Cloud vs. Home Server

Published: 2022-09-05

When self-hosting your services, you can choose to setup a server at home and take full control. However, a home server will also require

Next to that, also don't forget that CPU, memory, and SSD improvements still continue. So, if you calculate what is cheaper in the long run, don't forget that it is likely that cloud computing becomes less expensive over time or at least that your own hardware becomes relatively worse.

For these reasons, I would advice most people who want to self-host to rent a small server online. There are many companies providing virtual private servers (VPSs), also known as cloud servers. These servers can be recognized by offering one or more virtual CPUs (vCPUs). For example, see the following companies:

Usually, prices start at about $5 dollars per month. And yes, the cheapest server is more than enough for some small web services.

These services have one major benefit for people who sometimes make mistakes (like me). They have a web interface which allows common tasks such as resetting and reinstalling the server. This is called a control panel. For instance, reinstalling Ubuntu 22.04 can be done by logging in to Hetzner and clicking on rebuild. A reinstall (rebuild) at Hetzner takes about 30 seconds. Compare that to the hour-long process of manually reinstalling a system.

Another benefit is that risk can be spread across servers. Imagine having one big home server hosting 12 web services and accidentally deleting some essential files causing the system to crash. That will mean that all 12 services are down. Conversely, imagine if you decided that your want at most 3 services on each server. Then, deleting essential files will at most cause 3 services to be down.

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