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What Are the Best Web and Email Hosts?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the best-network-service-for-your-bucks dept.

Communications 183

GreyPoopon asks: "My wife has been running a small business for a couple years now. She is currently paying for web hosting services for a domain, but has elected not to put up a web site (she doesn't need more business), instead using the service only for sending and receiving email. Recently, the hosting service has become less and less responsive, and attempts to switch monthly bills to a different credit card have been completely ignored, and she's now looking for a new provider. She's interested in both hosting service providers as well as email-only providers that will allow her to use her existing domain name with up to five mailboxes. What are the best choices, these days?"

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My personal experience from hosting multiple sites (-1)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542455)

I am currently using two Web hosting providers, both for Web and e-mail, that I feel I can recommend. That's out of 5-6 hosting providers that I've used total. DreamHost [] has good plans, almost 99.999% uptime and pretty strong support services. I've been with them for about half a year, and so far have only the best impressions. I sent out a support e-mail once (had some database troubles), and got back a reply within 5 minutes (they don't promise that, but they guarantee a reply within 24 hours). Seems like they have plenty of customers and hence hire dedicated staff for support. Some domains hosted there (if you want to check the traceroute or load speed) - [] , [] .

I've been with VerveHosting [] for about 5 years, they've been hosting my e-mail and provided Web hosting, the same thing - excellent uptimes and timely support, always got a reply within an hour or so in case I had a problem. Also, several times I needed custom Perl modules for the Web server, and all I had to do is ask. Domain hosted on VerveHosting - [] and [] .

There are three others which I won't recommend (one happened to give me a 3-day-in-a-row downtime once), but I don't want to mention their names. WebHostingTalk [] is a great place to look for deals on hosting and read reviews.

From personal experience - I stopped looking for unbeliavably low prices, as those hosters would inevitably be the ones having problems. Good service costs money, and support can be crucial issue, if your site is selling products or selling ads, since every hour of downtime brings lost revenues. The link to DreamHost above is a kickback link (they have an award program for each customer, where the kickback earned goes towards the hosting bill), but other than that I don't profit from the links, and do not work for any of the companies.

Re: You're a naughty one... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11542693)

Way to whore yourself out. I rather than using your link I went to their homepage [] directly. It claims you make $65 CASH for EACH referral. Viewing the referral scheme page gives this info:

Earn $65 CASH for each account you refer! Introducing DreamHost Rewards - the most flexible affiliate program of the web hosting world! You can choose to receive substantial one-time credits for each of your referrals, or recurring credits for every payment that your referrals EVER make to DreamHost! Credits can be paid out via PayPal or check, or applied to a hosting bill with You don't even need to host with us yourself!

So how much money were you hoping to make off Slashdot readers today???

Re: You're a naughty one... (1)

bairy (755347) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542881)

What's wrong with trying to make a little back off the company. It's not like he didn't answer the original question.

Re: You're a naughty one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11543180)


Editors aren't the only ones that should make money off of /. postings.


Re: You're a naughty one... (3, Informative)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543875)

Actually, thanks for pointing out, I was enrolled in their 10% program, which they give out by default.

I was hoping to buy a private jet and retire to a private island with half a dozen of supermodels all thanks to the affiliate link in my Slashdot post, but apparently things might not work out that way.

Anyway, it's a great host, and I would have pointed them out whether they had an affiliate program or not (the other one doesn't, by the way). Since it doesn't cost any more money to those who click on the link, I fail to see the damage.

My apologies if that link in any way offended you.

Re:My personal experience from hosting multiple si (1)

dan.hunt (613949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542833)

Must also answer Dreamhost, especially if you can find someone to share the cost with you. Nothing but excellent service. No kickback for me link to the plan comparisons at Dreamhost. [] Dreamhost has even survived slashdotting! US$8.00 per month when you prepay for 24 months and could be shared with two other domains.

How does Powweb compare? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543758)

I will check and see how Dreamhost compares with Powweb [] . Powweb accounts are $7.77/month and allow "2 Gigs Disk Space (Raid Storage) and 5 Gigs/Day Data Transfer/Bandwidth (per day, not month)."

Re:My personal experience from hosting multiple si (1, Troll)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542846)

I'm also a (mostly) satisfied DreamHost customer. I do wish they would try harder to keep their software up to date. (They're still on Perl 5.6.1, which is not only ancient, but which has severe taint mode [] issues.) And they do dumb stuff like serve their knowledge base over SSL. That said, I have to commend them for a really good control panel system, responsive suport, and extremely good uptime.

The problem with rating hosting providers is that there are so many of them. There are hundreds that consist of a couple of people and a single server. They might start out giving good service, but flake out when their business grows beyond their ability to manage it.

Another problem is that many providers sell a good product -- if your needs happen to match the way they do business. I used to work for a hosting provider that did by people who liked having 24/7 phone support, edit-it-yourself zone files, and other geek friendly features. But they basically screwed over customers who needed a simple "it just works" solutions for web, email, shopping carts, etc. I had some frustating experiences trying to give decent support to this kind of customer, always wishing I could say, "Look, you really need to switch to a more newbie-friendly provider."

Re:My personal experience from hosting multiple si (1)

elemental23 (322479) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543412)

I'll second Dreamhost (if I'm really qualified to after only being with them a few weeks). I moved four domains over there and have been pretty happy with the results. You get multiple domain hosting, huge numbers of mailboxes, shell access, and more.

I'm impressed by their support as well. I e-mailed support asking if it would be possible to get gnutls3 installed so I could use IMAP over TLS/SSL in Mutt from my shell account there. I got a response back within the hour telling me it had been installed and the support tech was going to recommend it for installation on all their shell servers. Not bad.

I do wish their mailing lists were set up a little better, but I suppose that's more a limitation of Mailman than anything else.

Re:My personal experience from hosting multiple si (1)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543582)

I've been with Dreamhost for almost 6 years and I second everything positive said about them thus far. I started out paying $9.95 a month. I upgraded quite some time ago to a $19.95/month plan. Since then, that plan has been upped to over 5x the bandwidth, 10x the storage and a whole host of other upgrades... while I pay nothing more. Plus, I pay by the year so I get a pretty spiffy discount. Their support is also top-notch. I even had a couple of the techs on my ICQ list for a while and they'd help me at a moment's notice.

Re:My personal experience from hosting multiple si (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11544087)

I've also used Verve Hosting for... 4 sites now -- and I'm very happy with them.

Re:My personal experience from hosting multiple si (1)

hbo (62590) | more than 9 years ago | (#11544091)

I fourth or fifth or whatever Dreamhost. I've only been with them for six months, but they keep upping bandwith, mailboxes and other stuff for new accounts. Every time they do that, they give the same boost to existing customers! Nice touch. Then they told me about a recent flaw in Movable Type that I would have twigged to fairly soon anyway. But that's the first time a hosting provider has been out in front of something like that in my experience, going back to '94 with such businesses. Another cool thing about that warning is, they stated that after a certain period, vulnerable MT installations would be turned off by them to protect the rest of us shared host users. Bravo!

If you want to sign up based on my recommendation, tell 'em sent you. And screw the anti-referral police!

godaddy (1)

dudifeuer (104229) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542464)

I've been using godaddy - they are very cheap, responsive, and have pretty good customer service. The only issue I've had is there times when you would want a shell and can't get one....also, the free e-mail accounts only come with 10 MB of mail, but the for-pay ones come with tons more.

Re:godaddy (1)

Syris (129850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542613)

I'll add a vote for godaddy [] . I use their email and domain services and haven't had a problem in two years.

Their email is pretty nice. For $20 a year you get 5 email addresses, 1GB of space to divide up any way you want among them, and webmail(with spam filters).

Re:godaddy (1)

Great_Jehovah (3984) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543119)

I recently had a problem with godaddy for domain hosting. I had the domain set up to point to my own DNS servers and it was spontaneously reset to point to their default DNS servers. It was easy enough to set it back but they have yet to respond to my request for an explanation.

Yes, but can GoDaddy be trusted? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543861)

I use GoDaddy, but only because I can't find anything better. Every GoDaddy web page is so cluttered with ads for things of dubious value that I believe that they cannot be trusted. They seem to try to take advantage of the ignorance of people who are new to domains and web hosting.

Why aren't there more "do no harm" companies like Google?

Recommendation: Stay away from They've had amazingly serious problems for a long time, such as not forwarding email, and their technical support gives no explanation.

Re:Yes, but can GoDaddy be trusted? (1)

Joe Mucchiello (1030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11544259)

I've used GoDaddy for almost 3 years now based on one of the prior times this was asked on slashdot. They are cheap and their customer service is smart, fast and free. Even their 1st tier support staff asks the right questions and quickly can determine if they are in over their head.

lux scientiae (1)

josecanuc (91) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542480)

I use Lux Scientiae,, for email-only hosting, though they do offer web hosting as well.

I've been very pleased with the service. It's inexpensive, and has a very good spam/virus filter provided by MXlogic.

I'd provide my email address so anyone who chooses them could put me as a referral, but that doesn't seem ethical to me :-)

one choice (1)

Glog (303500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542483)

You can try yahoo - it will allow you to use your own domain to send email from. And it's extremely cheap at $34.95/year. Here is the link [] . If you want you can always upgrade to a full hosting service later.

OpenHosting.Com (1)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542488)

[Warning, below is a shameless plug, but that's what the question was].

Well, in one of our OpenVPS [] based accounts, you'd do something like:

$ ssh
$ su -
# service httpd stop
# chkconfig httpd off
# ^D
$ ^D

And viola - just mail and no web for about $27/month. There is no limit on how many accounts you host, host a million if you want for as long as you pay the bandwidth. AND there is no restriction on what mail server you run - if you prefer qmail or exim over sendmail, just go ahead and install it, same is true for any server-side spam control you prefer or just about any (legal) software for that matter.

Re:OpenHosting.Com (1)

mebob (57853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543212)

How are they speed/latency/throughput wise?
or other apps like FTP, bittorrent(legal of course)?

Re:OpenHosting.Com (2, Informative)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543499)

How are they speed/latency/throughput wise?

The servers fast SMP/RAID machines in a carrier-class datacenter (east coast). The server hardware is shared, of course (it's a virtual server after all), but Linux VServer will always give you notably better performance than User-Mode Linux VPS. Speed-wise Virtuozzo-based hosters may give you similar peroformance, but they usually clamp down resources very low and do you really want to support a proprietary software company that is likely violating the GPL [] ?

or other apps like FTP, bittorrent(legal of course)?

We don't care what apps you run, we provide a virtual server, you install/compile/run what you like. bittorent will surely run up a large bandwidth bill though ;-)

Re:OpenHosting.Com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11543388)

And viola

So is tailored toward musicians [] ?

Re:OpenHosting.Com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11543896)

And viola
So is tailored toward musicians?

Yes, that, an for lovers too! :)

It's really pennies (1, Informative)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542489)

I use Yes, it's more expensive ($40/year for domain + email, use promo code "domaindeal"), but really I know I'm paying for convenience. $40 is about what I'd spend on a typical night out on the town or about 2 DVDs or 1 day of minimum wage work (in the US). Rather than getting a cheap service, I get a reliable service that has free 24/7 phone support.

If you were a spammer or something, scalability to large ammounts of e-mail addresses and cheapness in bulk would be important (godaddy is great for this). But really, what % of your operating expenses is $40?

DotEasy (1)

taijirad (584518) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542523)

I've been using doteasy [] for several years now. The service has always been consistent, and my interaction with their accounting people has been good.

DotEasy has a hosting option that will supply up to 10 email addresses and 20mb of web space for $0 a month, which seems perfeect for what you're looking to do. I have several accounts hosted on this plan, and it has worked wonderfully. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542524)

I don't use this company as I host my own email server (and always have). However, I have heard a few good comments about them and they serve email needs of all levels - from individuals and small businesses to corporations and community groups. Webmail, POP, IMAP, etc.

I can't reccommend them, since I've never had any experience, but I would suggest you check their site out and see if it sounds suitable for your needs: [] (3, Informative)

rueger (210566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542541)

I have been hosted by Magma Communications [] in Ottawa for many years and have nothing but praise for their support and service. Not the cheapest company but superb service and extremely reliable.

Great spam filtering too!

Smaller, Non-faceless companies (1)

osobear (761394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542559)

My best experiences have always been with smaller companies that have fewer clients and can give VERY personalized support.

One in particular that I've used for a few years is Dragonfort [] .

Re:Smaller, Non-faceless companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11542681)

I say just the oppoosite. Places like Dragonfort try to crame as many people onto a server as possible. It's how they bring their price down to insane levels.

Good Web and Email Host (1)

Eclipce (646000) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542560)

Worldzone Pro [] is quite nice. I have been using them for a few years now. Plus they have support forums, are very helpful, and are very open about what is going on.

Astroturf? (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542571)

Man, if there was ever a Slashdot article where damn near 100% of the comments are going to be astroturf, this is it.

what about you? (1)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542578)

My preferred host is me. Although your requirements may not allow it, consider doing it yourself. If you have a good broadband connection and a reliable box, running your own email and web services is not that difficult. I started doing it as a hobby just to see if I could and it turned out to be fairly easy to set up a server with Apache, Exim, Cyrus and SSH for access. The only major difficulty I had was once when a hard drive went bad and I was really busy with my full-time job and couldn't bring it back up for a couple of days.

Re:what about you? (1)

allden (748789) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542628)

Isn't self hosting a costly proposition? You have to go for a ISP that provides you a static IP and allows you to host websites - that costs big bucks.

Re:what about you? (1)

NNKK (218503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543002)

Not so much, no, not if you're in the US and in range of your telco CO.

One word: Speakeasy.

Re:what about you? (1)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543454)

If you want to run your own mail server with very little hassle, check out ClarkConnect [] . Their 3.0 version just came out and looks really cool. I've used their 2.1 and can verify that it is really simple to run.

2 comments (2, Insightful)

dJCL (183345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542585)

If you want reliability, hop over to and check their list of most reliable hosting providers. Then just get some hosting from them.

Cheap, but with control, try something that gives you shell/root access. I would recommend (29.95/month dedicated servers) but their ip range is in a globally spam blocked range - almost no one will get your mail. Otherwise I recommend linode - no spam issues, and scalable usage options.

Of course this is based on the assumption that you are willing to setup your own mail server - if not, well many of the other messages here should help some.

I second the suggestion of Linode (2, Informative)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543925)

Linode is great! You get to select which Linux distro you want to use and you get full control over it, including root and the ability to install software or even upgrade your kernel. Yes, it's on a shared server, but it looks and behaves as if you had your own dedicated machine.

A web host . . . (1)

Dausha (546002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542586)

I recommend I have been with them for a about 15 months. Good, responsive service, unlimited email accounts, web mail & a host of tools. 3Gb of online storage. Only ten dollars per month, with month-to-month service. Additionally, one of my clients hosted with them and had to do a credit card change. It was painless. When I started with them they were a bit shaky, but they have only improved.

Finally, they offer both RedHat Linux boxes and Winders.

I hate XO (1)

TracerRX (775473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542591)

I used to use XO.. They were HORRIBLE! Forget customer Service. Now use OpenSourceHost [] and they have been great.... Full cPanel Setup, PHP, MySQL, webmail or POP mail... Rare to find a provider whom has regularly increased bandwidth/disk quotas for the same price as the price decreased to themselves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11542593)

Just a satisfied customer. Low prices, prompt and pleasant service, and appear to be pretty flexible. (1)

LiNT_ (65569) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542604)

I've been very happy with Lux Scientae [] . They were one of the few companies I could find that offered all of the email features I needed for multiple domains that I own. They do web hosting as well but I haven't used that. (1)

josecanuc (91) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542682)

I second LuxSci. Incredible technical support -- I get 1 hour responses all the time, even on weekends and holidays.

Support is through a web-based ticket system OR regular email OR Instant Messaging! (1)

crow (16139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542611)

I've been happy with for my hosting.

It's about $6/month with a basic FTP account, which includes 5 mailboxes. You can set up procmail filters, and there's a web interface for common filtering needs.

For mail only, (1)

Pegasus (13291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542615)

try [] . I hear nothing but good about them.

Re:For mail only, (1)

davco9200 (13848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543529)

Mod up! I use them for personal mail (all my domain mail goes to them) and they also have a great web client (thin-and-fast) as well as support IMAP as the default. I love them and have used them for about 2 yearse.

Fastmail (3, Interesting)

h3 (27424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542618)

If I was in the market for email-only hosting, I'd be looking at Fastmail [] . I have a free account with them right now and I've been impressed with their professionalism.

LowestHosting (1)

coachvince (760294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542624)

I've had a good experience with , though their e-mail space is a bit small. Also, I'm not sure if it's possible to expand your e-mail/web storage past their defaults - 100mb web, 50 mb databases, 50 mb e-mail.

I put my personal site on there, and then used them to set up e-mail for my employer and

I haven't had any downtime with them, and although I expected their customer service to be sparse, they actually responded promptly and accurately when I had technical questions (of course, I had made effort to find info on my own first; they may have appreciated that). I'd switch my employer's actual website to them, but I'm getting far more web storage with the current host, who charges a high rate for the OFFICIAL capacity, but I've had over 650 Mb of files on the website and never had an issue storage-wise. Of course, we have 3-4 day outages every other month or so ( is that host - use at your own risk).

1and1 (3, Informative)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542632)

I've been using a small mom and pop for the last 5 years, but as the prices keep dropping and limited disk space (50 megs), I decided to find a new one last month. [] seems ok, best price ive seen, so far fast, and the cheapest server hosting for 49 dollars a month I've seen. Seen their ads in magazines, figured for that good of a price why not try it out.

The plan I went with for 20 a month has 5 domains, 200 subdomains, 3 mysql, web email, 4000 megs disk space (Guess not a real 4gigs ;), 100gigs transfer, admin website, and shell account. Everything is automated, i transfered 2 domains and had them up by next morning. They also offer 5 dollar domain registration. I suspect they keep prices low by keeping everything automated, the mysql accounts (On firewalled db servers) had random username/passwords on different db hosts. I havnt tried the webmail or ssl, but they say its include.
The only drawback, no irc bots or chat servers. So I cant host a Teamspeak on them, but they might offer it, I need to ask.

I also think you have to be a little technical savey if they are truely automated, you must be your own tech support.

I play on moving some domains from if this goes well for a few months. Im just hosting gamer guilds and forums on them.

Only snag I hit was ADOdb for phpnuke isnt installed by default, and I havnt spent the time to try to get it to install it its own directory.

If anyone has any info on 1and1, please post it, i didnt find much negative feedback on usenet.

Re:1and1 (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542757)

I should also mention, the other one I was thinking of going with after some research was [] they had good packages, and did mention CMS support which I use. But they had a little less disk space. They appear to be one of the largest registar's also in a few surveys ive seen.

Re:1and1 (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543330)

I can't speak as to their hosting, but Dotster is a great registrar. A little tricky to navigate their site, but you get used to it pretty fast.

Their front page is way too busy, but I've referred everyone that I know to them, and no one's had a single bad experience. No stolen domains (domain locking is on by default) reasonable prices ($15us/yr for .com/net/org, and it only cost me $10 to transfer from netsol to Dotster, when Netsol wanted $35/yr).

If their hosting is anything like I've found their other business to be, I'd consider giving it a try.

Re:1and1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11542893)

Oh yea, when looking at CMS and tikiwiki, I found this url. lyHosts []

Thats why I finally tried 1and1.

Re:1and1 (1)

deadweight (681827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543328)

I use them with no problem. Your plan sounds quite expensive though. For $19.95, they give you: Includes 5 domains at no additional cost! 4,000 MB web space 100 GB monthly transfer volume 1,000 e-mail accounts Virus Guard & Spam Guard for all accounts 1&1 WebMail 3 MySQL databases Dedicated SSL Certificate Advanced Developer Tools More information

Re:1and1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11543443)

Your plan sounds quite expensive though. For $19.95, they give you: Includes 5 domains at no additional cost! 4,000 MB web space 100 GB monthly transfer volume 1,000 e-mail accounts Virus Guard & Spam Guard for all accounts 1&1 WebMail 3 MySQL databases ...

Good gods! Go back and reread the parent's post!

20 a month ... 5 domains ... 3 mysql ... 4000 megs disk space ... 100gigs transfer ...

This takes lack of reading to a whole new level. - 7$ a month for web and email (1)

Jjeff1 (636051) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542646)

I setup my mom's web site for a little ballet school years ago on [] . Rates have never increased and over time they've bumped up my disk space allotment. My mom also pays for the site 1 year at a time, which shaves 8% off the price. That includes hosting a domain, 5 email boxes, 200 MB disk space and 3G/month transfer. You only serve up static web pages, and access the site via FTP only. But for a web site with 6 pages and 10 pictures it works great. I think I had to talk to their tech support once, they were pretty good, but that was years ago. I've also used them for a couple other small places, and never had any problems. As far as I can tell, it just works. - 7$ a month for web and email (2, Informative)

Somegeek (624100) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543046)

Ditto for I have been using them for about 5 years.

I used to work for a small ISP so I know the challenges that a small Mom and Pop shop face, and for serious redundancy they have a hard time competing with the big players.

I tried a number of other hosts with various sucess before I settled on They are a little more expensive then the really budget places but you get what you pay for.

As well as backup diesel generators and power systems etc., they have redundant connections to most of the big providers so they never miss a beat. If their oc-12 to AT&T goes down they have other oc-12's to sprint, global crossing, gigE to Savis, etc.

They are very open about the status of their network; you can always check the status of their network connections or any of their servers.

In the last 5 years with them I don't think they have raised my fees once, but the traffic they allow me has increased by an order of magnitude over that time. I can't say enough good about them.

I recommend Summersault: (1)

markjugg (21992) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542667)

I recommend Summersault [] : I co-founded this business about 8 years ago. We built up our hosting business slowly with reasonable prices and great customer service.

Until we upgraded the OS recently, we had 480 days uptime [] on our primary web server.

I use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11542694)

I currently use for my hosting, and what I like is that I can tie multiple domain names to my package and can then point each domain name to its own folder. In addition I can setup mailboxes / forwards to any of the domains I have pointing there. I should also say I am on the free preview they were offering in fall 2003 so I can not tell you package prices but what I have seen is inline with everyone else I have seen. If you want to check em out they do have a 6 month free business plan trial going on now, the link for it is:;js essionid=E4F40E525DAD49DEFD89A6F8FF280D90.TC63a []

The problem with hosting (4, Interesting)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542698)

BTW, many people don't realize how web hosting companies work and how they're able to offer dirt-cheap hosting. Most of the very cheap hosts are a kind of a ponzi scheme - they run an unsustainable business, but because people prepay for a year of service, they get pretty good revenue for as long as new customers are signing up.

Thus it's in their interest to get you to pay upfront, then they could not care less about you. Most of these companies are operated by similar type of people who send spam - the make-a-quick-buck-on-the-internet crowd.

Back when I used to work for a large ISP, we had a few customers that simply dissapeared - they were running these cheap hosting companies, and when they felt they had enough money in the bank they just abandoned their colocated servers in the racks, stopped paying the bills, disconnected their phone, etc. Which is probably what happened to the original poster's hosting service.

Re:The problem with hosting (3, Interesting)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542821)

You are correct, never pay yearly, NEVER. I've worked at ISP's that do this to keep afloat. ( ahem...

The most you should ever pay is first/last, and no setup fee for webhost. And if co-locating a server, look at normal prices, ive seen anywhere from 99 on up. Be careful.

Re:The problem with hosting (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543010)

Nonsense. If you don't trust your hosting provider to be around in a year, you shouldn't go near them. If your site is at all important to you, you need to look for a company with a solid reputation. If it has that, then you're perfectly safe paying them a year in advance. And if it doesn't, you're wasting all the money you do give them -- there's no point in having a web site if you can't count on its availability.

Fuitadnet (1)

x00101010x (631764) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542699)

I'm using Fuitadnet for my stuff and it seems pretty good. Found them from a popular online comic, so they seem to be able to handle moderate load.
It's cheap and the support over IRC is great.
They also have reseller accounts if you'd like to resell their hosting to your own customers.

Re:Fuitadnet (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542949)

I second that. The service has been great so far. My only problems were encountered at the start, there was some pretty serious lag time to get my account set up, apparently they were pretty understaffed at the time. But the true test is whether you need to contact them for support, and for myself I found that once my account was set up I've never had anything to complain about. :) Awesome prices, great service, tons of administrative options. Best bang for the buck out there, imho.

Re:Fuitadnet (1)

Fenis-Wolf (239374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543343)

Please, don't get sucked into them. I host several accounts with Fuitadnet. A year ago they were awesome, the best webhost I'd ever used. But then they were bought out, and it went way down hill. The support sucks unless you speak Hindi. I swear their English gets worse every time I have to talk to support (which is often!).

Re:Fuitadnet (1)

x00101010x (631764) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543408)

After looking at some of the other providers posted, I'd like to point out a few things...
  1. starting package is around $5/mo
  2. includes Gigs of storage, not megs
  3. tens of Gigs of bandwidth, not Gigs
  4. can bring your own DNS service or use theirs
  5. cPanel, FTP, SSL POP3
After looking at other services posted I was surprised, i thought it was just my customers getting ripped off by paying over $5/mo for less than a gig, often less than 100MB of storage and only 1 to 3GB of bandwidth. Guess Fuitadnet really is a good deal if even /.'ers are paying more for less.

Re:Fuitadnet (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 9 years ago | (#11544111)

They're pretty good, yeah. Lots of administrative options, mysql databases, etc. Can have a lot of email accounts too (which means it's a good thing they give you tons of space). I have an online comic, so the bandwidth was the main attractor for me.

webhosting (1)

Ninadene (803124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542761)

I use unlimited email accounts plus nicely cheap domain hosting (even though she doesnt need a web site you can always use it for hosting pics of the kids =)

Re:webhosting (1)

sargon (14799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11544193)

I will second the Hostony recommendation. Good tech support when I have a problems (which has been rare), good prices, good service all around.

I asked them about moving my SMTP port to tcp/26 (to get around the port-25 blocks which some providers have configured), and they had it done in 10 minutes.

They offer SSL SMTP and SSL POP3.

Good people, good service.

Are you serious? (1, Insightful)

Yankel (770174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542766)

Who let this post through? What's there to ask here -- this is just a chance to plug one of a thousand ISPs. There are tons of forums dedicated to this. Why waste the space on /.? When it comes to choosing an ISP for business hosting there are way too many factors to consider: 1. How complex will your website be? 2. Will you be using a local or web-based e-mail client? 3. What other services are you looking for (site metrics, content management, spam filtering, etc.) 4. What's the service agreement for technical support (from general services to downtime)? 5. do you want stability, like your local telephone or cable carrier or, are you willing to risk things wiht Joe Hosting? Heck, the list goes on for ages. If you're a technophile, you'll need less than someone who needs his or her hand held the entire way. Seriously, you get what you pay for. Don't cheap out, but don't get drawn in by the bells and whistles either.

Linux/BSD or Windows Based? (1)

Rolan (20257) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542783)

For my Linux/BSD hosting I use CSoft [] . For my windows based hosting I use Tactical Systems [] . I've been very happy with both. I've been with CSoft for something like 5+ years now, and with TS for about a year.

Note: Neither link above has any kind of referer or affiliate junk, just straight links to their websites.

Re:Linux/BSD or Windows Based? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542817)

I'v heard complaints about CSoft, but I've been happy with them for several years now.

Re:Linux/BSD or Windows Based? (1)

Rolan (20257) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543416)

I've seen two people complain, ever. I'd say that's really a pretty good track record, and the complaints they've described (Generaly against Customer Service) are things I've never seen. I've been in contact with their CS a dozen times or so (both technical and sales) over various things I wanted to do, but needed their assistance with. They were always polite, and very fast.

The only problem I ever knew them having was 4 or 5 years ago when they had some problems with their upstream provider's DNS servers. The server problems prevented their domain name from being resolved for a short period. Otherwise, I've always had very stable service from them. (1)

David_Reno (17956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542795)

I've been very happy with

They have great technical faqs ( giving all the details that you need to make your services work.

I've since transitioned to my own server, but I recommend futurequest to those that ask.

I use EasyCGI (1)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542843)

My site [] uses Easy CGI [] . They have email only plans that include 50 addresses on your own domain for under $5/month.

My hosting package is $8/month, and includes 3GB of space, and 50GB of bandwidth/month. It includes the .Net framework, and mySQL.

EasyCGI []

One For MS, One For PHP (1)

wizarddc (105860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542850)

I currently use for my MS/.Net hosting, and have an account with for some php/mysql hosting. Both do web and email, both have a nice back end control panel, both have been rock solid reliability wise, both are fairly cheap, and both have been good with regards to service response, i.e. responding to questions and emails. So, depending on your needs, I would definitely suggest the above two hosts.

Anyone tried .Mac? (1)

nathanmace (839928) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542871)

I don't know much about the service, and the Ask /. post didn't say one way or the other about Mac's or PC's. But has anyone tried .Mac for personal use? How is it? I'm thinking of signing up. Just wonder if anyone cared to comment on the web hosting and email part of it.

PowWeb (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542873)

Powweb [] works pretty well.

They only have ONE plan though.

2GB storage, 5GB (daily) transfer
$7.77 a month

Frontpage, email, php, mysql they have all that included.

Re:PowWeb (1)

whoseon3rd (45329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543608)

I use Powweb as well, and never had any problems. (going on three years now)

AffordableHost (1)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 9 years ago | (#11542972)

I've been using AffordableHost [] for years, and I'm very happy with it.

Some good ones... (1)

orion41us (707362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543034)

Verio has some nice windows hosting solutions, so does existhosting.

Verio is in my experiance more mature, they have a better tech support staff and respond the quickest. they also provide MS-SQL server DB's and mySQL, as well as ODBC drivers and support.

existhosting is realy cheap: $6.50/mo for a linux account, 7.50 for windows 2003, mysql is included and for the windows hosting and all the goodies...

WebHostingTalk (1)

helmutjd (568988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543055)

I'd pop over to WebHostingTalk [] and check out the reviews for any host you're considering.

In general, you can get a pretty good feel for a host by what's been said about them at WHT. Many hosting co's also actively post at WHT, so you can often see what their support staff is like as well. has been good to me. (1)

asimulator (610334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543120) [] . They're quite reliable - i've had to ask for support only once or twice and they were pretty responsive. They don't do phone support though. For $9.95 per month per domain, I'm pretty happy.

Virtual Servers are cheap (1)

chipperdog (169552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543134)

I have a BSD jail account from [] for about $15/mo. for 1GB disk and 20GB transfer - they have an unmetered account for $35/mo. You have root access to your own virtual server, with your own IP address, and can compile what ever you want for mail and www servers.

i like (1)

drfrog (145882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543161)

they are canadian and they host postgresql

My recommendation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11543201)

I recommend FreeHost [] . They are very reputable, as you can see by their domain name. You can sign up here [] .

Don't forget Simpli! (1)

hrbrmstr (324215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543219)

Owned and operated by /.'s very own SlashChick [] , [] does both hosting and co-location.

I've heard great things about the tech support and they are fanatical about helping their customers.

I'm also for (1)

Ubertech (21428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543265)

I'm not plugging for referrals, I just like them. They have good service for cheap. Period.

I switched to them a few years ago. In that time, I've only had to contact them 2 or 3 times and always got a fast response.

Check them out. []

Good luck.

I have tried several (1)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543344)

and by far, the best is readysetconnect [] . I tried wholemilk, liquidweb,, Xlan, and several others with my many domains.

Most hosts have their own personal strengths and weakness, like for example, is fantastic if you want a Scoop site, but not as good if you need to have immediate support available. is completely reliable, but their plans suck.

Take my advice - go for whomever you want, but make sure they use cPanel. It's WELL worth it, and you can pretty much control your own destiny.

DreamHost (2, Informative)

nullspace (11532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543348)

DreamHost [] . This is hands-down the best web/email hosting service. I have used them for four years. They primarily run Debian servers and have a easy-to-use web interface for changing options on your web/email account.

They have a long history [] and have been in business since 1997.

mail-only options (1)

winterdrake (823887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543363)

Gmail, and configure mail forwarding on the domain.

Westhost (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543385)

I host my website at the Utah-based WestHost. It offers GNU/Linux-based VPS (near root access) on all shared hosting packages, and the prices are good. Their support department does a good job answering quickly, too. They even provide a forum where customers can discuss.

mailman hosting (1)

joshmccormack (75838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543401)

I need to host some lists, so need a recommendation on hosting. I'm thinking mailman, but open to others. Doesn't need to provide POP email addresses or web hosting, I'm willing to farm those out to other companies, if necessary.

Don't want to have to pay for a whole box, want the ability to start up new lists and have some control over them - at least be able to alter moderation and stuff on them.


My experience (and a great email host) (2, Interesting)

mschuermann1979 (855457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543478)

I've used Dreamhost for over a year now, and have been consistently impressed with them, especially for webhosting. They actively work to upgrade their services, and they've increased space and transfer amounts several times over the year (often doubling).

If you want a plain email only hoster, though, I'd definitely check out They offer an email hosting package for $0.99/month (yes, 99 cents) that includes 5 mailboxes with 1GB space each and IMAP or POP access. Definitely one of the best deals around for email only.

I've used, they're OK for email hosting, but they're quite expensive comparatively and weren't real fast with support requests.

Slashmail (1)

booch (4157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543548)

For just webmail, you should check out Slashmail [] . They have a high level of security, and can host your email domain for just $14/year. It's run by some friends on mine, and they've done a good job of putting it together using Open Source packages. I use it just to offload the spam filtering work to them. (1)

MikeSweetser (163852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543790) []

Yeah, it's my own company, but it's a good one, I think :)

$6.95 per month, enough space and mail for you, plus we can come up with a special deal if you need something other than what we have. We have an anime mascot. Check us out :)

When possible, self-hosting works real well (1)

jht (5006) | more than 9 years ago | (#11543799)

If you have a good, reliable broadband connection from an ISP like Speakeasy [] , then you can probably set up a small server and handle your own e-mail and hosting. So long as you don't need rocket science, you'll get really good results. You just need to have an ISP that gives you a static IP (ideally) and has an AUP that allows you to run servers.

If you do that, then good options for the hosting OS itself would be either the SME Server (from [] ), or the new version of Clark Connect that just came out this week ( [] - I use the commercial version for my home server). If you're not serving up tons of dynamic content a fairly small PC and relatively low-bandwidth DSL line will give you really good results. I also use ZoneEdit [] for my DNS and backup MX service - that way with backup MX even if I'm down for a while I won't miss any mail and I'll just get it despooled when I come back up.

Another option potentially would be to use a Mac Mini with the 10-user version of MacOS X Server - that'd give you a nice turnkey server for about $1k. But it won't give you spam controls, which both the Linux distros I mentioned above will do. And day-to-day admin of both SME and ClarkConnect are real easy - in fact, ClarkConnect will take care of automatically providing all your updates when you buy the commercial (and cheap) version. They'll also do e-mail antivirus and give you what ZoneEdit offers as an ASP service - though it's not cheap.

Re:When possible, self-hosting works real well (1)

Gherikill (825515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11544108)

The only problem with self hosting is that your website will not always be found by search engines. Often ISPs will register Domain names to every ip they own. SO if you do a tracrt you may not get your domain but a dummy domain that your ISP has set to that IP.

It must be said. (1)

Assembler (151753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11544004)

I've been very happy with [] for web hosting. PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, is the stuff I use. Oh, they have https too.

My favorite thing is that they have a subversion client running on the ssh service they provide, so all you have to do is 'svn up' to upload all your changes. No monthly fee, just pay bandwidth and storage ($1/gig x-fer, $0.01/meg storage/month)

Hurricane Electric (1)

Daniel Boisvert (143499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11544205)

They're absurdly good. I've used them since 2000 or so, and have continued to use them instead of taking up offers from friends to host me for free.

Yes, they're that good. See my posting history for a longer review. I'd link you myself, but Slashdot seems to enjoy giving me 503 Service Unavailable messages today.

ixWebHosting (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11544209)

I have had good experiences with ix Web Hosting [] since I started hosting my domains with them. The only real 24/7 tech support that I have found, with nice american (as in, not indians speaking engrish) techs the few times I have had a problem with site configuration.
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