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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Windows v Linux

20 August 2008 by Mother Superior

In the hosting industry we’re seeing an increase in the number of businesses opting for Linux-based servers. If you’re looking to host a quality website you’ll be looking for the most stable technology on which to build your online presence. So, how do Windows and Linux platforms differ and which offers you the best service?

Linux’s obvious bonus is in the cost. With open source software there are no licensing fees. Linux is also renowned for its stability and for its diversity. Every “flavour” or “distro” offers strengths in different areas, so users are able to choose one to put to a specific purpose. However, some people see the amount of Linux flavours as counterproductive as they dilute the open source market and put off new users.

Linux applications are modifiable to suit your needs and with online open source forums help is readily available. Because Linux can be modified, less space is taken up with pre-installed, often-unnecessary control panels and applications.

So why has Windows long been the more popular choice? The obvious reason for this is its immediately recognisable branding. Microsoft is known the world over.

Knowledge of Windows’ easily navigable control panel is transferable throughout every application so systems are user-friendly. Every Linux desktop can be tailored to look and act differently which may be confusing. However, more experienced Linux users tend to find this a positive.

With regards to security the vast majority of spyware and viruses affect Windows systems. Windows users should be vigilant and use preventative patches, firewalls and updates to keep their servers safe.

Both systems have their pros and cons. Linux is the safer, more secure, cheaper option – which is the reason for its current growth whilst Windows is more user-friendly but it is expensive.

With regards to business servers, if you’re investing in a managed option, you won’t have to deal with scary Linux control panels anyway. Nor will you have to deal with extra Windows security issues.

When you sign up for a solution make sure you discuss your needs thoroughly with an expert advisor – you may find you need a multi-faceted, cross platform clustered solution. Because every online business is different, every solution should be too.