Can anyone recommend an unmanaged Virtual Private Server hosting company?

I host four of my own sites from a cranky old Celeron box in the spare bedroom: this blog, Carole's blog, my brother's site, and my company site (including staging areas for client projects). The bedroom server also handles e-mail for those domains.

If only to cut down on the number of cables to trip over, I'd like to move these all to a hosting service somewhere. I'd also save some pocket change by switching from a commercial to a residential internet package with WHTV NorthwesTel.

Trouble is, setting up individual cheapo accounts for each would end up not being so cheapo in the aggregate, and I'd lose the ability to configure services just the way I like them, and to run my own programs for various purposes.

The ideal solution would be a dedicated server running from somebody's rack enclosure down south. Far from cheapo, those.

A nearly-ideal compromise is the concept of a Virtual Private Server (VPS) -- a "pretend" computer that is actually just a portion of a divvied-up real computer, but runs like a normal computer anyway, just a little bit more slowly. An unmanaged VPS is one where they give you the root password, a command-line connection, and tell you not to call unless you need a reboot. You have to set up and maintain the web server software and everything else yourself (I wonder if they set up reverse DNS?). Nothing I haven't done a few dozen times before.

After a quick look, I've seen prices ranging from $5 to $150 per month, but I don't know any of the companies. Has anyone out there tried VPS? I'd prefer to deal with a company in Canada, or at least one aware of the Yukon and not governed by the US Patriot Act.

Archived Comments

  1. Murray on 20080912.Friday:
    I've had a VPS account at Westhost for several years, and run over 40 domains on it now for myself and clients. Great service (with real Support, not just a claim to have it), and near-zero downtime. Not Canadian, but I insist on quality (price is secondary after quality) and go wherever necessary to to get it.
  2. Dave on 20080912.Friday:
    Thanks, Murray. I'll check them out. Their prices seem pretty reasonable too. Utah, eh? At least they don't get hurricanes.
  3. Geof Harries on 20080912.Friday:
    If you want full root access, choice of distro and complete control over the box, check out Slicehost. I've heard nothing but positive feedback about the service from a wide range of developer types. I'd use Slicehost but the thought of installing programs and doing all maintenance via the command line terrifies me. So to compensate for my lack of mad server skills, I own a VPS at Media Temple, specifically their top level (dv) Extreme. It gives me plenty of control, but removes the really complicated stuff that's best for yourself.
  4. Dave on 20080912.Friday:
    Thanks, Geof. I got a recommendation for Slicehost from a similar question I posed on Stack Overflow (which goes live on Monday, I hear). Aside from being located in the Great State of Missourah, Slicehost seems to have absolutely everything I need, all for a measly $20 per month.
  5. John on 20090130.Friday:
    I've used compevo because they have clustered VPS Servers from Canada at I always choose to host in Canada to keep my data safe too :) Hope that helps