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What is Dedicated Hosting?
Dedicated Hosting is leasing an entire server on which to host your website. This gives you control of the hardware and software right down to the operating system and the amount of RAM, amount of disk space and the type of CPU. You are the only user on the machine so you can use 100% of its resources. Of course, all this power and control comes at a price -- often a very large price. If you need a lot of memory, disk space, and a powerful processor, monthly costs can easily be $200-$300 -- or higher. It's possible to get a low end dedicated server for around $50 to $75 a month, however, in some cases a good VPS (such as one from Linode) can actually provide more raw power for the same price.
Dedicated Hosting is really only for two types of users: first, the heaviest of power users with applications that would require too much power for even VPS Hosting and second, for those who need to tightly control access to secure information and cannot risk having other accounts with access to the server. A dedicated server has all of the advantages of VPS Hosting (e.g. complete control over your server environment) and all the disadvantages (fixed amounts of bandwidth and disk space and the need to do your own server administration) -- it just gives you full access to a real server that you are not sharing with any other accounts. As with VPS Hosting, some Dedicated Hosting offer a "managed server" option for an additional fee. With this option, the provider's staff assume responsibility for managing the operating system, core server software, and (often) the hardware.
Chances are you do not need to start with Dedicated Hosting. However, if your site gets big and popular, you may eventually outgrow Shared Hosting and then outgrow VPS Hosting and need Dedicated Hosting. Many extremely popular sites even need multiple dedicated servers. By the time you get to this point, your site should be generating enough income that paying for good Dedicated Hosting will not be an issue. If are opting for Dedicated Hosting solely because you have security sensitive data and you do not want others to have access to your server, you can probably use a less expensive low dedicate server, otherwise don't waste your time and effort on the low end as low end dedicated servers generally cannot provide a better experience than a good VPS. With Dedicated Hosting, you really do get what you pay for.
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