With a dedicated server, you can install any operating system. Cloud VPS offers a limited selection (at Liquid Web, it’s CentOS 6, CentOS 7, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Debian 8, Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard, and Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition.) Otherwise, both options give you full root access with control over the OS and all the software in the environment.
Do you remember those times when you were living on a college campus with very noisy roommates? Or maybe they were super quiet and you enjoyed every day? The point is, it was a gamble - you never knew whom you ended up with. This is pretty much the same as having shared hosting account - you haven’t the faintest idea who is your roommate on a server. The analogy may sound funny but if someone on a shared server becomes a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack target or get blocked for mass mailing, other accounts on the server will be affected as well. Also, if a shared account abuses server resources, the whole server will be impacted. Using a VPS is like owning a house with a 9 foot privacy fence. You won’t be bothered no matter what your neighbors are doing.
So that’s it, then – a VPS is for everything in between, right? Well, yes…and no. A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a flexible solution that falls in between shared and dedicated hosting, not only in price but also in the way it functions. Like a dedicated server, a site hosted on a VPS gets its own RAM and disk space; however, like a shared server, it uses the same processing capacity (CPU) as a certain number of other sites. So, while your site’s performance isn’t reliant on shared RAM and disk space, it is dependent on a shared processor. Moreover, the distribution of processor share varies from provider to provider. The table below shows how most hosting companies break down the differences between shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans: