icon

article

DigitalOcean vs Vultr

Note: Pricing and product information correct as of December 11, 2023, and subject to change

As a startup, small business, or individual developer, choosing a cloud infrastructure provider is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Migrating from one cloud provider to another is a time-consuming (and often costly) process, which means that the provider you choose to build your application on is likely the one you will be using for years to come. Therefore, it’s important to do thorough research into how to choose the best cloud hosting company for your needs, not only now, but as your application scales over time.

DigitalOcean and Vultr are both alternatives to the large hyperscaler cloud providers, and both offer cloud services ranging from virtual machines and virtual private servers to managed databases. While the two cloud providers may look similar on initial inspection, there are key differences in their product suite and how they serve their customers that potential users should keep in mind. Notably, DigitalOcean is a larger company with a wider range of products, a more robust customer support program, a large library of documentation and community tutorials, and a simple interface praised by developers and businesses.

DigitalOcean is the cloud of choice for developers, small businesses, and startups looking for reliable cloud infrastructure, excellent customer support, and simple tools. With predictable pricing and a range of products built to fit the needs of your business, DigitalOcean can help your growth. Sign up today to try it for yourself.

Comparing DigitalOcean vs Vultr: Key differences

Company size and background

DigitalOcean was founded in 2012 as a developer-friendly cloud service provider. DigitalOcean differentiated itself by having affordable pricing for high-performance SSD-based virtual machines, called Droplets, and a simple user interface and API/CLI for infrastructure management. Over the years DigitalOcean has expanded its range of products and become the cloud of choice for many small-to-midsize businesses due to its simplicity, transparent pricing, excellent developer tutorials, and SMB-friendly customer support. In 2021, DigitalOcean went public on the New York Stock Exchange, and as of 2023 DigitalOcean has over 1,200 employees around the world. DigitalOcean has also acquired several companies to further expand its product portfolio, including Cloudways, a managed hosting provider, and Paperspace, a GPU compute company.

Vultr was founded in 2014 as another developer-friendly cloud infrastructure provider. Their parent company is Constant, and Vultr is their flagship product. In 2023 Vultr is still a privately held company, with just under 100 employees according to LinkedIn data. Vultr serves both developers and small-to-medium sized businesses. They have 32 data center locations, but offer fewer products than DigitalOcean.

Ease of use and documentation

Both Vultr and DigitalOcean are less complex in their interface than hyperscalers such as AWS, GCP, and Azure, which makes them appealing options for small-to-midsize businesses that often have small teams and are looking for efficient cloud solutions. Both cloud hosting providers offer API and CLIs, but DigitalOcean emphasizes its simplicity and user-friendly interface as a key differentiator for their platform more strongly than Vultr does.

Several DigitalOcean case studies from customers emphasize the simplicity and ease of use of the DigitalOcean platform, including Clientify, who’s CTO Juan Pablo Seijo Carretercommented that “As a CTO I value the simplicity of DigitalOcean. In the beginning I was the only one on the tech team. Using DigitalOcean saved me a lot of time.”

DigitalOcean also stands apart from Vultr in terms of both product documentation and technical tutorials on a wide range of cloud infrastructure and DevOps topics. DigitalOcean has wide-ranging and clear product documentation on all of their products, in addition to a library of over 6,000 technical tutorials and articles, and over 28,000 community-answered Q&As. DigitalOcean also has articles designed to help small businesses grow, on topics ranging from funding to product development, and a range of customer case studies.

While Vultr has its own product documentation, its “news” website section is more focused on product updates and company news than educational tutorials. It does not have business-focused educational content and has very limited customer case studies.

Pricing

Pricing for DigitalOcean vs Vultr differs by product, but for the purpose of this comparison of Vultr and DigitalOcean we will focus on virtual machine pricing. DigitalOcean’s virtual machines start at $4.00/month for 1 vCPU, 512 MiB memory, 500 TiB transfer, and SSD of 10 GiB. A similar machine from Vultr costs $2.50/month, however is only available for IPv6.

While Vultr is slightly cheaper than DigitalOcean for the lower-end virtual machines, pricing for the two cloud service providers is more similar for more performant virtual machines that production-level applications and growing businesses need to use. For example, a “General Purpose” machine from Vultr with 2 vCPUs, 8 GB memory, 5.00 TB bandwidth, and 50 GB storage costs $60/month. DigitalOcean’s General Purpose offering with 2 vCPUs, 8 GiB memory, 4,000 GiB (or 4 TB) transfer, and 25 GiB storage costs $63/month.

Both cloud infrastructure providers offer a wide range of virtual machine configurations, for those who have the need for additional CPU, memory, or storage. Included features may also differ—for example, DigitalOcean offers free DDoS protection, while Vultr’s DDoS protection comes at an additional cost of $10/month. Customers comparing DigitalOcean vs Vultr prices should use their pricing calculators and look at what additional features they may need to pay for to get an accurate picture of the cost for their specific needs.

Customer support

DigitalOcean and Vultr both have customer support, however their offerings differ quite widely, especially for small-to-medium-sized businesses who want fast response times that are guaranteed in case a production application unexpectedly goes down. Vultr offers support through FAQs, docs, and a support ticketing system, but its website does not state if its support team is 24/7 and they do not have a stated response time for support inquiries. Vultr does not offer upgraded support for customers who need more assistance or a faster response time, which may be a downside for those running business-critical applications.

On the other hand, support is an area where DigitalOcean excels. In addition to a free support tier for all customers, which is offered 24/7, DigitalOcean also offers three other support tiers, ranging from $24/month to $999/month. These upgraded support offerings give customers peace of mind that their inquiries will be responded to quickly, with an 8 hour service level objective for the lowest priced tier, and a less than 30 minute response time for the Premium Support tier. DigitalOcean’s Premium Support services include additional features that go above and beyond the support given by most cloud providers, including a dedicated Slack Channel, team of technical advisors, and the ability to conduct architecture reviews and strategy consultations so customers can get the most out of their cloud.

Lugmety, a DigitalOcean Premium Support customer, was able to improve their application performance by 85% when their dedicated DigitalOcean solutions engineer suggested moving to Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets. They also take advantage of the Slack Channel communication with DigitalOcean as an easy way of communication.

“The Slack support channel is a great way of communicating with DigitalOcean. With some larger companies, the support is terrible—I’ve had nine calls with one representative and spent hours getting nowhere. With DigitalOcean, you understand the infrastructure, and when I ask something I’m given an answer right away.” - Ashleigh Watson, CTO, Lugmety

Products from DigitalOcean vs Vultr

In addition to the range of virtual machines that both DigitalOcean and Vultr offer, both companies also provide customers with a choice of other products, including managed databases, managed Kubernetes, and storage. Key areas where DigitalOcean shines when it comes to cloud products is with their managed databases, which include MongoDB and Kafka, and their Platform as a Service solution (App Platform) and serverless solution (DigitalOcean Functions), which Vultr does not offer. DigitalOcean also offers fully managed hosting from its subsidiary, Cloudways, which is an appealing choice for businesses who do not have the technical expertise to setup and manage their own servers, but want to quickly spin up a website or application.

Here is a comprehensive list of products offered by DigitalOcean and Vultr:

DigitalOcean products

  • Virtual Machines (called Droplets) in a range of configurations

  • GPU Compute through Paperspace by DigitalOcean

  • Managed databases - MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB, Kafka

  • Managed Kubernetes

  • Spaces Object Storage

  • Volumes Block Storage

  • Cloud Firewalls

  • Load Balancers

  • DNS

  • DDoS Protection (included for free with Droplets)

  • App Platform - Platform as a Service product

  • DigitalOcean Functions - Serverless product

  • AI/ML deployment notebooks through Paperspace by DigitalOcean

  • Managed Hosting through Cloudways by DigitalOcean

  • DigitalOcean Support Plans

Vultr Products

  • Virtual machines in a range of configurations

  • Bare metal servers

  • GPU compute

  • Managed databases - MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, FerretDB

  • Managed Kubernetes

  • Object storage

  • Block storage

  • Load balancers

  • DDoS protection (paid add-on)

When comparing DigitalOcean vs Vultr, it’s important to look at the full range of solutions that each cloud service provider offers and think not only about your current cloud needs, but what other products you may need as your application scales. DigitalOcean offers a more comprehensive suite of cloud computing solutions, including virtual private servers and a range of managed databases and other products, which ensures businesses can grow on its platform even as their architecture becomes more complex.

Global availability and reliability

Global availability, response times, and reliability are critical factors when hosting your application. A slow response time or cloud outage could cause lost revenue for your business and loss of trust from your customers. DigitalOcean and Vultr both have data centers around the globe—DigitalOcean has 15 data centers in regions including New York, San Francisco, Bangalore, London, and Sydney. The vast majority of DigitalOcean products are offered in all of their data centers, and DigitalOcean’s newest data center in Sydney, Australia, uses the latest technology and networking capabilities. Vultr has 32 data centers in a range of locations, however not all of their products are available across data centers, especially when it comes to their storage products.

Despite DigitalOcean’s smaller global footprint, DigitalOcean customers experience fast response times and low latency. Here’s what one DigitalOcean customer, JiJi, a large online marketplace based in Nigeria, said about DigitalOcean’s response times:

“We see that the response time from our server latency decreases when we use Premium CPU-optimized Droplets. Aside from achieving low latency, the product impacts our backend. They are CPU bound, so it provides lots of additional processing power, which helps us.” — Nick Zorin, Co-Founder and CTO of Jiji

Cloud reliability or uptime is often even more important than data center locations, as regular downtime can be catastrophic for your application. Both DigitalOcean and Vultr offer service level agreements that guarantee uptime or give customers a credit. DigitalOcean offers a 99.99% SLA for Droplets and Volumes block storage, while Vultr offers a 100% host node uptime and network uptime SLA.

However, SLAs don’t prevent downtime - they only compensate users if they experience downtime, and the compensation may not equal the lost time or lost revenue you experience from an outage. Looking at TrustPilot and G2 reviews of DigitalOcean vs Vultr, we see that DigitalOcean has a higher score on both platforms, with a 4.6 on G2 and 4.2 on Trustpilot, compared to Vultr’s 4.1 on G2 and 1.8 on Trustpilot. Some DigitalOcean G2 reviews mentioning reliability include:

  • “All in all, DigitalOcean is a great choice for anyone who wants to create and maintain a reliable cloud infrastructure with the help of a powerful and easy to use platform.”

  • “Additionally, the speed performance of DigitalOcean is excellent, with an impressive record for load speed, which is a critical factor for web hosting. The platform also offers robust and reliable cloud servers with the convenience of one-click application installations, and the flexibility to easily scale the infrastructure with growing business needs is a significant advantage.”

  • “The support team is always responsive, knowledgeable, and goes above and beyond to assist with any issues or inquiries. The performance of their services is top-notch, providing fast and reliable infrastructure that consistently meets my expectations. I highly recommend DigitalOcean for their remarkable support and impressive service performance”

Choose DigitalOcean over Vultr for your web hosting needs

As demonstrated in this article, there are multiple areas to explore when comparing DigitalOcean vs Vultr. While the two seem similar at first glance, for small-to-midsize businesses running production-level applications, DigitalOcean’s customer support, documentation, and reliability stand out. Businesses looking to scale can take advantage of DigitalOcean’s transparent pricing, which is lower than hyperscalers such as AWS, GCP, and Azure, while still receiving the backing of an established company with a range of products designed specifically for the needs of SMBs. Sign up for DigitalOcean and try it out today, or contact our sales team if you need assistance migrating from Vultr or another cloud provider to DigitalOcean.

Share

Try DigitalOcean for free

Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!Sign up

Related Resources

icon
article
10 AI Video Tools to Elevate Your Content Creation
icon
article
How to use AI for sales: techniques and tools
icon
article
10 Azure Functions Alternatives: Top Serverless Computing Platforms

Get started for free

Sign up and get $200 in credit for your first 60 days with DigitalOcean.*

* This promotional offer applies to new accounts only.