What is the difference between Linux and Windows Hosting?

All websites need an operating system (OS) to run. Today websites run either on a Linux based server or a Windows based server. As Linux is reputed for strong security and better web server performance, it is the most widely used operating system for web servers. For static HTML based websites, the web hosting platform doesn’t mean much. However, it makes a difference only when the website is using a dynamic scripting technology like PHP / PERL, which are Linux based technologies or ASP, which is a Microsoft based technology.

Moreover, Linux hosting has many more features as compared to windows hosting so unless your website needs Windows applications specifically, Linux should be the chosen one.



Applications Requiring Windows Server:

Windows server is needed by following applications:

  • ASP Classic
  • MS Access (Microsoft Access)
  • MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server)
  • C#
  • Visual Basic Development
  • Remote Desktop (dedicated server only)

Additional Windows applications like MS Exchange and MS SharePoint are supported by Windows Dedicated Servers but you need to buy a license and install it on your server.

Applications Requiring Linux Server:

  • SSH
  • PHP/Perl
  • CGI
  • Front page extensions
  • Apache modules requiring applications or scripts.





Security: Generally, Linux servers are considered to be more secure. But in reality, it depends more on the setup and hosting system administration rather than OS.

Security: Generally, Windows servers are considered as more vulnerable than the Linux servers but in reality, it depends more on the setup and hosting system administration rather than OS.

Server Access: FTP access (a method of transferring files from hard drive to web server) to files is offered by both Linux and Windows. However, telnet access is offered by very few hosting administrators.

Sever Access: FTP access to files is offered by both Linux and Windows. But telnet or SSH access is generally offered by Linux only.

File Names: In Windows, these are not case sensitive. Ex: one.html, One.html and ONE.HTML are all same in Windows.

File Names: In Linux, these are case sensitive. Ex: one.html and One.html are different names in Linux.

Control Panel: On Windows shared and dedicated servers, Plesk control panel is used.

Control Panel: cPanel or WHM (web Host Manager) is used on Linux shared, reseller, VPS and Dedicated servers.

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