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Home > Learn More > Page 3 > Web Hosting: Linux vs. Windows

Web Hosting: Linux vs. Windows

One of the first choices which must be made when deciding upon a web hosting provider is what operating system the server will run on, and choice here is generally between Linux and Windows. Neither system is better than the other. It is up to the client to determine based upon his or her own personal likes and dislikes.

The words “Linux” and “Windows” describe many things. Firstly, there is operating system kernel. The kernel is the low level part of an operating system which does all of the essential work such as talking to the hardware, the memory and other devices.
Most people will never have to concern themselves with this part of the computer operating equation. That is not to say it is any less important to any other aspect of computing. It is just not something a user will really ever need to directly encounter.

Users will instead be working with the user interface, called this because users will work with the commands directly. The differences between Linux and Windows in this regard are minimal. Windows and Linux servers will serve HTML and Java Script. Traditionally, the Windows servers use file named *.html and Linux *.html but these are only names and do not represent any real differences. It is just a preference in names and systems.

Many people choose Linux as their operating system based on cost; it is a free, open source system. Windows is also a very well known operating system for web hosting providers, much more so than Linux due to the fact that there is so much support available to Windows users. Linux, being an Open Source operating system, relies heavily on user groups for support.

Microsoft developed and owns the Windows operating system. Linux is widely loved because it is open source and is usually free to anyone who wishes to use it. The obvious difference is that Windows can be quite costly to set up and run. However, even though the general belief is that Windows is pricier, purchasing a Windows hosting package can often result in a more cost effective equivalent to the Linux’s hosting package.

Most people naturally conclude that since they use Windows as their operating system of choice this means they need to also use windows for the Web hosting needs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A FTP site will more than likely provide your web account access but both operating systems apply here. The obvious difference is that the FTP commands are different. As far as the actual performance aspect is concerned there is really not a notable difference between the two.

Some say Linux performs more quickly than Windows while others believe Windows is quick to the punch. Windows offers an “all in one” approach and because of this many feel it contributes to lag time to some extent. If this is an issue for you then you should certainly take it into consideration.

Linux and windows are both continually being improved upon and what may be ahead of the game today may seem archaic tomorrow. If you are in need of a really great host which offers quality then you need to consider how you are using the platform. Some people feel that viruses are more geared toward Windows operating systems and prefer Linux as their operating system of choice.


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