A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a great platform for web hosting, but is also useful for many other things. Simply put, a VPS is a remote server that is always online, capable of running almost any operating system, and to which you can establish a connection at any time.
The primary function is to host websites, but beyond that, let's see where else VPS can be useful.
- Create a private synchronization service
We all love cloud drive services like OneDrive, Dropbox, and others that make digital life easier. But sometimes, you may not want to store your private data on a third-party server, and while there is a private solution like Transporter, it's too expensive and not as flexible as cloud drives.
Resilio Sync is a private cloud drive service that allows users to sync data between multiple devices -- just like OneDrive. But without the cloud component, the system lacks the ability to establish a permanent connection to the Internet. Installing Resilio Sync on a VPS creates a synchronized cloud platform that functions similarly to OneDrive, without privacy issues.
- Deploy personal cloud
Cloud computing includes more than data synchronization -- collaboration, contacts, schedules are equally important. ownCloud applications can handle data synchronization, by also including schedules, galleries, task management, document editing and more. By hosting ownCloud on your VPS, you can do it anywhere, anytime, not only is it convenient and data secure, but it's completely under your control.
- Encrypted network connections
When you're out and about, connecting to a public wireless network can be very dangerous: you never know if the companion at the next table is intercepting your data. A virtual private network encrypts the connection between the device and the server, making it impossible for anyone to intercept and access the data.
As an added bonus, this method also allows you to connect to content that is blocked on the Internet. While we don't recommend you use it at work, it's an easy way to unlock a region.
- Operational business analysis
If you want to host your own web analytics instead of relying on services like Google Analytics, then Matomo can serve your purpose. It is a feature-rich web analytics tool that includes many useful features of GA, such as real-time statistics, geo-targeting, visitor tracking, referral analysis, and more.
However, web analytics is just the tip of the iceberg, and you can also use a VPS to run business analytics to handle large-scale data without resorting to a dedicated server. jupyter is a great example of an application that allows you to use Python for interactive computing.
- Remote project management
If you run a small business and employ remote staff, it's essential to manage projects over the web. projectLibre is a feature-rich open source project management tool that was named one of the top 10 open source projects in 2013.
- Develop and test code
For technology-centric online businesses, VPS actually provides the perfect development environment. You can use the resources of the VPS to run any development tool being used, making remote development a breeze. What's more, you can easily simulate a test environment for your application so that you can completely troubleshoot bugs and glitches before going live.
- Manage IoT devices
Does your business use a large number of embedded sensors and smart devices?A VPS can serve as a hub for managing these devices. The data collected by each device can be easily pushed to your server and then analyzed through specific management tools.
- Run VoIP server
Do you need to set up VoIP service for a few quick calls, but don't want to pay for the infrastructure in the long run? With VPS, you can install VoIP applications on your own without having to purchase any additional hardware and services.
- Automate everything
Do you have an automated managed game or media server? Run a bot on your VPS or set up a lightweight chat client whereby your users (or colleagues) can keep in touch with each other.
The only question is, which side are you going to pick?
Let me know in the comments.