difference between vps and vpn

What’s The Difference Between VPS And VPN? 100% Clarity

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Last Updated on December 10, 2020 by Calvin C.

Background of VPS and VPN

You are not alone! During my early days I used to think VPS and VPN are interchangeable terms but it’s far from it. In this article we look at the difference between VPS and VPN.

The two products may sound the same but each has its own purpose that is entirely different from the other.

First we need to get the abbreviations out of the way.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server while VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. On one end we are talking about a server while on the other hand we are talking about a network.

  • At a glance:

A VPS is a form of web hosting, where a physical server is partitioned into many virtual servers. You host your website on one of the virtual servers without sharing with anyone that space, hence Virtual Private Server.

A VPN is a service that is designed to give you privacy and security when online. It creates a VPN tunnel to shield your traffic from cyber-attacks.

To make things clearer let’s describe each of these in greater detail.

VirtuaI Private Server (VPS)

When you want to create a website, you need:

  •  A domain to give your site a unique identity on the web for example, vpnanchor.com is the domain for this site.
  • Hosting is where your site resides. All the posts, pages, images, videos and everything to do with the site content are hosted on a server somewhere.

The best host provider should be able to let you choose how you want your site to be hosted.

There are 3 ways to do that and these are:

Shared Hosting – Best for beginners

Here your site and a bunch of other sites share one server and it’s resources. This is cost-effective and usually you get plans as low as $2.59 per month.

You are able to get up and running very fast while keeping costs low. If you have plans to start a website, DreamHost is offering a $50 discount for unlimited shared hosting.

If your budget is even tighter, you can start with Shared Starter package and upgrade as the site gains traffic.

The downside is that if your site grows very rapidly and gets plenty of traffic, speed metrics start to suffer due to limited server resources.

The solution is upgrading to the next type of hosting, the one in question.

Virtual Private Server

This is the current hosting plan used by this site, VPNAnchor. Here you get a private virtual space on a server and your own resources.

Although you share the physical server with others, you get your own dedicated space on that server utilized by your websites only.

The advantages of a VPS are:

  • You share the cost of a physical server with others using VPS. You don’t need to pay for a Dedicated Server (see option 3)
  • There is greater customization of the server and you pay for what you want on the server.
  • Easily scalable unlike Shared Hosting where resources are very limited.
  • You have more server access
  • There is more technical support if you opt for managed hosting.

Upgrading to a VPS is very easy and customer support of the hosting provider guides you every step of the way.

Dedicated Hosting

This is similar to VPS but you go a step further because you get your own dedicated physical server.

This means you have all the power and capacity of the server at your disposal. You are given an empty server and you add any number of websites or software you want.

The following are the features of dedicated hosting you need to take note of:

  • You have 100% control over software installed on the server
  • The plan is more expensive and you can get the best deal in Hosting Providers that have extensive resources like Dreamhost.
  • You are responsible for your own security on the server
  • Super-fast loading speeds as all the resources are at your disposal
  • No scaling up beyond that as you are already at the peak
  • You may face extra costs if you employ an administrator

From the above descriptions you can see that VPS is all to do with web hosting. It is one of the 3 types of hosting for a website.

You can take advantage of discounts offered by DreamHost to start your website on a plan of your choice. 

You can also migrate your domain or website easily from another hosting provider to DreamHost and keep everything under one roof like us.

whats the difference between vps and vpn

Let’s now look at VPN

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

When it comes to a VPN, we now think about cybersecurity because a VPN service allows you to surf the web in peace.

As you are aware, there are hackers and other interested parties who itch to lay their hands on your private data.

A VPN, once installed, creates a VPN tunnel that contains encrypted traffic so that any hackers, your ISP or the government cannot access your data.

You install a VPN client on your device, be it a phone, tablet, laptop, desktop PC or even router.

The VPN client ensures that all apps on your device connect to the internet via the VPN tunnel. 

There are VPN servers that handle all search queries and ensure that all your data is handled securely.

With a VPN, you are able to:

  • Change your IP address
  • Unblock geo-restricted content on streaming sites like Netflix 
  • Browse the web securely as all the traffic is encrypted
  • Maintain your privacy through the use of shared IP addresses

However, not all VPNs are created equal as some dubious VPN services have filtered into the market. 

That is why this site’s task is to recommend tried and tested VPNs that are reliable. 

You can quickly select the best VPN for your device but our top 5 VPNs are:

If you want to learn more about how a VPN works there is an article where the topic was extensively covered.


Next time you come across a VPN and a VPS you now know the difference. There is privacy in both instances but the fields where the two are used are different.

If you have any comments or contributions don’t hesitate to leave them in the section below. Share the post with your friends.

Tech writer and VPN expert. DIY enthusiast and loves anything to do with space science.

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