What is VPS hosting? Basically, VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server hosting) is a service that gives you a web server’s hardware to share with others without sharing the software. This means that you can have complete root control over the server as if it were your own dedicated server but you will still share the CPU, RAM, and bandwidth with other users. You can still have guaranteed CPU, disk space, and memory. This means you can install whatever you want.
VPS hosting is more expensive than shared web hosting but it can be far less expensive than dedicated hosting while giving you some of the same benefits. Wikipedia says this about VPS hosting: "A virtual private server (VPS, also referred to as Virtual Dedicated Server or VDS) is a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers such that each has the appearance and capabilities of running on its own dedicated machine. Each virtual server can run its own full-fledged operating system, and each server can be independently rebooted."
What are the benefits of VPS hosting? VPS hosting is great for hosting many web sites in an environment where you have almost complete control while still keeping your costs down. You can install a custom Apache module or try out a new programming language. You can get in a and make detailed changes using the command line or remote desktop but your hosting company still usually makes it easy to administer your site using a Virtualization control panel such as Virtuozzo Power Panel.
The disadvantages of VPS hosting include:
You can get VPS hosting with Windows or Linux and you usually get at least one dedicated IP address.