VPS Showdown - December 2017 - DigitalOcean vs. Linode vs. Vultr

4 min read

It’s about that time again, folks!

Based on the feedback I’ve received on previous “VPS Showdown” posts, I’ve changed a few things up!

First off, I’m offering up data on both the $5 and $20 price points to paint a decent picture of how things can scale up on a provider.

Next, I’ve also went through the trouble of spinning up 3 instances of each server and am offering up an averaged result for each metric.

And speaking of metrics, I’ve cut out a ton of the cruft! This post will feature a single metric (mostly X per second) for each of the benchmarks. I’m hoping the brevity will make things a bit easier to interpret.

Oh! And since it has been such a hot topic, I adjusted the ab test to be from my local machine to the server instead of running it directly on the machine. Probably not perfect, but better than before.

The plan is to start doing this comparison on a monthly basis, so feel free to comment below and let me know how I can make things even better!

Each server was spun up in the New York / New Jersey data center for the respective provider and was running a fully updated Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x64 instance.

$5 Showdown

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Location New York 3 Newark, NJ New York (NJ)
RAM 512 MB 1024 MB 1024 MB
CPU 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core
SSD 20 GB 20 GB 25 GB
Transfer 1 TB 1TB 1 TB
CPU (time taken) (seconds) 11.8339 12.0545 12.71033
Memory (Read) (MB/sec) 1,462.59 2,049.88 1,718.41
Memory (Write) (MB/sec) 1,504.85 2,053.13 1,720.32
File I/O (MB/sec) 119.477 48.861 50.074
MySQL (Read/write) (req/sec) 6,890.17 6,460.07 4,937.67
ab (req/sec) (mean) 1,804.85 1,300.25 2,329.79
ab (transfer rate) (Kbytes/sec) 2,0374.86 14,566.39 2,6397.50

Mixed lot with this one. Linode performed the best for memory reads and writes while DigitalOcean ran the CPU benchmark the fastest and was able to process more during the File I/O and MySQL benchmarks. Vultr fell behind on the system benchmarks but pulled ahead on the ab benchmarks.

$20 Showdown

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Location New York 3 Newark, NJ New York (NJ)
RAM 2 GB 4 GB 4 GB
CPU 2 Cores 2 Cores 2 Cores
SSD 40 GB 48 GB 60 GB
Transfer 3 TB 3 TB 3 TB
CPU (time taken) (seconds) 12.7766 11.9487 11.9536
Memory (Read) (MB/sec) 1,189.03 2,281.60 1,752.63
Memory (Write) (MB/sec) 1,182.31 2,292.24 1,766.57
File I/O (MB/sec) 96.404 110.245 102.282
MySQL (Read/write) (req/sec) 5,422.42 6,369.15 6,042.50
ab (req/sec) (mean) 1,303.47 1,195.85 1,283.06
ab (transfer rate) (Kbytes/sec) 14,620.47 13,322.92 14,332.82

Interesting to see the different tiers side by side. Going from the $5 to $20 tier, Linode was able to scoop up every benchmark except ab which DigitalOcean took with a slight advantage over Vultr.


Like all of my VPS comparison comparisons, YMMV.

Looking at the raw data, DigitalOcean seems like a solid bet at the $5 price point while Linode appears to have better stats as you scale up.

That’s not to say Vultr’s not worth it though. They put up solid numbers and consistently came in second for the benchmarks they didn’t take first in. I’d argue that they are the best all around of this comparison.

Also, as you probably have guessed, these posts do take time to put together. If you found the post helpful in any way and plan on signing up for service with one of the aforementioned providers, please please please use one of my affiliate links: DigitalOcean, Linode and Vultr.

Until next time!