Linux, Windows or Unix Web Hosting: How do you choose?

Many computing experts have their own opinions on which server operating system, Linux, Windows, or Unix web hosting, is best. To decide which operating system is best for you, you need to have an understanding how each one works.

Windows: Microsoft makes a windows operating system for servers. This operating systems allows users to integrate Microsoft’s products. The server allows users to be able to use one of the more powerful databases as it can integrate with its SQL database. As well, websites can run Active Server Pages. However,¬† Microsoft’s server software is expensive, thousands of dollars, for each server. Additional software costs extra such as: ASP Encrypt, ASPMail, remote admin programs, firewall, and more. Windows hosting benefits include: ASP.NET Support , ASP Support, SQL Server Database, PHP and MySQL Compatible, Access Database Support, and IIS Web Server.

Linux: Linux is compatible with the programming language PHP. It has a good security record and is known to be a stable operating system. Linux software is free except for Red Hat Enterprise versions.

Linux offers low cost or free additional software such as APF Firewall, Sendmail, BIND, Apache, and much more. Linux servers are more difficult to administer than windows. However, you do have much more control of the server compared to Windows. Linux hosting benefits include: Chmod file permissions, Apache Web Server, PHP and MySQL Support, and Mod Rewrite Support.

Unix-Based Operating Systems: Unix-based operating systems are elaborations of Unix itself. The main Unix-based operating systems are FreeBSD and OpenBSD. These systems are very stable. However you need the technical expertise to install them. OpenBSD is very secure and the operating systems are also free.

If you want the tightest security with your server, OpenBSD or Linux is a good choice but you will have to sacrifice some flexibility to get the tight security. If you want compatibility with all Microsoft products Windows is a good choice, although very expensive. If you want compatibility, Linux or FreeBSD is a good choice. The type of operating system you choose all comes down to your needs and preferences.