I’ve mentioned Vultr in several of my previous blog posts. I’ve covered how Vultr significantly outperforms their main competitor DigitalOcean in both price and performance in the low cost solid state drive (SSD) virtual private server (VPS) hosting market. Today I thought that I would do a walk-through of Vultr via a series of annotated screenshots. Along the way I hope to show you why I’ve moved away from DigitalOcean for all of my new development servers and why Vultr is currently one of my favorite VPS hosting option.
So let’s get started with the homepage where creating a new account is as simple as entering our email address and password form the home page.
After clicking on the “deploy now” button you’ll need to enter your payment details. Services are billed based on an hourly rate up to a maximum monthly rate. with servers starting at $5.00 a month or $0.007 (7/10 of a penny) per hour for a VPS with 1 CPU 768MB memory 15GB storage 1000 GB of monthly transfer. The minimum deposit is $5 but it also comes with a $5 bonus credit that it automatically added to your account.
Payment can be made via credit card, (visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Discover) PayPal or even bit coin.
After entering your preferred payment option you can now get started deploying your first virtual server.
There’s a lot to talk about on this next screenshot.
First off there are three different server types to choose from :
Performance – Have from 1 to 4 CPU, SSD storage and are available at data centers located around the world.
Storage – Have either 1 or 2 CPU large SATA disks and are available in New Jersey or Los Angles data centers.
Multi-Core – Have between 8 and 20 CPU SSD storage and are only available in the New Jersey data center.
Vultr has a total of 14 different data centers located around the world in the following cities and countries
- Chicago, Illinois, USA
- New Jersey, USA
- Dallas, Texas, USA
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Miami, Florida, USA
- Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Seattle, Washington, USA
- Silicon Valley, California, USA
- Sydney, Australia
- Tokyo, Japan
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- London, England, UK
- Paris, France
- Frankfurt, Germany
They have many different OS choices, including verities of Linux, BSD and Windows available and unlike the vast majority of other VPS hosts Vultr also allows for the installation of custom ISO’s. They also have a few applications which can be installed when deploying a new server. I’ll cover the applications latter on.
By default the following OS options are available.
- CentOS 5
- CentOS 6
- CentOS 7
- Ubuntu 14.04
- Ubuntu 12.04
- Ubuntu 14.10
- Ubuntu 15.04 (added on April 23rd 2015)
- Debian 7
- FreeBSD 10
- CoreOS Stable
- Windows 2012 R2 (at additional cost)
The following optional features are also available IPV6, Private Network and Auto Backup at an additional 20% above the price of the VPS. Auto backup isn’t available on the storage series of VPS.
In the next image we have the storage series VPS options.
At the time I took the next screen shot the Multi-Core series was sold out.
The 32 bit OS options
- LEMP on CentOS 6
- WordPress on CentOS 6
- Minecraft on CentOS 6
- webmin on centOS 6
- ownCloud on CentOS 6
- OpenVPS on CentOS 6
- cPanel on CentOS 6 ($15 additional monthly)
In the next image we show the custom OS installation options.
Deploy from snapshot
You can also deploy a new VPS from a snapshot of one of your current VPS. If I had taken any snapshots they would have been listed here.
when deploying you can optionally set up a start up script which will run the immediately after install.
Next we have the screen for adding a new start-up script
An SSH key can be assigned at the time of deployment which, if present will be required to log into the server.
Manage your servers
After the new VPS is finished installing you will be given the option to manage your new server.
After clicking on manage you will see your information about your server including it’s location, the type of OS that has been installed, it’s label and any tags that have been assigned to it. For example you could create a group of server that you tag as web servers or database servers. You will also see any IP addresses IPV4 or IPV6 address that have been assigned to your server.
From this interface you can open a console, stop, start, restart, reinstall, change the os, destroy and delete your VPS, manage the root password, view usage graphs, manage DNS, add additional IPV4 or IPV6 addresses, take snapshots or backup your VPS.
Although I personally prefer to SSH into my servers, everything can be managed directly from the Vultr VPS management interface. Clicking on the console button will open a noVNC window directly to your VPS.
Server tags can be useful if you have many VPS and you would like to divide them into groups.
Stop your VPS
Reinstall your VPS
Delete and destroy your VPS
You can change the OS after deployment but it will delete all of your existing data.
This next snapshot shows the usage graphs.
IPV4 and reverse DNS info.
Adding an additional IP address
Take or recover from a snapshot
I didn’t have any backups but if I did they would have been listed here.
I do my DNS through a free CloudFlare account. I highly recommend them to everyone. However if you could also use Vultr’s included DNS manager.
From the settings screen you can change your password, enable two factor authentication and enable API access.
Two factor authentication is much more secure. I highly recommend enabling it.
Two factor authentication QR code which I’ve blacked out.
Vultr’s support is good and they also have excellent documentation. It doesn’t have as many tutorials as DigitalOcean but Vultr’s servers are much faster and there isn’t anything preventing you from using one of the many tutorials on the internet with your VPS.
Here we have the support interface. These tickets weren’t in regard to any problems that I had they were just a few general questions.
Creating a new support ticket is simple.
So now we’ve come to reason why I’ve put the effort into compiling this long list of screen shots. The affiliate program. Vultr pays $10 for each referral that’s over 30 days old and spends at least $10. It’s not as generous and many other web hosting affiliate programs out there but I don’t feel like I’m being at all dishonest when I highly recommend them. I’ve done the benchmarks and they outperform their competition.
Here we see my January 2015 referrals. I can attest that they actually count their referrals and pay their affiliates which is more than I can say for some other VPS hosting companies that I’ve worked with in the past.
I think I’ve covered pretty much everything so I might as well show you the log out screen
and finally the forgot password.
So I think that covers just about everything within Vultr’s interface. If you would like to give Vultr a try please use the big green button below.
I keep a list of any current Vultr coupons or discounts here.
If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to let me know. If this post does well I’ll try to do one on DigitalOcean at some point in the future. If you would like to stay updated with my latest blog posts please join my newsletter by filling out you name and email address in the big black rectangle on the right hand navigation.
John Mitchell says
Thanks! That was very interesting. As I understand it, DO is cheap, uses consumer-grade components, and doesn’t promise a full network. That is, it cuts out on occasion. So, it’s great for dev/qa/buildslave type systems. How would you compare DO, Vultr, and AWS? I’ve been using AWS for a while and it can be overwhelming, but it provides tons of well-made stuff, and is cheap enough it’s hard to switch away. What do you think?
Benjamin Knigge says
Hey John I just posted this. I’m surprised that you’ve managed to find it so quickly. I’ve used AWS a bit and I’ve found it to be very reliable but also very slow and under powered when compared to just about anything else. It can also get fairly expensive when compared to many of the VPS option that I mention. If I had to have 100% up-time and great performance with the lowest possible budget I would design a system with cheap servers expecting at least one of them to fail at any given moment. I would use two or more low cost servers replicating DB and web site files. Each server would need to be capable of serving all of the traffic if necessary along with a geographic DNS service like Amazon’s route 53. I was able to configure a $10 VPS using an NGINX proxy cache that was capable of serving up 15,000 page requests a minute which realistically is way more traffic than I or most blogs will ever be getting. For $20 (2×10) in hosting plus another $1 for DNS I would have excellent up time and great performance for a fraction of the cost of AWS.
If it was a clients budget I would probably go with the safe route and stick with AWS, RackSpace or Azure.
Karlon Cromwell (@KarlonCromwell) says
I just had MYSQL database crash with DO and I am considering leaving them. I am not technical when it comes to setting up these VPS but I gave it a try should I goto Vultr?
Benjamin Knigge says
I’m not sure what you were doing but MYSQL can crash on any server with any host. Configuring and maintaining a VPS can be difficult and isn’t for everyone. Lucky there are several services out there that provide managed VPS. I’m not sure what your budget or requirements are. If you need a small VPS for doing something like hosting a WordPress site I would take a look at CloudWays . CloudWays offers a managed software stack on top of DigitalOcean, Amazon or Google’s cloud hosting platform. A VPS with 1 GB ram and 1 CPU on top of DigitalOcean and managed by CloudWays currently costs $15 which is only $5 more than the same serve without management directly through DigitalOcan. If you’re in need of a managed dedicated server I would recommend Choopa.com. Choopa is the parent company of Vultr and they offer both managed and un-managed dedicated servers.
Just wanted to add that ServerPilot.io is another good way to take some of the headache out of managing your VPS. They have free and paid plans. And they support Vultr. https://serverpilot.io/community/articles/how-to-create-a-server-on-vultr.html
Kurnia Ramadhan says
Nice Article, I’m using Vultr too. I love vultr because I can use FreeBSD 🙂
Ericson Tarigan says
Dont you know now there is trial promo get credit $ 50
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