Demand for virtual private servers (VPS’) is growing at a rapid rate. Research suggests the market will be worth $5bn dollars by 2023 – an increase of 15% each year. But what exactly is a VPS, and why might anyone choose to use one?

Put simply, a VPS is a virtual machine that a business or individual without their own servers can pay to rent from a hosting company. The machine is likely to be one of several the hosting company owns and maintains in a large data centre.

A VPS offers the same resources as a physical computer – RAM and CPU for example – but is accessed remotely. Their cost-effectiveness and versatility make them popular in a range of sectors. Read five of their most common uses below.

Web hosting

Website owners need web hosting services to make their site accessible online. As a site grows, an owner may need greater resources and capabilities than those offered by shared hosting. A VPS is the ideal solution for hosting fast, high-traffic websites without needing to invest in dedicated hosting.

Forex trading sites in particular rely on the advanced facilities offered by VPS services. They provide the 24-hour stability, accuracy, and speed required by the automated betting and decision-making software used on the global foreign exchange market.
Gaming servers

Online multiplayer gaming has become popular to the point that it’s now a legitimate and potentially lucrative profession. It’s loved by people of all ages all over the world – and a VPS is perfect for hosting these online gaming sessions.

The facilities of a VPS allow multiple users to join a game without experiencing common issues such as lag or connection timeouts. Minecraft is just one of the games hosted on private servers – and has a player base larger than the UK population.

Hosting VPNs

It’s easy to confuse the name, but a VPS can also be used to host a VPN or virtual private network. A VPN creates a secure connection to another network – and there are plenty of reasons why you might want to use one.

VPNs have long been popular for enhancing internet privacy on public networks and providing a degree of anonymity. But they also allow users to access online content restricted to certain regions, such as TV or audio series.

Testing code

Many modern businesses require remote development and live testing capabilities to easily create and test code. A VPS offers an effective workspace, allowing teams to install and access development tools, collaborate, and identify bugs in a live setting.
As with web hosting, a VPS can be a far more cost-effective solution than a dedicated server for a business to develop and test applications.

Data backups

Do you have a wealth of files, documents, and applications? Though perhaps not a primary use of a VPS, the ability to back up data is a welcome bonus if you’re using one for any of the reasons above and have space left over to do so.

Could VPS technology benefit you personally or professionally?