Linux vs Windows Hosting: Which one should you choose?

Jul 21,2021 by Manoj Yadav
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Every business owner seeking to market his offerings in the online world requires an impressive website. And to run this website smoothly, he needs a powerful hosting solution. Now, when you set out to buy your hosting plan, you need to decide not only the kind of hosting you need but also the operating system (OS) you want to run your infrastructure on-Linux or Windows..

To help with the latter, we have, in this blog, drawn a comparison between Windows and Linux hosting on a range of parameters..

If, however, you have already made up your mind to go for any one of these, check out our hosting plans here.

Web Hosting: Windows vs Linux

a) Pricing

The difference on this front is quite straightforward. Linux is open-source which means it is completely free to use. When using Linux hosting, you will need to pay for hosting services, but not for a Linux license. 

On the other hand, Windows is owned by a ‘for-profit’ company. This means the operating system comes with a license that is typically included in the price of your hosting solution, making it more expensive than Linux. 

In addition, in a Linux environment, the rate of change is really slow. So, you don’t need to upgrade the OS frequently to accommodate new features. In Windows, the cost associated with frequent upgrades makes it more costly to run the OS in the long run.

b) Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, every operating system involves some kind of learning curve.

In order to work on Linux OS, you need to get familiar with its command-line interface. Learning to integrate several pieces of software on Linux can be challenging for beginners. You may need a Linux administrator to do this for you. 

Windows, in contrast, comes with a graphical user interface (GUI); this makes accessing and managing a Windows server easy for non-technical people.

c) Security

Linux fares better on the security front. 

Being open-source, Linux has a dedicated community of developers and engineers who work on the OS constantly in order to enhance its security features. If a vulnerability or bug is detected, it gets resolved instantly. 

Windows, on the other hand, remains prone to hacking and is among the most compromised operating systems. Although Microsoft attempts to remain up to date with the security updates, warding off threats completely is simply not possible. 

This does not imply that Linux is completely free from threats; it is just a more secure option.

d) Integration with Applications

Windows applications are designed to work seamlessly with servers running on Windows OS. If your business environment uses Microsoft SQL, or Microsoft Access or other popular Microsoft programs, a Windows server would be a good fit for you. 

On the other hand, if you use Linux-based servers, you can run open-source software easily. Linux servers can also run Windows applications but you might have to add an extra layer of software interface between the two. In some cases, you may need to provision a virtual machine (VM) to run an application. 

So, while Linux is overall more versatile, you will need to customize all aspects of your server manually. You will need technically sound people to benefit from this versatility.

e) Technical Support

When it comes to technical support, both Linux and Windows have their pros and cons. 

For Windows servers and applications, Microsoft offers paid support as well as community support. Their server versions come with long-term customer support. You may find a Windows server easy to manage on your own as all Windows applications are well documented. 

Linux is an open-source OS, so it has a vast community of users. While this community offers support to most of the issues you may be facing, at times, you may not get the solution to your problem on time. 

Also, in Linux, you have access to the full source code of the system, libraries, and applications that community members can work on and improve.

LinuxWindows
PricingOpen-sourceProprietary; Needs license
Ease of UseChallenging for Non-technical peopleGUI easy for non-technical people
SecurityMore secure; Vulnerabilities are resolved instantlyMore Prone to Cyberattacks
Integration with ApplicationsCan easily run open-source applicationsCan easily run Windows applications- Microsoft SQL, or Microsoft Access, etc.
Technical SupportCommunity SupportPaid Support from Microsoft

So, which hosting is better: Linux or Windows?

Now that we have drawn an in-depth comparison of the two operating systems, it’s time to answer the question we posed in the very beginning, i.e. which one to choose. 

The straightforward answer is-everything boils down to the exact requirements of your project. 

Linux would be a good fit if:

You are building a web application and require accessing a lot of open-source software

OR
You are running on a budget and want to keep expenses to a minimum.
OR 
Security is your top priority and you have an in-house team to handle support. 
Windows would be a great option if:

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