Difference between Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting – Talking about the operating system used by web hosting, then the names Linux and Windows will appear as two big players.
Linux servers are growing in popularity along with the rise in popularity of x86 servers; while the popularity of Windows is also increasing, albeit slower. In early 2017, Unix servers accounted for more than 66% of all web servers with 55.6% contributed by Linux, while Windows represented about 35%.
This article will discuss the differences between Linux and Windows hosting by considering various factors, such as stability, security, and cost.
Not only that, but we will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two platforms, along with the tools they have.
Difference between Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting
The biggest difference between Linux and Windows that is often mentioned is Linux’s advantage in terms of stability.
Linux servers are also considered more secure than Windows servers. Linux rarely needs to be rebooted and most configuration changes can be made without a restart.
Windows servers, on the other hand, can become unstable when running multiple databases, web, and file servers. When you start adding separate apps and lots of scheduled tasks, the problem tends to get worse. Although Windows has made some improvements, the problem has not been eliminated. If you want to have near 100% uptime, then choosing a Linux server would be the best solution.
Linux is also pretty good at taking care of security issues. BitLocker hack cases that hit globally, almost all target Windows machines. The dominance of the personal computer OS market has made Windows a prime target for hackers.
Linux also benefits from being a Unix-based operating system. The rights management features found in Unix prove to be a huge strength for Linux servers.
This feature closes access to the operating system kernel and allows only administrators (root users) to modify certain directories and applications.
The root user also has unlimited visibility to the files on the server, significantly reducing hidden files to make it easier to combat malware.
However, it must be said that learning how to manage a Linux server can be more challenging.
On Windows, the use of popular interfaces and standardized software allows beginners to find many answers to their problems online. If what you are looking for is simplicity, then Windows has the solution.
In the end, the biggest question to ask is, “What kind of software will I run?”
Will you be running an Exchange server or a Sharepoint site? If so, we recommend using a Windows server. Or do you want to install a content management system, such as WordPress or Joomla, via cPanel? Then Linux server is the right solution.
Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting: Advantages and Disadvantages
1. Operating System
The most obvious difference between Linux and Windows hosting is the operating system used on the server, which affects different user interfaces.
Windows users switching to Linux may be surprised when they first boot into the Linux command line.
The syntax and functions found via the Linux command line are nothing like clicking menus in Windows.
However, the differences in Linux can be minimized by using the widely available graphical user interface (GUI) such as cPanel.
Using cPanel, some of the most important activities such as installing or updating software, installing databases, and managing email servers can be done easily by just clicking on the available menus like using Windows.
As mentioned above, Linux server stability and security are considered superior to Windows.
If you’re looking to run complex and critical web applications, the reliability that Linux servers have makes it a more popular choice.
Linux has been broken up into many distributions, whereas Windows has fewer options.
The final factor to consider is hardware and software compatibility.
As a licensed operating system and constantly undergoing updates, Windows is a good choice for those who handle a lot of applications and databases running on Windows systems.
2. Purpose of Use
The most common reason someone is looking for a server is to create a personal website, eCommerce site, blog, or online portfolio.
Shared hosting on Linux servers is often the best solution for this purpose.
Many Linux shared hosting services come with tools such as cPanel or Confixx, which are interfaces for installing microblogging platforms, content management systems, and databases.
Linux hosting also has an interface for configuring email addresses and, if authorized, will automatically manage software such as Apache, PHP, MySQL, and FTP.
Linux is also the choice of many web developers who understand how to configure Apache or NGINX web servers, and for developers who use Perl, PHP, or Python to develop MySQL databases.
Windows servers are typically used in large corporate environments, such as Sharepoint or Exchange servers, for example.
A Windows server is also required if you want to use Microsoft software. Websites developed with Microsoft ASP.NET and MSSSQL technologies also need to use a Windows server.
3. Tool dan Control Panel
Speaking of control panels, then we can’t ignore cPanel. cPanel is a popular administration tool for web servers that allows users to install all kinds of software through a simple user interface.
Various applications such as WordPress, phpBB, Drupal, Joomla, and Tiki Wiki, are available through one-click installation.
This ease of use allows users with the most basic skill level to instantly create websites, blogs, bulletin boards, and wiki pages.
As the most popular hosting control panel, cPanel simplifies Linux server management. Users can also create and manage MySQL databases and configure PHP with cPanel.
Need to create a new email address? Set a mailbox size limit? The control panel can help with all these tasks.
On the Windows side, there is Plesk, although Plesk is also available for Linux users.
Plesk offers many benefits similar to cPanel and can help run Windows versions of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack.
On a more complex level, Plesk also supports Docker, Git, and some advanced security extensions. Plesk control panel helps Windows hosting users manage various accounts and services.
4. Database, Domain, dan Disk Space
cPanel is widely used when trying to manage multiple domains. It’s easier to manage disk space for multiple domains using cPanel, as well as to allocate space according to client needs.
MySQL has become the standard for web developers around the world, although Windows’ MSSQL has its users as well.
Many web applications – from wikis and CMS to bulletin boards and microblogs – are easily deployed via a pre-configured MySQL server using cPanel as the administrative portal.
As you can see, context is very important when considering operating systems and hosting options. If you want to manage your website, using Linux with cPanel might be easier. If you work in a company with Windows-based databases and servers, then obviously Windows will be the best choice.
If you want to build a website that is more complex and requires a combination of flexibility and stability, many advanced developers, including Google, prefer Linux.
5. Security, Reliability, and Technical Support
A good hosting company should play an active role in securing the user’s website from an administrative perspective.
However, recent online attacks show that Windows servers, despite Microsoft’s efforts to address them, are still more vulnerable than Linux servers.
Reliability, as mentioned earlier, is also a Linux server strength. There’s a Linux web server that hasn’t been rebooted in years.
Another security factor to consider is at the database and software level. Apart from hosting providers, users also have a responsibility for the security of their websites.
Using strong passwords and keeping software up to date are necessary to create a secure environment.
In this context, cPanel can automatically update web applications and software without the need for user intervention.
Linux also wins from a cost perspective. Many Linux servers are still using hardware from 10 years ago.
A slower rate of change to the environment will usually mean there is no need for repeated hardware upgrades to accommodate new features.
Linux is also free. While there are paid distributions, such as Red Hat, many free distributions with full capabilities are also available.
On the other hand, the costs associated with Windows software licenses and hardware upgrades almost always make Linux servers significantly lower costs.