What is Server Rental and How Much Does It Cost?

Sometimes businesses buy things, like when they know that the total cost of the thing will offset any benefits to renting. Other times, businesses rent things instead of buying them, usually because they don’t have the capital on hand to purchase the thing outright or because they aren’t sure if they really need the thing.

If you know that your business is going to need the kind of power, control, and security that a dedicated server can offer, it will be cheaper to buy it outright. A server can cost upwards of $3,000, but can be an essential piece of equipment for a business.

Other times, a business isn’t sure if they want to host their website on a dedicated server. They don’t know if they want the maintenance or administration, but they’d like to try. That’s where server renting comes in.

How Much Does Server Rental Cost?

Renting a server can cost as little as $100 a month or up to $300 a month, depending on the power of the server and the company that you rent it from.

Usually you’ll also have to pay for service and monitoring for the server, which can be about the same as renting a server ($100 to $300 a month). Basically if you escape with a server rental for less than $200 a month total, you’ve done pretty well for yourself. That’s after service is factored into the server rental.

While this cost sounds like a lot–and it is–it can actually save you some money in unexpected ways. This can get the job done quickly for a monthly fee. You pay for the peace of mind, knowing that someone is on call to handle problems when they pop up.

Having dedicated server service can save you from having to hire an extra person or look for extra talent to maintain your server.

Basically if you escape with a server rental for less than $200 a month total, you’ve done pretty well for yourself. That’s after service is factored into the server rental.

While this cost sounds like a lot–and it is–it can actually save you some money in unexpected ways. This can get the job done quickly for a monthly fee. You pay for the peace of mind, knowing that someone is on call to handle problems when they pop up.

Renting a Server versus Buying a Server

Buying things is generally more cost-effective in the long run than renting them. But there are times when finances make buying an option that is a bit out of reach. If you think that you’re going to need the kind of power that a dedicated server can offer but can’t afford one yet, you can always rent for a few months before you make the big purchase.

Of course, buying a server can cost around $3,000 to get a whole good amount of power. Renting can be a couple hundred a month at the least, pushing up to $600 a month depending on the kind of power and service that you’re paying for.

If you don’t want to staff an in-house team or person to take care of server administration and maintenance, renting can be a great option. It is certainly cheaper than paying an IT salary to keep your server up and running.

If you plan on having the server for a really long time, it will only take about a year before buying the server outright becomes a lot cheaper than renting it. If you don’t expect massive shifts in technology or for your server to become useless to you in a year, buying it is the cheaper option.

Server Rental versus Other Hosting Options

If you know that you’re going to need a lot of power, security, and support for your website, renting a server may be the way to go. It is cheaper on a per month basis than buying a server–though not if you do it for a really long time.

There’s also cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and shared server solutions. All of these solutions will give you significantly less power but will also be a lot more cost effective than paying for a server rental. Even if you’re paying $20 a month for hosting, that will be a lot more cost effective in the long run than renting a server. Do it right, and you can get hosting from one of these other sources for the amount of money that it takes to rent a server for a single month!

Of course, with these other solutions, you won’t get nearly the customization that you’ll get with a rental server. In most cases you can make all the software customizations that you need and even some hardware modifications on an as-needed basis. You’ll also get much better service, as the rental provider will have support that you can call and service technicians that can show up on site if anything goes wrong. You’ll really just have to decide if the money is worth it.

Should I Rent a Server?

Renting a server, in the final analysis, will save you a little bit of money on a couple of fronts. It can lower the skill level that you’ll have to pay for in your office in order to maintain your server, and it puts the responsibility of maintaining the server onto a different company. This can save your people the time and headache of fixing the server when things go wrong.

Of course, the cost can be prohibitive. To be honest, there’s a small slice of people that server rentals make a lot of sense for. For most people, you don’t need the kind of power that a dedicated server offers. You’ll get the technical support and cheaper cost by going with a different hosting option, such as a shared server or virtual private server. On the other end of the spectrum is people that will really need the kind of power that a dedicated server can offer, and in that case it is much more cost effective in the long run to buy instead of renting.

The small slice of people for whom server rentals make sense are the people in the middle. Maybe a business is just getting going and you don’t have the thousands in capital to buy your own servers yet. And at the same time, you have a big enough online presence that the cheaper hosting options don’t make a lot of sense for your business model. In that case, as a temporary solution, renting a server or two might be right for your business.