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Linux vs windows hosting

First some basic information.

UNIX is an operating system for computers. An operating system is the software that allows you to use a computer - it is the interface between you and the computer hardware. There are many other operating systems in the computer world, such as MS-DOS, IBM’s OS/2, Microsoft’s Windows, and VMS operating system. There are many derivatives of UNIX such as: AIX, Solaris, Linux, SunOS, Minix, BSDI and others.

UNIX main features:

  • multi-user,
    more than one user can use the machine at a time

  • multi-tasking, multi-tasking operating systems permit the use of more than one program to run at once. Unlike MS-DOS, OS/2, and Windows NT, UNIX is a multi-user operating system. This means that multiple users can log in to a computer at one time, and use the resources of that computer. Resources can be a machine’s CPU, it’s software applications, as well as it’s hard disk drives, printers, modems, etc.

  • hierarchical directory structure

  • portability, Unlike MS-DOS, OS/2, Windows NT and VMS, UNIX is available on a wide range of hardware platforms, from personal computers to mainframes to the world’s fastest supercomputers.

UNIX is known for its consistency, modularity and stability. Also UNIX is known as "non-visual" "or "non-graphical" operating system in contrast to Windows OS. Modern UNIX offerings certainly use their share of Graphical User Interface but the UNIX core is a word, not graphic. GUI is a type of user interface which allows people to interact with a computer and computer-controlled devices using graphical icons, visual indicators or special graphical elements called "widgets". Graphics along with text, labels or text navigation represent the information and actions available to a user.

UNIX allows you to craft your own solutions and to excersise your own ideas about how a specific task may alternately be performed in contrast to Windows where almost everything is anticipated, where a user, more or less can use only premade toolbox and where every task has its GUI premade solutions.

UNIX server web hosting

UNIX Web Hosting simply means that the provider's web server is using UNIX operating system.

UNIX is one of the most secure and stable platforms available. Web sites hosted by UNIX web server will enjoy stability and top perfomance. Unix is faster than most other server platforms. UNIX and its varieties are open-source software. This means that one has the option of changing the source code and make suitable modifications and updates. Windows is the proprietary software owned by Microsoft which means users can only add updates when Microsoft releases them. Remote interactive access, via telnet or SSH is only supported under UNIX. Some features such as database connectivity through ODBC, Active Server Pages, ColdFusion and other popular Microsoft applications including MS Access and Visual Basic may not be supported by UNIX.

Having all this in mind we can say that Unix is a highly reliable solution.You can have a UNIX hosting plan no matter what operating system you use on your computer. Running Windows on your computer does not prevent you from hosting your site with UNIX server.

UNIX or Windows server web hosting?

Windows is a less stable platform and requires more maintenance. Althoug Microsoft has done a great deal to make Windows more secure, Windows OS is still regarded as a vulnerable platform. For the reason of making and keeping it stable and secure Windows hosting is usually a bit more expensive than UNIX hosting.

On the other hand Windows hosting allows you to use features such as database connectivity through ODBC, Active Server Pages, ColdFusion and other popular Microsoft applications including MS Access and Visual Basic

CGI, MySQL, PHP, Java applications, FrontPage extensions are available with both UNIX and Windows hosting if you require them and your host is capable of making it work. Different providers have different hosting packages. For this reason you should check with particular hosting plan whether specific feature is included or not and what version of a specific feature is supported. The trend is for solutions to be supported in both platforms.

If your web site will not require special features offered by UNIX or Windows Server, you can choose either Windows Server or UNIX to serve your web site.

Web Hosting companies offer servers with different derivations of UNIX, most often Linux and its versions like Red Hat Linux or centOS Linux but also FreeBSD.

Which operating system servers use is especially important with dedicated server hosting.



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