Tag: vs

By Ravi Chamria

Any person interested in publishing any data on the Internet requires Web Hosting. Web hosting has been around for several years now and has evolved from simple HTML pages hosting, small simple sites with a few images into full blown web based hosted applications where end users can visit a site, interact with the web site owner, and even purchase goods and services all over the internet.

The use of Internet as a medium for integrating business across the globe with the help of Web Based software applications has produced wide range of web based technologies like ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, and others. This choice has forced various options for web hosting now as HTML based sites work equally well on both Linux and Windows platforms.

Web hosting platforms vary from different types of operating systems. Microsoft Windows Server and Redhat Linux are just two examples and probably the most well known web hosting platforms. So, what is Windows or Linux web hosting and what are the advantages and disadvantages to hosting your web site on either Server. And why now Linux is gaining more popularity. Well, that’s just the answer isn’t it?

Linux platform has been developed by Community based efforts and it has been rendered for professional use with the efforts of many IT companies like Red Hat, Suse, Mandrake, and like. This background of Community development and open source nature of Linux Server and backup of professional IT companies has made Linux platform more powerful, inexpensive and secured.

The cost effectiveness in this competitive era is a major boost that the companies required without compromising on the quality and security of the product. Apart from ASP, ASP.NET, all other major web based technologies work well with Linux. The virtually free distribution of PHP, MySQL, PERL has reduced the costs of the website hosting tremendously on Linux Server. At Sakshay, we provide both kind of hosting services but the advice to companies requiring Hosting for HTML based websites, small applications like Recipe site is to use Linux Hosting.

The menace of viruses, spamming and hacking is also quite less with Linux Hosting. Firstly, this is due to the robust architecture of Linux Server and Secondly, due to many cost effective softwares available for protection on Linux Platform.

The following are the advantages of using Linux based web server compared to Windows based web server:

Stable and Robust: Linux/Unix operating systems has traditionally been believed to be very stable and robust. A web site housed on a Linux operating system will have very high up-time (of the order of 99.9%). Of course, other factors such as power supply, network admin skills, and network load etc. also matter when it comes to maintaining the system uptime.

Low cost of ownership: The Linux OS comes free of cost (or at very insignificant cost, usually cost of distribution). Also, it has full fledged server, and desk top applications that comes free along with the OS. These server applications (such as FTP, Web Server, DNS Server, File Server etc.) being free, are also very stable.

User Friendly: When it comes to web hosting, it is easy to host on Linux web servers. The process of uploading and hosting is almost same for both Linux and Windows web servers. If you want to use a Windows based tool such as Front Page for uploading a web site on to a Linux based web server, make sure that the Front Page extensions are enabled. This is only required if you are uploading using HTTP feature (http://www.yourwebsite.com) of Front Page. Front Page also makes it possible to upload a web site using FTP. You need to select [ftp://www.yourwebsite.com] for up loading using front page FTP option. Note that if you select “Front Page Extensions”; during web site design, you must enable Front Page extensions on a Linux web server also. These days, all Linux web servers are coming with installable Front Page extensions, and this should pose no problem for hosting on a Linux platform. You can use almost all types of file extensions (or scripts) when using Linux web server. Commonly, the following extensions are supported: .cgi, .html, .htm, .pl, .php, .shtml, .xml, and others. Basically it means that you can host web sites that use different types of server side scripts including .cgi, .pl, .php, and .asp (with plug-in).

Easy to move between hosts: A web site designed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server easily, where as the reverse is not always true.

Most widely used: Linux/Unix based web hosting is most widely used compared to Windows based web hosting.

Scalability: Scalability and future expansion are other major criteria to consider while hosting an application. A web site is dynamic. Usually, a web site starts with a few pages of html and grows over a period of time to suit the customers requirements. It is preferable to design a web site keeping this requirements in mind. A web site designed for compatibility with a Linux/Unix based web server meets the scalability requirement easily without making any site wide design changes.

Self Management of your website on a Linux Web Hosting Plan with Sakshay hosting is made very easy with our Implementation of the Award Winning Control Panel software by Sw-Soft called Plesk. Plesk is a web based interface to your Linux web hosting account that allows you to create e-mail addresses and mailboxes, view your web site traffic statistics, set permissions on your HTML, PHP pages, MySQL, and more. We also provide Windows Hosting with Plesk Panel.

So, all kudos to Linux and open source technologies for making the technology affordable and within the reach of common man.

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Dr Ravi Chamria is the CEO, Sakshay Infosystems Pvt Ltd. He can be contacted at ravi@sakshay.net or you may visit [http://www.articlesworld.com]

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By Evlondo Cooper

There are many website creators who want to compare Linux hosting in order to see how it measures up with other operating systems. In the past, there were major differences between the Linux and Windows hosting platforms. Deciding on the operating system that you will use to host your site was a big factor in determining how the site would be designed. Now, in this period of cross-system web hosting, the differences in the operating systems are relatively small. As a result, the best Linux hosting and the best Windows hosting are nearly the same.

There still are a few differences. The first difference is how users interact with the server. Usually, both offer FTP access to the files. Yet, Linux is the only one that offers telnet or ssh access. More than likely, this feature is aimed specifically at their respective target audiences. While Windows is targeted to the mass public, Linux is more focused toward the features that programmers want.

Regardless, this is not a fundamental difference, since there is little to differentiate FTP from telnet or ssh practically. FTP lets you download the file locally, while telnet and ssh allow you to change the root file on the web server through UNIX commands.

The second difference between Linux and Windows hosting is that they support different programming languages. Linux is usually associated with PHP, Perl, and CGI, while Windows is associated with ColdFusion and ASP. The database languages are also dissimilar, with Windows users favoring Access while Linux users prefer MySQL.

Windows creates web pages in .htm format and Linux writes sites in .html. These differences will be of no concern to many people. However, they can make difference depending on your preference for a certain language. For instance, trying to make alterations to Access files using an operating system that runs on Linux can be quite frustrating for burgeoning site developers.

Linux hosting plans are different from other OS hosting plans in other ways. In regards to security concerns, the common wisdom states that Windows has a variety of security concerns that make it more unstable. Mostly, this assumption is correct. It is important to remember that Linux has vulnerabilities too. Yet, most people agree that Linux is better at issuing updates and patches because their system is open source. Windows fixes their vulnerabilities when they issue periodic service packs. The average person looking to create a website relies on the network administrator for security. For competent administrators, it will not matter which OS is being used.

You have to make the choice that best suits your particular needs. If that is Linux or something else, it is preferable to choose a Linux hosting plan or any other hosting plan solely on whether the features and services it provides are best for you. Yet, if your administrators prefer a particular language make sure that compatibility is not a concern.

If specific requirements are not important, you should let qualified administrators examine whether you need the best Linux hosting plan or whether you should use another operating system. Instead, you should be trying to create a website with high quality content. Do not focus your efforts attempting to compare Linux hosting with other hosting platforms. Do your best to forge great content because it is a more pertinent consideration than the language you are using or the OS that is being used.

Feel free to visit my site where I further analyze and compare Linux hosting. Moreover, I provide you information about the best Linux hosting plans that will help you meet all your hosting needs.

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Windows vs Linux : Hosting

By Teeyes Siva

The Basics of Linux & Windows :

Linux (and its close relation Unix) and Windows 2000 (and its close cousin Windows NT) are types of software (known as operating systems) that web servers use to do the kind of things that web servers do. You do not need to know any real detail of either to make a decision as to which you need but here a few guidelines.

Just because you use a windows desktop PC doesn’t mean you have to opt for Windows web hosting (and the reverse is true as well). The operating system you use on your desktop has little to do with your choice of web hosts. As long as you understand how to use your FTP or web publishing software, your can use either operating system.

But what is important is that you know what you want your website to do and what you want to offer on it. This is what will ultimately help determine the type of web hosting that will work best for you. As mentioned earlier, interactive websites usually rely on ASP, PHP, or Perl type languages.

Linux Web Hosting or Windows 2000 Web Hosting ? Make your Choice !

When it comes to Web hosting, Linux has, for some time, been widely considered the best OS for Web servers. It’s typically found to be the most reliable, stable and efficient system and, as such, it’s commonly used for the demanding environment of Web and mail servers. Indeed,Most of the clients websites of aalpha NET runs on the Linux OS precisely because of this traditional stability.

The million-dollar question is what application are you looking to use for your hosting? Consider the tools and scripting languages you plan to use – if you use PHP, Perl or MySQL, Linux is the way forward. If apps are Microsoft-specific, then Windows is what you need.

If your site, like most web sites, is what might be termed “brochure-ware” then Linux servers are ideal. By brochure-ware I mean a site that offers the kind of information that in the past might have been provided on paper in the form of brochures, newsletters or data sheets. Brochure-ware sites will offer some interaction through enquiry forms and can certainly incorporate online purchasing and other routine e-commerce functions.

If however your site incorporates an online searchable database or interactive chat facilities then Windows 2000 or NT will be a better bet in most cases. It will cost a bit more but you’ll get that back in reduced development time and simply better functionality.

The following are the advantages of using Linux based web server compared to Windows based web server :

Stable: Linux/Unix operating systems has traditionally been believed to be very stable and robust. A web site housed on a Linux operating system will have very high up-time (of the order of 99.9%). Of course, other factors such as power supply, network admin skills, and network load etc. also matter when it comes to maintaining the system uptime.

Low cost of ownership: The Linux OS comes free of cost (or at very insignificant cost, usually cost of distribution). Also, it has full fledged server, and desk top applications that comes free along with the OS. These server applications (such as FTP, Web Server, DNS Server, File Server etc.) being free, are also very stable.

Ease of use : When it comes to web hosting, it is easy to host on Linux web servers. The process of uploading and hosting is almost same for both Linux and Windows web servers. If you want to use a Windows based tool such as Front Page for uploading a web site on to a Linux based web server, make sure that the Front Page extensions are enabled. This is only required if you are uploading using HTTP feature (http://www.yourwebsite.com) of Front Page. Front Page also makes it possible to upload a web site using FTP. You need to select [ftp://www.yourwebsite.com] for up loading using front page FTP option. Note that if you select “Front Page Extensions” during web site design, you must enable Front Page extensions on a Linux web server also. These days, all Linux web servers are coming with installable Front Page extensions, and this should pose no problem for hosting on a Linux platform.

You can use almost all types of file extensions (or scripts) when using Linux web server. Commonly, the following extensions are supported:

.cgi, .html, .htm, .pl, .php, .shtml, .xml, and others.

Basically it means that you can host web sites that use different types of server side scripts including .cgi, .pl, .php, and .asp (with plug-in).

Easy to move between hosts : A web site designed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server easily, where as the reverse is not always true.

Most widely used : Linux/Unix based web hosting is most widely used compared to Windows based web hosting.

Scalability : A web site is dynamic. Usually, a web site starts with a few pages of html and grows over a period of time to suit the customers requirements. It is preferable to design a web site keeping this requirements in mind. A web site designed for compatibility with a Linux/Unix based web server meets the scalability requirement easily without making any site wide design changes.

On the downside, Linux based web server is not fully compatible with Microsoft technologies. If you are using any specialized applications or VB for development of your web site, it is preferable to host with a Windows based web server.

About The Author

Teeyes Siva heads the Sales Operations @ aalpha NET. He can be reached @ siva@aalphanet.com or 00 91 452 3105858. aalpha NET (http://www.aalphanet.com) – is India’s leading domain name registration, web hosting service provider.

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By Richa Sinha

Confusion often arises while choosing a web-hosting platform, as which one is the best one and which one is the better one between Linux & Window hosting. The million-dollar question is what application are you looking to use for your hosting? Consider the tools and scripting languages you plan to use, if you use PHP, Perl or MySQL, Linux is the way forward. If apps are Microsoft-specific, then Windows is what you need.

Well in most of the cases, the general inclination generally moves towards the Linux web hosting platform and not on the window web hosting, because there are several positive factor that affect Linux and that Linux carries with itself.

While casting our views on Linux hosting we conclude that Linux is more reliable. These are considered to be the best OS for web server. Linux web hosting are typically found to be the most stable and efficient system and as such, it is commonly used for the demanding environment of web and mail server.

Besides, reliability, cost effectiveness is also one of the most favorable factors that make Linux first choice. Generally, the Linux OS comes free of cost or at a very insignificant cost, usually cost of distribution. Also, it has full fledged server, and desk top applications that comes free along with the OS. And, these server applications being free are also very stable.

In addition, Linux web hosting is easy to use and is perfect for your plan. When it comes to web hosting, it is easy to host on Linux web servers. The process of uploading and hosting is almost same for both Linux and Windows web servers. If you want to use a Windows based tool such as Front Page for uploading a web site on to a Linux based web server, make sure that the Front Page extensions are enabled. This is only required if you are uploading using HTTP feature of Front Page on your website. Front Page also makes it possible to upload a web site using FTP. These days, all Linux web servers are coming with installable Front Page extensions, and this should pose no problem for hosting on a Linux platform.

A web site designed for compatibility with a Linux/Unix based web server meets the scalability requirement easily without making any site wide design changes. A web site is dynamic. Usually, a web site starts with a few pages of html and grows over a period of time to suit the customer’s requirements. It is preferable to design a web site keeping these requirements in mind.

Today, Linux based web hosting is most widely used compared to Windows based web hosting. A web site designed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server easily but this is not possible with the window web hosting.

Therefore the above mentioned points proves that Linux web hosting maintain a much better position than window web hosting on the server platform.

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Author Richa Sinha is working for Website Design India. Vexat Inc. provides cheapest domain name registration India, and website hosting India [http://www.vexat.org/host.html].

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By Joe Duchesne

There are literally hundreds of thousands of web hosting companies out there. Many of these companies offer both Windows hosting and Linux hosting plans. Windows plans usually cost more because of the license costs imposed by Microsoft. Knowing this, how can you know when you need Windows hosting and when Linux hosting will work just as well or better? Keep reading to find out.

Windows operating systems are found on something like 95% of all personal computers in the world. With such a total dominance, Microsoft Windows is top of mind to most new people looking for web hosting.

In the web server world though, Windows based servers are behind less than 20% of all websites on the internet. This is according to the latest web server survey from securityspace.com. By choosing a Linux hosting plan, you will find yourself in good company.

When do you have to use Windows Hosting?

1. .NET technologies including ASP.net are not available on Linux platforms. If you have a website built with Microsoft .NET technologies you will have to choose a Windows hosting plan. In fact, if you need ASP without .NET features, most Linux hosting plans do not offer support for it.

2. Access Databases are only available with a Windows hosting plan. Access runs on a Microsoft Windows platform and cannot run on a Linux Operating system.

3. MSSQL is an enterprise class database put out by Microsoft. If you need an enterprise class database there are some alternatives that run on a Linux platform but if you need Microsoft’s MSSQL database, a Windows hosting plan will have to be your choice.

4. If you are using Microsoft’s Sharepoint services like some of the Sharepoint features found in Frontpage 2003, a Windows Hosting plan is your only choice.

What is the advantage to choosing Linux Hosting?

All the major services you need to run an enterprise class website are available on Linux based systems for free. Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP are being used together to provide the infrastructure behind some of the most traffic intensive sites on the internet.

PHP runs better on a Linux server than on a Windows server. Having said that, unless you are putting a heavy load on your PHP scripts, this will not be noticable.

In general, Linux hosting plans are at least 20% cheaper than Windows hosting plans. If you don’t need any of the features mentioned above, Linux hosting is a fine choice for your needs.

For Microsoft specific technologies, Windows hosting plans are usually your best bet. For everthing else, Linux hosting plans will usually do quite well. With the cost savings usually found with Linux hosting plans, Linux hosting is usually the right choice for you.

This article was written by Joe Duchesne, president of http://www.yowling.com/, a web hosting company that offers Linux Hosting plans. Copyright 2004 Yowling. Reprint Freely as long as you provide a clickable link back to my website from this resource box.

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By John Lenaghan

Windows or Unix/Linux – which operating system should you choose for your web hosting? This question is often asked when webmasters start looking for web site hosting. The operating system you choose can make a big difference in your business plans as your website grows.

Windows-Based Web Hosts

Windows-based servers use programs such as Microsoft Access and MS SQL for “back-end” operations. Scripting is also handled by Microsoft technologies such as ASP (Active Server Pages) and VBScript.

Perhaps more importantly, Windows-based servers can easily be managed and multiplexed by using .NET technology. They offer excellent support, security and integration for Microsoft products.

They’re a good choice for either shared or dedicated hosting, but the features offered by Windows servers do come at an extra cost which may be an issue for small businesses.

The reason there is often a higher cost associated with Windows servers is because the software they are based on costs the hosting company money. They have to buy them all from Microsoft, and that cost gets passed on to you.

This is in comparison to the free software technologies which are generally used on Unix or Linux-based servers.

Unix/Linux-Based Web Hosts

Unix and Linux are two different operating systems, but because they work essentially the same way, we’ll consider them as one for the purposes of this article.

One of the most important characteristics of Unix-based servers is that they can handle a large amount of traffic. Unix is a robust operating system and can easily handle hosting multiple websites on a single server.

They’re also very flexible and the services running on a given webserver are easily customizable. Unlike Windows, Unix servers aren’t limited to special remote administration programs. Any computer with an internet connection can login to a typical Unix server using freely available software.

A lot of webmasters choose Unix over Windows because of the server uptime. Windows servers can provide very good uptime as well, but to do so the web hosting company has to be proficient with Microsoft systems. There tend to be more hosts who are familiar with Unix than with Windows on the hosting side of things.

So Which is the Right Choice?

For the average website, a Unix hosting plan is often the best choice. However, if you need to use Microsoft technologies such as Access or MS SQL databases, or ASP or VBScript scripting languages, you should opt for a Windows host.

Note that even though Frontpage is a Microsoft product, it is supported by both Windows and Unix hosts. If you’re considering a Unix host and using Frontpage, make sure they offer “Frontpage Extensions” support.

John Lenaghan writes about Unix & Windows web hosting, business hosting and other website hosting topics on the Hosting Report website. Find out more at http://www.hostingreport.org

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Which Operating System is More Functional – Windows Or UNIX (Linux)?

By Charles S Taylor

Choosing the efficient Operating System is depends on several factors. Whether it is for personal use or for office use, choosing the OS platform is the vital part

History of Unix chart

History of Unix chart (click for larger)

of long-term plan, as it can’t be changed often. You need to consider your requirements both short-term and long-term and the features of Windows and UNIX before choosing the OS.

The following are the some of the important features and properties of the two Operating Systems that will help you to understand them better.

1. Multi-User System: Windows OS is designed to be used by one person at a time, whereas multiple persons can share UNIX OS at a time in a network.

2. Security: Windows users are burdened with the need for anti-virus and anti-spyware software. On the other side, for UNIX it is not required, as it is more secure than Windows.

3. Bugs: UNIX has a reputation for fewer bugs (programming mistakes) than Windows.

4. Performance: Under low-stress conditions, both have similar performance.

However, under high load, UNIX is superior to Windows.

5. Simplicity: To operate UNIX OS we need a little knowledge of Character User Interface, whereas it is very simple to operate Windows OS.

6. Compatibility: If you designed a website under a UNIX server you can easily host it on the Windows server, but the reverse is not always possible.

7. Website Hosting: If you want to use MySQL as backend then go for UNIX. If you need MSSQL as backend then Windows OS is a better option.

8. Application Software: You will get Application software along with UNIX OS package, whereas with Windows you won’t get it.

9. Run the OS without installing it: UNIX can be run with Live CD even without installing it. Windows cannot run until it is installing into hard disk.

10. File System: UNIX protects data with Journalized file system, while Windows uses both journalized and non-journalized file systems. There is less protection of data with the non-journalized file systems.

11. Fragmentation: UNIX file system doesn’t suffer from file fragmentation but Windows file system will be, which results a single file may scatter all over the hard disk as fragments.

12. Crossing the OS boundary: Some Application softwares written for UNIX will not run under Windows and vice versa.

13. Placing User Data: UNIX stores all user data in the home directory making it much easier to migrate from an old computer to new one.

On the other hand, Windows stores data anywhere in the hard disk making it hard to backup files when switching to a new computer.

14. Hardware Compatibility: UNIX can run on different hardware platforms but Windows can’t.

15. Supported hardware devices: UNIX supports less hardware devices than Windows.

16. Ability to run without GUI: UNIX can run without Graphical User Interface so it needs less hardware horsepower than Windows.

17. Price: You can get a copy of genuine UNIX free of cost, whereas you have to buy Windows OS.

The two Operating Systems serve different purposes. The above information helps you to choose the better one that suits your requirements.

Insightful and honest opinions on issues related to various topics including small businesses, economy, international information, health, financial advices, technology tips and home improvement. We publish on topics after analyzing rigorously so this information is useful to our visitors.

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By Luis Carvalho

This simple question is every day made by many web design newbie’s looking for the perfect hosting plan for them. It is the first thing you should decide if you’re planning to buy a web hosting plan.

UNIX and Windows operating systems are the two main types of operating system platforms on which you may host your website. Each has its own set of unique features, advantages and disadvantages.

The right question isn’t “Which one is the best?” but “Which one is the right choice for your needs?”. In this article I will show you the advantages of each one and a short comparison between them.

Before that, there’s something you must know, the operating system that you use on your desktop has nothing to do whit the one used by your web host to serve your webpage Many people think that if they use on their desktop a Windows operating system they have to use a windows hosting plan, that’s absolutely not true!! The same rule applies if you had developed your website with MS FrontPage, usually Unix systems have FrontPage Extensions installed.

Now let’s make a UNIX hosting overview:

Nowadays most of the web designers are choosing UNIX servers to host their websites. Everyday Windows is losing costumers to UNIX hosting and the web hosts are exploring this fact offering daily new promotions and UNIX plans. And why are the web designers choosing UNIX plans? First a short and very important advantage: the price, the web host companies usually use free editions of UNIX systems like Linux Red Hat, Linux Fedora Core or even FreeBSD operating system, this fact lower the final price for the costumer because the web hosts don’t have to pay for the server operating system. All the UNIX operating systems are under the GNU license, this means that anyone can access the source code and modify it, very important to optimize the server and resolve any problem or security issue, UNIX systems are the most flexible and stable. It’s easier to upgrade and expand. By default these servers are installed in text mode, the system uses fewer resources and dedicates all its power to the WebPages hosted. Supports Perl, CGI-BIN, PHP3, Shells, MySQL, PostgresSQL, MS FrontPage extensions and much much more.

Windows hosting overview:

Everyone knows Windows server operating systems family! It’s true that it is losing points to UNIX hosting, is true that is more expensive than a UNIX hosting plan but Windows still Windows!! And it supports some tools that UNIX cannot run.

Only Windows plans support Scripting languages for dynamic content such as Active Server Pages (ASP) and ASP.NET, Cold Fusion, Active Perl and Visual C++. Only Windows hosting will run Microsoft specific applications such as MS SQL databases, MS Access Databases and IIS. (This is very important and if you’re planning to use any of those languages or applications in you website, you have to buy a Windows hosting plan!).

Now that you know the top features for each operating system, let’s compare them:

Performance:

In low-stress conditions Windows and UNIX servers have very similar performances but under high load UNIX is very superior to Windows.

Stability:

UNIX handles high server loads than Windows; UNIX systems rarely require a reboot, Windows constantly need them. UNIX can run stable much time than a Windows server and UNIX up-time is bigger.

Compatibility:

If you design and program a website under a UNIX server you can easily host it in a windows server, but the reverse is not always possible, Avoiding windows languages (ASP, ASP.NET, etc) and databases (Access and MS SQL) is the better choice.

Price:

Any server hosting a website require a operating system and licenses, Windows 2003 and applications like SQL Server costs a lot of money, on the other hand, UNIX, usually Linux, is free to download, use and operate. This make the difference between the price, UNIX hosting will always be cheaper than a windows one.

Conclusion:

Unix hosting is more stable, has better performances, is more compatible and cheaper than a windows hosting plan. I always recommend UNIX hosting. You will only need Windows hosting if you’re going to develop in ASP, .NET or VB.

Luís Carvalho is a professional web designer that decided with more 5 experienced web designers to start rating all the web hosts that our clients use. The result was a webpage [http://www.besttopwebhost.com], a free web host directory, were you can find the top providers and plans reviews. If you have any question or comment, please contact me at mailto:luis@besttopwebhost.com.

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By Matthew C Thomas

Before you can narrow your search for a web hosting service, the single biggest decision facing you is the type of operating system you are interested in. This decision alone will narrow the field down of potential provider significantly, and narrow down the packages you will be researching and comparing.

In general, there are several major criteria used when selecting and web hosting service, and these are all impacted by the operating system:

  • Performance
  • Features
  • Stability
  • Price

Traditionally UNIX was the hosting service of choice due to its advantage in these four areas, but the gap between the two big operating systems as a hosting choice continues to close and get blurred quite often. Here is a breakdown of where they stand today:

Performance

UNIX systems still tend to win in this area, due to several key factors – memory (RAM) requirements and OS tune ability. Windows was developed as an operating system to make it easy for wide range of people to use, from the highly skilled to the less computer inclined. UNIX was developed more for server usage, and the average skilled computer person would not be able to use and manage this OS on a daily basis. Because of this difference in background, UNIX will perform better as a server than a Windows box on the same hardware – Windows needs more RAM to compete with UNIX, but UNIX will still beat it out due to its ability to tune virtually everything, down the very core of the OS itself.

Let me be clear about this, I am not saying that UNIX is a better OS than Windows, just that it is a better performing hosting environment. Windows beats UNIX out in usability, development tools, maintainability, and many other areas.

But don’t stop reading here – performance is the least of your concerns when choosing a web hosting service. Because you will most likely be choosing a shared hosting environment, you have very little control over the resources of the machine as related to your hosted website – you will be sharing memory, hard drive access, CPU, and network bandwidth with hundreds of other websites anyway. At any given moment in time one of the other websites might be spiking in activity and cause your website to response slowly.

In a virtual private server or a dedicated server, UNIX would be the best choice in the performance category, but in a shared environment the gap is not a factor.

Features

Both Windows and UNIX come fully loaded with a wide range of features, and quite a few are shared between the two. If you were to manage the machine directly, you would most like choose Windows due to its easier to use interface. But this is not the case when speaking of a web hosting account. All hosting companies use a control panel to allow users to manage their account and websites, and all of the control panels are web based, and many are cross-platform. All of these control panels are identical in functionality – they provide a web user interface to all of the underlying OS, web server, and files on the hosting service. Both operating systems support remote access (UNIX with telnet/SSH shell, Windows with Remote Desktop) and ftp file management as well.

The biggest difference in features between the two operating systems is the development tools available. Both support the major scripting languages used to create websites such as PHP, PERL, Python, Ruby, and Java. Both support extensions popular for adding to websites such as ColdFusion, FrontPage Extensions, Flash, etc. Both have support for the free MySQL database, which usually resides on a separate machine at the hosting company anyway. Windows has the advantage here in that is supports ASP, ASP.Net, ASP MVC, and MSSQL databases as well. These are tools specific to some applications and may be a major requirement for you – obviously making this decision between the two operating systems easy. Most Windows based web hosting packages will offer, at some price point, unlimited MySQL databases with unlimited disk space, but limited MSSQL databases with limited disk space. This is due to the licensing requirements of MSSQL causing more expenses on the part of the web hosting service as the use more MSSQL databases for their customers. MySQL and MSSQL are virtually identical in performance and features – just like the operating systems they differ mainly in the area of price and management abilities.

UNIX does have a slight advantage in many of the scripting languages due to its ability to compile into the web server (Apache, open source) the extensions needed to run the scripting languages. Windows cannot due this with its web server (IIS) since it is a commercially sold application. Windows and IIS must run most of the scripting languages as a CGI extension, which means they are launched as an external process to the web server, requiring slightly more startup overhead each time they are needed. Microsoft has acknowledged this shortcoming with the latest IIS (version 7) and allows these scripting extensions to be more in process. In the big picture it does not make much difference either way since this is really getting back into the area of performance – refer back to the prior discussion performance as to why it is of not much importance in a shared hosting environment.

UNIX has a slight advantage in available installable applications – most of the open source website projects (blogs, content management systems, shopping carts, web site builders) install smoother under UNIX since they assume you are using other open source tools (Linux, MySQL, Apache). Installing some of these on a Windows operating system require extra configuration or help from the web hosting support staff. With the growth of cross platform control panels, this problem is shrinking over time. Also there are Windows specific open source projects available for every need of your website that install clean and function nicely – but they may be younger and less developed than the UNIX counterpart.

Windows is the operating system of choice based on features, especially in the shared hosting environment and if you need any of the Microsoft technologies (ASP, ASP.Net, ASP MVC, MSSQL) to run your website. Be careful if you have a need for one of the older scripting technologies (PHP, PERL, Python, Ruby) on a Windows hosting, they may not be available or perform poorly.

Stability

Windows has traditionally been dinged in the past in this area, but mainly due to its desktop operating systems, not its server operating systems. Windows hosting packages will be running either Server 2003 or Server 2008, both of which do not have stability problems. The desktop stability problems are mainly not Microsoft’s fault – almost every desktop Windows user is guilty of installing a wide range of various software packages and drivers, rendering the machine over time to be a blend of software that has never been tested with each other.

UNIX has traditionally and still shines in the area of stability – again due to its background of being developed as a server operating system. It also has advantages over Windows in that complete server reboots are rarely needed as part of a installation of a third party software package – it has clearly defined system component drivers that can be rebooted without requiring a complete system reboot.

Both operating systems are equal in the area of stability – even in the shared hosting environment they both have adequate safeguards against individual websites on the same machine from causing harm or abruptly stopping the server.

Price

Windows still remains a slightly more expensive operating system to sell hosting accounts out of for two reasons – licensing and RAM requirements. Web hosting companies have more expenses on a Windows server that hosts 100 websites than it does on a Linux server hosting 100 websites. Typically companies also carry a Microsoft support agreement with annual expenses as well as the upfront licensing expenses of Windows – even though they all require a staff of knowledgeable and skilled technicians to manage the bank of servers regardless of the operating system.

Windows is also slightly more expensive with database support for you website – most web hosting offer a UNIX hosting package at some price point with unlimited MySQL databases and database disk space, but very few offer a Windows package at any price point with unlimited MSSQL databases and database disk space. So if your website grows and needs more databases and disk space, you may be locked into paying a higher fee per month with MSSQL and Windows than you would with MySQL.

UNIX has the advantage in pricing, even though some hosting companies do now sell Windows and UNIX based accounts at the same price point, but most still have a slight increase of monthly fees for the Windows packages.

Summary

Let me be clear about this: the choice of hosting your website in UNIX or Windows has nothing to do with the desktop operating system you use on a daily basis. It has nothing to do with the management interface you will use to manage your website and hosting account. It also is not about which operating system is better than the other. Some people have a religious fervor for one or the other, but they are both just tools in the toolbox. Which is better, a hammer or a screw driver? It depends on the job at hand.

So here is a review of how the operating systems are in the four areas of criteria used when selecting and web hosting service:

  • Performance: Tie in Virtual or Dedicated server, UNIX in a shared environment
  • Features: Windows, based on addition of Microsoft technologies
  • Stability: Tie
  • Price: UNIX

So, based on this discussion, your decision will be driven two simple questions:

  1. Do you require any of the Microsoft technologies?
  2. Are you willing pay a few extra dollars per month for the Windows and Microsoft technologies?

If you answer yes to the above questions, you should go with a Windows based web hosting package. Otherwise you should move towards the UNIX based packages since it is a cheaper and faster.

Matthew Thomas, administrator [http://www.HostGraphs.com]

I invite you to come peruse the real top 10 web hosting companies, ranked by actual response time data. Visit [http://www.HostGraphs.com] and see who the fastest web hosting companies are, see graphs of their historical response times, read reviews, search and filter their available hosting packages, and discuss your own experiences with them.

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By L. Belenky

Should you opt for Windows web hosting or choose a host that uses one of the many varieties of UNIX operating systems? You can decide by evaluating the differences and similarities between these two web hosting options.

Microsoft developed Windows Server, while UNIX was developed as an “open system.” The UNIX source code is publicly available and free for anyone who wants to use it. Some view UNIX’s open source origins and status as an advantage. It’s free, while Microsoft Windows Server involves a purchase. Thousands of individuals have contributed to the development of UNIX, and it is more frequently updated than Windows Server. On the other hand, UNIX is more complex as a result of being open source.

Windows web hosting supports nearly all Microsoft products. This includes Microsoft FrontPage, Visual Interdev and Microsoft Access. Windows Server also supports Active Server Pages (ASP). This is a popular scripting language that allows you to build dynamic, database-driven web pages.

If you’re planning to build your website yourself, it’s worth considering that most CGI programs (including many free Perl scripts) available online today were developed on UNIX. This means they usually install and operate better under UNIX.

In terms of reliability and security, there are many arguments between Windows web hosting and UNIX supporters. Some claim UNIX operating systems are more stable and faster. Windows is sometimes seen as more insecure due to the fact that it is such a widely used PC operating system. This gives people more time to explore and exploit its flaws. On the other hand, UNIX platforms are the most widely used server types, and it too has been hacked successfully over the years.

In terms of performance there’s not a huge difference between the two server options today. Consider that developers are always working to improve both Windows Server and UNIX. Neither is likely to far out-pace the other in terms of reliability, security or features in the near future.

These are just a few of the differences and similarities between UNIX and Windows web hosting you may want to consider when deciding between the two operating systems. In many cases, the choice about which operating system a web server is using isn’t really important. It’s mainly consequential only if you require specific features offered only by one or the other, or if you plan to use specific technology that will function better or more appropriately on either UNIX or Windows Server.

Compare Web Hosts is a premier web hosting directory that provides accurate and unbiased web hosting reviews. You can find the best cheap web hosting Linux web hosting and Windows web hosting online at CompareWebHosts.com

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