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A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual server that the user perceives as a dedicated/private server even though it is installed on a physical computer running multiple operating systems.
A virtual private server is also known as virtual dedicated server (VDS).
The concept of a virtual private server can be better explained as a virtual machine that caters to the individual needs of a user just as a separate physical computer that is dedicated to a particular user. The virtual dedicated server provides the same functionality and privacy as that of a normal physical computer. A number of virtual private servers can be installed on a single physical server with each one running its own operating system.
A virtual private server can consist of Web server software, a File Transfer Protocol program, a mail server program and different types of application software for blogging e-commerce.
Virtual private servers connect shared Web hosting services and dedicated hosting services by filling the gap between them. Because virtual dedicated servers can have their own copy of the operating system, VPS provides the user with super-user privileges in the operating system. VPS enables the user to install any kind of software that is capable of running on that operating system.
With the evolution of virtualization software and technology, a large number of companies are offering virtual private server hosting at a reasonable cost. Hosting is either unmanaged or unmetered, in which case the user is responsible for managing and monitoring the server and can transfer an unlimited amount of data on a fixed bandwidth line.