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DigitalOcean vs. Linode

This article is a detailed comparison between DigitalOcean and Linode. We have briefly compared the two cloud hosting companies in our DigitalOcean review. In this article, we will directly compare virtualization technologies, VPS features, network facility information, performance benchmarks, backup options, plan costs, billing methods, technical support and pretty much everything between DigitalOcean and Linode. Let’s begin with a comparison table below.

Feature and Specification Comparison

DigitalOcean Linode
Virtualization Technology KVM Xen
Hard Disk Type SSD SSD, previously Spinning Metal
RAID Setup Hardware RAID 10 Hardware RAID 10
Memory Dedicated ECC Dedicated ECC
Processors Intel Hex-Core CPUs Intel Sandy Bridge E5-2670
Cloud Hosting Yes Yes
VPS Scalability and Upgrades Plan upgrades and DigitalOcean “Fast-Resize” instant scaling Plan upgrades and Linode “Extras” instant scaling
Backup Options Automatic Backups and Snapshots Automatic Backups. Disk Cloning on user’s own disk.
Control Panel DigitalOcean Control Panel, custom built Linode Manager, custom built
Distributions Offered Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, CoreOS;
Ubuntu desktop, Fedora desktop
Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Gento, openSUSE, Slackware, Ubuntu.
One-Click Installations LAMP, WordPress, Ruby on Rails, Docker, Redmine, Ghost StackScripts
DNS Service Available Available
Console Access HTML5, commands and GUI Ajax, commands only
Developer API Available Available
Private Networking Available Available
IPv6 Available Available
Data Centers and Network Facilities San Francisco, CA (Telx);
New York City – NY1 (Equinix);
New York City – NY2(Telx);
Amsterdam, Netherlands (Telecity);
Possible Future Expansions: Dallas TX, Brazil, India.
Fremont, CA (Hurricane Electric);
Dallas, TX (SoftLayer);
Newark, NJ (NAC);
Atlanta, GA (Atlanta NAP);
Tokyo, Japan (KDDI);
London, UK (Telecity).

Technical Support and Document Library

DigitalOcean Linode
SLA 99.99% uptime 99.9% uptime
Ticket System 24×7 24×7
IRC Chat Available Available
Forums DigitalOcean Questions Forum Linode Forum
Document Library DigitalOcean Articles & Tutorials Linode Library
Customer Feedback System DigitalOcean on UserVoice N/A
Company Blog Yes Yes
System Status Website Yes Yes

VPS Costs and Billing

DigitalOcean Linode
Least Expensive Plan $5 per month $10 per month
For $5 per month 512MB memory
20GB SSD Hard Disk
2TB monthly outbound transfer
Free inbound transfer
1 CPU Core
Not Available
For $10 per month 1GB memory
30GB SSD Storage
2TB monthly outbound transfer
Free inbound transfer
1 CPU Core
1GB memory
24GB SSD Storage
2TB monthly outbound transfer
Free inbound transfer
1 CPU Core
For $20 per month 2GB memory
40GB SSD Storage
3TB monthly outbound transfer
Free inbound transfer
2 CPU Cores
2GB memory
48GB SSD Storage
3TB monthly outbound transfer
Free inbound transfer
2 CPU Cores
Cost of Additional Transfer $0.02 per GB $0.1 per GB
Cost of Backup Options 20% of monthly plan cost;
$1 for 512MB plan ($5 per month)
$2 for 1GB plan ($10 per month)
$4 for 2GB plan ($20 per month)
25% of monthly plan cost;
$5 for 1GB plan ($20 per month)
Promo Code and Discount DigitalOcean Promo Code
$10 Hosting Credit
Billing Per hour billing up to the monthly cap. Pay-As-You-Grow. No contract. Per hour billing up to the monthly cap. Also 12-month and 24-month terms. Prorated. All refunds are subject to a $5.00 service charge unless cancelling within the 7 day money-back guarantee period.
Payment Methods Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)Paypal Credit Cards only (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)

Company Overview

DigitalOcean Linode
Launched 2011 2003
Headquarters New York City, NY Galloway, NJ
Financing Funded by venture capital. Privately-held
Legal Structure Inc. LLC

The Details

There are certainly some similarities as well as differences between the two VPS providers in terms of features, specifications, server performance, pricing and even payment options. Let’s take a look at all the details below.

Features and Specifications

First of all, let’s have a look at the virtualization technologies: Open source KVM hypervisor adopted by DigitalOcean versus Linode’s Xen solution. Xen has been around a lot longer. However, KVM is backed by RedHat which is a large corporation in the industry. Both KVM and Xen provide similar features and benefits although we prefer the much newer KVM a little more. As you may know, both KVM and Xen hosts are better than OpenVZ ones in terms of resource guarantee and user control at the kernel level. OpenVZ hosts are typically oversold by small low-end box providers. And with KVM or Xen, users can install a custom kernel, encrypt the filesystem, and a lot of other useful things that cannot be done on OpenVZ machines.

When it comes to instant scalability, we have compared the “Fast-Resize” feature of DigitalOcean and Linode “Extras”. It is extremely easy to scale up a VPS with either DigitalOcean or Linode, and you don’t even need a support ticket to accomplish that. All you have to do is shut down your VPS, select a different system configuration and do a power cycle afterwards. However, Linode charges much more for the same size of RAM, and on the other hand DigitalOcean lets its users pay for the system resources by the hour.

Now let’s take a look at the backup options. Other than the automatic backups, DigitalOcean has the snapshot feature built-in. Linode does not have that specific feature in the Linode Manager. It gives you an option to manually clone your disk which is essentially the same as taking a snapshot. However, that’s achieved at the expense of your own server disk space.

The control panels from both DigitalOcean and Linode are feature-rich yet intuitive. However, we think DigitalOcean’s custom control panel is more modern-looking and newbie-friendly. It uses the latest HTML5 specifications. Linode’s panel is certainly old-fashion but it is functional.

Overall, both DigitalOcean and Linode offer top quality hardware, tier-1 bandwidth, high scalability, multiple data center locations to choose from, plenty of helpful documents, and superb technical support.

Performance Comparison

This is what we previously wrote in this review in terms of server performance before Linode upgraded its hosting plans:

DigitalOcean’s CPUs appear to be slightly less powerful than Linode’s as we mentioned in DigitalOcean Review, but DigitalOcean has much faster SSD drives. Our performance tests indicated that DigitalOcean’s SSD drives are at least 3 times faster than Linode’s spinning metal hard drives. Even Linode admitted in one of its official blog posts that “there’s no question SSDs are in Linode’s future”.

This is an update: Linode offers SSD hosting plans now. Competition among VPS cloud hosting companies improves products and services. Users definitely benefit from it.

Prices and Payment Methods

We think that the most significant difference between DigitalOcean and Linode is the cost. The least expensive plan from DigitalOcean is $5 per month and that is not available from Linode. Plans of lower costs are very attractive to those who have tight budgets or just need an entry-level but reliable VPS cloud platform for their hosting needs. For developers who need a linux server for development or testing but do not require 1GB of VPS memory, Linode’s $10 plan is probably too much for that purpose and DigitalOcean’s cheaper plans are the perfect alternatives. The following are the price plans from both companies.

pricing table 1

pricing table 2

This is what we wrote previously in this review before Linode upgraded its hosting plans:

And for the same monthly payment amount of $20, DigitalOcean offers two times the memory, much faster SSD disks, more included monthly transfer, and cheaper additional transfer than Linode. Per hour billing is only available from DigitalOcean, and it’s welcomed by those who need to occasionally spin up a new server on a new IP address for some temporary tests.

This is an update: The price plans from DigitalOcean and Linode are now quite similar. Linode seems to have learned a lot of things from DigitalOcean. However, the least expensive plan from DigitalOcean is $5 per month and Linode does not have a similar one. You have to pay at least $10 per month to use Linode.

Last but not least, Linode doesn’t accept PayPal as a payment option. DigitalOcean accepts PayPal as well as major credit cards as payment methods. Many people still remember that Linode’s system was hacked twice in the past. Those who do not have a credit card or are reluctant to use credit cards online would most likely become DigitalOcean’s customers if they have to choose between DigitalOcean and Linode.

Related Articles:

DigitaOcean Official Website and $10 Free Hosting Credit
DigitaOcean Promo Code

Updated: March 29, 2021