HEADS-UP: A ton has changed since this post was originally published!
Why not check out the latest comparison?

Never a dull moment in the world of VPS providers. In the past month, DigitalOcean switched up their C-suite and Linode opened up a data center in Mumbai, India.

I’m switching things up a bit as well, bringing things back to the east coast. Well mostly, since not everybody has a New York-based data center.

I’ve also left the slightly more expensive high frequency instance on the comparison. Since it performed so well last month for a trivial amount more per month, I was curious if it would stack up again this month.

As always, I’ve built out three servers with each provider, running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The results are an average of the results from each of the instances.

Also, I usually don’t talk much about the support from the different providers, since I find it hard to truly test, but I did get some insight from my buddy Justin (from ReviewCycle) about his recent DigitalOcean support interaction.

He happened to have borked a configuration file that locked him out of his box (couldn’t SSH in directly, only via their console) and DigitalOcean’s support sluffed it off as him needing to enter his password in when prompted (which he wasn’t).

Took me about 5 minutes to walk him though some SSH configuration stuff, after a day of back and forth with DigitalOcean’s support.

Overview

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Location New York City 1 Virginia, Zone A Newark, NJ Chicago #1 New Jersey
RAM 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB
CPU 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core
Storage 25 GB SSD 40 GB SSD 25 GB SSD 25 GB SSD 32 GB NVMe
Transfer 1 TB 2 TB 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB
Base Price $5/month $5/month $5/month $5/month $6/month
Backups $1/month N/A $2/month $0.06/GB $1.20/month
Transfer Overage $0.01/GB $0.09/GB $0.02/GB $0.056/GB $0.01/GB
Load Balancer $10/month $18/month $10/month N/A N/A

CPU Info

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
CPU MHz 2200.00 2400.22 2300.00 2999.99 3792.00
Cache Size (KB) 30720.00 30720.00 16384.00 16384.00 16384.00
BogoMips 2933.00 3200.33 3066.33 3999.67 5056.33

CPU

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Events per Second 744.64 863.31 746.46 1073.58 1311.61
Minimum (ms) 1.19 1.03 1.28 0.91 0.74
Average (ms) 1.38 1.16 1.34 0.93 0.76
Maximum (ms) 9.92 1.37 20.97 2.65 3.42

Memory (Read)

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 2995704.71 824115.01 3287071.06 4518478.03 5352398.30
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 7.65 1.60 3.26 2.13 0.71

Memory (Write)

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 2992589.12 824752.56 3268418.59 4571707.28 5380630.02
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 5.59 1.54 9.47 0.88 3.78

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Reads per Second 1539.46 1243.71 1847.02 3511.00 4928.12
Writes per Second 1026.27 829.14 1231.34 2340.66 3285.35
Fsyncs per Second 3275.67 2649.21 3933.88 7482.26 10506.72
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.20 0.22 0.15 0.08 0.05
Maximum (ms) 92.92 14.63 15.56 35.51 3.88

MySQL

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 2559.00 2238.33 2817.33 4507.67 6430.67
Queries per Second 51180.00 44766.67 56346.67 90153.33 128613.33
Minimum (ms) 2.98 2.33 2.11 1.56 1.19
Average (ms) 5.45 4.47 3.56 2.22 1.56
Maximum (ms) 56.62 70.37 31.19 24.37 15.91

Redis

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
PING_INLINE 30778.03 55916.05 38132.83 67300.54 65023.11
PING_BULK 29519.50 55383.74 39511.71 66805.65 64632.57
SET 30868.78 55466.07 39957.22 67309.43 65288.79
GET 29596.39 55524.81 40043.16 66127.06 65249.19
INCR 29886.55 56362.21 40195.95 67486.28 65708.38
LPUSH 31325.69 55252.36 39818.74 68712.79 65577.45
RPUSH 31693.48 56043.15 40074.20 68239.07 66001.58
LPOP 31119.83 55163.36 38769.57 68033.69 66299.75
RPOP 29984.15 55401.72 39325.47 67720.17 66046.04
SADD 31139.83 56403.44 39591.98 67657.89 65690.84
HSET 30775.99 54170.39 40246.81 68034.42 65648.46
SPOP 30273.19 56107.30 39021.95 67123.56 65410.08
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 15551.30 30063.38 19990.79 35386.74 39119.30
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 6697.52 11986.61 8296.46 14060.53 17259.02
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 4823.05 8431.73 5610.11 9949.41 12454.93
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 3847.19 6696.60 4546.09 8090.43 9956.44
MSET (10 keys) 25943.18 40303.53 35170.02 53311.16 55964.83

Speed Test

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Distance (km) 2435.00 2090.30 2397.72 1397.78 2390.98
Latency (ms) 44.804 46.604 47.978 36.116 47.173
Download (Mbit/s) 1341.31 53.23 153.48 132.78 1465.67
Upload (Mbit/s) 500.81 98.78 381.73 454.23 541.41

Apache Benchmark (against nginx on the servers)

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Requests per Second 157.73 170.25 186.28 171.76 171.76
Time per Request (ms) (mean) 3177.86 2941.56 2726.56 2935.01 2937.44
Transfer Rate (Kbyte/sec) 132.30 142.82 156.26 144.08 144.08

Conclusion

Lightsail still stacks up best if you’re looking for the raw product offering, but Vultr’s high frequency instance stomped the competition in nearly every category.

The big exception being Redis, where UpCloud stole the show for the majority of the operations that were run. UpCloud also had some of the lowest latency during the speed tests.

Not to be forgotten, DigitalOcean put up a great showing overall and Linode put up some great numbers during this month’s Apache Benchmarks.

As always, you should weigh our your personal needs and do your own independent research and benchmarks when choosing your hosting provider.

If you happened to have found these benchmarks helpful in your own quest to find your perfect VPS hosting provider and have decided to sign up, please please please do so with one of my referral links. It’ll be greatly appreciated!

Also, comment below if you do, I love hearing about who everybody has picked.

  • DigitalOcean, new accounts receive $10 in credit.
  • Lightsail, no promotion for $5 plans, but you can snag the $3.50 plan for 1 month free (up to 750 hours)
  • Linode, use code LINODE10 for $10 in credit.
  • UpCloud, new accounts receive $25 in credit.
  • Vultr, new accounts receive $50 in credit.




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