Cheap Cloud Hosting Comparison: Linode vs DigitalOcean vs Vultr vs OVH vs Amazon Lightsail vs DreamHost vs RamNode


UPDATE: Linode just announced their $5 plan with 1GB RAM, so currently they are the best in the high quality Cloud hosting market.

UPDATE 2: Vultr just announced their $2.50 plan with 512MB RAM and they halved their prices. They may be better than Linode now. Everyone’s waiting for DigitalOcean‘s move now.

We know how hard choosing the right hosting provider can be. There are quite a lot of cloud (VPS) hosting providers out there. A few of them are actually good, so we decided to compare them.

tl;dr – cheapest with low(er) resources: Vultr. Cheapest with high(er) resources and best overall: Linode

First, before the actual comparison, a few things you should know:

  • All providers are reliable. They’ve been in business for years, they are professional and all of them have great reviews. We must point this out as there are a lot of new hosting providers that are extremely cheap, but go offline out of nowhere a few months after their launch.
  • We know, we should have included more. If you have any suggestion on which provider should be included in our comparison, leave a comment below.
  • All of them offer unmanaged hosting. This means that you will have to do everything yourself. Don’t expect technical support for your server. You can check our best cheap managed VPS providers post if you need a cheap managed VPS, or you can get 24/7 managed support from THR Support
  • Not all of them are a true cloud provider. Most of them are just VPSes with KVM/Xen virtualization and allow hourly billing. They just use “cloud” as a marketing term. Anyway, more about this in another post.
  • All hosting plans include full root (SSH) access.
  • Since most cloud providers listed here have hourly billing, the prices we’ll list are the max you can pay for a whole month of usage.
  • You can choose your OS/Distro. Most of them are Linux-only (ie CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian and more)
  • All of them are easy to use and have a VPS control panel where you can upgrade your server with a single click. Setting up and provisioning a server should take no more than a minute. Some of them have 1-click install solutions for apps like WordPress, Magento etc.
  • Cheap does not mean low quality!
  • Criteria for being listed here: being cheap, popularity, reliability, quality.
  • No EIG!
  • The comparison tables aren’t sorted. You can even reorder them yourself. So being first in our table does not mean being the best/cheapest.
  • The pricing in the tables is the actual, real pricing. Although, you can get coupons for some of them and get those prices even lower!

 

Comparison: cheapest hosting plan

Ok, so now let’s start with our actual comparison. We’ll start with the cheapest hosting plan each of them has

Host Price Per Month RAM Storage (SSD) Bandwidth CPU Cores Promo/Coupon
Linode $5 1 GB 20 GB 1 TB 1 Get $20 Free Credits
Vultr $2.50 512 MB 15 GB 500 GB 1 Get Up To $100 Free Credits
DigitalOcean $5 512 MB 20 GB 1 TB 1 Get $25 Free Credits
RamNode $3.50 256 MB 8 GB 1 TB 1 10% Lifetime Discount
DreamHost $4.50 512 MB 80 GB Unlimited 1 100 GB Free Block Storage
OVH $3.49 2 GB 10 GB Unlimited 1 N/A
Amazon LightSail $5 512 MB 20 GB 1 TB 1 Get the $5 plan free for one month

Conclusion: which one is the best for a staging server

If you decide to go for the cheapest plan and use it for testing purposes only, then go with RamNode and use the 10% lifetime discount coupon. We wouldn’t recommend a server with low resources for a production site, even if it’s a simple, static site. RamNode does have more powerful VPS hosting options, but if you decide to use a cheap VPS with relatively low resources for a production site, either go with OVH, Vultr or Linode.


Comparison: 2GB RAM

A Cloud/VPS with 2GB RAM is the most popular choice among developers and website owners, so we’ll compare each provider with their 2GB RAM hosting plan:

Host Price Per Month RAM Storage (SSD) Bandwidth CPU Cores Promo/Coupon
Linode $10 2 GB 24 GB 2 TB 1 Get $20 Free Credits
Vultr $10 2 GB 40 GB 2 TB 1 Get Up To $100 Free Credits
DigitalOcean $20 2 GB 40 GB 3 TB 2 Get $25 Free Credits
RamNode $28 2 GB 42 GB 4 TB 4 10% Lifetime Discount
DreamHost $12 2 GB 80 GB Unlimited 1 100 GB Free Block Storage
OVH $3.49 2 GB 10 GB Unlimited 1 N/A
Amazon LightSail $20 2 GB 40 GB 3 TB 1 N/A

Conclusion: which one is the best for a production site

Again, OVH is still a good choice, but they don’t get good reviews for their support. Mind you, they are not managed, but even if it’s a support request regarding a hardware failure or a billing issue, people still have issues with their support team. Others, however, have only positive things to say for both their support and reliability.

A safer choice would be Linode or Vultr. They are both extremely reliable and they are always available for support. You’ll get quick replies and professional help, but they are not managed, so don’t expect help with your VPS.

Another good option is DreamHost. For that price, you’ll get great resources and a bunch of other perks.


So, which one is the best overall?

You can always try them out for free. Most of them have “free trials” through free credits, coupons or money-back guarantees. Linode seems to take the lead in all categories (price, reliability, performance, reviews), but Vultr is a (very close) second.

Quick tip: even though Linode, DigitalOcean, and Vultr have great documentation and tutorials, it doesn’t mean that you have to get a VPS from them in order to use them. The same tutorials and guides work on any VPS, regardless of which provider you use.

Have you tried any of them? Have a recommendation for another provider? Leave a comment below and share your experiences.

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