What is the difference between RDP and VPS

 In Case Study, Windows VPS Cases Study

RDP and VPS are both acronyms in relation to the server industry. RDP stands for Remote Desktop Protocol while VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. We will see that the 2 terms do have a connection but they aren’t to be confused. Throughout this article, we will define both terms and we will then cover the difference between the RDP and the VPS and more importantly why they are sometimes meddled with.

What is a VPS?

A Virtual Private Server, also known as a virtual machine is a virtual subdivision of a physical server.
It creates an independent environment generally with a dedicated pool of resources which behaves an independent computer.

The Operating System may completely differ from the Host node the VPS is being created on. A VPS is created with a virtualisation technology to virtualise the OS. You could benefit from a Linux VPS on a Windows Physical server and also the other way around.

On a traditional architecture, also known as bare metal in the hosting industry; you run the operating system and then you run the application within the OS.

On a virtual architecture, you run a virtualisation layer (also called an Hypervisor) in which you run Virtual Private Servers. Finally within these VPS, you may run a different OS and then your applications.

Baremetal VS VPS Architecture

Some of the most popular virtualisation technologies are:

  • OpenVZ / Virtuozzo
  • KVM
  • VMware ESX
  • Xen / Citrix
  • OpenStack
  • HyperV
  • Proxmox VE

What is a RDP?

The Remote Desktop protocol is a Microsoft technology. This programs allows a remote access connection to a Windows server exclusively from a client. It provides a full remote desktop visualisation of a given computer or server.

The RDP server is the remote computer you would like to gain access to. The client is the computer you would like to access the terminal server from.

The feature would work on any type of computer including your own personal computer whether it is a client or even a server. With a Remote Desktop session, you’ll be able to gain a full view over the computer remotely and use your local keyboard and mouse to control the remote computer.

remote-desktop-protocol How does the remote desktop work

The RDP protocols operates through the 3389 TCP port.

Some others solutions provide a similar benefit such as:

  • VNC Solutions
  • LogMeIn
  • TeamViewer


So Why The Confusion?

As we have seen both terms are widely different and yet, you have probably heard them both combined in the same sentence or even heard RDP being used as if it was a VPS.
The main reason is because of Windows VPS hosting solutions. These Virtual servers are accessed almost exclusively through the Remote Desktop protocol. Therefore, upon delivery of such services, the only access is through the RDP protocol. On specific industries, the RDP word has come to mean the same thing as a Windows VPS.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Devid

    I think windows is better for new users and linux is better for old users!

    • HSWebTeam

      Hello Devid,

      Indeed usability and expertise field are reasons why one would choose Windows over Linux. However, for some applications Windows introduce a resource usage overhead and is less what you do is what you get which would be required in some environment.
      Besides .NET / ASP / MSSQL requirements or a RDP type of usage, Linux is the indicated route for the users and some managed solutions are existing as well for new users.

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