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VPS vs VPN – Similar Names, But Completely Different Functions

Richard Bailey
by Atlantic.Net (62 posts) under VPS Hosting
0 Comments
Level – Intermediate or Beginner

The technology industry is full of acronyms, and although VPS Hosting and VPN have similar names, they are different things altogether. Though the acronyms look and sound similar, in reality, they are individual technologies that have very little to do with one another.

Naming convention similarities can indeed cause confusion, especially for individuals outside of the tech industry, but you can rest easy, as we will explain the difference and help you to understand which technology is best for your current needs.

Let’s break these acronyms down. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. They are two completely different technologies, so it is important to understand what the difference is to ensure you are getting the correct service.

What is a VPS?

A VPS is a server, typically a server that users can lease from a hosting provider. The VPS is an isolated virtual machine with finite local resources. Resources are allocated from a physical host, and the hosting provider will likely have many VPS hosts in a data center; they essentially split up the host into multiple Virtual Private Servers.

A typical standard VPS configuration will usually not be interconnected with other services and does not share resources. You simply purchase some server space and get to work. However, there are alternative solutions available, and Cloud VPS can share resources and interconnect with other cloud services such as backups, edge services, and many other managed services. You can also get a Dedicated Host that you can place VPS on, an entirely private host for your personal use.

What are the advantages of a VPS?

VPS is popular for a reason, and there are several advantages of using a VPS. Primarily, they are typically less expensive than other cloud server offerings. Another advantage is that the user rarely knows that they are working on a shared tenancy as performance is usually very good, and all neighboring VPS are completely isolated from one another by the host. Your neighbors can reboot, upgrade operating systems, and pretty much do what they like, and it will not affect you.

Cloud VPS

Atlantic.Net also offers a Cloud VPS service that guarantees system resources without the need for a dedicated host (although we offer that too). Cloud VPS includes additional high availability configurations and access to other ACP Cloud Services such as onsite and offsite backups, snapshots, and Secure Block Storage.

Our Cloud VPS servers are built to stringent security best practices, and all servers have root access (or Windows Administrator) privileges enabled and available upon launch. The Atlantic.Net Cloud VPS combines simplicity, security, and scalability with the reliability of the latest virtualization and cloud hosting platform technology.

You can scale up when needed, you only have to pay for what you use, and you can cancel the Cloud VPS at any time with no commitments, saving you significant time and money.

What is a VPN?

Now know what a VPS is, so let’s take a look at VPNs to understand why they are different from VPSes! A virtual private network (VPN) is a secure, private and encrypted network connection between two endpoints. A secured VPN tunnel is created peer-to-peer to encapsulate all network traffic, even if being used over the public internet.

The technology is widely used by home workers to create a private network connection between you and a workplace computer network. This is done over a home internet connection. It enables the user to access workplace resources and use your computer as if you were sitting at your office desk.

The VPN creates a secured network tunnel where the end-user can safely transmit sensitive data without the risk of any data being compromised. With today’s rapid internet speeds, there is no noticeable difference in the user experience on a VPN connection compared with accessing the infrastructure directly outside of latency depending on physical distance from the data center.  The miles between the end-user and the data center are why Atlantic.Net has so many different physical locations across the globe.

Why is a VPN so popular?

Virtual Private Networks are incredibly popular because the technology not only allows the secure and private transfer of data between many different authorized endpoints, but also is very simple to use. It’s relatively easy to set up, too; long gone are the days where you need to purchase expected hardware VPN devices. Now you can configure a VPN as a software device in a matter of minutes. Popular VPN applications used by Atlantic.Net customers include StrongSwan and Wireguard.

Most VPN clients are very user-friendly, and since almost all workplaces have a VPN in place, the usage of the technology is becoming commonplace.

What are the key features of a VPN?

Data encryption is one of the primary features of a VPN as encryption protected the transfer of sensitive information. A VPN enforces the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of business data. The encryption ciphers used are so advanced that it is almost impossible to break 2048 bit encryption with today’s technology.

Access Controls can be applied to VPNs, and integration to business directory services (such as Active Directory) is very simple. One of the principal purposes of a VPN is to control access to digital resources. When a VPN is deployed, only authorized users can register a VPN account.

Strict access controls can be created that include locking down access to specific users, specific laptops, or workstations. Once a user is on the VPN, access controls can be set to control what and where the user can or cannot access the network. All VPN traffic can be logged and access logs are easy to decipher to who has accessed the network at a particular time; this is very useful for auditing businesses.

How can Atlantic.Net help?

You will be glad to know that Atlantic.Net can help you if you need a Cloud VPS, or if you need a VPN by provisioning a cloud VPS. For nearly 25 years, Atlantic.Net has helped thousands of businesses with industry-leading hosting solutions, and we can do the same for you too.

Atlantic.Net Cloud VPS is a far superior alternative to standard VPS, providing full control of your server software backed by dedicated and premium hardware resources.  Get started today with a free-to-use Cloud VPS Hosting for one full year today!

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