Linux Hosting vs. Windows Hosting – The Differences

There are two types of hosting that hosting service providers offer – Linux hosting and Windows Hosting. In this article, we are going to compare both of them in terms of stability, security, and cost of ownership.

When comparing both the hosting, the choice of the operating system comes down to your intended use of the server(s). Though the hosting market is currently dominated by Linux servers, Windows units are also growing, but slowly.

As of early 2017, Linux servers account for 55.6% of all the web servers with Windows making up for 35% of those.

Hosting Differences between Linux and Windows

  • Stability

Talk to any server administrator and the first thing they will mention is to compare stability.

Linux servers are found to be more stable then Windows servers as they rarely need to be rebooted and major configuration changes can be implemented without a restart.

On the other hand, Windows servers can get highly unstable while handling multiple databases, web, and file servers. The issue turns severe when it comes to adding separate applications and scheduling a lot of tasks.

  • Security

Worldwide, Linux servers are considered to be more secure than Windows servers.

Microsoft’s monopoly in the desktop market has made Windows systems a prime target for hackers. Attacks like BitLocker and WannaCry have proved time and again that Windows servers are more vulnerable to such attacks despite the best efforts by Microsoft.

Linux, on the other hand, has found its strength in the rights management features of Unix OS. The features restrict access to the operating system kernel and only allow the administrators (root users) to have the complete access.

The rights to modify certain directories and application remain with the root user alone. The root user gets access to unlimited files on a server, which reduces the chances of befuddlement through hidden files, which are often detected while fighting malware of Windows machine.

  • Learning Curve

Windows servers are comparatively simpler to use and manage. Even the beginner s finds it easy to use as they get a majority of the options on the user interface alone and the standardization of the Windows make it more convenient to find the solution of the doubts and problems online.

The learning curve for managing a Linux is unquestionably abrupt. If you have the time or background, you may find it a little simpler but if you are outside of IT and development, then you may find it daunting to configure and manage a Linux server.

Read More about benefits of cloud hosting

  • Pricing

The managing cost of Linux servers is far cheaper than that for Windows servers.

You may find many Linux servers running on the same hardware for a decade or more on which they were configured.

The reason being, Linux is a scaled-down operating system that doesn’t require repeatedly upgrades to incorporate new and sometimes unwanted features.

Moreover, Linux is a free open source system. That is the reason hosting service is able to offer Linux hosting at lower prices as compared to Windows servers as they don’t need to pay for hefty licensing fees to use Linux.

Choosing a hosting server is usually a onetime thing. Over the span years, Linux servers significantly cost lesser than the Windows servers, as the later require software licenses to be purchased to incorporate the frequent hardware upgrades to keep up with the market.


The proficiency level of both the hosting is similar. However, the deciding factor as to which one to opt for is the kind of technologies your website requires.

Linux hosting supports WordPress, Zen Cart, and phpBB and is compatible with PHP and MySQL.

On the other hand, Windows hosting offers specific Microsoft technologies such as ASP, .NET, Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL).