An account on a web hosting server, usually linked to its own domain. This provides an inexpensive way to run a web site with its own top level domain, and is usually indistinguishable from having a separate physical server, except that the virtual server may share an IP address with other virtual servers on the same machine. A virtual server account is fine for most uses, but will often be slower to respond than a dedicated server, and physical access to the machine will seldom be allowed. The cost of a virtual server account is a small fraction of that needed to run a real server, mainly because of the expense of the dedicated line needed to connect the server continuously to the rest of the internet.
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