what can you do with a vps

As early as the 1970s, IBM introduced an operating system called virtual machines or VM. The VM operating system took the application of shared access of a mainframe to the next level by allowing multiple distinct compute environments to live in the same physical environment.

By leveraging the VM technology thus virtual private server or VPS was born.

The most common use of virtual private server (VPS) is to host a website. But VPS can do more than just that. So what really can you do with a VPS? 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Media streaming
  • Mail server
  • Virtual Private Network
  • Software testing
  • Collaborative file edit
  • Video teleconference
  • Customer Relationship management

Let’s look at each of it and some examples of implementation.

 

Media Streaming

Ampache, available from Softaculous, allows you to stream audio and share your music collection instead of curating a YouTube playlist. Browse and manage your music collection through a simple web interface. Synchronize local and remote catalogs to an unique consistent collection.

And the best part is, it is free and open source. 

This gives you complete freedom over the stream without worrying about issues from a platform’s terms of services (ToS). It also mitigates Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violation issues.

 

Mail server

If you are serious about your business, you would have already subscribed to an email hosting for your company email address. But, here is some cost saving tip, if your company is using a VPS to build a website, you can set up a self-hosted email server at the same VPS. 

For cPanel servers, Horde and Roundcube webmail applications are among the common ones that you may use. Unmanaged VPS Hosting administrators can install either one separately.

Having an email server on a VPS gives users full control over outgoing emails while letting you set up advanced filters. Not to mention you can also harden the security for potential spam email.

 

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

It is getting popular among internet users to mask their location and IP address due to the rising security threats. It is also very popular VPS is used for setting up a virtual private network.

With VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel between the location of your computer and a remote server. All of your Internet traffic is routed through this tunnel, effectively masking your real location since your computer will seem to have the IP address of the VPN server.

If you are looking for a free and secure way to set up your VPN using VPS, OpenVPN might be the one to consider. Well-supported by its open-source community, regularly updated, highly customizable are some of the benefits of using OpenVPN. 

Although setting up your own VPN using a VPS might be a challenge especially if you are not a tech-savvy, having a more secure browsing and lower cost may be worthwhile in the long run.

 

Software testing

If you are a programmer or software developer, you would need to test your application in different environments to know what works and what not. A VPS is able to let you do that, with a virtualisation environment, you are free to install any OS or any application to test your work. 

VPS allows you to create a sandbox. A sandbox is a virtual environment that many use to build, test, and deploy software before going to production. Doing testing in a virtual environment can simulate a real live scenario, that can help to reduce the risk of downtime from misconfiguration errors on your live setup. When you are done, you can always revert back to default in VPS.

 

Collaborative file edit

Both Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 are great for work projects collaboration. However, some may have security concerns for both of those applications that can unwillingly connect users across other third party platforms, especially when projects are deemed confidential. Instead of working in Google Docs while struggling to maintain privacy, why not install your own collaborative real-time editor?

CryptPad.fr, is a privacy-focused cloud office suite for creating documents, presentations, spreadsheets, polls, project management kanbans, and even whiteboards.

All content is encrypted and decrypted by your browser. This means documents, chats, and files are unreadable outside of the session where you are logged in. Did we mention it is free to install at VPS? Yes, they are free and open source.

 

Video teleconference

Let’s face it, the global pandemic in 2020 has changed many things especially how we meet and greet each other. One of the most used tools during this period was video teleconference, Zoom dominated the market when mentioning video conference.

But, when Zoom security was being questioned, people started to look for more secure and private video teleconferences for their virtual meeting, that is when Jitsi came into picture.

Jitsi is a free open source video conference web application available for free use online or with desktop software. They provide installation guides for Debian-based GNU/Linux system, so you can install at your VPS easily and start your own video conferencing.

 

Customer Relationship management (CRM)

While project management tools assist you with internal initiatives, customer relationship management applications target external efforts with potential and current clients. 

Every small and medium size business (SMB) owner should try a CRM to see how it can enhance insights and productivity to optimize man hours and organization workflow.

Softaculous provides dedicated applications for CRM, one of it is Vtiger. You can expect basic use of CRM features are available, but productivity and integration module is only available for paid version. 

 

Here is the list of 7 things you can do with VPS. In summary, a VPS offers security and flexibility for your application needs, independence from your neighbors in the server, and full control over your hosting environment. Which one would like to try for your next VPS project? What is another application your VPS used for?

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Jian is technology and chocolate drinks lover. He is still looking for the person who invented shower, contact him if you know who it is.