If you start browsing through the internet on the various web hosting companies, you are sure to come across offers to either use UNIX or Windows.  Some web hosting companies may even give you the liberty to choose from both operating systems.  But how can you tell which operating system is better?

Windows or Unix Web Hosting?

The answer is that, it shouldn’t matter which one your web hosting provider uses.  Regardless if your provider uses UNIX or Windows to serve the data, any website hosted under either of the operating systems can still be served.  Same is true with choosing which operating system you want to use for your personal computer.  The only main difference lies on the software they use to serve the data.

In terms of reliability however, UNIX would prove to be at an advantage.  It is known to be very stable and has the ability to run for a long period of time without having to reboot.  Windows on the other hand, is just slightly below that of UNIX in terms of stability but is still sure to be able to handle the demands of websites today.

Windows costs web hosts thousands of dollars.  Thus, web hosts charge an extra fee for Windows accounts should the web host also offer UNIX.  UNIX on the other hand is free, whether it be Linux or Free BSD.

Aside from being free, Linux and other UNIX flavors are open-source software.  It is open to improvement, additions, updates, and the alteration of its source code.  Because of this, UNIX has a large following of enthusiasts who spend their free time working on this software.  Windows on the other hand has a non- modifiable code.  Because it is Microsoft proprietary software, users depend solely on Microsoft for updates.

Consider the type of software each of the two operating systems can run as the foremost difference between Windows and UNIX.  If your need ASP or VBScript, then you should go with Windows.  Both are Microsoft products and cannot be run by UNIX.  UNIX uses PHP, CGI and MySQL.  These technologies can also be run by Windows.

For web hosting, Windows is essential for media files like videos and audio.  But for other media types like Flash, Real, MP# and Shockwave, both operating systems are capable of handling them.  Microsoft FrontPage can also be hosted on both provided that dynamic content is not included on a UNIX host.

To determine the best type of hosting suited for your website, carefully go through the technological requirements that you have.  This will guide you through the choice that you need to make. Will your site have video and audio streaming?  Will you need a dynamic site?  Both UNIX and Windows are capable to handling dynamic content.

However, if it is essential for your site to use Microsoft Databases, Windows Media and ASP, you will have to go with Windows.  Otherwise, UNIX may be preferred in web hosting due to more choices available, a slightly more reliable reputation and more

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