Review SummaryUpdated: July 12, 2020
- Comparatively low prices for the resources and features you get
- Transparent pricing without high renewal rates
- Free website migration services
- Free managed support for VPS and dedicated server customers
- No setup fees with any type of hosting
- Flexible billing terms
- Wide range of operating system and control panel choices for dedicated servers
- Most control panels cost extra for dedicated servers
- No free backups for VPS or dedicated servers
Shared Hosting Review
Best for Portfolio and Basic websites
Interestingly, Interserver provides only a single hosting plan for customers, and it’s an ideal solution for bloggers and small businesses to launch their first website and grow their online presence.
While the plans offer unlimited storage, data transfer, emails, and FTP accounts. There are limitations in place that restrict the size or type of website you’re looking to host. This is outlined in Interservers terms of service and essentially states that accounts must not: 1. use more than 20% of server resources, 2. host an excess of 250,000 inodes (files), and 3. host streaming or file upload type sites.
These types of conditions are standard industry practice to ensure overall server security and stability, it’s a shared hosting environment after all. What’s more, Interserver actually offers a higher limit on the number of inodes you can host than most competitors, meaning you get more storage. If you’re ever worried about exceeding these limits, you’ll always be able to upgrade your hosting plan to one of Interservers VPS or Dedicated plans.
Hardware-wise, Interservers shared hosting environment utilizes high-speed, SSD hard drives with RAID 10 redundancy. RAID optimized drives work by protecting your data in case of any hardware failure.
Moreover, their shared hosting is also based on cPanel which is one of the top hosting panels around. On top of being simple and easy to use, it also gives you access to hundreds of web hosting applications that can be installed with one click thanks to Softaculous.
Price-wise, Interserver’s shared hosting is significantly cheaper than the market average, which is made especially good considering the plan comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth. Some entry-level hosting plans can cost double or triple this price.
Another big bonus with Interserver’s prices are also locked-in for as long as your account is active, meaning your rates will never go up. With no contracts, you can cancel or change your plan at any time.
On top of that, renewal prices are extremely transparent with Interserver. Typically, hosting provides lure in new customers with extremely low new customer discounts, only to surprise them with a renewal rate that’s sometimes double or triple the price. With Interserver, the price you pay today will be the price you pay when your term renews. We find this to be a great feature of their advertised pricing.
Interserver also offers a lot of the benefits you’ll typically find with most hosting providers. Such as a 30-day money-back guarantee on hosting, further discounts on annual plans, and no additional setup fees.
Unfortunately, your domain registration isn’t included for free like with most other hosts. However, registering a domain is heavily discounted to $1.99 per year if you sign up for a minimum 3-month or more term. You’d normally expect to pay $8-$12 when registering a .COM domain. Finally, Whois domain privacy is also cheaper than usual at $5 per year. On average, both of these cost around $10 to $14 each.
Additional Features & Benefits
Intershield is a suite of security tools provided for free with Interserver’s shared hosting plans. It’s supposed to automatically block web attacks and scan for viruses and other malware.
It’s a “smart” security suite that uses a machine-learning firewall to automatically detect any possible threats and to apply countermeasures across their servers ASAP. It also maintains a malware database to be able to respond to any threats. You can read more about how it works here. While other hosts usually offer well-known third-party security suites like SiteLock or Bitninja, Intershield certainly sounds impressive.
Cloudflare CDN (Freemium Features)
Interserver customers will also have the free benefit of the Cloudflare CDN. It’s one of the best content delivery networks which will speed up your website to visitors all over the world. Cloudflare also provides some protection from DDoS attacks.
However, they’ve also spiced things up with their own set of features called “Inter-Proxy” to provide an extra layer of performance and security improvements:
Caching via the LSCache software
QUIC for sped up package delivery
Storing small files in RAM
Sector level hot spot caching via LSI MegaRaid SSD caching
While most other hosts also offer Cloudflare, Interserver’s Inter-Proxy is an exception.
Overall, Interserver is one of the most value-for-money shared hosting providers around. While, you could get cheaper first-term deals elsewhere, but your renewal fees will most likely be significantly more expensive.
While plans are inclusive of all the essential features for a basic blog or business site, where users may find a trade-off in value for money is in the level of scalability between plans. If you decide to stick with Interserver once you outgrow their shared hosting plan, you’ll be jumping straight into cloud-based hosting. While this isn’t bad at all, some users may only ever need to stay in a shared hosting environment.
Pro Hosting (Reseller Hosting)
Best for businesses hosting multiple client websites.
Interservers reseller hosting provides an economical and scalable solution for both businesses and freelancers. Packages include useful features to help streamline your team’s workflow in creating and managing client sites and provide your clients with the same essential features that can be found in Interservers Shared Web Hosting plan.
As we mentioned earlier, Interserver provides each client account with the same great hosting, security, and performance features found in the shared hosting plans. With some of the best features being:
- Softaculous Script Installer
- Intershield Security: Protection from malware infections and automated attacks.
- Cloudflare CDN + Inter-Proxy Caching
- Weekly Site Backups
- Free Domain
- ‘Lets Encrypt’ SSL Certificate
- Free website migration
- InterInsurance: Cleanup of any compromised, hacked, or exploited accounts during site migration.
Where the packages differ however is that you’ll now be allocated limits around your overall storage capacity. While this removes the unlimited storage and email accounts, you can still expect to host most basic clients’ websites with ease, allowing 3.5GB to 4GB of allocated storage per client, if all cPanel accounts were utilized.
For client management, Interserver provides WHMCS free with all plans, putting you in complete control of billing your clients. You can set your own price as well as the available billing terms – completely independent of your own account.
WHMCS also allows you to automate sending invoices and billing so that you can focus on your business. To really round out your service, you can even set up support channels as well as resell domain names for your clients’ websites.
Price-wise, Interservers rates for reseller hosting are comparatively lower than most for included resources. There are also no additional setup fees like some other resellers, even if you opt for a monthly plan. You can also expect a lower monthly cost on your hosting with the annual plans.
Finally, customers may appreciate the fact the reseller plans are full white-label service. There is no Interserver branding whatsoever, so you can truly sell the service as your own product. While this is common with most hosts, it’s a great inclusion nonetheless. If you’re looking for a private Unique IP address or DNS with your plan, these can be purchased at $3-$5/month respectively, on top of the regular rate.
Where customers may find the plans to be lacking when it comes to included cPanel account and Bandwidth limits. Interserver’s premiere plan, RS Five, allows up to 70 cPanel accounts and up to 2,000GB monthly bandwidth. Compared to some of their top competitors, this is quite low, and you’ll be able to secure a package with unmetered bandwidth and unlimited cPanel accounts with other providers for a similar. That being said, do expect hosts that provide this type of service to have a fair usage policy in place.
Cloud VPS Hosting Review
Best for: High Traffic and Fast Growing sites
Each type of hosting comes with 16 different configurations. These resources are flexible and you can request to upgrade or downgrade any of them individually at any time. This is way more versatility than most VPS providers offer with most of them limiting you to preconfigured setups.
Resources range from 1 to 16 CPU cores, 2 to 23 GB RAM, 20 to 480 GB SSD storage, and 2 to 32 TB of data transfer. So, with SSD storage, you have the same high-performance infrastructure. Databases are also unloaded to private environments so they don’t affect the server performance.
Interserver’s cloud hosting uses KVM, Openvz, Virtuozzo, and Hyper-v virtualization technologies. These are some of the best and most secure technologies that allow Interserver to provide “jailed environments” protecting clients from any threats or issues originating from other clients.
Like with shared hosting, general support is available 24/7/365. From 4 CPU cores upward, you get managed support which includes a number of services to help you manage your hosting:
Server issues with DNS, SQL, FTP, etc.
Console checks, etc.
For other issues related to your website, like 404 page not found errors, you’ll need to resort to paid support. This is a pretty standard industry practice for VPS providers.
Interserver’s cloud VPS hosting comes with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Unfortunately, their VPS servers don’t come with a money-back guarantee or trial period but are affordably priced. There are also 10% discounts for yearly terms. The fact that you can customize your resources means you also only have to pay for what you need.
The one thing that isn’t included for free are backup and restores. However, you can add on Interserver’s dedicated Arconis backup feature which is more secure than what most other hosts provide. You can physically back up your data or send it to the cloud with different pricing schedules for each.
This is Interserver’s Linux-based CentOS VPS offering. Linux systems are generally considered to be more secure and perform better under high loads than their windows counterparts.
Unfortunately, the CentOS VPS plans come with less data transfer than the other two, although it’s still high for the price and well above the industry average. Interservers’ cloud VPS is extremely affordable considering the hardware and resources you get.
You get a clean environment with full root access so that you can set up your VPS machine just the way you want. Developers can bread basket scripts to install services for the environment in PHP, Java, Perl, etc.
WordPress VPS is basically for those who just want to host a WordPress website but need better performance and stability with dedicated resources. This is usually meant for those whose small to medium businesses or blogs have grown significant traffic.
As it’s also a Linux-based hosting solution with cPanel, it costs the same as the Home VPS plans. However, you can accommodate even more traffic and media on your site with up to 32 TB of bandwidth. There are a number of WordPress-specific optimizations like Xcache. Unlike the others, you can migrate your WordPress website for free.
Although Linux has the advantage of performance and security, Windows has the advantage of supporting more everyday consumer software. It’s especially popular for hosting specific business applications that rely on ASP.NET or Microsoft products like SharePoint, Visual Studio, etc.
Because it’s often used by companies, it can be accessed using Windows Remote Desktop for employees. Windows is also the most expensive option as it includes a Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019 licence. It also comes with more bandwidth than the CentOS hosting.
Windows VPS comes with the Plesk control panel which is the best panel for Windows-based hosting. With Plesk, you can install 100s of applications, manage your server security, and get support for languages like Nginx, NodeJS, etc.
Dedicated Hosting Review
Best for: High traffic sites, maximum resources & security
Interserver uses top-of-the-range hardware for their dedicated servers. Most servers use Intel Xeon while some use AMD EPYC CPUs. Servers can also have up to a massive 256 GB of memory which is far more than most dedicated server hosts can offer. You can also get up to 2000 GB of hard drive space. High-speed SATA or SSD options are available with up to 6TB SATA or 2 TB SSD storage.
Generally speaking, Interserver’s dedicated servers are some of the most flexible and scalable out there. Even businesses with enterprise-scale IT requirements will be able to configure a suitable solution.
Customers can upgrade or downgrade individual resources according to their needs. On top of that, you can also choose your operating system. A number of Linux and open-source operating systems like CentOS, Redhat Fedora, and FreeBSD can be chosen for free. Customers can also set up secure private LAN networks between servers in the case of multi-department companies.
You can also add on a license for CloudLinux ($10 p/month), Windows Standard ($20 p/month), or Windows Datacenter ($200 p/month). Dedicated servers are available from 1 to 10 Gbps uplinks. While this can be considered pretty standard there is one big difference:
Intereserver claims to provide multiple 10Gbps switches and to limit the number of dedicated server customers per switch so that they don’t rob each other of bandwidth with the outside world. Combined with Tier 1 network backbones, this should provide you with much better speeds than average.
You can choose from multiple combinations of bandwidth speeds and data transfer limits. The standard configuration is a 10 TB data transfer limit with a 1 Gb port. However, you can go up to 100 Gbps with unmetered data usage. 5 dedicated IPs are included for free with each hosting plan, but more are available at extra cost.
For most issues, you can still rely on Interserver’s standard 24/7/365 support. All dedicated servers are also fully managed which means technical expertise is available if you need help installing or managing your server. This is a particularly valuable server for business customers who need to use their resources for business-specific functions and not to administer their servers. They also provide free DDoS monitoring to prevent or respond to attacks as soon as possible.
Price vs. Competition
Just like their other forms of hosting, Interserver’s dedicated servers are more affordable considering what you get. The optional bandwidth speeds and data transfer packages can be very expensive, but these are premium offerings not provided by many other hosts. Standard configuration prices range from $70 to $363. If you select the best of everything with multiple storage devices, you’ll pay around $600. The Webuzo control panel is available for free while you’ll have to pay for other options like cPanel, Plesk, or DirectAdmin.
The dedicated servers don’t come with the same free extras like domains, SSL encryption, etc. but this is to be expected. They also don’t fall under the 30-day money-back guarantee which some (but not all) other hosts do provide. Another advantage of Interserver is that you can tailor your plan exactly to your budget and needs with their customizable resources.
Interserver Server Performance
To test Interserver’s hosting performance we used a few Pingdom reports. Over the span of a year, Pingdom’s probes (located across North America) performed daily checks, on a basic website (less than 100KBs) hosted on Interserver’s shared server environment. Additionally, there was no throttling added to these checks, so slower response times can be expected for 3G or 4G connections.
Yearly Server Performance:
Average Response Time
Data shown as monthly Uptime averages for a basic Interserver website
Server performance can affect all aspects of your site. Case studies have consistently found that customer wait times (page load and response times) directly affect everything from SEM, revenue, and traffic growth. By a lot too, here’s just one example:
For Mobify, every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000.
Intershield is Interserver’s in-house security platform to protect their customers’ websites from attacks. It makes use of advanced technologies like machine learning firewall and a malware database to proactively scan for and react to any threats.
Intershield can block bot attacks as well as scan for and remove viruses and other malware. It also blocks access from blacklisted external IPs and checks possible points of attack like POST requests and common commands used in hacking attempts.
Most other hosts offer something similar, usually in the form of SiteLock or BitNinja. However, Interserver’s own tool is more than capable of protecting a website or server from most malicious attacks.
Let’s Encrypt SSL Encryption
SSL encryption is critical to allow for a secure and trustworthy browsing experience for your visitors. Interserver provides shared SSL encryption for free with shared and reseller hosting. Let’s encrypt is the industry standard for most shared hosting providers and is good enough for most cases.
However, if you’re hosting an e-commerce site or large business site, you may want to upgrade to a more secure SSL certificate.
Interserver Cloud Backups
Interserver provides a dedicated backup service in partnership with Arconis. Customers can choose to backup their data to physical devices or to the cloud. Because the data will be stored separately, it is more secure and won’t affect their hosting allocations or performance.
Pricing is based on the device you want to backup plus a rate of $0.5 per GB for up to 100 GB of cloud storage. The rate per GB goes down the more storage you need. Physical devices, virtual machines, or even Office 365 can be backed up this way.
You can also take complete disk snapshots of your environment so it can be recreated exactly as is in case you lose it. Backups are encrypted and incremental backups are used so as to be more space efficient.
The good news is that restoration of these backups are free, something that other hosts don’t usually provide.
Customer Support Review
24/7/365 Customer Support
No matter what type of hosting you have, you can rely on customer support that’s available around the clock via live chat, the phone, or tickets. Generally, their support is quite quick to respond although you might have to wait a few minutes for live chat support during busy or non-office hours. There are also different phone lines available for different countries like the U.S., Israel, and England.
Managed and Premium support
Free managed support services are included for most VPS and all dedicated server customers. These services are chosen to reduce the need for technical knowledge and downtime when managing your own server. They include:
- System reboots
- System reinstalls
- Hardware issues
- Control panel installations
- Repair of services like your web, server, DNS, or ftp servers
You’ll need to pay for certain other support services to do with your website like pages that aren’t loading. Most other hosts also offer these services at additional cost or not at all.
Knowledgebase and Forums
Interserver provides an extensive database of topics that covers just about anything to do with hosting from managing your account to using backups to changing your DNS. The articles are detailed and contain step-by-step instructions to help you along with as little confusion as possible.
You can also look for answers on the forum. Interserver has a very active user base there and you might even get advice from some technicians passing through.
InterServers’ main customer support channel is through ticketed support.
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