You’ve been spending close to 3 figures on your site hosting per month and it still loads slowly and crashes all the time?
Well, I’ve been in that situation before. And one developer fixed the problem by asking one very simple question.
'How much traffic do you get?'
And you know what? I did notice that several times a day I get a big spike in traffic which leads to several minutes of downtime.
Just like this blog, I started getting hundreds of thousands of visitors per month.
The developer told me I would do better by switching to dedicated hosting - it will be just slightly more expensive than my current VPS solution but much more powerful. After all, the whole server is dedicated entirely to one website.
Easy to say, hard to execute.
Dedicated hosting is actually expensive and all the providers are offering basically the same. You get very similar benefits of speed and reliability.
So what I found out is that you’ve got to look to the quality of customer service and extra features.
At least these are the key features for me - tech rookie trying to get a big website up and running. So I’ll first talk about our options - managed and unmanaged dedicated servers.
But if you’re a complete pro - go ahead, skip the next section and go straight to the reviews of the best dedicated server hosting providers I used and tested throughout the years. There you’ll find both managed and unmanaged options to match your needs.
Which is Right for You: Managed vs Unmanaged?
Managed dedicated hosting is a bit more expensive but much easier to use. Just like with simple shared hosting, you’ll log in to the control panel and manage from there.
Unmanaged dedicated hosting is cheaper but you may end up having to configure a server and launching it yourself.
And let me be honest, that can be difficult.
So which is the right option for you?
Let's see how different these two services are, so you know which to choose:
Managed Dedicated Hosting
“Fully managed” means the hosting company will take care of all aspects of running your dedicated server for you. You get all the benefits of having your own server, but don’t have to worry about things like security, software updates, or crash recovery.
Of course, hosting companies don’t work for free. Managed dedicated hosting tends to be around 10-20% more expensive than its unmanaged counterparts. Some providers, such as GoDaddy, simply charge extra for server management.
The real question is - if you need someone to do the server management, should you be buying a dedicated server in the first place?
Well, it depends. You can be an expert in dedicated servers, and still miss an update, have issues with backups, malware or something else. Managed servers offer you a helping hand with constant updates, support, and of course website's backups.
Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting
When buying unmanaged dedicated hosting, you get a barebone server. It usually only has an operating system installed - and you even have to download Apache/PHP or something else to get you started.
And from the point the server is deployed, everything is your responsibility. It means that it's up to you to update software, do backups, scan for and remove malware.
The good news is - unmanaged dedicated hosting is cheaper. And for experts, no additional services are needed. If you know what you're doing, it's a perfect choice, combining customizability, resources, and a good price.
So I’ve put a list of the best service providers offering both managed and unmanaged dedicated server hosting.
The Best Dedicated Server Hosting Providers
The dedicated hosting provider of your choice should combine stellar performance and a great balance between the price tag and features.
Here are the ones that do just that:
- Liquid Web (fast and secure dedicated servers)
- HostGator (semi-managed dedicated servers)
- InterServer (wide variety of dedicated server hosting)
- A2 Hosting (blazing fast dedicated servers)
- InMotion Hosting (dedicated hosting with helpful customer support)
- Bluehost (unmanaged dedicated server hosting with free SSL)
- GoDaddy (3 different dedicated server management options)
Liquid Web is a company focused on a great performance and fast user support. Offering solutions for resellers, SaaS, virtualization, and much more, it is certainly a premium option for an average price.
Liquid Web’s dedicated hosting packages start at $199/mo. You get an Intel Xeon E3-1230 v6 CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 240 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD backup drive. And as of 2019, Liquid Web also supports Gigabit port speed as standard.
You don't need to get a 36 months subscription to get this price, the prices you see will always stay the same. No matter if you choose to stay with them for a month or for a year.
Plesk or cPanel with full server management will cost an additional $20 and $35 a month respectively.
Going up and looking at the most advanced Linux dedicated server, you'll find one with an Intel Xeon Gold 6130 processor, starting at $499/month. It includes 32GB of RAM and 2 x 480 GB SSD.
A fully maxed out version will set you back around $2500/month. That will include 256GB of RAM, 6x6TB SATA HDD, 3.8TB SSD NVMe storage, and much, much more.
The base price is quite hefty, and there are plenty of extras you can get for your website. But even without them, the packages are still loaded with resources and useful features.
Liquid Web support is known as the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting. And there's a good reason for that, customer support here is top-notch. It guarantees that your initial response time for phone and chat support will be up to 59 seconds.
The "Helpful" hosting surely lives up to its name - replies to support tickets and replacements of faulty hardware are guaranteed within 30 minutes.
Liquid Web Performance
So with all these resources of dedicated servers at your disposal, what kind of performance can you expect?
In Liquid Web's case, 100% uptime and 157ms average response time. For most parts, our website blew past that golden 200ms mark and showed great speed. In fact, this provider guarantees a 100% uptime for all dedicated servers.
While there were a few spikes in our response time, for most parts our website's performance was very stable. But what about international speeds?
Liquid Web shines here too, getting an A+ on Bitcatcha speed test. In both Europe and the USA we got response time results below the 20ms mark. In regards to performance, our website ran as smooth as we expected.
The only place where our website showed times above 200ms was Bangalore. But even then it was just 321ms, which is still a great performance.
Liquid Web Security And Speed
Dedicated servers are not the cheapest option, so it's important to know what features you will need. Liquid Web concentrates heavily on the security and performance part of your hosting. Every plan comes with DDoS protection and ServerSecure Advanced Security already included.
Liquid Web also takes care of your customer's sensitive data, by implementing and updating the newest security protocols. And if you still need a bit more security, you can buy Firewall and VPN services separately.
You get business-grade SSD storage for even better performance. And to help your visitors get to your website faster, Liquid Web has both CloudFlare and Akamai CDN available.
It also uses a load balancer, which ensures that your users won't have to wait, by routing websites traffic across multiple resources.
Liquid Web is one of the best dedicated server hosting providers offering great performance, security, and reliability. Not to mention the professional server management.
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent customer support
- Feature-rich and reliable hosting
- Scaling can get expensive
Now, read a full Liquid Web review or simply follow the link to find out more:
HostGator is one of the biggest and well-known hosting providers out there. While the most popular option here is shared hosting, it has a lot to offer for dedicated servers as well.
HostGator can offer 3 dedicated server plans, starting at $118.99/mo. This lowest-priced plan includes 4 cores Intel Xeon-D CPUs, 8Gb of RAM, 1TB of HDD, unmetered bandwidth. You can also choose both Linux and Windows OS.
The downside here is that you only get slower HDD storage with this plan.
The most expensive plan will set you back $148.98/mo and updates your hardware to 30GB of RAM, 8 cores Xeon-D CPU, and 1TB of SSD storage space.
And as it is with most providers, the prices you see are available only if you choose a 36-month billing cycle. If you want to pay monthly the price rises up by 37%.
The features that make HostGator stand out from the rest is its free transfers and 24/7 customer support. When you buy any plan from them you get free website transfer, but you can transfer not only your website.
The team at HostGator can transfer MySQL databases, domains, and even scripts for you completely free and without any hassle.
Hostgator promises you a 99.9% uptime rate and great performance. For most parts, it keeps its word. We've got no downtime, although the performance was a bit lagging behind.
The average speed of or website was 463ms - not our greatest result, but for the price it's great.
On the international scale, HostGator surprised us by showing a really fast response time in every region. Most locations gave us a response time bellow the 100ms mark.
Overall, Bitcatcha gave HostGator A+ mark in performance, and we have to agree with that. It has great speeds and stability if that's what you're searching for.
HostGator Semi-Managed Hosting and Customer Support
While we talked about both managed and unmanaged dedicated servers, HostGator changes unmanaged to something else - semi-managed hosting. So, there is no way to buy fully unmanaged hosting here, but you can save even more money by choosing a semi-managed option.
Think of this as a helping hand, you still have full control over your server, but HostGator makes sure updates and network health would be maintained.
And support is strong here, HostGator offers 24/7 live chat and phone support. While not having the option to use email or ticket systems, the live chat support teams quickly respond to your problems and try to solve them.
If you like to solve your problems on your own or just need a little nudge in the right direction, HostGator has you covered too. Its support center has lots of frequently asked questions, helpful articles, and a huge video tutorial collection.
HostGator offers powerful hardware for a decent price, adds extra security and reliable performance. Semi-Managed hosting will give you a helping hand if you ever need it.
- Cheap managed hosting add-on
- Great server performance
- Unmetered bandwidth
- HDD storage with the cheapest plan
Read a full HostGator review or simply follow the link to compare all the options:
InterServer has a wide variety of dedicated services to offer you. From large file storage servers to rapid deployment servers, that can be deployed in 15 minutes. It also implements 10Gb uplink and can offer you a special design server for this speed.
The cheapest option available here is $50/mo and includes 2 cores Intel Dual-Core Atom CPUs. You also get 1GB of RAM, 250GB of storage space. Furthermore, you can customize your server by adding extra resources to it.
The most tricked out InterServer dedicated server will include 4TB of SSD (or 12TB of HDD) RAID storage, 64GB of RAM, unmetered bandwidth, and a whopping 128 IP addresses. That will cost you $1443 a month.
InterServer has 24/7 customer support, which has all that you would need, live chat, ticket system, and phone options. When talking about phone support it's important to note that InterServer has 5 different phone numbers - for the USA, Mexico, England, Israel, and Brazil.
If you live in these locations it's quicker to have some help in your own region and language.
The performance that InterServer showed us was great. Our website went down only 2 times resulting in 3 short minutes of downtime. The average response time we got was 453ms - on the same level as HostGator.
On the other hand, the performance was a bit spikier but proper load balancing and some help from tech support should fix that easier.
The international response time for most parts was below the 100ms mark. In the USA it went down to as low as 9ms to respond, and in the Europe region, the speeds were around 60ms.
Asia regions do have a bit of slower response time than the rest of the world, but InterServer got an A+ in overall performance.
InterServer Features and Free Migration
Every InterServer plan comes with a lot of free features that will help you with security and performance. One of the best features is that there is no setup fee on your purchase, so you pay only for hardware and support.
You also get free DDoS protection with each server and 4 hours of provisioning, in which the team at InterServer will set up and update your server.
But the most popular feature, in general, is the free migration services it offers. If you're transferring your website or databases from another provider, InterServer will do everything for you. You won't need to do anything manually, which takes away a huge risk of making a mistake.
And with little or no downtime guarantee you can leave your website in the hands of professionals.
InterServer has a great price and hardware balance. With free migration and DDoS protection, this is an amazing choice for budget users.
- Affordable pricing
- Great server performance
- Wide variety of server configurations
- Oriented towards professional users - can be more difficult to use
Read a full InterServer review or simply follow the link to compare all the options:
A2 is a well-established hosting provider that has a range of services it offers, but the main selling point here is speed. Here, every hosting option is fast, and it even has its own Turbo speed option available.
The Sprint plan starts at $99.59 a month and gives you 8GB of RAM, 10TB of bandwidth, and 2 cores Intel 3.1+ GHz CPUs.
At the other end, we have the Mach plan for 248.99/mo. This plan comes with 16GB of RAM, 20TB of bandwidth, and 8 cores 2x Intel Xeon 2.1+ GHz CPU. Of course, this is most suited for big business or corporations.
A2 Hosting has 3 dedicated server options for you - managed, unmanaged, and core. The core is a managed hosting plan that also gives you root access.
If you need any help, the guru crew is standing by 24/7 by phone, live chat, or ticket system. And if you don't want to chat with a human being A2 Hosting has a large knowledge base for you.
Here you can find the most searched information and answers to your questions or problems.
A2 Hosting Performance
A2 Hosting promises you blazing fast speeds and a 99.9% uptime rate. We have no other option just to agree with them. Our website's monitoring tool showed a 99.96% uptime rate.
The average response time was 369ms, not having any major spikes or slowdowns. If we take a look at Bitcatcha results, they are great all over the globe.
A2 Hosting got an A+ in overall performance, which is great considering the starting price point. And you can really feel that turbo speed with A2 when most of the response time results fall below 100ms mark.
A2 Hosting Money-Back Guarantee and Turbo Speed
A2 Hosting is so confident in its hosting and customer support team that it offers any time money-back guarantee. How does it work? Within the first 30 days you will get a full refund, no questions asked.
After that, you will be able to get a pro-rated refund for the remaining time of your service. So, if you have 3 years of dedicated server hosting, and after 1 year you decide you want to quit, you will get your money back for the 2 remaining years.
It's like a safety net that you always have with you. While of course, you won't get every penny you spend, you'll get back everything you have paid for and didn't use.
Probably their most well-known feature is the 20x faster Turbos Boost. It works by using LiteSpeed to optimize the loading time of your website, having more effective connections, and adding extra CPUs to your plan.
Of course, this speed boost isn't free, so with every dedicated plan, you will have to pay from $34.86/mo. And it will cost even more if you want more resources.
If you need fast loading times and stable performance for a decent price - A2 Hosting is a great option.
- Affordable pricing
- Speed boosting features
- A lot of scalability options
- cPanel not included with unmanaged servers
- HDD disks come as a default
Read a full A2 Hosting review or simply follow the link to compare all the options:
InMotion Hosting is a massive company, offering loads of dedicated server hosting plans at many different pricing points. But for all of the plans, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a business-grade tech customer support.
Prices start at 105.69/mo with a 1-year contract. Basic servers include a 4 core Xeon CPU, 8 GB RAM, and a 500 GB SSD or 1 TB HDD. 6 TB of monthly data transfer is allowed, and the server comes with 5 dedicated IP addresses. All servers run Linux.
Their $519.49/mo high-end package boasts a dual Xeon 8 core CPU, three 1 GB SSDs with hardware RAID 5, 15 TB data transfer, 4 hours of server management, and 15 dedicated IPs.
InMotion boasts excellent tech support - in addition to 24/7 live chat and tickets support, you also get 2 monthly hours of server management from the InMotion admins.
In the plans starting from $340.99/month, you get 4 - and additional hours cost $75 apiece.
Of course, you get the regular 24/7 support as well. It includes live chat, phone, email and ticket options for you to choose. And InMotion has a quite extensive knowledge base with video tutorials and tools.
InMotion Hosting Performance
InMotion's performance is as solid as it claims to be, our uptime robot scored a nice 99.97% uptime rate. And when we look at the average response times we get a decent 358ms, which is faster than a lot of the other websites.
Unfortunately, although good, but uptime rate does not follow InMotion's promises. You get a 99.999% uptime guarantee whit every plan you choose, and if your server goes down you can expect compensation for that. We'll see how it goes.
The international speeds were more of a mixed bag, showing great times in the USA but falling behind in other parts of the world.
The overall mark we got for InMotion performance was A. So, while the speed isn't the greatest on this list, it still can offer stable and fast servers.
InMotion Hosting Launch Assist And Free SSD
InMotion Hosting has its own Launch Assist feature, that guarantees at least 2 hours of free server management from the system admin team. If you want more, you can choose a better plan or buy extra.
Both unmanaged and managed dedicated servers cost the same amount starting at 105.69/mo. They offer the same features but have one difference - the amount of managed hosting you get with each choice.
If you buy unmanaged hosting, of course, you get full root access and no managed help.
But when you buy managed hosting those 2 hours are all you get for the price plan. Do you want more management in your managed hosting plan? Well, you have to pay for it.
But with those 2 hours, you can specify exactly what you need from the tech team, whether it be optimizing server performance or transferring your data.
And apart from Launch Assist, it has completely free SSD drives included. Not using HDD means that your server can run up to 20x faster and deliver content to your user quicker.
Add a 30-day money-back guarantee to all of that, and you will have a deal you can't resist.
A combination of advanced hardware, plenty of resources, and experienced technical support make InMotion Hosting one of the best dedicated server hosting providers.
- Generous SSD storage
- Individual time with developers
- cPanel included for free
- Scaling is expensive
- Service is unmanaged
Read a full InMotion Hosting review or simply follow the link to compare all the options:
Bluehost is a company that delivers great hosting for great prices and is most known for its WordPress hosting. But it has more to offer than just WordPress and has a solid unmanaged dedicated hosting.
The cheapest dedicated hosting plan will cost you just $79.99/mo, and for this price, you get quite the hardware deal. This plan includes 4GB of RAM, 500GB storage space and 5TB bandwidth limit.
The most expensive plan here will cost you $119/mo and includes 16GB of RAM and 15TB of bandwidth. It also includes 4 Core @ 3,3 GHz CPU and up to 1TB of storage space.
Note that these prices are available if you purchase a longer period of hosting, 3 years to be precise. If you want to pay month by month basis the Standard plan will cost you $149/mo, basically double the price you see.
The only downside is that it uses RAID 1 level HDD storage. These are slower than SSD storage and can impact the loading times of your website.
For those of you who want to have a backup plan, Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Add this to the affordable plans and you'll get a great deal.
Bluehost support is available 24/7 by phone, live chat, and email. So if you have any questions just hit them up.
Bluehost performance is rock solid, while not blowing us away, it still managed to give us a 100% uptime rate. There were no significant response spikes, so overall, the performance was really stable. Response time was what we were expecting from a provider like this - 422ms.
While there is room for improvement, going below the 500ms line is a great achievement for most hosting providers.
Bluehost was a bit slower worldwide compared to other providers, but not by much. In the USA our loading speeds were about 120-180ms, while Europe showed better results, falling below the 100ms mark.
Not getting the highest rating of A+, BlueHost still offers grade-A performance and stability for everyone.
Bluehost Optimum Performance For Optimal Price
While the price point for dedicated hosting at Bluehost is really appealing, every plan strives to give you even more for your money. Free 1 year domain name and free SSL are both included in each plan, it helps you cut down the cost and gives your website extra security.
Bluehost is also very flexible and scalable, if you ever need more services or resources you can just add them to your current plan. You won't need to create different accounts or controls for each service you need, so you will save loads of time.
While offering just unmanaged servers, Bluehost makes sure you get everything you need for security and performance. So, if you know what you're doing it's worth checking out.
Bluehost has great price and feature balance for unmanaged dedicated hosting. Free SSL and a domain name are always welcomed additions too.
- Affordable pricing
- SSL certificate included
- cPanel included for free
- Not much space for scaling
- Service is unmanaged
Read a full Bluehost review or simply follow the link to compare all the options:
In the eyes of many people, GoDaddy is a domain registrar and a web hosting provider. But they're also very good when it comes to offering some of the best dedicated server hosting.
Plans begin at only $89.99 per month but do require a 2-year commitment. The package includes a 4 Core Xeon CPU, 4 GB RAM, a 1TB HDD, 3 dedicated IPs, and unmetered monthly data transfer.
Plans are semi-managed (simple patching and updates included), though you can also opt for a fully-managed plan, starting at $120/mo. GoDaddy offers a fully-managed dedicated server with 32 GB of RAM, and 2 TB RAID storage for $179.99/mo.
This price is for Linux - cPanel and WHM included as standard. Windows is also available at an extra monthly cost of $30/mo.
Bandwidth is unmetered in all of the plans, and you can also choose from one of the multiple worldwide server locations.
When it comes to performance GoDaddy has solid uptime and great server speeds. Our website hosted with the Economy plan had a 100% uptime rate during our entire testing period.
The average response time we got was 519ms, so GoDaddy is not lightning fast. But that doesn't mean that it's slow in any shape or form - those 519ms are a bit above the average most hosts can score.
When it comes to international speeds, we get great results in the USA and Europe as expected, but got a bit mixed result in Asia.
While not falling far behind the Asia region servers did show a slower response time.
GoDaddy Management Levels
With GoDaddy, the prices you see are for unmanaged dedicated servers, and if you need full or partial management it also has you covered. You can choose between 3 different server management levels.
For the prices you see on its website, you get a fully unmanaged server with root access and a choice of Ubuntu, Fedora, or CentOS software.
If you want just the minimum help, like updating, patching, monitoring, and backup making, you can choose the managed option. If you choose this at the checkout it will add $10/mo to your server price.
With the fully-managed option, a team of dedicated server admin experts will help you with monitoring, security, and performance. Since dedicated teams are not cheap this option will cost you $130/mo.
So, no matter your expertise level you can choose and tailor the best hosting plan for yourself.
If you need a simple dedicated server plan with several management options at a low price, GoDaddy is the go-to option.
- Affordable pricing
- Cheap managed hosting add-on
- Reliable server performance
- A lot of upsells
- Higher renewal pricing
Read a full GoDaddy review or simply follow the link to compare all the options:
Best Dedicated Server Hosting - the Verdict
All in all, dedicated hosting offers the most powerful hosting experience you can get. When choosing a provider, it's important to choose the ones that fit your needs the most.
All of the providers mentioned on this list are exceptional - but for different goals and skill levels.
Here are the 7 best dedicated server hosting providers:
- Liquid Web is a premium provider with powerful and feature-rich dedicated hosting plans for everyone.
- HostGator is a great managed or semi-managed dedicated server hosting option for those looking to build their own plan.
- InterServer has a wide variety of dedicated servers to offer, excellent performance, and reliability.
- A2 Hosting is an inexpensive powerful dedicated server option, good for both seasoned experts and novice users.
- InMotion Hosting is a great choice if you feel like you could use the help of a specialist - as you'll get 2 monthly hours of professional sysadmin time.
- Bluehost is a great choice if you want an unmanaged dedicated server with extra security for an affordable price.
- GoDaddy offers 3 different server management levels and good value for money.
And that's about it - hope this guide has been helpful. Good luck with choosing a new dedicated server and share your experiences in the comment section down below!
Dedicated Server Hosting FAQs
Dedicated hosting can sound intimidating. That's why I answered the most commonly asked questions about the rent of a dedicated server.
Here's what you might want to know:
How Dedicated Server Hosting is Different From Shared Hosting?
The main difference between dedicated server and shared hosting is that with dedicated hosting you get the whole server for your project while with shared hosting the resources of one server are shared between multiple users.
From this comes many more differences.
Dedicated server hosting is more expensive but more reliable, secure, and powerful at the same time. On the other hand, shared hosting is cheaper and much easier to use.
How Much Does Dedicated Server Hosting Cost?
Dedicated server hosting can cost anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars per month. The price depends on how much server resources and level of support you need.
If you feel like the service is too expensive, I also find some good cheap dedicated server hosting providers. Offering great deals, they can be a good start for budget projects.
Is Dedicated Server Hosting Right For My Website?
Dedicated server hosting can be right for if your website has started generating big amounts of traffic and slowing down or even crashing for that reason.
If you already using cloud or VPS hosting and feel that the solutions are not powerful enough - it's time to switch to a dedicated server.