9 things you can do with a VPS

You may have wondered what to do with a Virtual Private Server (VPS)? Or what it can do for you?

In short, more or less anything. Well, as long as you aren’t breaking the law or violating your VPS hosting provider’s terms of service…

As long as you stay in line with that, it’s true you really can do anything. From hosting a website or an online game server to creating an external backup server.

So, whether you are just starting with VPS or looking for extra ways to take advantage of your VPS. We will try to detail you 9 things you can do with your VPS.


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1. VPS Hosting

A. Web Hosting

One of the first things that comes in mind when looking into VPS is Web hosting. Well it doesn’t surprise given the fact that VPS are essentially use for hosting.

When choosing VPS hosting over a basic shared hosting, you’ll undeniably increase your user’s experience. When it comes to performance, nothing beats a VPS with dedicated RAM, powerful SSD storage, and a server CPU.

B. Host a Web Server

Hosting a server with a VPS is also another common use. As you can guess, a VPS will do all the things a regular server would.

If you run a static site with your VPS, then it will be enough to run a web server software, like Apache, Nginx, or OpenLiteSpeed, where you can upload your files.

And it’s not over yet. When running a web server, you can automate it’s installation with help from the meta-package lamp-server for Ubuntu, and the Centmin Mod script on CentOS for a web server based on Nginx. You can also easily install WordPress, or a flat-file alternative to it, on your LAMP stack.

Using your VPS for server hosting is definitely one of the best way to make the most of it.

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2. Save Money By Self-Hosting

You can always choose as well to self-host your web projects. Instead of using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) alternatives, and paying a monthly fee to use one of their solution – this would allow you to save some money.

On a VPS, you have your own server, you run your own software and you are in control of everything. However, should you decide to go with self-hosting, you will need some skill on your end.

You’ll find numerous software options for your business: Dropbox, PayPal, Slack, etc. These are all sold as SaaS. However, there are a number of self-hosted alternatives to these that drastically help you cut costs. And these alternatives are just as good and sometimes even outperform the paid SaaS options available.

How do you find these alternatives? Well, you can always start with a google search. You’ll find tutorials or step-by-step guides to help you install those. You can even find enterprise-level apps like ERP software that covers everything from CRM systems to HR to accounting (for example ERPNext).

You’ll find these alternatives as reliable as SaaS and in addition to this, you’ll be less dependent on those platforms.

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3. Run a Game Server

Since the rise of internet, the popularity of online multiplayer games has steadily increased over time. It has become a favourite pastime to many. Now the covid19 pandemic, a study has shown that online gaming increased by 64%. Which makes it a highly profitable and attractive market to many.

Setting up a online game server would be one of the many things you can do with a VPS. And the list of games you can host is quite extensive. We could name Counter Strike, Minecraft, World of Warcraft, League Of Legends to give just a few.

Even though those are usually hosted on dedicated servers, a dedicated hosting solution tend to cost much more than a VPS option. And if you are unsure and don’t know what’s the best fit for your requirement, have a look at our VPS vs Dedicated Server article.

4. Set Up A Mail Server with your VPS

Another service you can set up with a VPS is email hosting. With a VPS, you can avoid any extra costs by hosting your own company’s mail server.

You will find that even the most basic VPS plan will easily handle any self-hosted email servers. And you would be able to host all your employees’ addresses and store all of their emails.

On the other hand, a SaaS service will typically charge you by number of mailboxes / accounts. Again, these are costs you can avoid easily with a VPS.

To install an open-source email servers you might need some extra technical skills, but once that part has been taken care of, nothing should stop you from self-hosting your company’s email server.

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5. Stay In Touch With VoIP

A VPS allows you to host your own VoIP server. In short, it will help you make your calls over the internet. Your VoIP server would serve as an “internet phone”. And you can use it to call people, talk to your colleagues, or speak with your friends while gaming.

One open-source VoIP option you can use is FreePBX. FreePBX is a UK based, open-source VoIP telephone system powered by Asterisk. Using a VoIP system like this allows you to communicate effectively with your whole team regardless of your location. You’ll also benefit from lower calling fees and an advanced selection of additional features.

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6. Setting Up A VPN

Since the beginning of the covid19 period, “the percent of suspected fraudulent digital transactions rose 5% from March 11 to April 28 when compared to Jan. 1 to March 10, 2020. More than 100 million risky transactions from March 11 to April 28 have been identified.” according to helpnetsecurity.com.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) could help you hide your online payment details, as well as securing your company and client data from potential hackers.

On the other hand, you’ll find many VPN providers, free and paid ones that could be suspicious by selling your data. For instance, VPN providers have been the centre of some controversies over the past years.

Which means that installing a VPN on your virtual private servers can be critical for your business.

Have you ever used public Wifi? Don’t try to remember when – we all have at some point, at the airport, in a coffee shop or in a restaurant. This specifically during these moments we are the most at risk having our data endangered or even stolen. Because these networks are rarely ever secured enough.

However, if you have a VPS, you can always use it as a VPN to make sure your browsing session is safe and secured. You can check all your bank account and financial data or even realize some purchases online from a coffee shop.

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7. Run a development server with your VPS

Often when you’re developing or building an application, software, or website – you need a separate platform where you can test your systems outside of your live environment.

This is a very common practice when developing a new website. Usually you will want to avoid making changes on a live website where possible, before fully testing and checking that everything works as it should. You don’t want anything going wrong and your website visitors seeing your mistakes!

This is another reason why a VPS makes an ideal platform for a development server. By using multiple hosting accounts you can even run a development environment alongside your own live website!

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8. A Backup Server

For anyone working online, backing up files is simply a must. Imagine losing all your files, folders, or even an entire drive? It can happen and only taking precautions will ensure the safety of your data. These precautions are critical, especially in a business context.

Of course you can always back up your files in physical locations such as USB sticks or external hard drives. However, you can set up a VPS to use as an online backup. Which by default is obviously a far less space-consuming solution and much more convenient.

In another extent, your VPS can also be your file server through which you can reach all the files you need anywhere in the world, as long as you can be connected to internet.

Finally, turning your VPS into a backup server for a website could be an option too. For instance, should anything ever goes wrong with it, you can just re-upload a backup and restore the website to what it was like at the time you backed it up.

9. Experiment and improve your development & programming skills

Because we never stop learning, you could also use a VPS to fine tune your programming skills. For a start, learn how to run a web server or try out and experiment programming languages but also creating apps, open-source projects, etc. Your VPS can be a playground to learn development.

If you are planning to try out a new application, you can always set your VPS as a testing environment. This could avoid any conflicts or unexpected results when testing a new app for example. Since you can create, deploy & erase your virtual private servers with the click of a button, if things don’t work out as you imagine, you can always reinstall the OS and start over again.

As long as you are online and connected, your VPS can also help you create a personal GIT server and share code with any online co-worker privately.

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You want to help an association, a charity with your VPS?

To end this article, we would like to add one more thing you can do with a VPS. You have an association in mind, or you are part of a charity. We often say “sharing is caring” right? Well, nothing is less complicated to share some hard drive space on your VPS and offer some hosting space.

Any organization, non-profit, or maybe even a local small business might need a tiny bit of space on a server. And no one will say no to the opportunity of having a free website up and running. If they already have one through shared hosting and pay for it, you’d be helping them by simply relieving them of that financial burden.

Again, there are many possibilities for giving back. As an idea, think about offering a hosting space.


To Conclude

With a quality low cost virtual server, the possibilities are simply huge! There are more than 9 things you can achieve with a VPS and beyond basic web hosting. We build this list as a compilation of some of the most interesting options

Hosting a server is one popular thing, that’s a fact which is a good way to get your money’s worth out of your VPS.

However, you can use a virtual server for a variety of tasks, including email hosting, web applications testing, backing up files, setting up a VoIP server, or hosting gaming server and much more such as an extra layer of security through creating your own VPN. You can use it to access a GUI remotely. Even if you just want to experiment and fine tune your skills, a VPS would be the right option for you.

Here at UKHost4u, we offer affordable and powerful VPS cloud hosting for every self-hosting enthusiast. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions before getting started…

What are you planning to use your VPS for?

You’re not sure a VPS is the perfect fit for what you want to achieve? You are not sure about the exact requirements of your projects? Or you simply have a question?

Feel free to contact our friendly support team available 24/7 to answer all the questions you may have.

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