VPS = Virtual Private Server
PC = Personal Computer. Can either use a OS X, Linux or Windows.
I used to run my trading programs on a low power Netbook and power it on 24/7. The programs were written in C# and all data persistency was stored in csv. This creates a lot of unnecessary IO for reading and parsing data in the right format for analysing later. 2 years later, the Netbook was giving way (probably due to it being on 24/7 for 2 years = 730 days) and the electricity would had cost me a small princely sum as well. I decided to look for a value of money VPS instead. Hence I had been on a look out for VPS and came across this VPS, Cloud at Cost which offered a very cheap plan of 1 Xeon CPU, 512mb RAM and 10gb SSD drive at either monthly fee of $1 USD or a 1 time payment of $35 USD for a lifetime usage. Yea that sounds too good to be true. The company will have to last more than 35 months for me to make it worth paying the 1 time fee. In any case I went ahead and pay $35 anyway last Oct and so far the company is still running so *cross fingers*. For those interested in others, you can take a look here and here.
There are a couple of Linux OS in Cloudatcost that you can choose from like CentOS 6.5, Debian 7.1, Ubuntu 13.10 (recently updated) and I choose Ubuntu because it seems like the most popular one these days and all I need is a vanilla Linux anyway. Setting up the VPS is quite painless and I was up and running SSH into the server in a few minutes.
Since Oct 13, there were 2 kernel panics, causing me to lose all my data and server settings but it took me at most few hours to set up everything again. My data was synced into the cloud storage so “losing” the data was not a big deal but re-doing the server again like installing the customised software took time.