Contabo vs. DigitalOcean

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At Contabo, we are constantly working to keep things clear and make sure you have the info you need to make smart choices. That is why we have put together this side-by-side look on Contabo vs. DigitalOcean. We want to be upfront and say that this comparison comes straight from us here at Contabo, but we are committed to keeping it real. We are proud of what we offer, but more than anything, we want to give you the full scoop on how Contabo and DigitalOcean compare in the stuff that really matters to you—like our range of services, how much things cost, how well they work, and how customer support is handled. 

Think of this as your guide to figuring out which provider fits you best. We fully get that everyone is looking for something a bit different, and our goal is to help you sort through your options by sharing an honest look at what both Contabo and DigitalOcean bring to the table. 

What is DigitalOcean?

DigitalOcean is a prominent player in the cloud computing and web hosting sector, original from the United States. Founded in 2011, DigitalOcean has quickly risen to prominence by offering straightforward and efficient cloud computing solutions aimed at developers, startups, and small to medium-sized businesses. The company is renowned for its user-friendly platform and services, including droplets (virtual private servers), managed databases, and Kubernetes-based container services, all crafted to support the varied needs of its global clientele. DigitalOcean distinguishes itself by emphasizing simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and an intuitive user experience, making cloud computing accessible to a wider audience. 

What is Contabo?

Contabo, originating from Germany and established in 2003, has made a substantial impact in the web hosting and cloud services industry. The company is dedicated to serving IT professionals and organizations looking for powerful and scalable hosting solutions. Focused on offering outstanding value, performance, and customer support, Contabo is committed to delivering services that meet the diverse needs of its customers, ranging from small-scale projects to extensive enterprise requirements. With a reputation for reliability and adaptability, Contabo strives to accommodate the evolving demands of its global customer base. 

Contabo vs. DigitalOcean Product Offerings

Contabo and DigitalOcean each offer a wide range of products designed to cater to various customer needs, including core services, add-ons, and essential security features. This section provides an overview of what is available from both providers, spotlighting the tools and enhancements that stand out in their respective portfolios. Understanding these offerings will help you make informed decisions about the services, add-ons, and security measures best suited for your projects. 

Offerings Overview

Virtual Yes  – VPS  – Storage VPS  – VDS Yes Droplets CPU-optimized Droplets 
Bare Metal Yes  – Dedicated Servers  – Outlet Servers No 
Web Hosting Yes Yes, through Marketplace Apps 
Managed No Yes 
Object Storage Yes (S3-compatible) Yes (S3-compatible) 
Domains Yes No 


Exploring the addons available from Contabo and DigitalOcean reveals a landscape rich in tools and services that can significantly enhance and streamline your digital projects. These out-of-the-box solutions offer extended functionality and flexibility, allowing users to customize their hosting environments to meet specific needs without the hassle of manual integrations. Understanding the range and impact of these addons is key to leveraging the full potential of your chosen provider, ensuring your projects not only run smoothly but also benefit from the latest in technology and security advancements. 

Backups    Yes  Yes  
SSH Keys Setup    Yes  Yes  
Paid SSL Certificate  Yes  No  
Private Networking  Yes  Yes  
Server Management  Yes  No  
Block storage    No  Yes  
Object storage    Yes  Yes 
Load balancer    No  Yes  
Monitoring  Yes  Yes 

Through our exploration of addons offered by Contabo and DigitalOcean, it is clear that both providers bring a robust set of features designed to enhance security, improve functionality, and provide flexibility for various hosting needs. Contabo distinguishes itself with offerings like SSL certificates and server management directly out of the box, catering to users seeking comprehensive security and administrative support. Meanwhile, DigitalOcean excels in providing scalable storage solutions and load balancers, appealing to those with growing or fluctuating demands, thereby showcasing each provider’s strengths in meeting different customer priorities. 

Contabo vs. DigitalOcean – Extra Features

Moving beyond the essential addons, both Contabo and DigitalOcean offer a suite of extra features designed to further elevate and customize the user experience. This section will highlight these additional capabilities, showcasing how they can enhance project efficiency, security, and scalability. 

IPv4 Address  Yes  Yes  
IPv6 Address  Yes  Yes  
Admin REST API  Yes  Yes  
Firewall  Available for certain products  Available for certain products  
Reverse DNS (PTR Record)  Yes  Yes 
DDoS Protection  Yes  Yes 
Cloud-init  Yes, built-in Yes, through external tools 

In examining the extra features offered by Contabo and DigitalOcean, it is evident that both providers strive to ensure their services are not only comprehensive but also adaptable to the needs of modern digital projects. With offerings like IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, Admin REST APIs, and DDoS protection commonly available from both, users can expect a solid foundation for security and customization. The nuances, such as Contabo’s built-in cloud-init and hardware firewalls, versus Digital Ocean’s approach to similar features, underscore the importance of selecting a provider that aligns with specific technical requirements and project goals. 

Operating Systems & Panels

We take a look at what operating systems and control panels Contabo and DigitalOcean offer, shining a light on the variety of their hosting options. Being able to work with big-name operating systems like Linux and Windows and having the choice of top control panels like cPanel and Plesk, really makes a difference in how you manage and enjoy your hosting setup. Finding that perfect match of system and control panel is key to running your web projects without a hitch. 

Linux  Yes  Yes, through Apps/Marketplace 
Windows Server  Yes  No 
cPanel  Yes  Yes, through Apps/Marketplace 
Plesk  Yes  Yes, through Apps/Marketplace 
Docker  Yes  Yes, through Apps/Marketplace 
Webmin  Yes  No 
LAMP Stack  Yes  No 

In wrapping up this chapter, it is evident that both Contabo and DigitalOcean provide a comprehensive set of features tailored to diverse hosting needs, with a strong emphasis on Linux-based environments. Contabo stands out for its broader support across operating systems and control panels, including full support for Windows Server, which is a critical differentiator for users dependent on Windows for software compatibility or specific enterprise needs. While both platforms offer cPanel, Plesk , Docker, and more, Digital Ocean’s lack of Windows Server support could be a dealbreaker for those who require it for their projects. Additionally, Contabo’s inclusion of Webmin and a LAMP stack further showcases its commitment to providing a wide array of tools and services. 

Payments and Billing

The comparison of payment and billing practices between the two companies uncovers notable distinctions in their approach to accommodating global customers and complying with international tax laws. Contabo distinguishes itself by accepting payments in multiple currencies, such as Euro, USD, and GBP, thus providing enhanced financial convenience for a more diverse audience. On the other hand, DigitalOcean only accepts payments in USD, which might limit flexibility for those preferring or requiring transactions in other currencies. 

Contabo vs. DigitalOcean – Accepted Currencies

EUR  Yes No 
USD  Yes Yes 
GBP  Yes No 

Contabo vs. DigitalOcean – Accepted Payment Methods

Now let us take a look at what payment methods both Contabo and DigitalOcean accept: 

Payment MethodContaboDigitalOcean
PayPal  Yes, including PayPal automated  Yes 
Credit Card Yes  Yes  
Wire Transfer  Yes  No 
Bank Transfer  Yes  No 
Direct Debit / SEPA  Yes  No 

Contabo vs. DigitalOcean – Billing Cycles

This section compares the effects of various billing cycles on the overall affordability of subscription plans, highlighting the distinctions between committing to longer-term contracts versus choosing flexible, short-term options. It illustrates how the decision on billing frequency can significantly impact the cost-effectiveness of a service, based on the individual needs and circumstances of the user. 

Payment PeriodContaboDigitalOcean
Hourly  No  No 
Monthly  Yes  Yes  
Quarterly  Yes – Reduced Setup Fee  No  
Every 6 months  Yes, Reduced Setup Fee  No  
Yearly  Yes, No Setup Fee  No  
Prepay  Yes  No  
Postpaid  Available on certain markets  No 

The exploration of billing cycles between Contabo and DigitalOcean reveals a significant variance in payment flexibility and cost-saving opportunities. Contabo offers a wider range of billing options, including monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, and annual payment periods, often with incentives like reduced or no setup fees, as well as the options for both prepay and postpay in certain markets, catering to users seeking both flexibility and savings. In contrast, DigitalOcean maintains a more streamlined approach with a focus on monthly billing only, lacking the broader spectrum of payment periods and the associated cost benefits. This distinction underscores the importance of considering billing cycles and payment terms when choosing a hosting provider, especially for users with specific budgetary constraints or those looking for longer-term commitments with added financial advantages. 

Pricing & Plans

Navigating the landscape of pricing and plans between Contabo and DigitalOcean presents a challenging comparison due to the fundamentally different approaches each company takes towards their service offerings and how they package their products. 

Contabo caters to customers with a preference for simplicity, offering specifically designed, partly pre-configured products that aim to streamline the selection process for those who have a clear understanding of their needs and seek a straightforward, hassle-free experience. 

On the other hand, Digital Ocean’s strategy centers around highly customizable droplets and an extensive marketplace of applications, providing a wealth of customization options at the expense of simplicity and convenience. This flexibility allows for tailored solutions but requires customers to navigate through various options to pinpoint the exact configuration that meets their needs, such as web hosting setups. 

Contabo vs. DigitalOcean VPS Hosting

Presenting the VPS hosting solutions from Contabo and DigitalOcean requires an understanding of each provider’s unique approach, especially since DigitalOcean brands its VPS offerings as “Droplets.” In our analysis, VPS plans are categorized by their hardware configurations into “Entry,” “Mid,” and “Highest Plan” levels, focusing on technical specifications rather than pricing to better assess their suitability for different user needs. The distinction of the “Highest Plan” is based solely on its position as the most expensive option, highlighting the peak of what each provider can deliver in terms of features and performance. 

Entry Level Plan  Cloud VPS 1: $6.55 / month  Basic Premium AMD Droplet: $56 / month 
Mid-Level Plan  Cloud VPS 3: $20.83 / month  Basic Premium AMD Droplet: $112 / month (available on demand 
Highest Plan  Cloud VPS 6: $91.63 / month  Basic Premium AMD Droplet: $168 / month
(Not a similar configuration, but highest available product.) 

Dedicated Server Hosting

When it comes to Dedicated Server hosting, there’s a pretty clear line between what Contabo and DigitalOcean have on offer. Contabo provides dedicated server hosting right off the shelf, making it a go-to for those in need of their own server resources. On the flip side, DigitalOcean does not have traditional dedicated servers in their lineup. Instead, they recommend using droplets with dedicated CPUs as a close alternative. In this case, it would not be representative to list Digital Ocean’s droplets with dedicated CPUs, so we will just provide information on Contabo’s Dedicated Server hosting: 

Entry Level Plan  AMD Ryzen 12: 98.76 € / month  
Mid Level Plan  Intel Dual 10-Core: 190.38 € / month  
Highest Plan  AMD EPYC 32 Cores: 312.35 € / month  

Web Hosting

Entry Level Plan  Webspace Package M: $4.75 / month   Basic Premium AMD Droplet: $6.00 / month 
Mid-Level Plan  Webspace Package L: $8.32 €/ month  Basic Premium AMD Droplet: $24.00 / month 
Highest Plan  Webspace Package XXL: $15.46 / month  Basic Premium AMD Droplet: $84.00 / month 

Location Availability

The location of a data center significantly influences the effectiveness of online projects, touching on aspects such as latency, data governance, and regulatory compliance. The certifications that data centers hold, which signify their security and operational quality, are also important considerations. This analysis looks at the distribution of Contabo and Digital Ocean’s data centers, helping to secure optimal performance. 

Locations  8  11 
  EU (1,2,3), UK,  
US (West, Central, East),   
Asia (Singapore, Japan), Australia  
NA (1,2,3,4,5), EU (1,2), UK, Asia (Singapore, India), Australia 
North America  Yes  Yes 
Europe  Yes  Yes  
Asia  Yes  Yes 
Oceania  Yes  Yes 

Comparing Contabo and DigitalOcean reveals their commitment to global accessibility, with Contabo operating in 8 locations and DigitalOcean in 11, spanning North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. This ensures both providers can effectively reduce latency, adhere to data sovereignty laws, and optimize performance for a worldwide audience. Digital Ocean’s slightly larger network might offer additional flexibility for some users. However, both firms demonstrate a strong ability to meet the global demands and regulatory requirements of their customers. 

Support – Contabo vs. DigitalOcean

Reliable support is key to ensuring hosting services run smoothly, and having multiple contact methods improves user accessibility. This section will show the various support channels offered by Contabo and DigitalOcean. 

Support ChannelContaboDigitalOcean
Phone Support  Yes  No 
Email Support  Yes  Yes 
Video Guides  Yes  Yes 
Knowledgebase  Yes  Yes 
Live-Chat No Yes 
Forum Support No Yes 

Contabo and DigitalOcean tailor their support to different preferences: Contabo combines traditional phone and email support with video guides, whereas DigitalOcean focuses on digital channels like live-chat and forums, along with email and video resources, offering diverse ways to get help. 


To sum up our comprehensive comparison between Contabo and DigitalOcean, it is clear each provider has its unique strengths. Contabo stands out with its vast product offerings, support for multiple currencies, a global spread of server locations, and the personal touch of phone support. DigitalOcean, meanwhile, excels with its customizable droplets, a rich marketplace for applications, and a modern approach to support via live chat and forums, albeit with a focus on digital communication methods. While both platforms show distinct advantages and limitations across various aspects such as pricing, plans, support, and server infrastructure, our objective has been to present an even-handed comparison to guide your decision-making process. Despite the trade-offs, we advocate for considering Contabo for your hosting requirements, driven by our commitment to exceptional service and support for our customers. 

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