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Windows vs. Linux/Unix... How do you choose?

 by The Hosting STOP- Copyright © 2006

Comparing the differences between Windows & Linux hosting servers.

Not sure the differences between Windows and Linux web hosting? Allow us to help. To start, both Linux and Windows servers will interface great on any of the home computer types. These systems are similar in many ways, but still have major differences. Our goal is to inform you about their comparisons.

The Software

Windows Software (dependent)
Developed solely by the Microsoft corporation and completely dependent on a single common core to run web pages (monolithic design). Windows web host servers use IIS software integrated directly in the Windows interface. Changing the program is limited to the company programmers of Microsoft.

Linux Software (independent)
The standard software used with Linux servers is the Apache, an open source community. This system has operating parts completely independent of each other. This unique software was developed by a collective of programers that decided to continuously improve the software for specific use. Upgrades and improvements to the software can be performed by any outside webmaster.

System Operations

Windows System--Best for ASP and Other Microsoft Applications

  • Support Programs: HTML, CSS, DHTML, XHTML, XML, JavaScript, Java, CGI, Pearl and ASP
  • Support Features: FTP, E-Mail, Reports, Frontpage and just about every basic program offered.
  • Databases: MS SQL

Linux/Unix System--Best for Open Source Applications

  • Support Programs: HTML, CSS, DHTML, XHTML, XML, JavaScript, Java, CGI, Pearl, PHP and Ruby on Rails
  • Support Features: FTP, Email, FrontPage, Reports and most other basic functioning programs available.
  • Databases: MySQL or PostGresSQL



The debate between Windows and Linux security has been a long disputed issue. The biggest debate between Linux and Windows servers is the security risks involved with both styles. This has been the main determining point for many webmasters when having to choose a web hosting server type.

Windows--Is Interdependence their week point?
Safety has been criticized for the dependency on its core support system. They fear that if a server is breached, the hacker will have easy access to the entire server, due to the vast interconnection of the Windows components. They fight back by continuously creating security updates of their windows components.

Linux/Unix--Is being Open-Source Secure?
There is no guarantee on complete web security. The scare for many people talking about Linux is the completely open-source. There is concern as to the access by hackers, bad programs, viruses, and other uncensored web scripts. These issues are combated by one of the most highly skilled security teams.

Security of the Data Centers
Data centers and other service centers are continuously developing better tools and other software to combat the hackers. Both Windows and Linux hosting servers take pride in maintaining up-to-date security systems and deterrents. A good hosting provider will not use outside data centers.


In Conclusion

Take the time to determine the types of software and other programs you may need for your company to fulfill all functions smoothly. If most of your system and tools run on Microsoft products, you may want to take a strong look into Windows hosting. The interconnection of their programs may provide you with more efficient function. An equal amount of webmasters tend to find efficiency with the Linux servers. Linux systems offer a more workable code. The open source code seems to allow much quicker development and integration with other program code. Linux servers allow a larger amount of people to work with, and develop the code. Both Windows hosting and Linux hosting provide efficient and secure platforms for just about any web site or business need.

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