Best Dedicated Server Hosting 2018

Our 2018 Best Dedicated Server Hosting Award goes to InMotion Hosting.

When you're looking for the best feature sets, the utmost compatibility with industry standard software, the most bang for your buck, and the most comprehensive technical support in town look no further. InMotion brings the best of all worlds under one roof, providing unbeatable services at competitive prices.

InMotion always led its competitors because of its rock-solid hardware, business-smart software, awesome technical support, and its budget-minded dedicated hosting plans.

Why InMotion Hosting?

Dedicated hosting is a comprehensive product, and after evaluating the industry, we have given the "Best Dedicated Hosting Award" to InMotion Hosting. With their strong hardware investment, along with their reliable technical support, InMotion is a smart choice for businesses looking for an efficient, powerful, and smart way to host their own servers. InMotion Hosting has earned 3 out of 3 Stars from CNET to become a CNET Certified Service Provider. They have maintained this prestigious position from one of the most recognized names on the Internet since 2003!

InMotion uses a combination of server hardware and software to specifically cater to the demanding business world, offering dedicated servers to match heavy load. Their hardware, at the lowest tier, comes stock with 3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors, including turbo mode. RAM starts at 8GB DDR3 ECC, and it maxes out at 64GB with an 8.0 GT/s front-side bus. All dedicated hosting plans utilize SSDs for primary storage, which is 20X faster than traditional HDDs. Unlike its competitors, InMotion Hosting does not take the cheapest parts on the market and piece together a server. They only use best-of-breed Dell PowerEdge and Sun Microsystems server hardware to ensure the highest quality of service, maximum uptime, superior efficiency, and increased stability over InMotion’s competitors. Each server also comes with an authorized cPanel account, offering a simple and efficient way to manage server data.

At the same time, we also liked InMotion for its budget-friendly prices that are suitable for even small businesses. Monthly rates with dedicated support start at only $99.99 a month, before topping out at $489.99. The company also provides a reduced-cost, semi-annual billing rate that helps budget-conscious businesses balance the books. Of course, we would be remiss to mention that one of the final deciding points in InMotion’s favor was its 24/7 technical support, which is still critically important for dedicated hosting. Their experience and expertise really make a huge difference.

In hindsight, it’s easy to see why we picked InMotion for the "Best Dedicated Server Award". From its robust server hardware to budget-friendly pricing – not to mention its effective data plans and unlimited features – make InMotion an ideal solution for small businesses and large corporations looking to move securely into the world of dedicated hosting.



Total Hosted Domains:

500k

Comparing InMotion against other dedicated server providers:

InMotion HostGator BlueHost GoDaddy Liquid Web
Network Uptime 99.999% 99.9% 99.99% 99.9% 99.995%
Top Tier Bandwidth
Cpanel/WHM Cost Free Free Free $10/mo $20/mo
Free SSD Offered Free
Extra Backup 10GB @ $7.50/mo Free
Pre-installed Software Firewall
Root & SSH Access
Launch Assist
Free IPs 15 2 3 3 3
Money Back Guarantee
Network Transparency
  • Best-of-breed Hardware
  • Intel® Xeon® CPUs (up to 16 cores)
  • Full cPanel License Included
  • Samsung Ultra-high Performance SSDs
  • RAID Technology to Protect your Data by Placing it on Multiple Disks
  • Free SSL (HTTPS) using AutoSSL - NO MORE Annoying SSL Renewals and Installation
  • Gbe Uplinks with up to 15 TBs Premium Data Transfer
  • 2-hour Hardware Replacement
  • Up to 15 Free Dedicated IP Addresses
  • Top Tier Network / 99.99% Uptime
  • Risk-free Trial - Free Setup & 30-Day Money Back Guarantee!
  • Best Dedicated Hosting by "Web Hosting Geeks" (2018)
  • Best Dedicated Server Host by "Web Hosting Rating" (2018)
  • Best Dedicated Hosting by "Web Hosting Fan" (2018)
  • Certified Service Provider "CNET" (2003-2018)

Best Dedicated Hosting Nominees - October 2018

  • Servers OS

  • CPU type

  • CPU clock

  • CPU cores / threads

  • RAM

  • SSD Drives

  • Disk Space

  • Dedicated IPs

  • Bandwidth

  • Network

  • SLA Net uptime

  • Reliability & Uptime

  • Control Panel

  • Setup fee

  • Root & SSH Access

  • Support

  • Tech support

  • Data center

  • Money-Back Guarantee

  • Price

  • Plans

  • Price / month

What is a Dedicated Server Hosting?

When most people build their first website, they often choose shared hosting because it is affordable. Shared hosting is essentially one server for sometimes thousands of websites. Each site is on its own virtual server inside the server and can’t interact with others.

With dedicated hosting, your website is the only one on the server. This provides a number of benefits. For one, you won’t need to share CPU cycles, bandwidth, storage, RAM and more with any other websites. Because you have your own server, all of these resources are dedicated to your website only for maximum reliability and speed.

Dedicated servers provide much more power as compared to VPS or shared hosting. Within the web hosting business, the term dedicated server is used in reference to the rental, as well as, exclusive utilization of a computer, which encompasses a web server, the related software, not forgetting the internet connection, usually housed within the web hosting firm’s premises.

Mostly, a dedicated server is required for a website or a web application, which may develop a significant amount of traffic or processing power. A dedicated server is essentially a fast PC, factored to fit the server rack. Hosting providers run about 2000-2500 shared hosting accounts per a single commercial class dedicated server, which costs new about $15,000 per machine or blade, as they call it in the hosting world.

You can run the dedicated server form your home or an office, it is very loud, and to get to the level of security, cooling, network uptime and power redundancy you need a professional data center. Only a few hosting providers operate their own data centers, more often a hosting provider lease out the data center space on the collocation terms and call it their home. Some never even had access to the datacenters. For example, Hostgator never even had a data center, (until recently acquired by Endurance International) and were always leasing servers from the large dedicated server provider Softlayer.

When you’re choosing a dedicated hosting provider, there are many factors to consider. This type of customizability is a good thing and you'll be able to pick the perfect configuration for your needs. However, while deciding on the dedicated server hosting to implement, it is vital to put into consideration various factors prior to taking the jump.

Who Can Benefit from a Dedicated Hosting?

Many new website owners will choose shared hosting because it’s typically more affordable. With that in mind, if your website starts to develop a stronger following and more traffic, a dedicated hosting platform will be better.

If you operate an already popular website, shared hosting probably isn’t an option for you because of aforementioned reasons and dedicated hosting is the only way to go.

Businesses will most often choose dedicated hosting because it offers the most reliability and won’t slow down the performance or user experience like shared hosting can on occasion. Also, if the website relies on databases and shared access files, you’ll need a dedicated hosting service.

Benefits of a Dedicated Hosting

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the single biggest perk of using a dedicated hosting service is that you won’t need to share any of the server’s resources with other websites that could detrimentally affect your website’s performance.

Here are a few of the other benefits that you should keep in mind as you make your selection:

Enhance Security and Improved Performance

Many people choose dedicated website hosting over shared hosting because of the advanced security features available with dedicated hosting plans. When you’re the only customer on the server, you won’t run into potential security risks like sharing a server with a spammer. You can also rest assured knowing that you won’t have to suffer a malicious hacker attack should it compromise another website on the server.

More Options

When you go with a dedicated hosting provider, you'll find that they offer not only more packages, but also more flexible and customizable options for customers. You can specify your server configuration, select your hardware and software, and the resources that you'd like to access.

More Freedom

Because you won't need to share your server with any other customers, you'll have more freedom over how you choose to use the hardware. This kind of freedom can include installing more types of software and scripts and even control over the configuration of the server.

More Affordable that Buying Your Own Server

If you wanted to host your own server at your business or in your home, you would have to pay for the hardware and software up front. This equipment isn't cheap and could set you back thousands of dollars before you even consider the utility cost of running the equipment 24/7. What's more, you'd need to pay for the maintenance and repairs of the equipment. This takes time and money, and by choosing a dedicated hosting provider, you can avoid these costs for the most part.

Potential Drawbacks of a Dedicated Hosting

Can Be Expensive

There’s no way around this fact, but dedicated hosting providers will always charge more than shared hosting providers. Even when you choose a lower-budget option, you can still expect to pay over $60 a month for their services. If you need upgrades in your plan like higher CPU cycles and bandwidth, you can expect to pay more.

More Responsibility

When you choose to work with a dedicated hosting provider, you might be required to take on more responsibility for the security of your website. While most shared hosting providers will take care of this for their customers, since you’re the only website on the server, you’re essentially on the hook for this.

Some Technical Experience Required

With a shared hosting provider, you don’t need hardly any technical knowledge or experience to get started. With a dedicated hosting provider, however, you'll need to know how to access data at the root level, and the wrong command in the console could erase your entire website.

How to Choose a Dedicated Server Hosting?

Businesses, whether big or small, have a wide variety of options for either hosting their websites, mail servers or web applications. It is the desire of every business entity to have more power, as well as, control over its hosting needs, an aspect that has greatly contributed in making dedicated server hosting the most preferable choice to many. There are a variety of different options available, but many see dedicated web hosting as the best choice. Even so, many still think that it might not work for their particular website, and with so many dedicated hosting providers to choose from, selecting the right one to trust with your website can be a challenge.

Finding the best provider could make all of the difference for your website. Web hosting has many effects on your website including the user experience, the security of your site, your SEO ranking, and the ease of managing it. With dedicated server hosting, users usually rent a server from the dedicated server hosting provider, which gives the users full accessibility (remotely most often) to server resources.

No matter what new technologies get incorporated into the hosting world, there will always be a place for the dedicated server hosting account. It doesn’t necessarily make the host the most money: squeezing a few hundred accounts on a shared server does that. But it’s a market need that will never go away. Web hosting companies to this day respond to this demand by loading up their dedicated server plans with as many goodies as they can to lure in more fish. But which ones should you bite at, and which ones should you swim by? You should factor in the following aspects when in the process of identifying the ideal dedicated server:

1. Hardware

Bearing in mind that one is to rent a whole physical server, it turns out as necessary to pay for excellent quality hardware, not simply an assortment of outdated components that have been amassed together within an old metal chassis. On the contrary, go for the dedicated servers that have enterprise-grade HDDs or SSDs. Search for the branded servers such as HP, Dell or Super micro, which have won a name for themselves within the industry as good quality server brands. Ultimately you need to compare offers by processor class, CPU speed, amount of RAM, and HDD type. Your dedicated server will always have limited I/O on the machine. It is very common that the bottleneck is the type of the HDDs you use. SSD gives you about 20x read/write speed than server class SATA drives, so the most cost-effective model for today is to have SSD for the database and SATA for static data storage like your images, videos, and backups.

2. Operating Systems

Before you pick your provider, you need to consider the operating system that you’ll need from your server. For example, if your core technology is ASP.NOT you’ll need Windows. If the provider only offers Linux server, you’ll be out of luck. Nevertheless, always go for the Linux version, it is proven to be more reliable over time.

3. Bandwidth

A lot of at-home users have been hit with throttling or bandwidth usage charges for playing their World of Warcraft or downloading just a few too many Transformers movies. The reason your ISP doesn’t let you slide on this is that they are just as crunched on costs for it as you are. Bandwidth costs are one of the most inelastic of all services that any host can offer.

Bandwidth greatly depends on the size of traffic that the user is anticipating to serve. The server’s network bandwidth dictates the quantity of data that can be moved from and to the website in a certain period (per billing cycle). In that regard, it is outright that websites that serve a great number of visitors require higher bandwidth as compared to the ones that serve a smaller number of persons. Most of all, a large bandwidth capacity is needed in the event the user intends to stream media files on the website, high-quality images, or database data travel between multiple servers that are associated with intense database usage, commonly known with the “big data” projects.

So if one host is giving you a much better deal on it than another, and you think there’s a good chance that you might actually need that much, you can strongly consider going with them on the basis of that alone. The chances that a host will let you "slide" for going over are slim, no matter how good your reputation with them is.

4. 24/7 Support

When you work with a dedicated hosting provider, you are still responsible for managing your dedicated server, but the provider should still help you out with technical support should you ever need it. You shouldn’t have to wait long for the team to help you, and the best providers will offer 24/7 support for their customers.

Actually, this one is a bit worthless because no host at this stage would be without it. True, there won’t be someone staring at a process chart for your server all night, and you may not be able to necessarily get a hold of a tech support worker for basic questions.

But what goes on with your machine could be going on with the rest of the network. Furthermore, even if they are not guaranteeing support, if they see your server down, your host knows full well that taking 30 seconds to walk over and hit the reboot switch because they “just happened to see it was down” is a great way to keep your loyalty.

5. Managed vs. Unmanaged

As the user, you have to make up your mind as to whether to go for the managed or the unmanaged hosting. Concerning the managed hosting package, the host takes up the responsibility of offering support for each problem or task, whether routine or emergency. Of course, there is a limit, in that the user may not get any support once it gets to issues such as coding problems. However, the operating system, server setup, control panel in addition to all other pre-installed applications are supported, in other words, managed. Typically, managed hosting is accompanied by automated backup together with monitoring. Therefore, managed hosting involves less work on the side of the user and needs little expertise. In case anything goes awry, the host is always in touch to resolve any emerging problems. Nonetheless, it is considered somewhat expensive (about $20-40/month) as compared to non-managed hosting support. As an example, Inmotion Hosting offers this kind of support for an extra $20/month.

On the other side, there is no routine support offered in the case of unmanaged hosting. The host simply offers services such as replacement of failed components and rebooting of servers but does not provide support software or install anything for the user. It is therefore upon the user to maintain and control the server. The user also has to install security patches related to their server’s infrastructure. Some hosts do not even offer web server software or control panel, making it the responsibility of the user to do it. Under unmanaged hosting, the user enjoys sole access, as well as, total freedom, simply as the servers were theirs. Besides, it is relatively cheaper, so for those conversant with their OS, it turns out to be the best deal, but lots of headaches when you don’t have an in-house systems team.

6. Network Quality and Uptime

Even some of the best website servers will run into problems at some point. When you go the dedicated hosting route, it is even more crucial that you read the terms and conditions of the plan before you sign up. This type of hosting is much more hands-on than any other kid, and for this reason, you need to know that you know what you are responsible for and what you are not.

We’ve covered uptime many times before but it bears repeating: this is all shine. It’s not that most hosts won’t actually achieve this, assuming that they haven’t set the bar ludicrously high with a parade of 9’s. It’s that life is simply too chaotic. As the old proverb goes, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." No host would survive long if your site went down much as it is. Customers don’t need a calculator in front of them to know that their host is reliable. On the other hand, if a comet struck a web host, few would blame them for taking just a second to get your site back up while they looked for a broom.

The ideal web host is the one who demonstrates excellent network quality. Try to find out the host’s ‘Tier’ rating, as it happens to be the best indicator of how good or even bad is the network infrastructure of the host. Those under ‘Tier 1’ are considered to have non-redundant power together with comments and an expected uptime of 99.671%. The hosts that are classified as ‘Tier 1’ have a redundant site infrastructure and their expected uptime is 99.741, whereas the ones under ‘Tier 3’ have dual powered equipment, concurrently maintainable site infrastructure and an expected uptime of 99.982%. Lastly, those within ‘Tier 4’ have dual powered HVAC (cooling equipment), fault-tolerant site infrastructure and an expected uptime of 99.995%. One should always opt for the minimum Tier 4 provider. Any other option will have an extra associated risk in the event one or multiple core components fail.

7. Control Panels & Software

It is advisable to have a service provider who is capable of providing not only a clean panel but also a functional interface. Generally, Plesk (Windows & Linux) or cPanel (Linux/Unix only) and considered as the most ideal. cPanel is known as the end user name, but to manage your server accounts and the server itself you’d use WebHost Manager (WHM). The aforementioned control panels have been recommended partly due to the fact that they facilitate smooth migration of websites in the event the need emerges. Most of all, undertake a fact-finding study to establish whether the host can install extra software such as 1-click software installer (Softaculous), billing software (WHMS) and others if needed.

8. Scalability

If and when your site grows, you’re going to want more bandwidth to keep up with the traffic. Even if you only need to increase your allotment temporarily, you still want to make sure that the dedicated hosting provider you work with allows this sort of thing.

Even the best dedicated server providers often charge extra if you go over your bandwidth allowance. However, that’s better than one that will suspend your site until the next cycle.

Keep in mind that many of the dedicated hosting providers on the market will charge an additional fee for this, but unlike shared hosting providers, they most likely won't pull the plug on your website for the month because of it. Many of the most reputable dedicated hosting providers will also let you purchase more bandwidth in advance at a discount.

9. Backup

This, on the other hand, is one that you want to place a high value upon. If you would believe it, there are still plenty of hosts that take the view that your backups are your responsibility. If your machine dies, oh well. Then there are also hosts who realize the kind of business that the above hosts are losing and want to claim them for their own. There are a wide variety of ways that hosts will guarantee this. They are all good. Look especially for the speed of recovery, redundant data centers, and manual recovery options as things that are worth the extra buck.

10. Advertising Credits

The important thing to remember with advertising credits that come with a hosting account is that the dollar values that you receive aren’t “real” values in any way. They are just the cost of a certain type of advertising block on that site. If, for example, Facebook were to double all their ad rates tomorrow, many hosting companies would likely follow suit by doubling or at least increasing their offerings. You would still be getting about the same advertising placement...mostly.

Saying this does neglect the fact that if Facebook did do this, fewer people would be able to afford it, and you’d wind up with a higher listing by attrition. That does highlight the ambiguity with this service, though. Major websites seldom release the algorithms they use for how someone gets a higher page rank or ad frequency rate. Worse, these algorithms can often change without notice. Your $50 might get you page 1 with Google today, and page 42 tomorrow.

This should not imply that advertising credits are worthless. A lot of webmasters plan on advertising on these sites anyway: for them, these credits can’t hurt. How much it will help, though, is the great unknown. If you do want one good rule of thumb, it’s better to have your advertising credits spread out.

11. Access to the Datacenter

Rarely there may be a requirement to have an access to your server physically. This usually entails higher cost due to security clearance that must occur every time you visit the data center. You may want to check where the hosting provider data centers are the closest to you as this may be one of the decision factors while choosing the most appropriate dedicated hosting provider for you.

12. Root Access

We’ll close our list with one that you will not see often. If you do, take it, but with a grain of salt.

Root access is great for you. You don’t need to be told the functionality that this gives you. If you find out about a serious software bug or need some kernel recompiled fast, you don’t have to wait for a tech worker, and you don’t have to hope that they do it right. The back and forth that you get from this kind of a problem as you quote error messages to each other can be a true pain and time waster.

However, if your host does offer it, step back and take a look at them. Do they look like a fly-by-night host, or are they around for the long term? When a company allows this they are opening themselves up to danger if the customer doesn’t know what they are doing. If they look like they are established enough and organized enough to handle it when a customer does something that makes the network hiccup, then this is a good thing. If they look like someone who will be chasing their tail trying to find the problem, this means that this service could negatively affect you even if it’s not you who used it recklessly. Not being affected by other users was the whole point of getting a dedicated server in the first place.

Final Advice

In most cases, people fail to realize that no hosting providers are the same. Others make the mistake of basing their purchasing decisions on prices only. Although it is understandable that everyone desires to operate on the lowest budget possible, choosing the cheapest option may end up leading to poor customer service, reliability issues, and security concerns among other shortcomings.

It is also of great essence to fully understand your specific needs prior to making your mind as to whether to go for the managed or non-managed hosting. Simply going for the non-managed hosting based on its lower costs as compared to managed hosting may turn out to be the worst mistake in the event you are not conversant with OS, and thus you have to pay the host for every consultation that you make. Make sure you study the SLA that guarantees the response times for support, upgrades, bandwidth and the emergency troubleshooting.

If you think that dedicated hosting is the right choice for you and your website, you can enjoy many perks and benefits not available in other options. If you are a business or your website is remotely popular, experiencing high web traffic numbers, a dedicated hosting service will provide you with various security and flexibility options, which will bring a better experience for your users.

One last word of advice: Moving your website from one dedicated hosting provider to another takes considerable effort and time. You shouldn’t ever feel like you only have one option, but you should also make sure that you are doing your research beforehand to make sure you make the right choice the first time around.

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