Is Chicago the best place for your dedicated server hosting?

chicago photo

Photo by Bert Kaufmann

Chicago, the windy city. It’s location central to the population centers and transportation systems in North America have helped Chicago grow tremendously in a number of industries. Web hosting is no exception. IOFLOOD.com offers dedicated servers in Phoeniz, AZ, but we recognize that other cities may be a better fit for some customers.

Deciding where to host your server can be a complicated process. We hope to make it a little easier by helping you understand the advantages and disadvantages of dedicated server hosting in Chicago:

Advantages:

  • Central US location: Much like New York City, Chicago offers excellent performance to the northeast US as well as Canada. Unlike New York City, it’s location farther west also offers excellent performance to the midwest and decent performance to the western United States and Texas. Due to this geography, latency for internet applications will be lower than other locations. This reduced latency is more important for some applications such as games, and less important for general web hosting.
  • Forex and commodities trading. If you make your money trading commodities or forex, milliseconds matter. Much like New York City, Chicago has a robust trading market, so close proximity can reduce latency and increase profits. If you host your servers for doing forex or comex trading, Chicago can be an excellent option.
  • Excellent connectivity. Because of it’s central location, Chicago has become an important peering point in the US. This means that a huge number of internet service providers do business in the city, making it easier and cheaper to build a high performance network.

Disadvantages:

  • Cost: Much like New York City and Los Angeles, Chicago is not a cheap place to do business. Between high electricity costs, real estate costs, and labor costs, there are definitely more cost effective places to host your servers.
  • “Jack of all trades, master of none”. It’s central location can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Although Chicago’s middle US location provides medium latency to most US locations, if most of your visitors reside on the West Coast US, the Southern US, or outside of the US entirely, other locations such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Phoenix, Ashburn, or Miami might provide better performance.
  • Lots of competition. Although this competition can help keep your costs down, it means that if you offer hosting services in Chicago, it may be difficult to differentiate yourself from your competitors and charge higher prices. Depending upon your marketing strategy and how “location sensitive” your clients are, it might make sense to do business in a less well known area. On the other hand, this disadvantage can be an advantage as this increased competition can allow you to get better prices from your vendors.

In the process of selecting a hosting provider, a lot of factors come into play. I hope this article has helped you narrow down your location options, and give you a good starting point on deciding if Chicago is right for you. If you have any other questions about choosing the best dedicated server, please contact us at sales [at] ioflood.com and we’d be happy to help you.