Virtual Private Server hosting is the best solution for total control and configuration, with fully dedicated server performance at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated server.
A Virtual Private Server can be used for an unlimited number of tasks. You could setup a small game server, or run a private ftp store, you can even run multiple email accounts and websites. Add a control panel for webhosting; or you can use it as a development computer, many people have thier own server for everything from hobbies to businesses. Virtual Private Servers are cost effective, costing only a fraction as much as a dedicated server; while providing all the flexibility and control.
From a technical stand point a VPS is a server running virtually on another physical server. This sounds like it may have a huge performance impact, however because of modern technology we are able to give direct hardware level access to the Virtual Private Server much like a fully dedicated server. The only shared resource is the hard drive which is offset but running an efficient and reliable RAID array. VPS technology includes disk access protocols that keeps your data separated and secure from other users also hosting VPS's on the same physical server.