Shared and virtual private server (VPS) hosting options have their place. But those looking for the fastest, most powerful, secure and customizable web hosting option need to seek out a dedicated server.
With a dedicated server, all of the resources available are devoted to hosting a single website. The downside to this, however, is the cost — dedicated hosting is one of the most expensive hosting options available on the market.
Read on to find out about the best dedicated server hosts and how to pick the right one for your particular needs.
Choosing a Dedicated Hosting Plan
If you are in the market for a dedicated server, there are several things that you will want to consider when evaluating options:
- Resource allocation (e.g., how many CPUs and how much storage, RAM, and bandwidth is included)
- Whether the hosting plan is managed (e.g., comes with professional services like system administration) or not
- The hosting provider’s quality of customer service
- Plan bonuses, such as security suites, GUI control panels, domain names — many are premium options and the cost can add up quickly
Best Dedicated Hosting Providers
There are many hosting companies offering dedicated servers, but not all options are created equal. To help you get started with identifying the company and the server that is best for you, we have compiled brief reviews of eight popular and well-regarded web hosts.
|Providers||Uptime (measured)||Performance||Starting Price|
|LiquidWeb||99.865%||8 GB RAM|
500 GB SSD or 1TB HDD
|InMotion||100%||16 GB RAM|
2 × 240 GB SSD
|Bluehost||99.970%||4 GB RAM|
500 GB HDD
|HostGator||99.962%||8 GB RAM|
1 TB HDD
|A2 Hosting||99.995%||8 GB RAM|
2 × 500 GB HDD
|SiteGround||100%||16 GM RAM|
480 GB SSD
|GreenGeeks||99.995%||2 GB RAM|
500 GB SATA
|DreamHost||99.9%||4 GB RAM|
1 TB HDD
Liquid Web is a web hosting company offering fully managed solutions that are backed by 100% uptime guarantees and 24/7 support with responses guaranteed within 59 seconds.
Liquid Web’s managed dedicated servers are fully customizable, and there are options featuring a choice between Linux and Windows operating systems. Standard features and functionality include:
- Protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
- Integration with Cloudflare for content delivery networks (CDNs)
- Backup drives
- ServerSecure Advanced Security
- Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) and root access
- Dedicated IP addresses
- SSD storage
If you want cPanel/WHM (Linux servers) or Plesk Onyx (Windows), you’ll need to purchase these as add-ons. Control panels, however, are standard on the more expensive servers.
When purchasing, you will have six different servers from which you can choose. Depending on the option you choose, you can make customizations for things like the number of CPU cores or the operating system used. Further add-ons come at a 40% discount.
You can choose the datacenter that hosts your server. Current choices include Michigan, Arizona, and Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Regardless of what your dedicated hosting options are, all come with real-time monitoring and 100% power and network uptime guarantees.
Pros & Cons of Liquid Web
- 100% uptime guarantee
- 24/7 customer support
- DDoS protection
- Prices higher than their competitors
- cPanel and Plesk come as add-ons
InMotion Hosting offers semi-managed dedicated hosting options that feature SSD storage. There are six customizable stock dedicated server options. All come with SSD storage by default, include a cPanel and WHM for easier server management, and boast a 99.999% uptime guarantee.
You get basic server management free of charge. That includes the likes of operating system and cPanel patches and updates, and hardware updates in the event of failure. Other bonus features include up to 15 free IP addresses, security suite, and free assistance with launching your website (this includes help with website transfer and migration).
InMotion offers managed hosting options, though even unmanaged plans get up to $300 worth of one-on-one system administration time. The servers are Linux-only options, however, so if you are looking for a Windows hosting option, you will need to look elsewhere. If you are unsatisfied with your server, InMotion offers a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee.
InMotion offers their customers their choice of a datacenter, with one located just outside of Los Angeles, CA, and the other located in Washington, DC.
Pros & Cons of InMotion
- Six customizable dedicated server plans
- Free standard server management
- 100% money-back guarantee
- No datacenters outside the United States
- Linux options only
Bluehost is known for their WordPress plans, but the company also offers feature-rich dedicated hosting plans that are worth looking into. These plans are not as customizable as the options offered by their peers, but those facing decision fatigue would welcome the simplicity.
Bluehost offers three different dedicated servers from which you can choose. All come with a free domain name (for the first year), a free SSL certificate, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. These servers are unmanaged options, but they do include a customized cPanel to make server administration and account management easier.
Optional features for dedicated servers include domain privacy, the SiteLock security suite, and spam protection. Bluehost operates a technical support telephone line that is for use exclusively by dedicated hosting customers.
Pros & Cons of Bluehost
- Full-featured, unmanaged options that make it simple to choose and get started with dedicated hosting
- Exclusive phone support
- Free domain name and SSL certificate
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Fewer server options
- Less customizability
HostGator offers three customizable (semi-managed or managed) dedicated servers. Each comes with a standard number of CPU cores and allocation of RAM, storage space, and bandwidth. All plans offer the choice of Linux or Windows operating systems, while the mid-range and high-end options offer the choice of traditional hard disk storage or solid-state storage.
All dedicated hosting plans come with full root access, protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, IP-based firewalls, and 24/7 server monitoring. Managed servers running Linux come with cPanel/WHM for server management (Windows customers get Plesk and WebMatrix).
Customers can opt for a managed solution (which comes with assistance for almost any technical or configuration request) or a semi-managed solution (which comes with assistance for hardware, operating system, and basic configuration issues).
HostGator offers 24/7 support, along with a robust knowledgebase featuring over 500 video tutorials and almost 700 articles.
Pros & Cons of HostGator
- 24/7 round-the-clock support and robust help documentation
- DDoS protection
- Both Windows and Linux operating systems available
- Plan costs are higher than many competitors
- Fewer options for customers looking to tweak their plans
A2 Hosting, who bill themselves as a developer-friendly option, offers one of the most varied portfolios of dedicated hosting solutions around, including:
- Unmanaged Flex Dedicated Servers for those who are fully comfortable managing the server and web hosting environment from the command line
- Managed Flex Dedicated Servers for those who want A2 Hosting to handle 100% of the system administration tasks and a cPanel to handle configuration tasks
- Core Dedicated Servers for those who want a managed server, but also root access in case they want to handle in-depth tasks themselves
A2 Hosting offers three different plans for each type of dedicated hosting solution available. They can be hosted a 4 datacenters around the world (two in the US, one in Europe, and one in Asia).
Regardless of which type of dedicated server and plan you choose, you’ll get a 99.9% uptime guarantee, an anytime money-back guarantee, and 24/7 access to the Guru Crew for customer service and technical support.
Pros & Cons of A2 Hosting
- Developer friendly hosting with a variety of server management options
- Anytime money-back guarantee (within reason)
- Singapore datacenter available
- Fewer bonuses and freebies than competitors
- Less newbie-friendly
SiteGround is known for their top-notch customer support, but their hosting options are robust as well.
SiteGround’s dedicated hosting offers you the choice of a datacenter (current locations include the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific), as well as three different pre-configured plans from which you can choose. In addition, all plans come with:
- CentOS operating system with WHM and cPanel for server management
- 5 free dedicated IP addresses
- Free Cloudflare CDN
- SSH access
- Softaculous Auto-Installer
- Support for MySQL and PostgreSQL databases
- Exim Mail Server for email communication
- Private DNS server
- IP-based firewall
Those who are looking for hosting for their WordPress, Joomla, or Magento websites will find platform-specific functionality such as installation tools and Git-integration for backup and version control.
SiteGround’s prices are higher than their competitors, but the hardware allocations are good, and all plans are fully-managed and include 24/7 monitoring. You will also get 24/7 VIP support for any questions or concerns that you might have.
Pros & Cons of SiteGround
- Customizable dedicated hosting options backed by a company known for their customer service
- VIP support
- Fully-managed servers
- Free Cloudflare CDN and Softaculous installer
- Worldwide datacenters
- Expensive hosting plans
GreenGeeks, as the name implies, offers eco-friendly web hosting options. The California-based company is powered by renewable sources of energy and purchases enough wind energy credits to offset the energy consumed by the company three times over.
GreenGeeks offers four different dedicated server options from which you can choose. Unlike their competitors, however, GreenGeeks does not allow you to purchase dedicated hosting online — they ask that you contact their Sales team for further details if you are interested.
The website lists the resource allocation of the servers, but there is no information on any additional features and functionality, like server management.
Pros & Cons of GreenGeeks
- Simple, full-featured dedicated hosting plans
- Eco-friendly hosting powered by renewable energy
- 5 free IP addresses
- Can only purchase with the assistance of the GreenGeeks sales team
- Limited server information available online
DreamHost‘s dedicated hosting plans guarantee extreme performance and intuitive management. It comes with root access, either HDD or SSD hard drives with a 24×7 DDoS protection, and 2N+2 power redundancy for lightning-fast loading times. Their dedicated hosting plans give you the freedom to manage everything from one place and allows you to use your server resources how you want without having to share.
DreamHost offers two major dedicated hosting plans with the freedom to customize their existing features and appropriate it to your web hosting needs.
- Standard is DreamHost’s primary hosting plan and is considered an ideal starting point. Standard servers have 4-core processors to handle all of your sites’ visitors and come with 4GB RAM and 1TB HDD.
- Enhanced is the hosting plan that can handle multiple high-traffic sites easily. It offers a 12-core processor, up to 64GB of RAM, and 2TB of space.
Pros & Cons of DreamHost
- Easy to navigate control panel
- Great uptime service
- Variety of hosting plans
- Does not have servers outside the US
What is a Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server is essentially a rented computer that is available to only one website. The host provides all the infrastructure to support it and in many cases does the basic management to keep it running. It is distinct from co-location where a host provides the infrastructure for your own server.
That makes dedicated servers an expensive solution, but it also gives professionals the capacity they need to run resource-intensive applications or host websites that have to cope with huge traffic spikes. For many businesses, dedicated servers are essential.
When you select this kind of hosting, you get, as the name suggests, a dedicated server all to yourself. No other website lives on that server but yours. All the server’s storage space and speed are there for the benefit of your site alone.
Important Benefits of a Dedicated Server
Shared hosting is normally the cheapest hosting available from a web hosting company. Once a site outgrows the shared environment, it can be upgraded into a more flexible plan with higher capacity — normally a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
The trouble with a VPS is that it’s still based on sharing. In terms of its virtual existence, it’s isolated, but it still shares a single physical server with other VPS clients. There are fewer risks of problems from overutilization, but the VPS instances are not entirely isolated.
As a consequence, VPS customers only have partial control over the hosting environment, and they can still run into problems if a neighbor behaves badly.
A dedicated server is just that: dedicated to one customer. The entire box is yours. This means acres of space, large bandwidth limits, and no sharing with other websites. More importantly, it means that the customer is free to tweak and customize the whole environment, including the server operating system.
Dedicated servers offer the best performance, fastest speeds, and most secure hosting environment. However, not all plans match in value. With the information in this article, you should be able to make the best choice for your own needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dedicated Server
What is dedicated IP hosting?
Every Internet Protocol (IP) address is an identifier that allows information to flow across the internet. A dedicated IP is an IP address that is exclusively yours. Some hosts charge extra for them, and not everyone needs one.
Having a dedicated IP address can protect you from having your site banned if one of your server neighbors gets caught trying to put one over on the search engines.
Another benefit to choosing dedicated IP hosting is that most hosts will only allow you to set this type of hosting up once you’ve already set up a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
This provides encryption to your site, which is another level of security, and will be displayed in your site’s URL with https:// rather than just http://. This display lets users know they’re on a secured site.
So indirectly, selecting dedicated IP hosting can help your users feel more secure when using your site, which can be a boost for your brand and your business.
When do you need a dedicated IP?
Sometimes, a dedicated IP is the only way to run the services and applications you want to run. For example, gaming servers and chat servers often require dedicated IP addresses.
Businesses sending large quantities of email may also benefit from having a dedicated IP, since it can be whitelisted with more confidence.
Are dedicated IPs an SEO factor?
Some bloggers and SEO companies claim that dedicated IP addresses are better for SEO since Google prefers sites that don’t share IPs. Though, this isn’t proven.
There may be a small speed difference between shared hosting and other types of hosting, but this is not a direct relationship since shared hosting accounts can have dedicated IP addresses. Server speed can still vary depending on many other factors.
There are also claims that sites with the same IP address are less trusted. This isn’t proven either.
Most of these arguments are moot, because Google has said it will be using SSL certificates as a factor in its search engine rankings. Since you need a dedicated IP for an SSL certificate, there’s now a proven, albeit secondary, SEO benefit to having a dedicated IP.