Hosted Services

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What Does Hosted Services Mean?

Hosted services are, in the most generic sense, services that are provided over the Internet. In the hosted service environment, one computer is configured to provide some or all of its resources for customer usage in exchange for a specified fee. The Internet is used to connect the server to a client machine(s), which access server data, content and services.


Techopedia Explains Hosted Services

All hosted service types surround the basic concept of a website or web service, but they may be roughly broken down, as follows:

  • Web hosting:Provides continuous, uninterrupted Internet access; a unique collection of software programs or services (like FTP and email); and an environment for working with various programming languages (like PHP, .NET and Java).
  • File hosting: Hosts file storage facilities, rather than Web applications or sites. A secure file hosting service is ideal for storing files, reducing or eliminating data theft, loss or corruption.
  • Image hosting: The host server stores image files or other flat files, which permits easy and scalable sharing, often in the form of a content delivery network (CDN) that optimizes delivery.
  • Email hosting: Either via an outsourced server such as Microsoft Exchange or via a natively web-based email service like gmail.

Based on the availability of server resources and user permissions, as well as number of accounts hosted by a server, hosting may be categorized as follows:

  • Shared Web hosting: One of the most popular forms of Web hosting, this is “shared” because several different Web applications are stored on a single physical server, thereby sharing available resources.
  • Semi-dedicated hosting: The server is configured to host fewer website resources with more intense bandwidth.
  • Dedicated hosting: Client applications do not share server resources with the applications of other users. Moreover, the server uses available bandwidth for its own performance.
  • Virtual server hosting: Here, a physical server is split into various individual, virtual servers. A different OS is set up, per user requirements.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.