.), the larger it grows in size. By removing any of these unnecessary elements, you can compress the code and improve the overall page load time. It’ll most likely boost your SEO performance too. Start by not using inline CSS, and don’t create multiple CSS stylesheets when you can use just one. This alone won’t have a huge impact on performance, but little tweaks here and there do add up.

  4. Unoptimized/Large Media Files
    The general rule of ‘the larger the file, the larger the load time’ still applies in today’s high-tech world, and it can definitely contribute to slowing down a site’s loading time. Your server carries all your content, text, and images, and when it’s pinged for a request, larger items slow down the response time.. It’s important to check the file sizes and format of your images. Different image formats utilize compression algorithms that are optimized for various types of images. For example, JPEG is usually ideal for photos and images with a lot of color shading and variation. GIF is geared towards blocky images with simple color palettes like simple animations and icons. PNG is great for images with transparent elements that look great regardless of the background – like a logo that appears on many different pages. Try a variety of formats and compression settings to find what is best for each image, as there is no one approach that is best for all images.

  5. Enable Caching
    If you do not have browser caching enabled for your site, you may be missing out on one of the most effective ways to optimize your content delivery. Most sites are comprised of mostly static files and images, with only a small amount of dynamic content. Without browser caching enabled, every time a visitor hits a page all of this content must be downloaded. With caching, you can designate which elements of your site are to be cached, and how often that cache should be refreshed. This doesn’t help the first time a page is loaded, but every other page that is loaded utilizes this cache of content that is now stored locally by the visitor’s browser rather than downloading it from the server again. Consider your logo, an image that appears all over your site. With browser caching, rather than downloading it on every page view, it is downloaded just once and stored locally. Expand this approach to all the static content of your site, and you can see a significant improvement in performance.

  6. You’re Not Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
    A CDN service consists of several servers that are strategically placed around the globe to store copies of your website’s content, so pages load more quickly for users who aren’t as close to your main server. Depending on the physical location of the visitor, the content they request is served by whichever node is located closest to them to minimize latency. If you have a lot of customers all over the globe, using a CDN can help serve your content faster, no matter where they’re located.
  7. Server Performance
    A result of a growing business is more traffic. This is obviously a good thing, but if your server isn’t prepared to handle the increased load, it can actually work against you. Higher traffic volume demands more resources across the board, so you may want to see if you are experiencing any bottlenecks with your RAM, CPU load, or bandwidth and upgrade your configuration as needed. If you are using a shared hosting environment, your performance may be impacted by the activities of other sites hosted on the same physical server and you may want to consider moving to a dedicated or cloud server to give you full control over resource utilization.

If slow load times are becoming evident on your site, your best bet is to upgrade your server to get the performance and bandwidth you need. Contact GigeNET to learn more about your options and get your site running at optimal speed.

Many first-time website owners select a shared hosting plan due to it’s low-cost and beginner-friendly set up. And if you don’t know a lot about hosting, it makes sense to start basic with a cost-effective solution, especially if your content and traffic are fairly minimal. But what about when they start really beefing up – is it time to upgrade your plan? Making the switch too early could mean spending money unnecessarily, but waiting too long could affect your site’s performance. Here’s how you’ll know for sure if you’re ready to upgrade.

  1. Cost Isn’t An Issue Anymore
    It’s true, one of the biggest reasons first-time site owners choose a shared plan is because of cost. But at a certain point in your business growth, you may be willing to put more toward a better hosting plan. With increased traffic volumes and more content, your needs may involve customizing your space, adding more sites, or stepping up your site’s performance, which isn’t an option on a shared server. If you’re able to spend a little more for your plan (we recommend a dedicated server for these types of needs), the benefits are worth the investment.

  2. Your Site is Running Slower
    All consumers today expect sites to load in 3 seconds or less. An extra second or two could cost you a customer, while also negatively impacting your search result ranking. Slow performance may be the result of your server not providing the bandwidth or RAM that your site needs to function properly. You can try testing your site’s performance with services like Pingdom or WebPagetest, and if it’s telling you certain aspects of your web pages are too slow or too big, it’s probably time for an upgrade.

  3. You’re Experiencing Too Much Downtime
    The industry standard for uptimes is over 99%. While any downtime is bad for your site, too much can devastate your business. If a customer can’t visit your site, chances are they won’t try again. GigeNET’s dedicated servers offer 100% uptime guarantee to make sure you never miss an opportunity. If your site is suffering frequent downtime, then you may be experiencing more traffic or using more resources than your host can handle.  

  4. You’re Worried About Security
    If your website is hosting confidential data or clients’ personal information, then optimal security is paramount to your business. While shared plans from a quality provider are fairly secure, single-tenant infrastructures, like dedicated servers, offer more advanced levels of security to help you better protect your site from malicious infiltrations and attacks. If privacy and reliability are becoming more of a concern for you, then you may want to upgrade to a more secure hosting plan.   
  5. You Need More Space & Resources

A common issue newer sites face is not having enough space to store files and data. Any type of downloaded content, like videos and images, all require a lot of space. As your business evolves and your site experiences more user activity, you’ll most likely require more storage space to continue smooth operations. You may also be looking to build or promote more web-based apps or other online programs into your site, which can eat up your bandwidth very fast. By upgrading to a larger, more customizable hosting plan with more resources, you can incorporate new features and continue to grow your business.

If you’re looking for more information about upgrading your plan or deciding on the right plan for your business, our experts are happy to answer any questions you may have. Learn more about our dedicated servers and Cloud servers today.

Choosing the right server for your website is an important decision – and a challenging one if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Finding the correct fit for hosting your environment can have a significant impact on how you interact with it.. Your decision will be completely unique to your needs, so we’re breaking down each of the 4 main types of web hosting so you can make the best decision possible for your business.


  1. Shared Hosting
    Just like the name states, shared web hosting means your website “lives” amongst other websites on the same server. It’s one of the most cost-effective hosting solutions because you’re splitting the cost with other users. But this also means that traffic spikes or security issues on those other sites could affect your speed, limit your storage, or increase your downtime. Your best bet is to look for a web hosting system that guarantees uptime with the space you need at a reasonable cost.

It’s best for…

If you’re just getting started and aren’t very experienced with managing a website yet, shared hosting may be a good way to get your feet wet and experiment with what you need. It’s inexpensive and the set up is easier for beginners, and if you later decide that you need your own server, you have the option to upgrade.

  1. Cloud Hosting
    Cloud hosting is extremely scalable, allowing you to adjust your configuration on the fly. This enables you to respond to large website traffic spikes in real-time by adding resources and then scale back down once the demand has passed. Scale your server’s memory, processing capability, and storage almost instantaneously without any data migrations, downtime or reboots to make it happen.

    It’s best for…
    If you’re a new site owner or run a smaller business with have plans to grow, Cloud hosting helps you make adjustments easily and provide a great customer experience without a lot of technical work on your end. It’s also good for sites that are prone to random high traffic peaks.

  2. Shared Hosting
    Just like the name states, shared web hosting means your website “lives” amongst other websites on the same server. It’s one of the most cost-effective hosting solutions because you’re splitting the cost with other users. But this also means that traffic spikes or security issues on those other sites could affect your speed, limit your storage, or increase your downtime. Your best bet is to look for a web hosting system that guarantees uptime with the space you need at a reasonable cost.

    It’s best for…
    If you’re just getting started and aren’t very experienced with managing a website yet, shared hosting may be a good way to get your feet wet and experiment with what you need. It’s inexpensive and the set up is easier for beginners, and if you later decide that you need your own server, you have the option to upgrade.
  3. Dedicated Servers
    With dedicated servers, all the space, bandwidth and server access is “dedicated” to you and your website because you’re the only one on it. You can think of it as the exact opposite of shared hosting, offering the most reliable type of hosting solution. No matter what the size of your organization, you’ll get maximum uptime, unparalleled operational stability, and optimal security. The server you rent is yours to personalize to fit your business needs, including software updates and a number of hardware options, all done on your schedule.

    It’s best for…
    Sites with high-volume traffic or store substantial amounts of data due to the powerful performance and security features dedicated servers provide. It’s also great for larger, established companies that want to host multiple sites on the same server and don’t expect a lot of short-term growth.

  4. Colocation
    Colocation is the most hands-on approach to hosting. You can think of it as BYOS (Bring Your Own Server), as the hosting company provides the physical space and security, power, network connectivity, and environmental controls (humidity and cooling). You provide the servers and manage them completely. It’s typically best to colocate your servers nearby so you can access them for hands-on support, but some elect to use the hosting provider’s techs through a remote hands agreement for in-person support. This approach gives you the maximum control over your hardware and how it’s configured.

    It’s best for…
    Environments where specific hardware is called for. Since you provide the hardware, you have total control over its specifications. Colocation agreements can range from a single server to several racks worth. This approach is typically best for organizations that have in-house system administrators, as remote hands services are best used for emergencies and not routine maintenance and administration.

If you’re interested in learning more about the right hosting solution for your website, GigeNET will help you determine the space, control, and performance you need to achieve your business goals. Contact our experts to discuss your hosting options today.

When it comes to managing your company’s online efforts, choosing the right hosting server will establish the strongest possible foundation for efficiency and performance. Throughout your research, you’ll find some experts suggesting dedicated servers are the perfect solution while others will sway you toward cloud servers. The truth: the answer isn’t that simple. The right answer will be what works best for you.

To figure that out, you need to think about your business’s unique operations and requirements. But even before that, it’s imperative that you understand what dedicated services and cloud services can achieve. Here’s all you need to know.

What Are Dedicated Servers & Cloud Servers?

Both dedicated and cloud servers are methods of hosting servers for whatever purpose your business needs — be it serving up webpages, hosting databases, or a myriad of other functions. In both approaches, you get full remote access to the server and any operating system you wish to have installed, just as if you were hosting the server yourself. While each method is designed for a similar purpose and functionality, they achieve this in very different ways. It is these differences that will make one or the other more suitable for your needs.

A dedicated server is a physical, discrete server that is housed with a hosting company and purchased or rented entirely for your exclusive use. You can configure this server to suit your needs by specifying it’s components and resources, such as size and type of storage, network speed, allocated bandwidth, amount of memory, and more. This is all done on an exclusive basis, meaning that the systems aren’t shared with any other business. For these reasons, dedicated servers are primarily used by larger businesses with higher demands for server capacity and security, or if specific hardware is required.

Cloud servers work in a very different way. Your resources – storage, memory, processor cores, and bandwidth – will be split across numerous physical servers through the process of virtualization. A cloud server is not a discrete physical entity, although in many ways it will act just like a physical server. You can watch it boot, install standard operating systems, etc. For many users, the fact that it is not a physical stand-alone server will be unnoticeable. This approach allows for many virtual servers (often known as VMs, or virtual machines) to be deployed across a pool of physical servers that are managed by the hosting company. This allows for much more efficient use of resources, resulting in savings that are passed down to you, and a very high level of stability due to a highly redundant foundation. In other words, VMs are extremely unlikely to suffer from any of the hardware failures to which their physical counterparts are susceptible. While you have exclusive use of your VM, the underlying hardware it runs on is hosting numerous other VMs deployed for multiple clients.

Dedicated servers tend to be charged on a fixed monthly rate, while cloud servers also offer the option to billat an hourly rate to allow for immediate changes to their resources..

Dedicated Servers Vs. Cloud Servers – Which Is Right For You?

While the basic function of both server types is the same, there are some important things to consider when comparing the pros and cons of each solution in order to find the best fit for you.

Cloud servers are known for their on-demand capabilities. They also tend to be a more cost-effective solution due to the fact that you’re only paying for the resources you’re using at the time, which can be as much or as little as you need. Is your company anticipating specific upgrades or growth? The nature of Cloud servers allows for them to be quick and easy to scale up or down as the needs of your company evolve. In short, they are arguably more flexible and less expensive than dedicated servers.

Dedicated servers, on the other hand, allow for greater customization and control. The nature of the Dedicated server platform enables the highest level of customization to meet your exact requirements. Need a specific processor, type of storage device, or any other component? This can only be done with a dedicated server. This is as close as you can get to building your own server and hosting it yourself, just without the hassle. We build it, host it, and fully support the hardware. With one of our management plans, we will even administer it for you — all you have to do is use it. In addition, the whole server is dedicated to your exclusive use. Because of this, Dedicated servers are often the preferred solution for many large-scale operations where specific hardware is required.

Ultimately, though, the decision should be influenced by all the important factors that matter most to your business. The expert staff at GigeNET can help you evaluate your options and find the right solution for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Choosing the right host server for your business website is one of the most important technology decisions any entrepreneur faces, especially since the arena has evolved at a rapid rate recently. If you’ve already started your search, chances are you’ve probably come across the terms Cloud, VPS and Dedicated hosting. But which is right for you?

The truth is, the right answer is different for everyone. The deciding factor being the server’s ability to be tailored to the requirements of your company most effectively. This means a little analysis of each option is essential, so here’s what you need to know.

What Is Dedicated Hosting?


Dedicated hosting is the solution that you’re most likely to associate with a traditional approach. A dedicated server means that you have a physically isolated solution that isn’t linked to other clients. The physical server will offer storage, processing, and hardware specifications that have been agreed upon prior to implementation and will be charged at a set recurring fee.

Dedicated hosting is ideal for web applications with high-load expectations like e-commerce sites or interactive apps that rely heavily on exceptional speeds and security. These servers are typically more practical for larger companies that do not expect to require upscaling and major growth in the short-term future. This type of hosting also relies on vendor support for management and provision updates. With the wrong vendor, these configurations can lead to wasteful downtime, so let one of GigeNET’s highly-responsive and experienced experts manage your dedicated servers to get the immediate support you need.

VPS & Cloud

Both VPS and Cloud hosting are terms that are often inaccurately interchanged due to the fact that they both utilize virtualization. While they do share similarities in functionality, there are some significant differences too.

The base design of both Cloud & VPS hosting is really just a virtual machine (VM) hosted on one or a pool of physical servers called Hypervisors. This methodology is even changing to group these terms with advanced container systems as well, but that is a story for another day. These virtual machines have dedicated resource allotments (RAM, processors, and storage) and to the end user function very much like a dedicated server.  However, some of the advantages of VMs are quick and easy deployment times, near-instantaneous scalability, and robust hardware redundancy to virtually eliminate hardware problems and single points of failure.

The term Cloud hosting has been changing over the past decade to describe a platform of services.  While VPS and Cloud hosting both share the same underlying technology the cloud is now more of an ecosystem.  This ecosystem generally provides more than just a raw virtual machine, but also a suite of tools used to manage your VMs.  You have the power to configure the storage design, network design, and actions on the virtual machine itself. Often times this is controlled through your own software via an API (At GigeNET we have a boto-compatible API), but also managed through tools like Ansible. This opens up a vast array of automation possibilities that is only limited by your imagination.

VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting, on the other hand, is typically built upon a single dedicated server platform and is often referred to as a Private Cloud. While the underlying dedicated server can be built with redundant hardware, it typically does not compare to the resiliency of most Cloud hosting environments. The tradeoff is that you get complete control of not only the virtual machines but also of the underlying server that is hosting them.

The Final Thoughts

While all three server types are designed to provide a similar function, they each set out to achieve it with a unique approach. Which solution is right for you depends on your specific business needs. Let us help you determine the right fit for you, be it Dedicated Servers, VPS, or Cloud Hosting — or something custom and in-between.

To discuss the needs of your project and unlock the best solution for your needs, call GigeNET’s dedicated team of experts today.