For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web h... See Full Bio
Ample RAM (5GB or more), e-commerce options for selling products, 24/7 customer service, and unlimited monthly data transfers are highly sought-after features, too. Many web hosts cap their dedicated monthly data transfer offerings at 16GB, which is probably fine for most users. Some web hosts offer unlimited monthly data transfers, but they are few and far between, and you need to read the terms of service very carefully to understand just what "unlimited" means to the host in question. In addition, companies that offer dedicated web hosting typically offer daily backups, security options, and malware detection and removal—all very important factors in your website's day-to-day operation.
A dedicated server is a single physical computer engineered to support multiple users, run a large number of different services and applications, and manage, store, send and process data 24-hours a day. A dedicated server allows for all the resources of the physical computer to be "dedicated" to one client and the hardware resources are not shared with any other clients. This is in contrast to shared servers and cloud servers where the resources of the physical computer system are shared amongst many clients.
Users of VPS hosting have allocated resources just like Dedicated hosting users, however the amount of available resources on VPS servers may still not be what a website needs. For example, VPS servers often start at 2GB of RAM, whereas Dedicated servers often start with at least 4GB of RAM available. In short, Dedicated hosting allows for the same full customization and control of a VPS server, but with even more horsepower.
The answer to this question largely depends on two factors. Are you new to server technology and not very interested? In this case, Windows is the easiest option to get where you want to go. Do you already have experience with Linux or would you like to familiarize yourself with this operating system? If so, Linux gives you more freedoms to configure your server, and you will be using an operating system that is less vulnerable to attacks from the Internet. Linux is also open source and therefore free.