When you need the ultimate in control and flexibility, a dedicated server is the way to go. Dedicated servers costs around $100/month and up, depending on server configuration and service level. You can install any software you want, but with flexibility comes responsibility.

The web server will normally come with the most commonly used software preinstalled, but you should have some knowledge about running a server before you go dedicated. It is your responsibility to maintain and upgrade any software on your server. You also have to make sure that your software is configured with sufficient security, so hackers will have a hard time breaking into your server. If your server is hacked, you can only blame yourself or your server admin.

Situations where dedicated hosting is the best choice includes high traffic, demanding websites (f.ex. very busy discussion forums), ecommerce websites who need security for their customers personal information and download sites who are consistently using enormous amonts of bandwidth (~100gb/month).

There are also differences in bandwidth quality. A good data center has multiple connections to different bandwidth providers. Power failures and fires are also two possible hazards the data center should be protected against. These things happen, and the consequences of a fire in a data center can be very serious.

A good dedicated server can be rented for as low as $100/month, including enough data transfer for most websites.

Managed hosting

Managed hosting is like dedicated server hosting, except the web host will take care of everything about the server, including installation of any software you want. The services included with managed services will depend on hosting provider and the service level you choose.

The cost of managed services can be included with the server, come at a monthly extra price or you might have to pay for every hour of service work the hosting provider does on your servers. Whatever the pricing plan is, a fully managed server costs at least a few hundred dollars per month. or

Colocation hosting

Colocation hosting is an alternative if you want to own the server. You supply the server, and actually rent space in a data centre, with connections to the internet and technicians who make sure everything runs smoothly.

As with regular dedicated hosting, it is your job to install and update software. Since you own the server and it have to be shipped to the data center, it is convenient to find a data center near your location.