We know how difficult 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
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, go with Vultr.
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||50 GB||2 TB||1||Get $20 Free Credits|
|Vultr||$10||2 GB||55 GB||2 TB||1||Get Up To $100 Free Credits|
|DigitalOcean||$10||2 GB||50 GB||2 TB||1||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|
|Kamatera||$6||2 GB||20 GB||5 TB||1||30-Day Free Trial|
|ZAP-Hosting||$4.27||2 GB||25 GB||Unlimited||2||20% Lifetime|
|OVH||$4.47||2 GB||10 GB||Unlimited||1||Annual billing is discounted|
|Amazon LightSail||$10||2 GB||60 GB||3 TB||1||N/A|
|Hawk Host||$10||2 GB||40 GB||2 TB||1||25% Lifetime Discount|
|Scala Hosting||$10||2 GB||50 GB||2 TB||1||20% one time|
|iWebFusion||$9.38||4 GB||20 GB||1.5 TB||1||$4 Off Your Order|
|IO Zoom||$10||2 GB||40 GB||2 TB||1||50% off First Month|
|UpCloud||$10||2 GB||50 GB||2 TB||1||$25 Free Credits|
|SkySIlk||$2.50||2 GB||30 GB||1 TB||1||$10 Free Credits|
|InterServer||$6||2 GB||30 GB||1 TB||1||$0.01 For The First Month|
|Host Havoc||$14||2 GB||30 GB (NVMe)||Unlimited||1||7% Lifetime Discount|
|Fusion Arc Hosting||$24.99||2 GB||50 GB||1 TB||1||First Month Free|
|Cloudzy||$9.95||2 GB||30 GB (NVMe)||3 TB||2|
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.
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 and Vultr seem to take the lead in all categories (price, reliability, performance, reviews).
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.
Update 1: Linode just announced their $5 plan with 1GB RAM, so currently they are the best in the high quality Cloud hosting market.
Update 4: Hawk Host just introduced their new Cloud hosting plans. They’re comparable to all other providers mentioned here, both in pricing and quality. We added their plans. With their lifetime discount they’re even cheaper than other hosting providers featured here.
Update 5: Linode updated their plans again. Same pricing, better resources.
Update 6: We added Scala Hosting to the comparison. Though they don’t compare to others with their cheapest plan, they do compare well with their more expensive plans. So if you’re looking for a low-resource cheap server, they may not be a good fit, but they’re a great fit otherwise.
Update 9: Added InterServer to the list. They’re a great choice with cheap pricing, especially if you use a coupon or a longer billing cycle.
Update 10: Added Host Havoc to the list. Though they’re primarly a game server provider, they started offering KVM-based VPS hosting with NVMe SSD storage. They have great 24/7 support and powerful hardware.
Update 12: Added iWebFusion. They’re recommended by the /r/webhosting community, which is a great endorsement.