Future Hosting 2 Year Review
Apr 2, 2009
Even though this is a 2 year review of Future Hosting, I would like to back up a little bit more. Lets go all the way back to April of 2006 when I opened my first site.
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Feb 22, 2009
Between April 2006 and March of 2007 I tried about 5 different hosting companies. I changed companies because I did not believe that 15 people on my forum at one time was "High Usage". And that was the story that I was told over and over by those "other" hosting companies. That with 15 people on my forum at one time, I had reached the limit of my hosting plan.
In March of 2007 I had enough. After changing host around 5 times, and getting the same line of bull from each one, I decided to give running a website one more try.
After reading the reviews here on WHT, I decided to go with Future Hosting. When my forum was setup and people started visiting, something strange happened. My forum could support more then 15 people at a time. To be honest, I was amazed. Here was Future Hosting, and my forum with 20, 30 and even 50 people on it at a time. This makes me wonder what was worng with those other hosting plans I had payed for.
As my forum grew, so did my server needs. Over the past 2 years I went from the most basic VPS plan that Future Hosting had, all the way to the most expensive.
Instead of 15 people at a time, now my forum has 350 - 400 people at a time, gets around 2.9 million page views a month, has over 589,000 post, 48,421 threads and 14,719 members. Over the past 2 years Future Hosting has provided my forum with the resources and tech support that it needed to grow.
Today was a big step for my forum and my relationship with Future Hosting, because I just leased my first dedicated server from them.
To sum up my 2 year review of Future Hosting:
I am a very happy customer.
I highly recommend Future Hosting to anyone looking for a Virtual Private Server (VPS) solution.
Maybe in another 2 years I will be back here posting a review of their dedicated server.
The great, the good and the == well,not so good!
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Mar 30, 2007
Service is UNREAL! Keep in touch constantly!
Speed, Uptime are good!
site took a bit longer to get than stated, no big deal, but then no cpanel. After that, system dumps(appeared to be from tailwatchd) == 4 or more per hour, then support added a script to delete them every few minutes. then no Email-- no Exim, courier--NADA. Sent in a ticket, got exim working, no courier so went to Dovecot(worked). Was unmanaged! Never switched anything to it, so didnt lose anything.
*I know there is another thread about Future Hosting but since I am starting my own review, I am not sure if it is best to gatecrash into that review or start my own. I guess it is better to start a fresh one so I don't break any rules. *
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Mar 10, 2009
Just a little background, I had been renting Dedicated Servers for the last 6 odd years and last year since there were some changes in my business framework, I decided to move the few sites I have to a Reseller's account and a few shared hosting accounts to cater for my needs. That was back in October 2006.
Things were doing quite well but the server in which my reseller's account was hosted was a little shaky with several downtimes, heavy-loads and thus causes the sites to be relatively slow the last few weeks. It was intermittent so I thought I ride out the annual contract (I should not have signed up for a year but that is another story altogether).
However, being who I am, I like to pre-plan 6 months ahead of time. I missed the time when I was using dedicated servers as I like the control it gives me. The Reseller's and Shared Accounts seems rather restrictive in the controls but I guess you get what you paid for. Basically, having to rely quite extensively on the tech support. The Tech Support at the Reseller's account was quite responsive but the hardware did not really give them much justice.
In any case, I thought of bringing forward the migration period because of late the downtime was hurting my business and my clients. I needed very much to think of my customers for without them, I would not be anything today.
The plan was to go with a dedicated server as I did not quite have a good experience with a VPS in the past. I had tried Servint years ago but things were a lot slower than a shared account, I guess it was probably because it was equipped with 128mb RAM and that was when they first started their VPS Services. That experience did not go well with me.
However, reading about the Future Hosting review and looking at what they have to offer, I thought I give them a try, besides there is a 30 days money back guarantee so what do I have to lose.
I saw their offer in the For Sale section and dedicated to ask a few questions and Vik responses were quite professional and quick and I decided to sign up, well almost immediately. He approved the sale and everything was set in motion.
In about 3 hours, I have my sparkling VPS with 512mb which I started working on. It was indeed quite fast, which exceeded my expectations. In fact, from the get-go, these people know what they are doing. I like the fact that they have a Business Continuance Protection as an option which protects me from the bandwidth from DDoS. DDoS is a situation in which I never want to be in but this $2.95/mth gives me a peace of mind.
I like also the fact that they provided a managed service which I sure did make use of it. Although I know something about managing a server and did some of the lock-down, I am pleased that there is a team willing to help me when I landed in some trouble (a few times actually). I had them handle some of the security setup which I did not get to do on my own.
There was the time when I had a SSL certificate set up for one of my site but the https access did not work. I could not figure out what to do and contacted them and they helped me resolved the issue without question. It worked for a while until I messed things up again and they got it resolved again and told me what was the issue when I asked them what they have done. Although, support is not there at the snap of the finger, they have been quite responsive and were helpful.
I love the control the HSPComplete and Virtuozzo Control Panel provided in managing my VPS account. I finally feel that I have arrived.
Like I said at the offset, these guys thought about everything. I love the fact that they provided the free VPS Snapshot which allowed me to create an image backup of my entire VPS which I can restore with a touch of a button. This feature would probably cost me a lot more on a dedicated server and it is free here.
The other thing is that the account came with 3 IP addresses and I found that all came from different C Class which is very neat. Most places will just give you running IPs which may be an issue for some.
I got an additional IP through their HSPComplete interface and it was assigned to me almost instantly.
I have to say that although I have not been there more than 4 days, those were very pleasant 4 days. In fact, I love them so much that I have abandoned the idea of getting a dedicated server. Not only do I save on the money, I got a great service and support.
What more can I say. No regrets here.
*Mod, if you need evidence, the two sites on my signature are hosted on my Future Hosting VPS account. *
I signed up with Future Hosting in October 2007. I was looking for a VPS to transfer all my domains to. I chose Future Hosting among others I was considering. Back then, Future Hosting had an offer, so I ended up paying 10$ for the first month and I said I am not going to loose anything let me try for one month and then I can decide if I will stay or not.
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Oct 11, 2009
So I chose the package I wanted and proceeded with the signup. A while later, I get my VPS setup and all is running. I then added more features to my VPS.
The first problem I faced, was a problem with PLESK, so I opened a support ticket and after exchanging few replies, the problem turned out to be from the domain. We used domain.com instead of x.domain.com so that was fixed pretty fast.
The first month I paid 10$, and they always got deals going on. Everyone says you get what you pay for, with Future Hosting you get more. Other companies might charge you for backup, but they came up with future protect which backup all customers data every two hours. In addition they have server doctor which takes care of automated tasks without the need of an administrator.
I find Future Hosting very fast as opposed to other servers and I am very happy with that speed. I know it may differ from your location, but I am in Lebanon and I am very satisfied with the speed.
In 18 months I never had a single downtime. Even when they moved me from the old to new datacenter, I didn't notice any downtime. 100% uptime in 18 months.
I wanted to give them 10/10 but there were few issues with very few support tickets. Overall support was great, now they added server down option, so this will be dealt with directly I assume, but I don't think someone will use this feature much.
When you open a support ticket, once it is read, they notify you and tell you they are checking it and will get back to you soon. Sometimes the issue requires a senior admin to check it so they will forward it to the right person and also notify you of that. In those 18 months I never had any ticket unsolved.
I faced very few problems arising after requesting support on some issues. One of them happened twice and which were taken care of fast. After one of my tickets was solved, any website on my VPS I browse I get served the php file, which means, I am asked to save the file, the server doesn't compile the php file which was a bit scary. The second happened today, none of the domains could access webmail but this was solved fast also.
I am still waiting for a reply concerning the problem that caused this.
One thing worth mentioning and I am very happy of, is the help you get from Future Hosting support. A while back I asked to upgrade my php version to PHP5 and mySQL to mySQL5. After a while I get a reply that PHP version is updated to version 5.x.x but they couldn't update to mySQL5 because it was attached to plesk but when plesk released a new version supporting mySQL5 I reopened a ticket asking to be updated to mySQL5 and it's done. Since I am working on my own PHP Framework, I needed some modules installed on the VPS so I can use them. So I open a ticket and requested if imagemagick and ffmpeg could be installed on my VPS, an hour or two later I get a reply these were added. Now you know how happy I am with them. Other hosts might charge for all that.
One other thing. I faced some troubles with my CC for few months. So once I get that my CC was declined, I asked them to expend my billing grace period so I can fix it and they gladly did it. I don't know how many hosts would do that.
I am very happy with Future Hosting and hoping to increase the number of servers with them once I release two of my applications. Two things I would recommend. First, introducing windows VPS. The second phone support.
If you are hesitating whether you go with Future Hosting or not, don't think about it, just go there read the TOS and then sign up.
I thought I should share my feelings on FutureHosting even though we have only been on their server for 48 hours.
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Nov 5, 2008
I started having my sites hosted back in 1990's and have had about a dozen hosts since then. (Started with Pair.net when they were like maybe 2 of the 3 hosts on the planet, LOL) 90% of the time, I have needed to find a host due to my former host being acquired or some other non-technical reason. So you could say that I tend to stick with a host for as long as possible. I have moved from shared hosting, to reseller hosting, to dedicated hosting, and now to VPS hosting. I started my VPS adventures with PowerVPS.
This was about 3 years ago if I recall. Like most here, I did a great deal of homework, read and lurked. PowerVPS was in my top 5 final list. I selected PowerVPS and was extremely happy to put the headaches of dedicated servers behind me. For two years the VPS was very stable. That changed about one year ago. I was told I was hitting resource max and asked to upgrade. Oddly, my sites' traffic was about 1/2 of what it was in the first two years. ie my VPS should have less resources needed. PowerVPS moved many of its legacy VPS users to new hardware. I don't recall they informed me, though they said they did. They did inform me that they would make a decision on the remaining legacy users in terms of billing promotions -- they never did. Downtime continued. I began to notice that their newer techs did not share the same ability of communication and skills as past/founding techs. Answers were curt and became more and more unhelpful. We have all seen this pattern before where a host starts out so well (2 or 3 guys/gals), and as it grows, they add remote staff that just don't have the same passion of the founders, or language skills. (Disclaimer: English isn't my native, so no excuse for lack of communications in business IMHO).
Thus, I began my search for a new VPS here. FutureHosting was in my top 5 along with KnownHost, SolarVPS, Jaguar. Actually, I rated them 3 or 4 in my final list. I tested all of these hosts' sales responses and went through the shopping process just before clicking 'sign-me up'. (I work in Ecommerce so I like to see that process). SolarVPS answered my questions the best. KnownHost a close second. I am sure there are a few other good VPS companies like ServInt, Lunar and HostNexus, but their prices just don't reflect the marketplace IMHO.
Due to my needs and budget though, I selected FutureHosting as they seem to offer the best balance -- competitiveness and support.
FutureHosting - 48 hours
As my data was on PowerVPS with Plesk, selecting another provider with Plesk was important. Actually, I have always been a Plesk fan having used all the CPs (I just wish they would stop trying to offer 1,000 products and spin off a CP-only company like they were.)
FutureHosting (FH) started the migration on Saturday night. Sunday morning I notice that all sites hadn't been moved. I checked my inbox and read the many emails awaiting me. It seemed Plesk was having a hard time using its server migration tool (typical of Plesk that they introduce a feature that doesn't work 100% of the time.) FH informed me they would migrate my VPS (domains, etc) manually.
While this was going on, another tech worked on some requests I had related to SSH, root access, etc.
What I found in the last 48 hours was what I had hoped for... Techs that received my tickets, and replies that stated WHAT they were doing. I felt informed during the entire process. In some cases, CLEAR explanations were given. In some cases, SIMPLE answers were given -- where I couldn't grasp the why. The level of service was what I experienced in my first year with PowerVPS. And now, a really important point -- EVERY tech that worked on my tickets displayed the same level of competence. All too often, I have felt in the past that the level and ability of techs ranged so much. This became more apparent as of late on PowerVPS (are they contracting out support? No idea.) It was a real pleasure to deal with each tech. I think I counted 5 different names! What I REALLY appreciate was that it was obvious that each tech taking over a ticket READ the entire ticket thread. Too often when a tech takes over due to moving it a tier or shift change, I felt like I needed to explain everything from the start. Gah!! I don't have time or patience for that.
Hardware wise, I moved from (PowerVPS) AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 246 to Intel(R) Xeon(R)CPU E5420 @ 2.50GHz (Future Hosting). In the case of PowerVPS, my VPS was on an old legacy machine that a few of us unlucky ones were still on (We were asked to bump up $$ to go to the new machines, I refused.) I don't know which server is better, but thus far my sites feel much more snappy. I also notice that my former VPS used burst RAM approach vs. SLM. (See my other post http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=896249). I should also state that perhaps PowerVPS uses this in their new machines. No idea.
Overall, I am paying the same amount for my new VPS, the sites are loading much faster and most importantly, the service has been top rate. I was a little worried at first because I heard such great reviews of Knownhost and SolarVPS (I am sure they are warranted), but based on the past 48-hours, I must say my selection was right for me in many ways. I'm crossing my fingers that this level of service will continue 3, 5 or more years down the road. If they do, I won't hesitate to recommend FutureHosting to the MANY developers I come into contact with. (I have sent a great deal of leads/business to every host I have been at.) I will need to revisit this thread on my anniversary to see if things continue in such a great manner.
Some of the other hosting companies I have tried are:
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Dec 22, 2008
And another one I stayed with for 2 weeks and can not remember the name of it. I have tried other hosting companies before. So I do have something to compare Future Hosting to.
Before I signed up with future hosting I had a website running joomla with a bridged SMF forum and another site running MDPro and MDForum. MDPro is a cousin to Postnuke and MDForum is kinda like PHPBB. When I signed up with a hosting company, most of the time I got a VPS and 256 megs of memory - or what ever the company had in that range. For some reason the pages took 10 - 20 seconds to load on the joomla site. The MDPro site was a little faster, but not much. Even though I submitted several trouble tickets, it seemed that tech support could not figure out why the response times were so slow. The usual answer was my site was "high traffic" and that was why the pages were loading slow. I often wondered how 10 - 15 people on a webpage can be high traffic? I tried the joomla support forums, the smf support forums - I looked for help everywhere I could.
After getting no help from one hosting company, I signed up at another, and another, and another. I had almost given up on ever owning a website.
That is when I came to Webhosting talk and started doing some serious research and that is when I found Future Hosting.
When I first signed up with Future Hosting in March of 2007 I got their 256 mg VPS server to run my new VBulletin forum on. It was a new hosting company, a new forum and a new adventure.
After the first month I must say that I was impressed. I had just left the last hosting company because of server performance, so I was surprised when people actually started signing up on my forum and posting stuff. I was even more surprised when the server allowed more then 15 or 20 people on it at a time. And I was REALLY surprised when the pages loads in just a couple of seconds, instead of 10 - 20+ seconds.
A few months later it was time to upgrade to a new server. And then a couple of months later my site was moved to a new data center.
The last time I needed serious tech support was in November of 2007 - exactly a year ago. During that year the only little bumps that have happened were asking the tech support people to update MYSQL, or update PHP for me. A whole freaking year with no server problems. You just do not hear about stuff like that. But somehow the techs at Future Hosting keep these servers up and running 365/24/7.
In the last week of October 2008 my site started experiencing slow load times and connection issues. So I opened a support ticket. Tech support and I exchanged several messages back and forth over the following days. But this time things were a little "different" - the connection problems would come and go. By the time I opened a ticket, and tech support looked at the site, everything was normal. There were a couple of times the tech support person saw high memory usage, or high CPU usage, but it lasted for only a couple of minutes.
Finally, one of the support guys checked the apache server at the right time and found my site was under a small DDOS attack. The Apache server had around 1,000 active connections to it.
After the tech support people installed some security software, the sever is back to normal and everything is running great.
Currently I have the the Elite package with 768MB of memory and 40 gigs of hardrive space. On this server I run 8 websites.
2 - VBulletin forums.
2 - SMF forums
5- Wordpress sites
One of my forums gets over 1.8 million page views a month, has over 332,000 post, gets 900 - 1,000 members visiting every 24 hours, 700 - 1,400 post every day and around 2,884 members visiting every 30 days.
My VBulletin forum - [url]
My wifes VBulletin forum - [url] My wifes site opened a couple of months ago. Anyone interested in digital cameras - go sign up.
Even with all of these sites and traffic, I still have around 500 megs of free memory and use just a fraction of the CPU.
It seems that most of the time when you read a review its negative. This is just the opposite, I am very satisfied with Future Hosting and highly recommend them to anyone looking for a serious hosting solution to real world needs.
Before I found Future Hosting I had almost given up on finding a good host. In fact, I was considering getting out of the website business all together. It seemed that no matter what host I tried, I would get the same results. Whether it was slow page loads, or terrible support - every company I tried seemed to be just alike. Until I read a review about Future Hosting here on webhosting talk.
Here I am 20 months after signing up with Future Hosting. And I am telling you, if your sick and tired of your host - dont live in misery, dont live with slow page loads, dont deal with poor tech support. Contact Future Hosting and get your website up and running like it should be.
After considering and comparing VPS offers from Future Hosting, Knownhost, Wiredtree, and Liquidweb, I went ahead and ordered from Future Hosting.
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Dec 15, 2008
I'll post my initial impressions, and try to update the thread over time.
I currently have a VPS at Godaddy, plus shared hosting at Godaddy, 1and1, and Namecheap.
My objectives were to get away from Godaddy VPS, set up with a 'better' provider, and consolidate sites.
I am fairly technically adept, though not an expert. My requirements are for hosting appx. 25 sites currently, with perhaps another 15-25 to be added over the next 12 months.
Most are low volume, a few are low-to-mid volume. Nothing fancy, primarily informational sites and affiliate sales sites (WP and Xsitepro), and some direct ecommerce.
I focused on the 4 providers mentioned above based on recommendations and reviews here and elsewhere. My main concerns are reliability and price.
After comparing plans and the specials listed on the 'Webhosting Offers' board, I settled on Future Hostings "Titanium" managed VPS offer. The special offer they listed was for 50% off lifetime cost.
Through live chat, I spoke with Nick to ask some specific questions. He was patient and helpful each of the 3-4 times I came back with questions.
One question I asked was how long it would take to get provisioned. He quoted me at under 12 hours - this was also mentioned on the "Offers" thread, specifically for the current special.
The "unspecial" price was $84.95 for 1Gb RAM, 650Gb bandwidth, and 50Gb disk space, with cPanel. I added Fantastico for $3.95. After the coupon code, I'll be paying $46.42 / month.
I put in the order at 10:04am.
Registration was activated at 10:50am.
Cpanel, Virtuozzo, firewall, etc. installed
MonkeyWrench Hosting review - Three year review
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Apr 28, 2009
I've been hosting my personal sites with MonkeyWrench Hosting for around three years now (coming up in January I believe), and I figured I'd share my experiences with them!
I've gone through a few hosts in my time, and some of them have been pretty rough. After using paid hosts, a niche free host started up that I stayed with for around a year before they eventually closed down.
I switched to MonkeyWrench Hosting at that point as a place to host my sites and store my files, and I have to say that I've been impressed throughout the time I've been with them.
Fantastic! The sites have been perfectly reliable and speedy whenever I've gone to access them, and I haven't had any complaints from users. I did come across MySQL going down on one of the servers (I have two accounts for different purposes that are on seperate servers) in the past, but it was resolved quickly before I even needed to get help.
I've used the support a few times, but not for anything critical since there's not been the need. However, everything that I have asked was answered promptly in a professional manner.
Again, no complaints here. The pricing is pretty cheap, especially for the quality of service receieved. They aren't the cheapest on the Internet by any means, but you generally get what you pay for. I'm aware of what my realistic space/bandwidth needs are anyway, and I'd rather pick a host that clearly advertises what you'll receive over an 'unlimited' host.
All in all, MWH have been a fantastic choice and I couldn't have hoped for anything better.
So, thumbs up to Jonathan, and keep up the good work!
I'll report my domains for the moderators to check them out. =)
I was hosting with Godaddy in the beginning, but their inflexible packages caused me to look else were. At the current time, my part time employer was hosting a dedicated server with bird hosting. Going back and forth between my VPS at GoDaddy and the VPS my employer had with Bird - I was amazed and also frustrated with the difference - the inability to expand my VPS at goDaddy. I had a 10gig / 512MB at godaddy with Windows.
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Mar 28, 2009
I wanted more space and more memory but goDaddy's limit was 10gigs for windows - period.
I currently run longarmchat.com which has been growing over the past year and was right at the limit of 10 gigs with the photo storage and videos we had.
I got in touch with Bird and they offered me a windows 2gig mem / 40gig space VPS for just a little more then I was paying at goDaddy. On top of that - they even offered to back it up which I have used due to my own mistake a couple of times already. GoDaddy never auto-backed up my stuff which was another reason I had no hesitation of switching.
To date - I have 10 sites hosted on my single VPS (some using Coldfusion / SQL) and others just static. After a year in march - I feel comfortable with making my recommendation for BirdHosting.com as to where I can stand behind it. Their support is in English and straight forward. No need to have to work your way up the call rep levels - the first person you talk to can handle any issue you have right there from their desk. I always got the runaround or had to tell Godaddy I'm not stupid for them to push me up to a higher level of support.
I've been with SteadCom hosting for over a year and have several VPS's with them. Their service/support as well as the intangibles have been nothing short of outstanding.
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Feb 1, 2007
Here are a few highlights:
1) I had a dying server from another host. I contacted SteadCom late afternoon, and they had a VPS with my specs (not a canned plan) up a short time later. Then they proceeded to troubleshoot the dying server & kept it up long enough for them to move my accounts. They did not charge me for moving my accounts, or for assisting on keeping a dying server up to keep my current clients satisfied. OUTSTANDING.
2) Support is never far. I email, and typically I get a response in a few minutes. Their tech support is knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. I always feel like a valued client.
3) As I've shifted my business plan & needs, they have always been there to provide assistance and advice. Most recently I had a need for a small, fully managed server for just a few specific accounts. Again, they were equal to the task, outlining what they would provide, providing a quick setup, and again exceeding my expecations.
4) They have never been anything short of honest. If there is an issue, they will tell you exactly what the issue is, repair the issue, and get you up and running quickly. I've never had 'Gee, that is not our issue' from them. They just take ownership of the situation and do what is needed. As with any server, downtime cannot be avoided, only the length of the downtime can be controlled. My server has never been down for long, and when it has, they have absolutely been stellar about getting it back up, running normally, and letting me know exactly what the issue was.
With Steadcom, I really feel like I have a partner. With several VPS companies I've been with, I might as well have been on their payroll as much as I had work on the servers. Steadcom knows what FULLY MANAGED means, and typically exceeds my expectations.
It has been one year today that I have had a VPS with JaguarPC. It has been a pleasurable experience.
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Apr 2, 2008
From day one I received prompt curious service from their sales department and support the few times it was needed.
I was overseas on trip to Bulgaria and Turkey right after setting up my VPS. I messed up something just before I left that caused the VPS to crash while I was away. It was my error - I was out of the country and my assistant who knows little about running a VPS was able to get out an email to me in Bulgaria. I opened a ticket with support and gave them my friends email address so they could work with him and that was all it took.
Support had my system up and running in no time even though I messed up.
The VPS has run perfect since. Just recently my VPS was moved from the Houston Data Center to the Atlanta Center. The migration went great and the new server is outstanding. Fast and very responsive. WHM/Cpanel a resource hog as it is loads almost instantaneously now. Two Dual-Core AMD Opteron(tm) 2210 Processors! The VPS has only 8.3% of memory usage with no disk swapping. SATA drives in RAID 10. My old server was always at 46% which still was good.
Regardless of what you may read here from some grippers - you too can have a good experience at JaguarPC.
Right now you can get 15% off for life on a VPS - if you are looking for a powerful server to have a VPS on the current ones Jag is selling are it! (till Feb 15)
I am no employee of JaguarPC just a happy client who wants to tell the truth about my one year anniversary with the company.
The company has a great forum where a good group of old time customers help other customers with installs or whatever with their hosting needs. Even the resident wacko VIN DSL is a big help when he wants to be
They continue to improve all faucets of the company with new ideas and services -that along with the continuous hiring of an excellent team of sales and service personnel as the company grows make it so that I can look forward to another good year at JaguarPC.
Does the hosting industry have a future because IMO the internet is getting faster who knows what the speed will be in 20+ years time, what I am trying to say is surley people will start to host their own sites from their own home.
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Apr 24, 2007
Anyone here using Future Hosting's VPS? How long have you been on it, how is support? Are they stable on uptimes and connections? Does the managed vps mean they will install software for you such as ffmpeg and etc? I am needing a good vps solution for my phpfox website,
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Jul 4, 2007
I'm not having a good experience with Future Hosting. Since January, I've had one disk failure and two power outages. Future Hosting usually gets good reviews, right? But I'm thinking of moving my site to Slicehost. Is this a good move?
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May 24, 2007
Here's my "less than 24 hours" review.
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Nov 24, 2008
I ordered a VPS and within 10 minutes it was setup and I was ready to go. Since then we've had at least 20 communication through tickets/email and they're been great!
Although I wish they had phone and chat support, ticket support works fine. The prices are very reasonable, and I love that they have so many options(control panels, resource amounts, etc.)
I'll reply with a week review, but I have no doubt that it'll be better and better.
I highly recommend Future Hosting, thanks again!
How many people are on future hosting servers and can anyone comment on the performance
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Dec 1, 2008
Last time I had one my loads where very high, access to plesk and ssh was very slow
They have a new offer on, 35% off double ram etc.. seems to good to be true
Id just like to mention that I really appreciate the hosting service you (Future Hosting) provide to me and the work and support that you have assisted me with - I am very gracious and I look forward to future help from you.
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Sep 15, 2008
I thought I should also mention that you are the host I have even been with the longest and you have left the most satisfaction out of the all the hosts I have gone through,
Being able to have a VPS service provided to me and served in a UK datacentre is extremely important to myself and my clients - that is what is so great about Future Hosting, they give you a large choice of selection of datacentre's to choose from when signing up with them!
Dallas special Future Hosting is running and I was curious if anyone has a review of their servers?
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Jul 29, 2008
This is a brief review of my experience with VT6 over the last year.
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May 11, 2007
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.
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.
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Oct 19, 2007
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.
I have had several accounts with Powweb for 5 years now and I thought I would write a brief review of them:
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Aug 15, 2008
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.
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.
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)
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Oct 7, 2009
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
Speed and Bandwidth: 10/10
I will try to share my experience with all of you regarding the company I rent my dedicated servers - Netdirekt.
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May 6, 2009
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.
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.
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Oct 6, 2009
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
3) Customer support responsiveness.
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.
I have been with futurehosting since October 2007 and have had my ups and downs. see my history below:
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Oct 5, 2009
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:
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.
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.
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.
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Oct 27, 2009
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.
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.
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Jan 10, 2009
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.
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!
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Apr 18, 2009
Domain for verification: ....
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.
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Oct 10, 2009
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:
Downtime/Other error: 2/10
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.
I've been with Downtownhost for a little more than a year now, and figured I would share my experiences with others.
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Mar 28, 2009
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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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).
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.
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 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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.