VPS Showdown - January 2018 - DigitalOcean vs. Linode vs. Vultr

Josh Sherman
4 min read
VPS Showdown
HEADS-UP: A ton has changed since this post was originally published!
Why not check out the latest comparison?

As promised, I am trying to get a new VPS Showdown post out on a monthly basis.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to do them at the beginning of each month or not, but I am glad I waited as DigitalOcean shook things up by doubling their RAM offerings and bumped a few other stats.

Now DigitalOcean, Linode and Vultr offer the same amount of RAM at the same price points!

Just like last month, I went ahead and spun up 3 servers for DigitalOcean, Linode and Vultr at both the 5$ and 20$ price points. All of the servers were running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x64 and around the same vicinity of New York City / Newark, New Jersey.

The data shown is the average of the results.

I’ve also normalized the stats a bit better so I wouldn’t have to field a bunch of comments letting me know that 1 GB is the same as 1024 MB. Hey, it’s not my fault that each hosting company uses a different dialect of marketing speak ;)

$5 Showdown

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Location New York 1 Newark, NJ New York (NJ)
RAM 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB
CPU 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core
SSD 25 GB 20 GB 25 GB
Transfer 1 TB 1TB 1 TB
CPU (time taken) (seconds) 15.2390 12.5243 13.02643
Memory (Read) (MB/sec) 1476.54 2210.50 2007.96
Memory (Write) (MB/sec) 1481.69 2204.90 2022.00
File I/O (MB/sec) 77.030 58.709 59.202
MySQL (Read/write) (req/sec) 3784.87 7409.49 5300.14
ab (req/sec) (mean) 1188.10 1204.38 2085.78
ab (transfer rate) (Kbytes/sec) 13108.23 13217.78 23379.82

Linode put up great numbers in almost all of the categorie with the exceptions of file I/O and ab. Vultr’s marketing is always talking about network speed so it’s not too surprising for them to perform better there.

DigitalOcean may have taken the fil I/O but it’s worth nothing that Linode and Vultr both performed consistent across each server instance while DigitalOcean had one instance that performed wildly better than the other two (bringing up the average considerably).

Vultr used to be the frontrunner in regard to their SSD offering, but since DigitalOcean’s pricing changes, they are now tied.

$20 Showdown

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Location New York 1 Newark, NJ New York (NJ)
RAM 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB
CPU 2 Cores 2 Cores 2 Cores
SSD 80 GB 48 GB 60 GB
Transfer 4 TB 4 TB 4 TB
CPU (time taken) (seconds) 15.9424 12.5850 12.8183
Memory (Read) (MB/sec) 1039.30 2184.88 2126.74
Memory (Write) (MB/sec) 1035.82 2171.47 2137.90
File I/O (MB/sec) 90.969 132.933 104.231
MySQL (Read/write) (req/sec) 3988.07 7870.39 6215.92
ab (req/sec) (mean) 1249.92 1138.23 2164.41
ab (transfer rate) (Kbytes/sec) 13842.98 12346.76 24569.35

Unlike the 5$ tier, DigitalOcean’s new 20$ plan didn’t tie Vultr’s SSD offering but blew it out of the water!

Vultr continued to reign supreme with the ab tests and even though they didn’t take any other categories, they were just a hair behind Linode for most of them.

Just like the 5$ tier, I had one DigitalOcean droplet that performed drastically different than the other two. Vultr and Linode both performed fairly consistent across each of the instances I was running.


Even though DigitalOcean is now offering more for the same price, the data is still in favor of Linode and Vultr.

But as always, it really depends on what you need.

If you’re looking at the data above, Linode’s the clear choice as they excel is just about every category.

Worried about network speed? Vultr’s got you covered while also offering a bit more storage space.

And if storage space if your major concern, DigitalOcean is going to give you the most bang for your buck.

Regardless of which provider you go with, please don’t forgot about this post and please please please use one of my referral links below.

Last Valentine’s Day Linode announced a 5$ plan, wonder if they will have anything in store for us next month!

Or if you’re feeling really generous, show off your favorite tech stack by picking up a shirt!

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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