Compare UNIX and Windows Web Hosting

We are often asked which hosting platform one should choose, Unix or Windows®2000. Below, we've listed the major differences between the two that you should consider in making your final decision. In the process, we have also tried to dispel any common misconceptions regarding these platforms.

Important: One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to run UNIX on your own computer in order for you to host your site on the UNIX platform. This is just not true. The operating system that you run on your computer is irrelevant in making your decision. This means that if you are running Windows98, Windows®2000, Windows®XP or MAC on your computer, you can still choose UNIX.

Supported Features

MS FrontPage 2000, 2002, 2003
SSH (Secure Telnet) ----
HTAccess ----
MySQL ----
ASP (Active Server Pages)
MS Access ----
MS SQL ----
Visual Basic Scripts ----
Windows Media ----

Technical information for advanced users

Web Server Apache IIS (Internet Information Server)

Ease of use:

Over the years, many resources have been poured into both UNIX and Windows®2000 platforms to make hosting as easy as possible. Today, there are no differences in terms of ease of use between these platforms. If you are an advanced user who prefers to work in shell environment, then UNIX is your choice. However, if you are a beginner, you will find both platforms user friendly, especially with a help of our control panel, SiteControl.


The industry consensus is that UNIX is more reliable. However, we have made sure that the reliability of the Windows®2000 platform closely matches that of UNIX's. What this means is that you can make your decision based on the differences in features rather than on reliability.


There is no difference in terms of speed between the two platforms.


This is where two platforms differ the most. There isn’t much that can be achieved in one platform that can’t be on the other one. The main difference is how the end is achieved. For example, if you need a database driven web site, you can choose either PHP/MySQL combination under UNIX or ASP/MS SQL combination under Windows®2000. The trend is for solutions to be supported in both platforms. For example, Microsoft FrontPage, one of the most popular web site editors out there, is supported on both UNIX and Windows®2000. Please see below for the list of supported features.


Here UNIX holds a slight edge due to the fact that the most of the software licenses are free and that it’s easier to maintain UNIX servers than Windows®2000 servers for the same level of reliability and performance. You will see that our hosting prices reflect this. Unless you specifically plan to use Windows®2000 platform specific features (see below), it probably makes sense to choose the UNIX platform.

Ease of Use
Integration with Microsoft Solutions
Free/Open Source Software