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Unix vs. Windows host

Web Hosting Articles » Unix vs. Windows host



In the world of web hosting there are two main types of operating system platforms on which you may host your web site. These are namely: UNIX and Windows . Each has its own set of unique features, advantages and disadvantages.

While it is difficult to say which one is the better choice, it is not as difficult to answer which is the better choice given your needs. The language which your site is programmed in is what primarily defines the type of hosting you need.

Please, note that the operating system that you have on your desktop computer (Windows,MAC) has absolutely nothing to do with the one that the web hosting company uses to serve your web site. Most personal sites are created with MS FrontPage and even although that is a Microsoft product, it can be hosted perfectly on a UNIX web server with FrontPage Extensions installed.


Performance:
While there is some debate about which operating system performs better, in our opinion both perform comparably in low-stress conditions however UNIX servers under high load (which is what is important) are somehow better than Windows servers.

Scalability:
Web sites usually change over time. They start off small and grow as the needs of the person or organization running them grow. While both web hosting platforms can often adapt to your growing needs, Most UNIX-based programming features like PHP and MySQL can also be launched easily on a Windows web hosting server. While Microsoft technologies like ASP, .NET, SQL, MS Access and VB development need explicitly a Windows server. Well for example you can have classic ASP code on a UNIX web hosting machine, however we cannot tell the same for .NET, SQL and MS Access. Therefore if you wish to use the latter, you will need to pick up Windows web hosting package.

Compatibility:
Web sites designed and programmed to be served under a UNIX-based web server can easily be hosted on a Windows server, whereas the reverse is not always true. This makes programming for UNIX the better choice.

Price:
Servers hosting your web site require operating systems and licenses just like everyone else. Windows and other related applications like SQL Server each cost a significant amount of money; on the other hand, Linux is a free operating system to download, install and operate. Windows web hosting results in being a more expensive platform, hence windows hosting plans are usually more expensive compared to UNIX ones having the same space and bandwidth features.

Conclusion:
To sum it up, UNIX-based web hosting is more stable, performs faster and more compatible than Windows-based hosting. You only need Windows hosting if you are going to developing in .NET, ASP, Visual Basic, or some other application that explicitly needs Windows environment.


Comments 9 >>

Kyle Kochis Said,
Oct 31, 2006 @ 01:28

Couldn't agree more on this article. However the writer failed to mention the many security hole in the Windows operating system compared to *nix better security. Additionally, although PHP works under Windows, it is much more fast stable and secure under a *nix/apache setup vs. win/IIS setup. Not only that but other enterprise grade programming languages run just as well (if not better) under Unix/Linux/BSD such as Java, Python, Perl, Ruby (on Rails), etc. I would never host a Ruby, Perl or Python application on a Windows server. The setup would be a big hassle plus they just run better off *nix. Why deal with the bugs of Windows .NET when you can do beautiful things with and open language?
smoggindakrak Said,
Feb 07, 2007 @ 12:07

Thanx for a great article. I hope there is no conflict of interests there. Unix seems to be the winner for us.
James Said,
Oct 28, 2007 @ 12:16

One quick point: I would like to filter out hosting plans by features...

click 'linux' click 'dedicated' click price range etc.... is that so hard to do?
Mayank Vora Said,
Sep 29, 2008 @ 01:53

Also another important point
Windows Server generally costs higer than linux servers
Pharma Said,
Oct 29, 2008 @ 14:10

Completely agree
Trader Mom Said,
Nov 16, 2008 @ 19:56

I chose the LAMP stack. They are not only fast and reliable. They are free. I choose LAMP any day for a small to medium sized website. I'd still choose *nix + Java for large apps.
Pinup Said,
Nov 15, 2009 @ 08:18

I think windows servers is only for people only know .net and other srvices from mmicrosoft
Dmitry Agafonov Said,
Dec 11, 2009 @ 16:42

I fully agree with the author. For many years, the majority of web servers running on Linux + Apache + PHP. This kit is absolutely free and well proved popular with the vast number of users.
All of them are happy :-)
iizevbizua Said,
Apr 15, 2011 @ 12:43

Ask a Developer, where are the best text editors? UNIX.......Thanks
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