Relative Definitions

Relative Terms Blog Post

If you’re like us, you’re probably the “techie relative” and the holidays always seem to bring out seemingly unanswerable questions from relatives who, do not possess the fundamental knowledge of technology and how the internet works, to comprehend the answers to the inadvertently deeply technical questions they are asking. We thought we would take some of these terms, and put them into layman’s terms so relatable that even Aunt Dotty can’t confuse them!


The actual definition: A Virtual Private Server, usually sold as a service by a hosting company, like Hostwinds, that runs it’s own copy of an operating system, allowing for software installation.

The relative definition: Much like we often do not want to drive our own cars long distances to visit family members during the holidays, a VPS is like a rental car. It has all the creature comforts of your own vehicle, but you pay someone else to use it. That company also maintains the physical state of the car, but it is your responsibility when it is in your possession. You can rent it for as long or as short a time if you need, but if you do naughty things while operating it, the penalties and punishments come to you. It is the rental car of computers.

Shared Web Hosting

The actual definition: A web hosting service, where one web server is shared by many websites. This is often the most cost-effective way to host a small to moderate traffic website, as the overall cost of maintaining the equipment used is spread out between the many users.

The relative definition; Shared web hosting is kind of like the Hostels of the internet world. When you stay in a hostel, you are sharing space with people, and in return for cheap prices for accommodation, you perform basic maintenance, such as cleaning common areas or making your bed. The overhead is lower as the responsibility is shared.

Dedicated Servers

The actual definition: A rentable computer in a network, that is dedicated to only one client at a time, with static resources.

The relative definition: A dedicated server is like a house you took out a mortgage to buy. It’s yours and only yours, it is dedicated to housing the things you choose to put there, and you can always build additions, or knock down walls, customize it to suit you, decorate and furnish it however you please. Just like a mortgage however, if you fail to pay, it will be reclaimed.

You Got This

We hope this brief guide to relative definitions has helped ease your holiday burdens of being the techie one!

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