After trying DigitalOcean and Linode for almost two years, now I feel that I’m in a good position to compare the two services. If you aren’t sure which service is going to be a better fit for your websites’ needs, then this review should help you in choosing one.
First of all, let’s see the prominent features of both hosting providers side by side in below table.
|Hosting Type||Managed/Unmanaged Linux VPS (KVM)||Unmanaged Linux VPS (KVM)|
|Pricing Starts at||$5/mo||$5/mo|
|SSD Storage||20 GB|
|Bandwidth Transfer/mo||1 TB||1 TB|
|Allowed Network Port Speed||1 GB||300 MB *|
|Bandwidth Overage Pricing||$0.02/GB||Free *|
|Additional IPs||Yes ($1/mo/IP)||No|
|Managed Hosting||Yes (+$100/mo/server)||No|
|Full Root Access||Yes||Yes|
|Backups||Yes (Starting at $2/mo)||Yes (Starting at $2/mo)|
|CPU (Hardware)||Intel(R) Xeon(R) E Series||Intel(R) Xeon(R) E Series|
|Max. RAM||224 GB||224 GB|
|Max. Inbuilt Storage||1536 GB||640 GB|
|Block Storage||Yes ($0.10/mo)||Yes ($0.10/mo)|
Explanation of Some Features:
In above table, further clarification is needed. For network port speed, you can see that I have mentioned 1 Gbps for Linode and 300 Mbps for DigitalOcean. Linode has clearly mentioned that port speed for the most basic plan is 1 Gbps while there isn’t any information disclosed on DigitaloOcean pricing pages. To get further information on this, I contacted DigitalOcean support and one of their support representatives told me that one should not exceed the soft limit of 300 Mbps on a particular droplet.
This doesn’t mean that you are restricted to 300 Mbps. It is just a recommendation from their support staff not to exceed this transfer limit and for busy applications with huge transfer requirements, one should think about an advanced architecture.
Regarding the max. RAM and CPU availability, both Linode and DigitalOcean offer high memory virtual machines in addition to their standard machines. With a High-Memory instance, one can resize their machine’s RAM up to 224 GB.
In addition to the High-Memory instances, DigitalOcean offers High-CPU machines as well. At DigitalOcean, you can have a virtual machine with up to 32 virtual CPUs while at Linode, a virtual machine can have up to 20 vCPUs.
Both Linode and DigitalOcean are primarily unmanaged VPS hosting providers so they provide basic support via tickets. So far, I have found the quality of support at Linode to be slightly better than that of DigitalOcean (This may be a personal experience as other people have good words to say about DigitalOcean’s support). Recently I faced an issue with DigitalOcean’s new product Spaces while using their API but I failed to get a satisfactory support from their end.
Apart from ticket support, one can get help from their community in forums as well as by consulting the helpful tutorials. DigitalOcean’s community section is more active and modern.
Both Linode and DigitalOcean perform solidly and both of these hosting providers are backed by modern hardware and solid network. In addition, they both have a wider range of datacenters. Based on my personal preference, I love Linode for their bandwidth capacity and for their quicker and better support. They allow you to make the use of your pooled bandwidth allowance. This means that if you have 2 virtual servers of the most basic plan, then each server will come with a bandwidth limit of 1TB and you can utilize all 2TB bandwidth, i.e. if one server consumes just 100GB in a month, then you can consume the remaining 1.9TB bandwidth on the other server before the bandwidth overage pricing will be applied.
DigitalOcean is one step ahead of Linode with its object storage solution. Recently they have introduced this S3-compatible object storage solution with a very fair bandwidth pricing and if you need the object storage as well and need to keep everything in a single place, then you would consider DigitalOcean.
In terms of bandwidth usage, DigitalOcean doesn’t charge any money for bandwidth overage as of now but they may ask you to upgrade your plan if the bandwidth overage triggers their service abuse thresholds.
In terms of performance, both Linode and DigitalOcean are equally good. I am experiencing almost 100% uptime across all of my virtual servers hosted with DigitalOcean and Linode. Moreover, both of these services come with a redundant DNS cluster that allows you to manage DNS for your domains easily and locally on your host.
This was a comparison of the two services, Linode and DigitalOcean, based on my personal experience. If you have used any of these services before then you can share your experience in comments below. Moreover, if you are going to choose any of these services and have some questions that aren’t covered in this comparison review, then you can ask your questions below.
DigitalOcean has recently updated their pricing for droplets as well as they have introduced some new plans. Now the most basic plan comes with 1 GB RAM and 25 GB SSD storage. This means that you are going to get double the RAM and 5 GB additional storage for the same pricing ($5/month). The $10 plan now includes 2 GB RAM and 30 GB SSD storage.
A new plan to consider, that grabbed my attention too, is $15/mo plan which lets you choose a different combination of resources. For example you can either choose 3 GB RAM and 1 vCPU core, 2 GB RAM and 2 vCPU cores or 1 GB RAM and 3 vCPU cores. Within this $15/mo price, now you have an option to choose a resource combination based on your website or web application’s requirements.