Actually the distinction between managed and unmanaged hosting is basically a matter of what kind and how much support the host provides.
On a managed hosting, usually the host provides service and support for nearly the entire package. Though most of the provider will not provide support for applications that you install on your own like WordPress for an instance, however control panel, operating system, server setup and any kind of pre-installed applications are all supported. Moreover, most manage hosting give some form of server monitoring and some height of automated backup, to let them aware when there is problem in the server.
On the contrary, unmanaged hosting, commonly offer supports for the hardware only. Their services vary only from replacing failed elements, network maintenance, reboot servers, but won’t provide support to any software (cell phone spy). As well it will add up to the webmaster’s accountability to fix any issues that come too, totally maintains the entire server and to implement security patches. Most hosting for unmanaged systems won’t provide actual Web server of even a control panel, as an alternative they require the owner to build up their own system from scuff.
The consequence of having unmanaged hosting is that it allows you to have total control. In unmanaged hosting you will be provided with sole administrator access and let you do everything you want virtually. Basing on the set up, you can establish different control panels and different operating systems. As well, since unmanaged hosting do not require the host to give support, user save from the cost of expensive support personnel, indeed unmanaged hosting is basically cheaper.
In spite of this, most of the webmasters still prefer managed hosting. Managed hosting not only requires less expertise but it also require less work. Also if you are supported with managed hosting it allows you to become comfortable about the ins and outs of a server in order to run a website. Moreover, usual setups are generally doing well for most Websites as they are created around the most universal necessitates.
Additionally to entirely managed and unmanaged hosting, there are other companies like Layered Tech for an instance, which offers hybrid solutions. These setups will allows you to have a root access to your server, but will still give the minimal amount of support, most of the time in a form of a limited amount of hours with tech support agent.