VPS vs VPN: Which One Do You Really Need?

Updated on October 24, 2023
VPS vs VPN: Which One Do You Really Need?

Maybe you have a website or app and need to ramp up security or want access to servers that give you more control. Or perhaps you just want to stream your favorite shows while traveling abroad. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve heard about VPS and VPN services, you must want to know which one is right for you. In this article, we’ll break down the differences between VPS and VPN services so you can determine which one—if either—you truly need.

What Is a VPS?

A VPS or virtual private server is a virtual machine that acts like a dedicated server but is actually hosted on a shared server. A VPS has several benefits which are elaborated in following points:

Cost Effective

VPS plans are typically more affordable than dedicated servers since the resources are shared with other users. However, you still get your own allocated space and resources for your site. VPS plans allow you to pay only for the resources you need.

More Flexibility

With a VPS, you have more flexibility and control. You can install any software or application you want and configure the server settings to your needs. You have root access which gives you full control over the VPS.


VPS plans also provide more security and privacy than shared hosting. Your data and accounts are isolated from other users. No one else has access to your space.


VPS hosting is scalable. If your site grows and requires more resources, you can easily upgrade your plan for more CPU, memory, storage, and bandwidth. You won’t have to migrate to a dedicated server.

For small to medium sites, a VPS is a great option if you need more flexibility and control than shared hosting but can’t afford a dedicated server. A VPS could be the perfect solution for your needs.

How does a VPS work?

A VPS splits a physical server into multiple virtual servers. Each VPS gets its own operating system and dedicated resources like storage, RAM, and CPU cores that it does not share with other users.

You get root access to your VPS, meaning you have full control over the virtual server and can install any software you want. You can also optimize and configure the server to your needs.

With a VPS, you get a private, isolated environment where you have autonomy over your server without the high cost of a dedicated physical server. VPS plans offer a middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated servers regarding both performance and price.

While not quite as powerful as a dedicated server, a VPS provides way more flexibility and control than a shared hosting plan at a lower cost. If you need more customization and optimization abilities than shared hosting provides but aren’t ready for a dedicated server, a VPS is a great solution.

What Is a VPS Used For?

What Is a VPS Used For

A VPS gives you more control and flexibility than a shared hosting plan. You have full root access, allowing you to install any software you want. This means a VPS can be used for many purposes.

Some common uses of a VPS include:

  • Hosting websites

A VPS provides more stability and control than shared hosting for running websites. You can install any web server and software you want to suit your needs.

  • Email hosting

 A VPS gives you full control over email services like Postfix, Exim, or Microsoft Exchange to host your own email.

  • Application hosting

 You can install and run any application on a VPS like a CMS, ecommerce platform, database, or enterprise software.

  • Development environment

 A VPS configured as a development environment lets you build and test applications in an isolated environment that mimics a production server.

  • File storage and sharing

 A VPS can be used as a file server to store and share files within a team or organization. You have full control over permissions and security.

  • Remote access

 You can use a VPS as a remote desktop to access files and applications from anywhere. Install remote access software like Virtual Network Computing (VNC) to connect.

What are the benefits of using VPS?

A VPS offers several advantages over a shared hosting plan.

  • The main benefit is that you have your own dedicated environment. You’re not sharing resources with other users, so you have more control and flexibility.
  • With a VPS, you can install any software you want. You have root access, so you have full control over the operating system and server. You can configure the server to suit your specific needs. This means you can optimize the server for performance, security, and scalability.
  • A VPS also provides more stability and reliability. Since you have your own dedicated environment, you’re not affected by the activity of other users on the same server. Your website or application will have fewer performance issues and downtime.
  • VPS plans typically come with more resources like CPU, RAM, storage, and bandwidth. This means your website or application will load faster and handle more traffic. The additional resources give you room to grow as needed.
  • Security is improved with a VPS. You can set up your own firewall rules and take other measures to help protect your server. Your data and applications are isolated from other users, reducing the risks associated with shared hosting environments.

A VPS really gives you the best of both worlds – the convenience of hosted services with the control of a dedicated server. For growing websites and applications, a VPS is an ideal solution.

What Is a VPN?

A VPN, or virtual private network, allows you to create a secure connection over a less secure network like the internet. Using a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted and tunneled through a secure connection before reaching its destination. This helps ensure that no one can access your data or see what websites you visit.

One of the popular VPN, AstrillVPN is the best VPN service which can be used for just $12.5/month. They have servers worldwide and include several benefits such as Smart Mode, Kill Switch/App Guard, VPN Sharing and Port Forwarding. They have unlimited servers in 57+ countries worldwide which provides you the fastest VPN service.

Why Use a VPN?

There are a few main reasons why using a VPN is a good idea:

  • A VPN hides your online activity and location, protecting your privacy and keeping your information secure.
  • If there are websites or streaming services blocked in your location, a VPN can help you access them by masking your IP address.
  • When you connect to public Wi-Fi networks, your online activity and personal information are vulnerable. A VPN secures your connection and encrypts all data sent and received.
  • Some internet service providers throttle certain types of internet traffic like streaming video or file sharing. A VPN prevents your ISP from seeing what you’re accessing so they can’t throttle your connection speed.

Using a VPN service is an easy way to boost your online privacy, security and access. For many, a VPN has become an essential tool for using the internet.

When should I use a VPN?

VPN has several uses. There are few scenarios in which VPN comes in handy.

Public Wi-Fi Networks

Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks like at coffee shops, hotels or airports can be risky if you’re not using a VPN. Public networks are less secure and your online activity and personal information can be visible to others. A VPN helps protect your privacy by encrypting all the data you send and receive on the network.

Streaming Geo-Restricted Content

Want to access streaming services or websites that aren’t available in your country? A VPN masks your real IP address and makes it appear as if you’re located in another country. This tricks the services into thinking you’re accessing them from an approved location.

Bypassing Censorship

In some countries, governments restrict access to certain websites and online services like social media or messaging apps. A VPN helps circumvent these restrictions by rerouting your internet traffic through an uncensored network.

Hiding Your Online Activity

A VPN hides your browsing activity, location and IP address by encrypting your connection and masking your real IP address. This makes it difficult for anyone to trace your online activity back to you or determine your actual location or IP address. Use a VPN if you want to mask your digital footprint for privacy reasons.

What are the benefits of using a VPN?

A VPN or virtual private network provides several useful benefits for users.

  • When you use a VPN, your internet connection is encrypted and your online activities are hidden from prying eyes.
  • Your internet service provider, network admin, and government cannot see what websites you visit or access your personal information.
  •  VPNs help prevent man-in-the-middle attacks by encrypting your data and hiding your IP address.
  • Using a VPN is like putting on an invisibility cloak for your device. Your true IP address and location are masked, preventing websites and advertisers from tracking your behavior or targeting ads based on your location.
  • A VPN helps you browse anonymously and avoid location-based restrictions on streaming media or other online services.

Key Differences Between VPN and VPS

When it comes to virtual private servers (VPS) and virtual private networks (VPN), it can be tricky to determine which solution you really need. Here are some of the key differences to consider:


A VPS is a virtual machine that acts like a separate server. It’s used to host websites, apps, software and more. A VPN encrypts your internet connection to mask your online identity and location. It’s mainly used for accessing geo-restricted content and improving security.


VPS plans typically start around $40 to $70 per month. VPN services are usually a bit cheaper, ranging from $30 to $50 per month. The exact price will depend on the features and specs for each option.

Technical Skill

A VPS requires more technical expertise to set up and maintain. You’ll need to handle tasks like software installations, security configurations, and server management. A VPN is easier to use and only requires installing an app on your device. Most VPN services handle the behind-the-scenes technical details for you.


A VPN is designed specifically for anonymity and encrypting your internet traffic. Your online activity and location are hidden. With a VPS, your IP address and data aren’t anonymized by default. For anonymity, you’d need to set up additional security protocols.

In the end, if you need hosting for apps or websites with more control and customization, a VPS is the way to go. For general online privacy and bypassing geo-restrictions, a reliable VPN service will do the trick. Or for maximum security, you could use both a VPN and a properly configured VPS.

VPN vs VPS Comparison

What it is?A service that encrypts your internet traffic and protects your online identity.A virtual machine sold as a service by an Internet hosting service.
Primary UseTo secure your internet connection, especially on public networks and to access geo-restricted content.To host websites, applications and services with full control over the operating environment.
SecurityVPNs encrypt your web traffic, making it more secure.VPS systems are generally secure, but they don’t encrypt your web traffic unless you set up additional software.
ControlUsers have less control; they can only select servers and settings provided by the VPN service.Users have full control over the server environment, including choice of OS, software, etc.
PerformanceCan potentially slow down your internet speed due to encryption and server distance.Typically offers stable and high performance, depending on the hardware of the VPS.
CostTypically, subscription-based with a monthly or yearly fee.More expensive than VPN, with costs based on hardware specifications.
AccessibilityEasy to use, often with apps available for all major platforms.Requires more technical knowledge to set up and manage.


Q: Does a VPS hide your location?

No, a VPS does not hide your location or IP address. It provides you with your own dedicated IP address which can be traced back to your server location. If privacy and anonymity are important, you’ll want to use a VPN in addition to your VPS.

Q: Does a VPS increase Internet speed?

A VPS can potentially increase your internet speed since you have more control and dedicated resources. You can optimize your VPS for faster speeds by:
●     Choosing a VPS plan with high bandwidth
●     Selecting a hosting location close to you
●     Optimizing caching and content delivery settings

Q: Does a VPN increase internet speed?

A VPN may slightly decrease your internet speed. When you use a VPN, your data is encrypted and routed through the VPN server before going to the internet. This additional hop can cause a small drop in speed. The impact depends on:
●     The VPN protocol used (OpenVPN vs IPSec vs Wireguard)
●     VPN server load and bandwidth
●     Your base internet speed
●     The location of the VPN server


So there you have it, the key differences between a VPS and VPN to consider based on your needs. If you’re looking for more robust remote access and customization options for a personal server, a VPS is probably your best bet. But if privacy and security are top concerns when accessing the internet, a VPN will do the trick. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either option. But now that you understand what each service offers in full, you can make the choice that lets you surf the web freely and without limitations.

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About The Author

Bisma Farrukh

Bisma is a seasoned writer passionate about topics like cybersecurity, privacy and data breach issues. She has been working in VPN industry for more than 5 years now and loves to talk about security issues. She loves to explore the books and travel guides in her leisure time.

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