Discounted SmarterTools Upgrade With 1 Year Protection

Aug 19, 2009

SmarterTools is offering a special upgrade until September 24th for all existing customers using a legacy version of SmarterTools software. The upgrade includes SmarterMail and SmarterStats. This special provides customers with the latest SmarterTools software for 50% off suggested retail value and 1 year of upgrade protection. This upgrade applies to all customers using SmarterTools software version 5.x or older.

The latest version of SmarterMail (version 6) includes improvements and some new features. An innovative feature of version 6 is the addition of Microsoft ActiveSync, which provides an Exchange-like experience without the costs of moving from SmarterTools. For full details please visit this website.

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As a certified reseller for SmarterTools, GearHost is granted an additional discount on the upgrade costs which we are passing directly to customers. This discount provides roughly 65% off retail value for the latest version of SmarterMail or Stats and 1 full year of upgrade protection. Ask your current hosting provider about this upgrade and take advantage of this limited time offer.

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DDoS Protection Providers Vs DDoS Protection Scripts

Oct 8, 2009

I am looking for some good ddos protection providers, via protected dns. I've searched on internet, but most of them are really expensive.

Please tell me some ddos protection providers what could help me.(gige is too expensive btw).

And I found some ddos protection scripts. How can a script protected a server from ddos? A sript like CSF or DDoS deflate?

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Kernal Upgrade + Centos Upgrade

Feb 24, 2007

I have a server running cPanel.

At the moment, I am been hosted on an unmanaged server (dedicated).

My server provider is offering $25/hour for managed support.

My Kernal and Centos have not been updated for a while and I am looking to upgrade both of them. I am wondering how long would these 2 jobs normally take?

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1 Year On From Sentris

May 29, 2009

We've been using Sentris mainly for our server needs over the past year, today marks our 365th day with the provider!

Past reviews:

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Overall they've been fantastic to us. Good support when we need it, fantastic network uptime (only recall one time when there were some network problems).

When we've requested for custom things, in terms of hardware or other they are happy to help. They've always seemed to be offering new things with their services over the year, improving their bandwidth carriers, adding more. On the front of it, their site doesn't seem too much, doesn't express the good level of service which I've gotten, probably would expect more from an old site like that.

I don't know what else to say, since they've been pretty great with no problems - suppose its harder to write a review when nothing bad has happened.

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One Year With Medialayer

Nov 3, 2009

I moved from A Small Orange to Medialayer in late June of 2008, and although I was a little unsure on going from cPanel to DirectAdmin, aside from one small thing* I honestly don't miss cPanel at all. Medialayer themselves ported my sites over (I'm always scared I'll mess things up on my own) so really, changing control panels was rather painless for me.

Anyway, as far as actual hosting I could not be happier. The only downtime I've experienced was scheduled and announced well in advance and never for very long.

Support tickets and general inquires are answered ridiculously fast to the point of being scary. I'm still not used to getting replies within minutes instead of hours or days.

I don't currently use a custom plan but the fact that I can request one is a huge plus to me. With my previous host you could add extra bandwidth but not space (you're only option was to simply go up to the next plan) and that always felt very limiting to me.

I'm aware that these days hosts with Medialayer's pricing structure are called "expensive" by some, but I'm still stuck in 2004 and consider them priced just right for what they offer. Also, as far as I'm aware Paypal is still the only payment option, and although that is fine for me, it won't be for others.

* (The only thing I miss is the ability to purge/make unwrittable the stats/awstats folders. I'm not sure if this is a host vs host or cPanel vs DirectAdmin difference, and really it is so minor in the grand scheme of things and only even noticeable to someone stupidly anal such as me.

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One Year Review - VT6

Jul 29, 2008

This is a brief review of my experience with VT6 over the last year.

I have little to say, because it's "just worked". I've had to call upon their helpdesk twice in the last year. In both cases the response was timely and the matter resolved in a reasonable timeframe, both were matters beyond their control.

I'd happily recommend them for shared hosting.

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1 Year At ZONE.net

Jul 28, 2008

I wrote a while back about my 9 month experience with ZONE.net, and now certain circumstances have come up that have brought the need for me to to move to a different datacenter in southern California. However, my experience "in the ZONE" was exceptional, and I didn't want to walk out on them without a final word here on WHT to let everyone know what a wonderful time it was hosting with them.

In June of 2007 I was beginning to grow my own web development & client solutions business and decided it was time to move from a shared box to a "more private" VDS. I don't jump into things quickly however, so I had planned a week or so of research for the best price/quality/service combination. I spent days on here reading reviews, checked out 20 or 30 different companies and websites, and pitted plan against plan.

Eventually I narrowed it down to "the top three" and finally went with ZONE.net. They lured me in with some amazing deals in the "VPS Offers" advertising forum here, and I liked seeing the activity of their sales guys on WHT.

As you'll see echoed over and over again by happy customers on this forum, I wasn't disappointed by my choice. Throughout the year I filed some 16 support tickets which were all dealt with swiftly and as expected. As my company began to grow, I even went through migrating to a larger VPS plan with them, which was handled perfectly and went through effortlessly. I've "scaled-up" with other hosting companies in the past (when I worked for another company) and have had horrible experiences (plans change and prices fluctuate and you can't always get the same kind of deal you had before), but these guys were wonderful and everything went through without a snag.

Their network is quick, their support is amazing, and their prices are incredible. For clients of mine who need a VPS, I always recommend the ZONE. You won't be disappointed.

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My Two Year Review With IN(.be)

May 11, 2007

This is my first and last review of these guys. When I first colocated my server with them, they were still known as iHosting. The price was good, the support was excellent, and it was a friendly little place. I never experienced any down time to speak of, and when I needed something changed (like a reverse DNS entry), they took care of it almost straight away.

Of course, then a big mean company bought them. In(forbusiness).(nl|be). From day one I knew things could only go downhill from there on, and I was right. Every time they touched my server in the datacentre, it went offline. Even when they didn't have any business with my particular server. On three occasions they unplugged the power cable *WITHOUT PRIOR NOTIFICATION* so I couldn't do a clean shut down which resulted in a raid array rebuild. That in itself would almost be acceptable, but each time they didn't plug it back in properly.

Then on another three occasions they've messed up my connectivity by not handling the NIC with care. It's a sensitive little thing, and even though I've pointed it out to them time and time again, they keep messing up. Usually they've been kind enough to fix these problems, which they caused relatively quickly. However, it's happened again, and this time they're refusing to fix it for free. Needless to say, I'm not paying for something they broke, and I'm cancelling my account with them ASAP. They'd better not make a fuss about giving me back my server, or I won't be a happy camper.

As if unannounced shutdowns and unplugged cables aren't bad enough, I've also been paying for an APC connection/account for almost two years now. I still haven't received any actual login data that would in fact allow me to do a remote reboot. It's not like I haven't asked them .. I asked them at least every time the server went down, and about every other month as well. Each time my mail was either ignored, or I got some vague reply.

Oh, and about this latest downtime .. they told me they'd be rearranging things in the rack today. I asked them, yet again, to be careful with my server so it wouldn't go down for like a week again. That mail was nicely ignored. After almost a day of downtime, I told them I would be cancelling my account and that they'd better get my server back up ASAP. Their only reply was that that would cost me. After they guaranteed me there would be no more than 5 minutes of downtime while rearranging the rack. Right.

The hosting world has changed a good bit in those years I've been with them. I can now get a reseller account that gives me just as much freedom for less money with more support. And face it, support is what it's all about -- and theirs blows.

I wouldn't recommend this host to anyone, not even if they paid me. Not even if they were the last host on the planet. Never again.

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Ddos Protection/ Different Ip's

Apr 16, 2009

Hey guys If there was a way to have the ips of the dedi change constantly would this help prevent ddos attacks or would there be no difference if the domain was being attacked.

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DDos Protection.

May 25, 2009

i'am looking for a software based ddos protection,some one know something for try to mitigate a ddos or help to get the server rock a solid?And i need to know too where i change the DNS(vhost) of my DEDICATED server.

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DDoS Protection ...?

Sep 24, 2009

so a guy I know runs a site, it's being hit very hard with a DDoS attack. He's spending about 500 /month to keep his site online. He's using ServerTech, but for the last few days, it's been offline and they have been non-responsive for the most part. I'm guessing they just don't know what to do.

Do you guys have any recommendations for any DDoS protected hosting? He doesn't really want to pay more, if he doesn't have to.

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Layer 2-4 DoS Protection

Apr 5, 2009

What exactly does the DoS protection layer 2-4?

in which attacks are successful.?

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Syn Flood Protection

Jul 25, 2008

one of my server were hit by massive ddos syn atack. target was port 80-apache

i am running centos 5 in xen vps iptables were strong with syn filtering and limit
but...what can do?

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Irc Vps With Ddos Protection

May 6, 2008

if any of you could recomened a ddos prottected vps that allows ircd to be run im curentley in process of waiting for setup from sharktek but there slow response /setup time is making me wonder if its worth it please post your recommendations here then i can start my own reasearch from your list

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Network Protection

Jun 20, 2008

As we prepare to ramp up new networks, we are looking at different network attack protection devices such as Intruguard.

I am interested in input on other devices out there, or ideas using devices to protect against flood attacks and DDOS on a network that is under a gig in speed (100-200 Mbps).

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DDoS Protection Or Not

Apr 24, 2008

Is bound to happen to my server one day or another (get attacked). So I need help deciding whether to get a DDoS protection server now or later. Or pay as I go (I'll explain this in a bit).

First of all I am considering getting this because I want to use this server to hide the real source where people are downloading from. People connect only through FTP server and download. Of course if I give the real IP away I am subject to attack at anytime from anyone.

I think if I buy a server somewhere else and have people connect to there then that server will connect to the real server if I was to get attacked the server I bought "somewhere" else would only get attacked which would or would not be protected by a that special company who protects for these kind of things.

Only downside so far is I have been able to have the method above done. A person connects from one server which connects to the real server they will be downloading from BUT I use up to 2x bandwidth. Because when someone requests a file from server A...server B sends to server A then sends back to the user requesting it. A process that well works but anyone know if instead of sending back to Server A it will go directly to the user without exposing any info on the real server?

When I meant "pay as you go" I mean have a server with a DDoS protection company but don't get any protection until it happens rather than waiting on the last minute before switching to them (like adding new users now but those users knowing the real source).

These "users" downloading do about 106GB average. So you can see how big a downside is having to use 2x of bandwidth from the method I know above. The companies I am on do not have DDoS protection that I know of so I am forced to look for external companies to use to connect to the real source.

-So far everyone knows the real source IP but that is because I trust them. Anyone else is waiting to get on it and me looking for ways to put them on.

//hopefully you enjoyed my big paragraphs.

-And what kind of "protection" would I need if only FTP is being used since there is "specialized" kind of filtering on attacks.

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VPS ( DDoS Protection )

Oct 29, 2007

I was located in modvps.com, but I was asked to find another hosting because of DDoS attacks on my VPS.

Quote:

Hello,

Please move your accounts to some other hosting company. Let us know if you need any further assistance.

Regards,
Technical Support

I need:

DDoS Protection
RAM: 512 mb - 1024 mb
CPanel/WHM
10-30GB Disk Space
200-300 GB Transfer

60-70$...

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Hotlink Protection Allow Myself

Aug 15, 2007

Is there a way to enable hotlink protection so that when I edit a page from my computer the pictures from the server display from my server but my site is still protected from other hotlinking. My intent is to make it easier for someone to edit there page.(i know I could just reupload image files but I was trying to think of a way to make it easier for someone else) I thought adding my ip address to the cpanel hotlink protection enabler would do the trick but it hasn't.

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Passowrd Protection

Apr 6, 2007

wanting to password protect a directory and all FILES and DIRECTORIES under it as well.

I have tried the password protection system in plesk, simply put it doesnt work, sometimes it just doesnt restrict any access and the files can still be downloaded / accessed, and sometimes it asks for a password but even if typing the correct info it sais its a wrong password.

each time i setup the p/w i do it the exact same way, but its random about when it works and when it doesnt.

So, i tried the simple .htaccess way, and i still get the same problem. Can someone reccomend something to me? maybe a free php script that can do this? i need something fairly secure, doesnt need to be some super duper crazy script but at least so people cant just download the file containing the passwords and then they have access.

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My 5 Year Review Of Powweb

Oct 19, 2007

I have had several accounts with Powweb for 5 years now and I thought I would write a brief review of them:

BEFORE

I originally went with Powweb 5 years ago based off of a referral from a friend. At the time, the “shared hosting environment” isn’t quite what it is today. For the first several years, I experienced trouble free hosting (for the most part) and truly felt as though I was “getting what I paid for.”

Powweb, back then, was a privately owned company based out of California ( I believe) and I usually got the impression that most of their employees truly cared about their customers and the quality of service they provided. What made them semi-unique at the time, was that they offered only a “one plan solution” (they didn’t offer multiple plan types) and the simplicity of their business model worked well for most.

Powweb was also unique in that they offered community forums which were pretty “open” and it truly allowed customers to discuss problems and issues with one another. A few years ago, they transitioned from private dedicated servers to a clustered environment and that did bring along some hard time, but they got it under control eventually. Overall, I was satisfied with the service.

NOW

A year or so ago Powweb was bought-out by Endurance. If you do not know anything about Endurance, they are a very large web-hosting company which has acquired several other large shared-hosts over the past few years.

Once Powweb was purchased by Endurance, the quality in service immediately decreased. Part of what Endurance does with most of their acquisitions is to assimilate them into their fold. This was a very shaky process and nearly everyone experience a large amount of downtime.

Additionally, Powweb is now plagued by horrible MySQL issues where the service is nearly completely useless. For the past year, Powweb has been either unable or unwilling to fix these issues. It can often take several minutes for even the most basic of queries to run. Any dynamic type of an application: forums, blogs, CMS, are usually rendered completely useless.

To make matters worse, Powweb continues to aggressively advertise these resource heavy applications and then ask for patience as they attempt to get their issues fixed. It has been about a year now, and still it is not resolved. Much of these issues come from the extreme overselling that Powweb does. Nearly every day, all websites (even static ones) come to a complete crawl.

Calling customer support is also a waste of your time. 95% of the time, you are met by a rude person who simply tells you “well, it seems to work for me” or that “we are aware of the problem” (at best). Opening support tickets is also usually not helpful. Tickets are often closed without any contact with the customer and it is very common for them to “give you the run-around.”

I have been told by support several times to keep an eye on the forums for updates on issues and whatnot. Then, if you go to the forums and attempt to get any information from there, you are told that ‘these are only user-helping user forums’ and that you can’t get any official help there, though customer support told you to go to that very place. Additionally, Powweb’s staff practices extreme censorship of the forum and it is common for negative remarks to be removed or posts completely deleted, many times without any acknowledgement of the act.

In addition to the MySQL issues, Powweb also experiences frequent “lock-ups,” CGI issues, email issues, dns issues, and so on and so forth. The list of problems that has occurred over the past year is literally too long to remember.

In conclusion, the Powweb of new is nothing like the Powweb of old. This new Powweb is controlled by an over-selling giant (Endurance) that is only concerned with the number of accounts as apposed to the quality of service. While certainly any business related site should not be in such an environment at all, I would even suggest that people looking for a host for hobby related purposes stay clear of powweb – it’s that bad.

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HostMySite VPS 1 Year Review

Aug 15, 2008

One year has gone by since we bought our hosting plan at HostMySite (HMS) and I thought I'd post another review. You can read my previous review here (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=659594)

The Short Of It
We have 2 IIS Coldfusion VPS (CF VPS+ plan). The first one we had was originally just a CF VPS (for developing) but we later changed it over to a CF VPS+ (more ram, more space, etc). This VPS is 1 year and 1 month old. Our production VPS which currently hosts our website is a healthy 1 year old. The reliability has been great and we never had any speed or performance issues.

We are very happy at HMS. We have had very little issues with the our VPSes and those issues are usually resolved very quickly. Anytime we needed support, it was overall always quick and helpful. We recommend HMS to anyone who needs a Windows VPS.

Security and Friends
The SSL certificate we purchased from our previous host expired so we bought a new one via HMS. At first the order we placed was apparently processed by them but wasn't sent to the issuer for processing. We didn't find out until we sent a ticket in wondering about the status. They immediately processed it for us. Except for the fact that they processed it for 1 year when we bought it for 3. So another ticket flew across the internet and flew back to us just as quickly resolving the problem.

They asked if they wanted them to install it and we emphatically said yes. They installed the certificate and we were set. Or so we thought. We began having issues with our merchant account not being able to verify our SSL certificate. They forgot to add in the intermediate certificate so that third party processors can see verify it's legitimacy. This was resolved very quickly (faster than we expected) and we have not had issues with it since.

The One Thing
The only thing we'd like to mention was an incident that occurred several months ago. One day, out of the apparently gray clouds, for some reason our site could not be connected to. After shaking our fists futilely at the weather gods, we sat down and tried to figure out what was wrong. By doing the basic diagnostics to make sure it wasn't us or our ISP we cursed the Lunar Goddess and contacted HMS to see what was up. They fixed it but didn't tell us what the issue was. Apologies in the form of cup cakes to the Moon was issued.

The next day, the same problem occurred or at least we thought and was told it was the same problem. We could not access our site. This time we did both live chat and started a ticket (for documentation, last time we just called). In the live chat they stated it was an issue with the node and not specific to our VPS and they were working on it. They said it was the same issue as yesterday.

This is where it starts getting dicey.

They also responded via the ticket that the firewall was blocking the ports and not the same issue as yesterday. Now considering only one person has access to the VPS (via RDC) to make changes and he did not log in to make any changes to the firewall (why would we?) that explanation didn't even seem plausible. And the ports blocked (pretty much everything except FTP) didn't make any sense. We went back and forth, with me explaining that after several months of not touching the firewall after setup, why would we inexplicable block ourselves out? Why would we even touch the firewall? Also that it can't be a coincidence with the node issues yesterday and they had already stated it was the same issue.

After a bit of going back and forth, they finally came to the conclusion that the patch they applied to fix the node issue made changes to the firewall which caused the subsequent issue. While this explanation didn't exactly seem completely kosher, we weren't going waste more time asking for a better explanation.

Now given that the total "downtime" of both issues was about 5 hours we thought we'd see how much of a resistance they will put up for the uptime guarantee. The first issue we pretty much knew wasn't going to get any attention because according to their TOS, they will only refund for time it was down when you posted a support ticket. Since we did this over the phone, there was no documentation to speak of when it went down and when it got fixed.

As for the second issue (which did have a ticket) they stated that since the VPS was technically up, the uptime guarantee did not apply even if the problem was caused by them (they didn't specifically say that but it was implied). While we didn't expect anything from it and didn't bother to pursue it, that response raised some eyebrows. While within their rights, it did seem a bit "whoa". They did apologize and were very polite and respectful. It was pretty much what we expected in terms of responses.

The Train Ride
While the above issue may seem bad, it was a one-time event. These things can happen. We haven't had any uptime, access or server issues since that problem. Support is quick and helpful.

The site has been running fine for months with no downtime.

We are overall very happy with HMS and would recommend them to anyone who needs a Windows VPS.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Support: 9/10
Reliability: 9/10
Speed and Bandwidth: 10/10

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1+ Year Review - Netdirekt

Oct 7, 2009

I will try to share my experience with all of you regarding the company I rent my dedicated servers - Netdirekt.

I found out about them over an year ago when I needed to move to dedicated server. I decided to give them a try, since I was new in this area and since I am perfectionist in this job (making backup of backups of backups)I thought I don't have what to loose if they disappoint me. At least not much.

So over an year ago, I ordered my first server with them. It was Core2Duo server with 4GB of RAM, with a nice price. By the way, when I saw their 1996 website and their pricing, I was getting ready to get disappointed)

I didn't need much help in the beginning, the hardware and network were (are) top notch. Some months later, 4 if I remember correctly, I expanded my business and ordered a second server with them. So, I am really satisfied with their service.

Couple of experiences I got with them that I would like to share with you.

Once, the hard drive of one of my servers started fiving SMART errors so it needed to be changed. It was Sunday, 1AM, so I didn't expect much and it was the secondary (backup) drive so it wasn't THAT urgent to me. Anyway, I dropped them an e-mail requesting drive change. 15 minutes (yup, 15 minutes, Sunday, 1AM) later I got an e-mail back, their representative asking me am I ready for the hard drive replacement. I replied yes. I told him i shut off the server. 10 minutes later my server was back online, with new drive in it.

Later on, once they had 2 hours network outage and another time 1 hour power outage I think, that is in an year. My servers are checked by Pingdom so I believe their uptime.

Then I left them alone for some months, didn't bother them since I had no issues at all, until 2 weeks ago when I got my third server with them. I believe I have been the most boring client ever to them. 10 times maybe I asked IP transfer from one server to another, and they did that very fast and without making me feel uncomfortable by asking that from them over and over again.

So overall, I am very satisfied with their service. They don't do much (hardware and network only, no management), but I think they are perfect in what they do.
Keep up the great work netdirekt, and you will keep me with you forever.

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Steadfast 1 Year Review

May 6, 2009

We've been a customer of Steadfast for a little over a year with a VPS plan. We had been using a dedicated server from another provider and we were looking to cut costs a bit since the server was very underutilized.

After researching here, we originally signed up on a low-end VPS plan and set up monitoring. Our goal was to monitor the server and service for a couple/few months prior to moving any services over to it; just to make sure the company and VPS would meet our needs.

After a several months of monitoring the server closely we decided to migrate from our ded server to the VPS at Steadfast. We haven't looked back since.

Our criteria for VPS at the time were:

1) Had to run Debian.

2) Reliability of service/provider.

--Uptime of the server itself

--Network reliability

--Redundancy

3) Customer support responsiveness.

4) Price.

Steadfast has exceeded our expectations in all areas. First off finding a host that supports Debian is not as easy as it should be.

(Note to VPS providers: This is a deal-breaker for us. If we can't use Debian then there's much less chance of us signing up for your services.)

Off the soapbox and back to Steadfast: The VPS is quick - with no I/O lag at all. It feels like a dedicated server. The service itself has been reliable and the network has also been responsive. (We monitor our servers from two separate geographical locations).

Further, we've opened more tickets than a 'normal' customer probably would, mostly just to find out what our options are for growth, backups, etc. The team (Karl and others) at Steadfast are very helpful. I don't have any specific recollection of opening a true tech support ticket but I'm sure I have. The fact that it doesn't stand out as remarkable indicates that it was answered quickly and with a personalized (non-generic) response.

We've grown since we started using the VPS and the upgrade process has been painless and quick. Maybe this is true of all VPS providers since all they need to do is allocate more resources, but either way, it's been painless and quick for us at Steadfast.

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Futurehosting 2 Year Review

Oct 6, 2009

I have been with futurehosting since October 2007 and have had my ups and downs. see my history below:

October 2007: Signed up for both a vps in chicago and one in dallas datacenter. I used my chicago server for my primary hosting and my dallas server is used only for DNS failover for 2 websites. I am a small town host that hosts locally only so we have around 15 clients. Everything was working ok, but the chicago server just always seemed slow, ocasional load spikes throughout the day hitting the 5 or 6’s. So finally in May 2009 I posted on WHT to seek some help for why loads were so high and we came to the conclusion in that thread that it must be an overloaded server. So I shot off a ticket to futurehosting to move me to a different node and they did without any problems. Loads seemed to go way down after the move and my server was zippy fast again.

August 2009: My chicago server has been getting progressivly slower throughout the last 3 months and we are back to load spikes again. I finally give up with the load issue and just assume it is my problem.

September 11, 2009: Now I run into a problem with php handeling sessions and ask for help from futurehosting and have a problem with them lying to me. You can see the thread here. Jim at futurehosting is aware of this and apologized deeply. And they reprimanded the admin working on my case.

September 21, 2009: I migrated my chicago server to Wiredtree and still have my dallas server as my backup with futurehosting. Since moving to Wiredtree, all of my load issues have gone away and load sits around 0.25 average.

Please note that in all these cases I have opened tickets with futurehosting and worked with them through the problems.

Now, after I got my history out of the way, here is my review:

Value: 10/10

futurehosting is one of the best values around especially now with their 40% off for life and more ram. I, as an existing customer even submitted a ticket complaining how new customers get this and we as exhisting don’t and they gave me the discount.

Support: 7/10

I think the support of futurehosting is a little below of top tier. When you submit a ticket with futurehosting after 15 min you get a reply stating “we’re working on it”. Then sometimes after 30 min you get a reply “we’re escelating this to sysadmins”. And finally after 45 min the problem is fixed. Now keep in mind this is just one instance, but almos all receive a first ticket stating “we’re working on it” and then 15 min later it’s fixed. Now, I really don’t have much to compare to here other than wiredtree, and when you submit a ticket to them, 15 min later you get a response “fixed”. Now about the server admin lying directly to me when he couldn’t fix the problem. I realise this is a rare isolated instance, but still put a sour taste in my mouth.

Server Performance: 5/10

Performance was good at times bad at times and overall seemed slow at futurehosting. I think, but not sure that maybe they are overloading their servers…

Server Uptime: 10/10

Server was always up, and I mean always. Only around once or twice in two years was there a problem with DDOS on another server that caused routing problems in the datacenter to cause my server to be unreachable.

I hav enever had any problems with my server in dallas and it is always fast and zippy and never down. I have also never really submitted a ticket on my server in dallas because it is used so infrequently. We, however are leaving futurehosting and will be in process of moving our dallas server away from them soon.

Well, there you have it, my review of futurehosting after two years.

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DowntownHost 2 Year Review

Oct 5, 2009

I've recently had some issues with a script I wrote and I contacted support about it. Three techs assisted me with it, but could not resolve it. I later found the problem was with my outputting text when there should be no output at all. I closed the ticket and thanked the techs for their work.

This is just one of the many examples I have of how they are willing to work with the customer, even if it is not their fault. They will do what it takes to keep the customer happy, except fixing the customers' code. Jedito and his team really strive at providing superb support for their customers.

I have a few domains hosted with them and also have pointed others to their services. I currently use two of their servers, one is production and the other is staging. They are quick to get services setup and ready to go, as well as providing quick support through their ticket system. Their live chat doesn't always reach people (when it says it is online), but they respond to tickets within a few hours, sometimes within a few minutes.

I have the Silver plan with them, and I think they recently changed the amount of disk space available from 7GB to 14GB because that's what I now have available. I did not know they were planning that, but it was a pleasant surprise when I logged in to cPanel.

I can't think of any problems I have had with Downtownhost in these two years of experience with them, though I have had problems with my scripts and code. If they make a mistake, they admit it and are quick to fix it. I might have had a little bit of downtime over a year ago, but I think the server went down briefly. The uptime has been superb and the services have been wonderful.

To anyone who is in search of a good web host, Downtownhost is the way to go for shared hosting. I have not tried their other services (well, I am using blogging on the staging server), so I do not know what they are like. I have been with my share of web hosts and I have not found one that is better than Downtownhost.

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What To Expect For £1 Per Month/£10 Per Year

Oct 25, 2009

What could I expect in the web hosting world for £1/m or £10/y?

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PrecisionEffect.com Two Year Review

Oct 27, 2009

I have now been with PrecisionEffect.com for two years and have just paid for year number three. I have to say I have been very happy with the quality and service I have received. For my site I currently need over 7GB of storage space plus over 60GB of bandwidth a month. For me, the few extra dollars a month that I pay for a top quality host are well worth it. It is critical that the site loads quickly and has hardly any down time. I am currently using their failover-enabled server. From what I can tell my site has only been down a total of about an hour over the past two years. I don’t think you can beat that anywhere. I have never had that kind of uptime with any other host.

In the past I have been with web hosts that have put me on servers with 500 or more other hosted domains. PrecisionEffect.com currently has me on a server with only 200 domains (5 of which are mine). I believe not pushing their equipment to the max has been the main reason for the really good uptime.

If I ever do need support, Dave or Steve Garbus (both run PrecisionEffect.com) respond within minutes. Being a smaller size host, they know me and my site and are able to help me quickly. They are also able to help me customize the service I receive on the fly (Adding storage, domains, bandwidth to the plan).

I recommend PrecisionEffect.com to anyone looking for a long term top quality host with fast loading webpages (see their LiteSpeed plans) and excellent support. The couple of dollars extra you will pay for the service will be well worth it and save you in the long run.

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WiredTree 1 Year Review

Jan 10, 2009

I have been a WiredTree customer for about one year and I am very happy with their services. One of the top VPS providers available on the world, WiredTree runs its servers in its own datacenter and it is the real peace in mind company. On January 15th 2008 I've started a VPS 512 in WiredTree using a a WHT promo offer and encountered not only one problem with billing, hardware, software, support! I'm running 16 monster websites of my selected customers on this VPS under cPanel optimized for VPS release 4-R32603 - WHM 11.24.2 - X 3.9. OS: CENTOS 4.7 i686 on Virtuozzo. I've recently rebooted my VPS by command line (SSH) due a new app install exigence and this task was performed in few seconds without only one problem with cPanel!

Uptime: 10/10
Management: 10/10
Support: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Billing: 10/10
Domain for verification: ....

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Steadcom.com 1 Year Review

Apr 18, 2009

I'm here to tell you my experience with steadcom.com shared hosting service. I have been them since 29 April 08 so thats not really 1 year but will be like in 2 weeks.

Speed - First I tell you the speed of my website, it's open fast (really fast for me actually)

Downtime - there is a couple of downtime and hardware/cpanel/diskspace error that make me can't use my website but not like every month and sometimes downtime is like 2-3 hours I can't open my website :/ and sometimes only when I open ticket they will check it and resolve my problem. Thats is not good enuf for me :/

Support - support is decent thats mean sometimes good (maybe when they online?) and sometimes is not. Sometimes support will answer my ticket after 2 -5 hours. :/ this guy Andrew neill is really a good support tech (very good I must say). I think he has work there since last year and other staff I know is Dimitri (CEO) and Grotman (sales?)

Price - This is the best part. They can be flexible If I use all my bandwidth they allow me to upgrade and when I don't need extra bandwidth they allow me to downgrade. Sometimes I pay $11 or $20 a/month depends on my bandwidth

So overall I rate them:
Speed: 10/10
Downtime/Other error: 2/10
Support: 7/10
Price: 10/10

The sad part is starting next month I need to find a new host because this host don't work for me anymore because third party problem, otherwise this host is superb and I will still be with them.

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Downtownhost - 1 Year Review

Oct 10, 2009

I've been with Downtownhost for a little more than a year now, and figured I would share my experiences with others.

When I first signed up with Downtownhost, everything was great. Transferring my sites went super smooth: my server was very fast and support was amazing (got replies in under a minute!). Unfortunately, as time has gone on, I've seen a dramatic drop in server stability and support.

My first major issue with Downtownhost happened in March of this year, when my server was constantly being brought offline with DDoS attacks. I requested that they switch me to a different server, hopefully with less DDoS attacks. Downtownhost gave me a date and time when they would switch my account to a new server. That day and time went, with no word from anyone at Downtownhost. I sent an email to Downtownhost asking if my account had been moved, but apparently they had forgotten to switch me. Jorge was very quick to switch me once I asked to be moved again.

Everything was smooth on the new server until April, when it went down for periods of at least 6 hours or more on several different occasions (at least 3). These extremely long periods of downtime were very angering.

Everything has been fairly stable up until these last few weeks. I recently registered a new domain and went to add it to my cPanel account as an addon domain. Something screwed up within cPanel, so I was unable to add my new domain to cPanel. This issue took over 5 hours to even get a response from Downtownhost (which used to be very unusual). Eventually, the issue was resolved.

Now, my server is timing out several times per day, and my email has now stopped working.

On top of the increasingly longer support response times, nobody *ever* answers me on their live support feature, which is a big downside for me. I'm not sure what has caused this dramatic drop in quality from Downtownhost, but it's not looking like I will be renewing my contract with them

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IMountain 1 Year Review

Mar 28, 2009

[Reposted]

I’ve had a shared "Solarcluster 5 Lifetime" account with iMountain for a year, hosting low-traffic "community" sites, including shops, a blog, forums, CMSs, mailing lists and photo galleries. Here are my impressions so far. I’ve concentrated on things that are different from previous hosts I’ve used (mainly cheap cPanel shared hosting).

Summary
Pros: Very good support, fast servers, solar powered
Cons: Mediocre reliability, price, file permission issues, no forum

Pre-sales and pricing
I found iMountain here on WHT after searching for a host with a good reputation for support and reliability. I was initially impressed by the consistent fast loading of their demo Gallery site, and by their solar powered and "clustered" hosting. However, their prices (for 10 domains) were above my budget and they had problems connecting to Europe (see http://webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=649322), which put me off. I signed up after they fixed the bandwidth problem quickly, and I discovered there was a 50% discount offer, and a "lifetime" subscription option (both now withdrawn) which made their prices more competitive.

Migration
Moving my sites over to iMountain was not entirely trouble-free. They don’t offer to do the migration for you and I didn’t yet have SSH access at either end, so I had to download all the files and database contents from my old host and upload them again to iMountain by FTP. This took many hours, especially since my local ISP (Virgin) decided I was "abusing" my connection and silently throttled my upload speed to 128 kbit/s! Manually recreating all my databases and mail accounts took some time in the unfamiliar (and buggy) H-Sphere control panel, and some of my sites ended up offline or in maintenance mode for several days.

Support
Support quality is definitely one of iMountain’s strong points. They claim all their support staff are Level 3 and up with 15+ years experience. It’s all done by e-mail and can therefore be a bit slow (sometimes hours for a response), but they generally get to the root of every problem and work to find a workable solution, unlike other hosts I’ve experienced, where it can be a constant struggle just to get a problem acknowledged, let alone fixed. They’re also pretty good at monitoring servers, which means it’s worth waiting a while before raising a trouble ticket. There’s no phone support, instant messaging or user forum though. There’s a tiny knowledgebase, a blog and a ticketing system but they’re barely used.

Speed
Generally, my sites have been much more responsive since moving to iMountain, and this is the main reason I would recommend them. I’ve only raised three "sites slow" tickets in the last year and they’ve all been fixed quickly. At previous hosts, applications that should load in seconds would regularly take minutes or time out completely. Indeed, iMountain proudly state "…we can handle load surges from Digg, SlashDot, etc. When your site is getting the hits of a lifetime, we’re here to make sure your visitors get through…". So far I haven’t tested this, though! Ping times from the UK are consistently about 180ms (monitored by [url].

Reliability
I’ve been monitoring one of my sites at 5 minute intervals for a year [url]
and average uptime has been about 99.5%, which is about the same as my previous hosts. I’m a bit disappointed by this - I had hoped that by paying a bit more and moving to a more reputable host I would see some improvement in uptime. I’m still getting some website users urging me to move to a "more reliable" host.

Reliability is supposed to be one of the advantages of clustered hosting, but the "clustered" hosting that iMountain offers only means that the web server is separate from the database server, mail server etc., not that there are redundant servers that can take over if one of the servers in a cluster fails.

File permission issues
Once my sites were up and running, an annoying problem kept recurring - I would come back later and find some of them down or showing errors. It turns out this is due to iMountain running PHP as an Apache module, which means that files created by a PHP application when someone visits the site (such as cache or log files) can’t subsequently be modified or removed by it. It’s a well-known problem, and the solution here is to simply raise a support ticket every time such a PHP application is installed or moved to get it fixed (not sure exactly how, sorry). It’s all a bit slow and inconvenient. It also affects updates - you have to overwrite the application in situ, instead of doing a clean installation and renaming it.

An alternative solution is to configure the entire site to "cgi mode", which can be done from the control panel. This solves all the file permission issues, but the big disadvantage for me is that it’s no longer possible to override local PHP settings (even using a local php.ini or ini_set), which means register_globals is always ON and the timezone always PST, for example.

Certificates
I found that iMountain’s security certificates for shared SSL, secure mail and FTP connections etc. are all self-signed, which means you get a warning popup whenever you try to access them - a showstopper for an e-commerce site. I haven’t encountered this at previous hosts, and when I raised a ticket they said it would be too expensive to fix this on every server, but I could buy my own certificate and install it. I only needed it for one site and they were good enough to give me a free static IP for it, so I was happy with that, but be careful if you’re planning to host lots of secure sites with them. For email access I’ve simply gone back to unencrypted connections.

E-Mail
Incoming mail is filtered with SpamAssassin and ClamAV and works pretty well. Outgoing mail is sometimes blacklisted though (e.g. by AOL and madasafish), which can be a pain - I’ve had to redirect some mail to users on these domains to go via googlemail.

There’s no real support for mailing lists (but no silly limits either) so you will need to install something like phplist or Dada Mail if you need them. There was initially no support for mail "domain forwarding" (all mail for xxx@mydomain sent to xxx@mysynonymdomain) but they enabled it when I asked.

Control panel
The control panel is H-Sphere, which I have found quite capable but buggy. Obvious things like file uploads, moving directories and CHMOD sometimes don’t work, and very strange things can happen if you try to move and rename things too quickly. Also the menu structure can be very obscure - CRON jobs are found under "FTP User", for example.

Backups
There’s no real support for backups - users are expected to make their own. I found a script to do mySQL backups, but file backups are harder because large directories will time out if you try to zip them. The options seem to be FTP (slow and not very reliable) or rsync (needs SSH access and a unix box).

Solar power
The power supply is not 100% solar - they still connect to the grid, but they sell back almost as much power during the day as they buy at night, so they are still "greener" than most.

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