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Have you narrowed your search for the perfect cloud-based hosting provider down to Vultr or Linode?
Both are excellent options, with a range of reliable features. But even in a single side-by-side comparison, there are a lot of things to keep on mind when making your choice.
Along with the price, metrics like available storage, bandwidth, and the number of CPU cores can become cumbersome to compare. Add in factors such as how billing is handled, and it quickly becomes overwhelming.
If this sounds like you, then continue reading for a breakdown of Vultr vs Linode that doesn’t just look at the technical specs, but walks you through why each cloud-based hosting provider is a good solution.
You’ll learn the nitty-gritty details, but also why those details matter, in an easy, one-at-a-time fashion.
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Available RAM: the power behind your site
Potentially, the most important consideration is how much RAM you’ll get for your money. The amount of available RAM determines how well the virtual private server (VPS) performs, especially if you’re intending to run multiple websites behind a reverse proxy. If you’re intending to have lots of traffic—and that’s the goal, right?—then you’ll want a lot.
For this comparison, and all the comparisons hereafter, I will use the 16GB plan for two reasons: first, they both offer a 16GB plan, which enables comparing apples to apples; secondly, a 16GB plan is reasonable for most users. While the metric being examined is only RAM for this first entry, we are going to use the same plan for comparison purposes thereafter.
This one’s easy. As you can clearly see, you get more than 25% more RAM per month for your dollar. Additionally, it’s a clean-cut comparison, as you get the same amount of RAM in both packages, but Linode’s simply costs less.
Disk space: room for your site to grow
As disk space determines how much data your website can retain, from information on customers to incredibly important backups of your website, and it’s critical to have plenty. But it can also get really expensive if you have too much and don’t need it all, so getting a good deal is a balancing act.
On the other hand, you want to be sure that you can purchase additional disk space through your provider or that you start out with a little more than you need especially as your website grows.
Let’s break down the available plans to find out how much you’re really spending.
Vultr's disk space
At their $80 per month price, you’ll be getting 200GB of space stored on a solid-state disk, which equates to 2.5GB per dollar. 200GB is a generous amount to start with.
Linode's disk space
Linode charges less and at $60 per month it offers only 20GB of solid-state disk space. That’s a huge difference, and if you’re guessing the $20 difference doesn’t make up for it, you’d be right; you get only 0.33GB per dollar. While you can purchase more, it’s clear that their disk space is not cheap.
Would you rather spend a dollar and get 2.5GB or 0.33GB? The winner here is clearly Vultr.
Bandwidth transfer: your maximum occupancy
Having a limit on your bandwidth transfer is kind of like having a fire marshal tell you how many people you can fit inside of a traditional business building. Whereas a fire marshal might tell you no more than 200 people can fit inside of a building and that will always cap how many customers you can serve at once, bandwidth transfer limits do the same for data.
Every time a customer visits your site, they’re using data. If all of your customers use up all of your data, you can’t serve any more data. That’s not a good place to wind up in.
Vultr's bandwidth transfer
Linode's bandwidth transfer
Linode wins this round, as one dollar gives you 83.33GB versus Vultr’s 62.5GB in this straight-up comparison.
Custom ISO: complete control of your setup
Having a custom ISO means that you can run through boot and setup processes just like you would on a regular metal server. Direct console access allows customization of this process while you’ll also be able to redeploy new servers by taking snapshots of your existing one.
Additionally, administrators will be able to troubleshoot with more freedom. If none of this has been a concern before, then it is likely your website is not complex enough to be concerned about this factor, but advanced users will likely want to take note. Remember, of course, that your website could potentially grow, requiring new needs. If in doubt, talk to your website administrators!
Vultr's custom ISO service
Vultr allows users to create unlimited combinations of operating systems across 16 international locations.
Linode's custom ISO service
When it’s Linode vs Vultr, you’ll find Linode offers no custom ISO service, and so Vultr walks away with a clean victory.
Block storage: building your site intelligently
Block storage allows administrators to break websites into blocks, or large chunks of data. Blocks are able to act as independent hard disks, meaning it’s easy to partition file systems and databases.
In general, block storage is also considered to be more efficient and reliable. On the other hand, they are also more complicated, so you’ll want to be sure you understand how to use block storage before getting started.
Vultr's block storage
Vultr includes block storage as an option in their plans.
Linode's block storage
Linode does not offer block storage as an option.
Support: getting help when you need it
Inevitably, at some point, you’ll need help with something related to your VPS. While most cloud-based hosting offers some level of support, which one has the best will truly matter when you really need it. Of course, support can take a variety of forms, from on-the-phone technical support, chat support, tutorials, user forums, and much more.
Since it wouldn’t be fair to only look at one single thing, we’re weighing the support provided in each of these arenas to determine the winner.
Vultr offers a wide range of support resources, including an on-site contact form, 24/7 phone contact support, a user forum that is also frequented by administrators, and plenty of tutorials and getting-started documentation. Additionally, there are many web resources from third-parties on a wide number of websites, as well as help on video platforms such as YouTube, which are both official and unofficial.
Linode also offers great support, which takes the form of email contacts, 24/7 phone contact support, an active community section with a forum that is frequented by administrators as well as passionate users, and resources in the form of tutorials and much more. They even have a dedicated IRC channel for talking directly to a support team.
What’s truly unique about Linode’s support is that the website for Linode also integrates a lot of functionality with Github, StackScripts, and provides a wealth of scripts and API knowledge that’s ready to go for your website.
Conclusion: who wins at the cloud-based hosting game?
If you’ve narrowed your focus down to a battle between Vultr vs Linode, it’s probably because you’ve already done your homework and know that both are great providers. Both are routinely rated highly by consumers and offer a great service at a reasonable cost. Additionally, many have comparable metrics until you really start digging down and doing the math.
Based on the above analysis, it would appear that Linode provides superior value. While there are certain key things that Vultr does have—for example, block storage and a custom ISO—overall, Linode provides better value. You get much more RAM and bandwidth transfer for your money.
Whereas Vultr does provide more disk space for your money, disk space is nowhere near as important as RAM and bandwidth transfer for today’s business, and purchasing more disk space is always relatively cheap compared to RAM and bandwidth transfer.
For understanding advanced features, you may want to brush up with a great video to better understand how file storage works:
While average users may not need block storage or a custom ISO, you are likely to need support. Both offer great support, but Linode goes above and beyond with tons of resources and ready-made scripts and API toolkits to ensure instant success.
Of course, which appeals the most to you will be dependent on your needs, but if you want an all-around great package, try Linode. Use the above metric comparisons to assist you in your decision, and enjoy quality website hosting!
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