In the early days of the Internet, the choice of hosting platforms was limited to Dedicated Hosting and, sometime later, Shared Web Hosting. Now the choices have increased to include Cloud Hosting and VPS Hosting. But there is one more distinction that is an important consideration, Operating Systems. Linux and Windows are two major operating systems used for hosting.
Each one has its share of advantages over the other. But typically, Linux web hosting is the more popular option. It is a cheaper option too. Web hosting on Linux is popular because of its balance of price and performance. Some of the best hosting in India is based on Linux. If you’re looking for cheap and powerful web hosting in India, you’ll probably end up with Linux web hosting, and more particularly Linux-based Shared Website Hosting.
You can check out this video to look at 4 benefits Linux Shared Hosting offers –
So why is Linux hosting cheaper than Windows?
- Open-source vs Proprietary
The biggest difference between Linux and Windows is their origin. Windows has been developed by Microsoft and is proprietary software. Linux is based on UNIX and is an open-source OS that has no single owner. As a result, Microsoft charges a licensing fee to use Windows for commercial purposes like web hosting. Linux has no such licensing fees. The fee adds to the cost of Windows-based web hosting.
- Software can be expensive
With a few notable exceptions, almost all the software that runs on the Linux platform is free to use. On the other hand, most of the software that runs on Windows is not free. The software that uses Microsoft’s proprietary framework can be especially expensive. Hosting providers pass on this cost to their customers, making Windows hosting costlier than Linux hosting.
- Maintenance adds to the costs
Maintenance is a big expense for hosting companies. Apart from hardware upkeep, the operating system and software also need periodic maintenance. Windows is known to require frequent reboots due to its constant update cycle. This adds to the maintenance costs, which in turn adds to the cost of Windows hosting, making it dearer than Linux hosting.
- Security is expensive
There are more viruses and malware written for Windows than any other operating systems combined. It is especially vulnerable due to its closed nature. As only Microsoft’s team is allowed to work on closing the vulnerabilities, fixes take time. Conversely, Linux has an entire global community working to identify and fix bugs and system vulnerabilities. As a result, Windows needs more robust security measures, adding to the cost.
- Extra features add to the cost
Windows is a feature-rich operating system. It has a host of features that make it a strong and versatile hosting platform. But not everybody uses or needs all the features it has. Consequently, you end up paying for the features you do not use. This drives up the cost of Windows web hosting. Linux takes a more modular approach and lets you add the features you need, making it light and agile.
These are the reasons that Windows hosting costs more than Linux hosting, though both offer comparable performances. However, the choice of the operating system for your hosting server will depend on several other factors than just price. Windows hosting may be costlier, but it is also easier to use. Additionally, there are certain applications and software than specifically need the Windows OS to run.
So if you need to run these applications or if you do not have the technical expertise to manage a Linux hosting server, then Windows is the right choice for you. But if you can handle the Linux server and need a cheaper and customizable solution, then opt for Linux hosting.