Even if you have tried to provide a host even once, you have encountered the question “What are the differences between Linux and Windows hosting” in your first step. This question includes different dimensions. To know the nature of these two types of hosting and their advantages and disadvantages, it is necessary to examine each of these parts separately. In this article, you will read the differences between Linux and Windows hosting. And according to this article, you can decide whether Linux hosting is better or Windows.
What is a Linux host?
If the operating system used on the host is Linux, they are called Linux hosts, which can be one of the Linux distributions such as Centos, Ubuntu, CloudLinux, etc. If you do not know what Linux is, it is better to read the article What is Linux and its application?
What is a Windows host?
Suppose the operating system used on the host is Windows. In that case, it is called a Windows host, and the Windows host also uses the Microsoft operating system called Windows Server, which is usually known by the year of release of that version, such as 2016 or 2019.
Differences between Linux and Windows hosts
In examining the differences between Linux and Windows hosts, what can be deduced from the names of these two types of hosts is the operating system used in their servers. Each of these operating systems provides its facilities and platform for a host server, which have certain advantages and disadvantages according to the conditions and needs of users. These conditions can be checked in the following sections:
Differences between Linux and Windows hosts
1- Web server
In the difference between Linux and Windows hosts, you should know that what you know as a website and what you see by running the domain name in your browser is the result of a set of processes performed by the web server on the website files until a result. To be visible in the browser. In a way, the web server can be considered a software platform responsible for this task. So it can be concluded that according to the role of the web server, how much a correct choice can have a positive or negative effect on the accuracy of the website’s performance.
Apache, Nginx, and LiteSpeed are the most famous Linux web servers. Each hosting company offers plans that use these web servers depending on the needs and configuration of their servers. The web server used in Windows Server is also IIS, which has different versions according to different versions of Windows Server. For example, Windows Server 2016 supports IIS10, and Windows Server 2012 supports IIS8. Read about the versions of Windows Server in the article Types of Windows Server.
The most important issue in choosing a web server is the programming language with which the website is designed. If the website is designed with ASP or ASP.net languages, it can only be run on a Windows server. But if languages such as PHP, Python, Perl, etc., are used, contrary to popular belief, they can be loaded on Windows and Linux servers. This depends entirely on the configuration of the server by the hosting company. By default, the configuration of Linux servers is more appropriate to support these languages and provide better performance.
Keep in mind that websites written with PHP will perform better on a Linux server due to their better interaction with Linux web servers.
2- Server database
A website uses a database in addition to its files, depending on how it is designed. In the meantime, two databases, Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL, are more famous than their other competitors.
MSSQL database can only be provided on a Windows server. But MySQL can be run on both Windows and Linux (recently, Microsoft has also offered SQL Server software compatible with Linux operating systems, but it still does not have the necessary stability compared to Windows operating systems). Like PHP, MySQL has better processing on Linux servers. Also, since most sites based on the PHP programming language use MySQL as a database, website designers who use the PHP language prefer to provide a Linux service.
Note: Keep in mind that it is possible to provide MySQL and PHP on Windows servers. For example, Windows hosts are configured in such a way that they can provide these services well.
3- The desire of the server
It is possible to use email services in almost all plans provided by hosting companies. This service can be provided on both Windows and Linux servers.
What differentiates the type of email service in Linux and Windows hosts is the nature of the applications responsible for this task. A mail server is a collection of different services. Among these, we can mention SMTP, IMAP, POP3, etc.; in a Linux server, each of these services is run and managed by an application.
In Windows, the situation is slightly different. Usually, a specific application is responsible for all tasks. SmarterMail, MailEnable, and Kerio Connect can be mentioned among the famous Windows mail servers. Due to the complexity of email features in Windows, sometimes managing this service is easier and more efficient than Linux. At the same time, the facilities provided in Windows mail servers are much more diverse than the similar conditions in Linux
4- Host control panels
Due to the popularity of most Linux services, its panels are also better known. Among them, Cpanel, Plesk, and DirectAdmin can be mentioned as the most famous ones. Common Windows panels include Plesk, SolidCP, and WebsitePanel.
As you have noticed, among the famous companies making panels, only Plesk has offered panels for Windows and Linux. Comparing the differences between Linux hosts and Windows hosts in terms of panels is pointless. Because each one is built based on the same operating system’s structure and features, this cannot be considered a criterion of superiority for a host.
In comparing Linux hosting and Windows hosting, security is an important factor. Perhaps one of the reasons that made Linux hosts more popular is that the Linux operating system is known for having more security. From a technical point of view, this claim has never been rejected or confirmed, and its supporters and opponents also present their reasons. But all experts agree on one thing; How to configure a host by the server manager and perform periodic security checks and use related software and hardware is much more important than whether the host is Windows or Linux. So make sure that before preparing a host, the relevant company does the mentioned things.
Linux often has a lower price than Windows due to more tools. On Windows hosting, maintenance and service costs are higher. The basic and important reason that has caused the costs and prices of Linux to decrease is that most of the applications, especially the operating system, are free. These are the prices, still without considering the cost of software like Windows Exchange and SQL Server.
As you know, speed is one of the fundamental parameters in the discussion of site management and host choices. The speed is not related to the operating system of the hosts, and only the server hardware and the speed optimization tools used by the hosts can be judged by their speed. In general, the speed of Linux has provided more speed than Windows in some cases due to extensive equipment used for speed optimization.
In this article, I tried to provide the most comprehensive explanation of the differences between Linux and Windows hosts. But due to the wide range of details and different scenarios requested by the users, some things may have been missed.