I rented a small VPS (~130MB of RAM) to run an IRC bot. The bot is no longer needed so I have a VPS until the billing period ends.

I also have shared web hosting but can anyone think of what a VPS might be useful for that can't be done on shared hosting?

I'm a developer for both web and desktop apps.

Suggestions for larger VPS's also welcome.

  • This should probably be converted to a community wiki May 31 '09 at 17:39

Perhaps use it to host an exit node for the Tor network? Your ToS might block this though...

  • Mumble (or other VoIP) server
  • SVN / bzr / git + web interface
  • email
  • screen + irssi
  • rsync destination
  • torrent seeder (watch out for ToS and bandwidth charges!)
  • podcast processor - transcode for a target platform, time stretch audio to speed it up, or even cut out the leading and trailing X seconds of advertising and title/credits fluff. This will require CPU you wont have on shared hosting, and programs you need root access to install.
  • nginx / lighthttpd. Use the opportunity to learn about alternative web servers.
  • run a tor node. It's not like you care if the account gets suspended.

Counterstrike game server!?!?!!

Don't really play games anymore, so I'm not sure if CS is still popular, so replace counterstrike with any other FPS that requires a host server.

Install BOINC and pick a project

This is what became of the SETI@Home project although you can now pick many projects to donate your CPU cycles to.

  • 2
    Things like BOINC tend to stress out the CPU which may take up more cycles than your hosting company is really willing to let you use. I wouldn't run BOINC on a VPS.
    – David Z
    Jun 29 '09 at 14:30
  • I vote for an AssultCube game server.
    – Xeoncross
    Mar 25 '10 at 17:42

Use it as a Project Gutenberg mirror server or bittorrent tracker. Since Project Gutenberg is a legal use of bittorrent, the only way you can run afoul of your hosting provider is if they don't allow trackers period.


Personnal VPN server definently on port 443 TCP gets you out of any network restrictions.

HTTP server for you blog/wiki/other

Transmission Torrent box (watch out you're warned)


Set up a webserver and play with different web packages and tools (phpBB, wordpress, etc.). You could also toy with IRC daemons and services.

Of course a proxy to bypass internet restrictions at work and school is good too.


Save the planet: run folding@home. :)


I run a subversion server, rsync my home directory (esp. my documents folder) and my photo library to it as a backup, and host half a dozen small websites and mail for my entire extended family. Well worth the $25/mo that mine costs.

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