UNIX Hosting or Windows Hosting?

When choosing a hosting package, web hosting companies offer UNIX hosting and Windows hosting. What are the differences between the two and which should you choose?

The biggest difference between the two operating systems is in the software they can run. If you need to use Windows-specific technologies like ASP, .NET, MSSQL or Access on your website, you will need Windows hosting. If you want to use PHP, Perl, WordPress, Blogging Software, MySQL, etc, you will need Unix hosting. If you are not sure what these technologies are, a Unix-based system is probably best for you.

Here are some avantages and disadvantages to consider …

Windows Hosting:

Advantages
– Supports ColdFusion, IIS, VBSCript, Windows Media, ASP scripting, MSSQL database, .NET framework.
– Microsoft’s server also allows integration with one of the more powerful databases, the SQL database.

Disadvantages
– Windows hosting usually more expensive.
– A few web hosts offer PHP option but most don’t.

Unix Hosting:

Advantages
– UNIX has a strong security record and its operating system is very stable.
– The majority of web sites hosted on the internet are hosted on Unix servers. Lots of support available.
– Lower hosting costs than Windows, most of the time.
– Supports PHP scripting, MySQL database, Frontpage extensions, Real Audio/Video streams

Disadvantages
– UNIX cannot run Windows-specific technologies like ASP, .NET, MSSQL or Access

Conclusion:
Unless you specifically plan to use Windows platform specific features (ASP, Visual Basic, MSSQL Databases), you should choose the Unix platform due to its greater speed, reliability cost effectiveness.

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