1&1 Reviews by Users & Experts

Overall Rating:
7.9
Performance
9.0/10
Pricing
10.0/10
User friendly
8.0/10
Support
5.0/10
Features
7.5/10

1&1 hosting is made by people who know the Internet inside out. After all, United Internet, a corporation which owns this provider, has been around since 1988. It wasn't only doing hosting. One of their other products is Mail.com, one of the biggest email services on the planet.

And in late 2018, we were greeted with the blockbuster news. 1&1 bought and merged with Profitbricks, an enterprise cloud solution. This is how 1&1 IONOS was born: even bigger and more powerful than ever before.

Considering that, my expectations were simple - I fully expected 1&1 IONOS to blow me away. After all, one doesn't get to stay in the business for 30 years (and even expand!) without being brilliant at it. With all that in my mind, it was time to put this provider to the test.

With nearly 20 million domain names under its belt and three decades of international Internet services experience, is 1&1 hosting the best there is? We will see while we evaluate the service in this 1and1 review.

1&1 Hosting Services

  • Shared web hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Custom business server solutions
  • Domain names

1and1 focuses mostly on beginner and intermediate users. Like many providers, the host also offers dedicated and virtual private servers. However, majority of the services include shared web servers, hidden under the buzzwords of "WordPress hosting" or "online store hosting".

After the merger with Profitbricks, however, now there are also plenty of genuine enterprise cloud solutions (which is always welcomed!)

And of course, it shouldn't be forgotten that there's one thing, needed for small and big businesses alike, in which 1&1 IONOS are total experts.

That's domain names, and 1and1 deliver in that - the company is a part of the ICANN Accreditation list, making it a full-fledged domain reseller, not relying on any other companies.


This is not the only interesting thing about this provider. These are some extra features that set 1and1 hosting apart from the rest:

Scalable performance

Sometimes, your website requires more performance than it has. 1&1 knows that, and offer Scalable Performance, which allows you to easily increase the performance of your server with just a few clicks.

HTTP/2 Network Protocol and an SSL Certificate

The HTTP/2 network protocol helps to optimize the Web. It reduces load times and makes pages easier to display on nearly every available modern browser. HTTP/2 is a protocol from the future, with only around 15% of the web pages currently using it. However, that is about to change very soon, as the number is steadily increasing. With 1and1 hosting, you can get ahead of the competition. In addition to that, the host also provides every one of its clients with a free SSL certificate which adds extra security. 1and1 hosting is both secure and modern.


There are plenty of plans and plenty of options to choose from. The most interesting of them all, however, is shared web hosting. With a plan that costs only $1 a month and includes a free SSL certificate, it is certainly a product hard to beat. So let's check it.

What’s included in the 1&1 Hosting packages?

These are the three shared web hosting packages you can choose from:

  • Basic - a plan which includes 100GB of storage, 2.5GB of RAM and only allows 1 website.
  • Unlimited Plus - a plan offering 250GB storage, 6GB of RAM and multiple websites.
  • Unlimited Pro - the best of the three plan, which includes 500GB of storage, 9GB of RAM and also adds SiteLock security features as well as its content delivery network, which is supposed to increase load speeds for your visitors all around the world.

These plans have plenty of differences between them - here they are, put in a convenient table form.

BasicUnlimited PlusUnlimited Pro
Disk space limit100GB250GB500GB
Bandwidth limitUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
How many domains allowed 1 UnlimitedUnlimited
SSD or HDD used in serversSSDSSDSSD
SSLSupported, included in the planSupported, included in the planSupported, included in the plan
Anti-DDoS protectionIncluded (server level)Included (server level)Included (server level)
Anti-malware protectionNot included in the packageNot included in the packageIncluded (SiteLock)
Email accounts25100500
FTP accounts25100500
Website BuilderAvailable as a separate purchaseAvailable as a separate purchaseAvailable as a separate purchase
Website Templates450+450+450+
Assisted Website Transfer No No No
cPanelNoNoNo
Auto-installerIncludedIncludedIncluded
Auto-installer scripts70+70+70+
Money back guarantee30 days30 days30 days
Customer Support24/7 phone, tickets, email, Twitter24/7 phone, tickets, email, Twitter24/7 phone, tickets, email, Twitter
Choice for server locationNoNoNo
Free Automated BackupsYesYesYes

In these reviews I always like to do a little "reality check". By that, I mean busting the myth of "monthly" introductory prices. If you ever saw an ad for hosting (you did, just a good minute ago) you probably noticed that most of the time, the prices are being described as monthly. In reality, you are usually paying for the entire period in advance, at once, in checkout.

Let's see how 1&1 hosting do that.

1and1 ionos review prices

Technically speaking, 1and1 do the same thing most of the providers do and charge you for the entire period in advance. However, $12 per year for an entry plan is a great price already - no surprise you can't pay 99 cents every month.

In the table below, here are all the possible payment periods for the plans.

Payment Period / PlanBasicUnlimited PlusUnlimited Pro
1 month$9$12$17
12 months$12 ($8 monthly renewal)$60 ($10 monthly renewal)$108 ($14 monthly renewal)

First Impressions

Features

1&1 Hosting has a pretty stacked lineup, with even the cheapest plan offering reputable 100GB of disk space and a free SSL certificate. However, lack of cPanel and a fairly small amount of auto-installer scripts available makes it a difficult option for the more experienced users.

Prices

Very straightforward. Only two payment periods to choose from. 1&1 wants you to choose the 12-month plan - just look at the renewal prices.

After your starting package runs out, you will be prompted to pay $8/$10/$14 monthly renewal fees for ‘Basic’, ‘Unlimited Plus’ and ‘Unlimited Pro’ plans respectively.

If you choose a monthly plan instead, the fees will increase. And for a 12-month 'Basic' plan, the price is difficult to beat.

$12 for a year of hosting is one of the best prices in the business. Prices become more regular if you choose one of the 'Unlimited' plans.

Later, after your starting package runs out, you will be subject to pretty high renewal prices. With other providers, people avoid paying them for longer by picking a 36 month or even lengthier plans. But here, most you can get is 12 months.

1and1 Customer Service

Like most providers, 1and1 offers a 24/7 customer support service as well as plenty of additional tutorials and articles. The articles you see in the picture above are put in multiple categories. There's not many of them provided but most of the simple questions are answered there. For everything else, there's direct support. 1and1 offer three main channels you can use to contact a customer service representative.

  • Live Chat
  • Email
  • Phone

In order to get a fair evaluation, I tested all three of them extensively. These are the results:

Phone Service Evaluation

It takes around 2 minutes to get connected to an agent. That is one of the better results from all the hosts tested. Sadly, the praise stops here. The agents lack a lot of general knowledge and after asking simple technical things (i.e. "What are the shared hosting server locations?") I was transferred to a different agent.

Such a thing was nearly a rule, with me speaking to 2 or even 3 agents during one phone call. The transfer times took around a minute or two as well. For the simple questions, including billing or plans, 1and1 phone support has been pretty good. Just don't expect to get the answers you failed to find in its Knowledge Base.

Chat Service Evaluation

When testing chat service, I always look into three things. First one is wait times - the shorter is my wait, the better is my day. Then, I look into the knowledge of the agents. This one is obvious - I hope for the representative to know more about the services than I do. Finally, I evaluate the human factor. The more courteous and familiar the representative is, the better. We all hope for the people working in customer support to be as pleasant to talk to as possible.

This part of the 1and1 review is dedicated solely to chat service: so let's see how it does!

My 1and1 analysis ran into a big problem. This is seriously concerning. The chat service agents appear to have little to none interest in whatever they're doing. Every single even slightly technical question has been met with either a message to contact someone else or the agent leaving.

Of course, I don't blame the agents themselves - it appears that they are simply not allowed to answer technical inquiries, despite the clients asking them. This, however, is not the worst of 1and1 problems. It is very rare to catch a chat in when it's available in the first place.

The wait times when you finally succeed are great. Yet when you take all the things in concern, it provides no solace.

The only saving grace in this entire situation came in early 2018. Several months after the initial review I've reattempted to get at least one solid answer from the 1&1 chat support.

And I did!

Despite being told the service was unavailable at first, a few minutes later I was prompted to talk to someone in charge.

It worked out much, much better.

And yet, I still can't recommend this as a great chat service - but it's definitely a step to the right direction. We will see how everything pans out in the future.

Email Service Evaluation

During the live chat, agent Darrell offered me to contact the 1&1 email support - I've done just that. It is great to see companies still providing email support and that is helpful if you have some serious technical problems. Often companies choose to provide ticket support but it is commonly available only for the registered clients. In the case of this host, email support is available for everyone. This is how 1and1 email support handles technical questions:

I was slightly disappointed to only receive a link to a support article instead of getting a small tutorial. Other questions have been answered similarly, some responses them were more in-depth than others. Overall, it took from 10 to 20 hours to get an answer, which is a decent result. All in all, email service seems to be the best way to receive technical support. It is available for everyone and is sufficiently quick.

However, I find it discouraging that email is the only reputable way to get technical assistance. It was great some years ago but with live chat services so prominent and genuinely good in most top hosting providers, there's no reason for 1&1 to not follow.

First Impressions During and After the Purchase

Immediately after sending my details, I ran into some trouble with the payment process. Usually, those can get fixed up by going to a live chat - it wasn't working and frankly, I don't think they could've helped me in the first place. Luckily, a phone call has solved it through. Soon after, I was still able to login to my account and see the dashboard as well as the panel.

1&1 does not use cPanel. Therefore, its dashboard is also a panel. I must say that it is highly unintuitive and I was unable to complete a majority of the tasks without the help of Google. There is no such thing as a 'File Manager', instead there is a web-based FTP client, named "WebSpace Explorer". It took a while to do as simple a task as creating a subdomain and uploading an HTML website to it. In moments like this, I wish more providers stuck to a simple panel. In a market where cPanel or Plesk are seen as industry standards, anything else massively different creates more problems than it solves. I am sure that after some getting used to, 1and1 panel can be as intuitive as anyone. But if you can transition from Hostinger to A2 Hosting to BlueHost with little to no problem, why would you bother with 1and1? Well, maybe there could be a reason...

Performance Evaluation

It is worth dealing with the confusing panel and the customer service which doesn't like you if the host's performance is impeccable. This is precisely what I'll be looking into in this part of the 1&1 review. Here are the four main things I'll be testing:

  • Host’s speed during low upkeep
  • Host’s speed with a website created with 1&1 website builder
  • Server’s overall uptime
  • Anti-theft security evaluation

These tests will go on for several months. The results you'll see posted below will be the most recent ones.

IMPORTANT NOTICE - we do not claim for the tools to be a 100% accurate representation of the host's datacenters. What we test here is the performance of the server the company has allocated to us at random. The speeds also depend on the Bitcatcha tool's access points. That means the results may be affected by the tool as well. However, after extensive tested we found Bitcatcha to be the most consistent in terms of speeds. Since all of the hosts go through the same testing procedure, we can have pretty accurate representations on how they perform against each other.

It is also worth noting, that despite 1and1 having worldwide datacenters, in shared hosting you are not given an option to choose the one you want. You get a server allocated - the one you receive is the one closest to your billing address. Closest one to us was the server in Kansas, USA. Therefore, this was the server tested. Results from different datacenters may differ.

Host Speed During Low Upkeep

In order to see the best possible results, I set up the simplest website possible - an HTML one. The website you see below contains less than 30 lines of code and only includes a background picture, link, and a simple animation.

These are the results of this website:

The results are fairly stable - US servers response times are not as quick as in some other competitors but still pretty great. Bangalore, often a neglected server in these reviews, goes from 300 to 500 ms, which is not bad. The biggest problem is Singapore, its response times go from 700 ms to 3 or even more seconds! There are clear problems 1and1 hosting needs to address here, as other hosts tested at exactly the same time had no noticeable issues with that server.

Host Speed With 1&1 Website Builder

Before we start, I have to tell an extra word about the website builder. It is not included with hosting and you have to purchase separately, for $4.99 a month. If you are looking for a cheap website builder solution, 1&1 is not going to be ideal. In addition to that, the builder followed the footsteps of the panel. By that, I mean that it was confusing to use. Overall, it is not a builder I strongly recommend - but if it's quick, it may be worth it. Let's check how it does:

Just like in the HTML website, the Singapore server is lacking behind. All of the others are doing very well but it's always that one which drags the overall performance grade down. There is a clear problem - either from 1&1 or Bitcatcha.

1&1 IONOS Server Overall Uptime

To see the current performance of the 1&1 Hosting servers, CLICK HERE.

In this test, I set up a WordPress website which was monitored once every minute. This is going to show the host's overall availability - response times show how quick it is and uptime percentages show how often it is down.

These are the results from more than 15 months of continuous testing!

Overall, very good performance. In addition to good response times, there was also 99.98% uptime. Which is not perfect but there's not much to complain about.

1&1 may have its quirks but if you're looking for performance issues, I'm afraid you simply won't find them. The German provider is comfortably in the top 10 of the quickest hosts we have tested.

In the 1&1 vs. Hostinger comparison article, I have noticed the amazing speeds this host is putting up. 1&1 still isn't the greatest of them all - but it's close.

Of course, it wouldn't be a fair review if we didn't dig deeper and tried finding some genuine issues. So we did - turns out that during the testing period, 1and1 hosting suffered from one major downtime. It happened on the 24th of August, 2017 and was pretty - took 51 minutes on our server. It appears to have been a pretty big outage, as many people have reported their websites going offline on that day.

Such as occasion had a tendency of repeating once every few months. That being said, it's still pretty uncommon - yet still it's something worthy of talking about.

Therefore, it can be concluded that 1and1 is not exempt from problems - but most of the time it delivers stable speeds and decent uptimes.

Anti-Theft Protection Evaluation

For the final test, I've attempted to steal my own account. For the first part, I've attempted a brute-force login. For that, I logged out, changed my IP and incorrectly guessed my password multiple times. If 1and1 have some sort of a security system implemented, I was supposed to be unable to get into my account even after finally 'guessing' the password.

It took only 10 attempts for 1&1 to clock that something was wrong. I was locked out of many any more attempts and this screen opened.

That means if someone tries to use brute-force software to gain access to your account, they won't be allowed to do it. That is certainly a good thing.

For the second test, I took the role of a person who tries to gain access to someone's account without providing any proof of ownership. At first, I attempted to do this via live chat. The outcome was somewhat predictable.

Then, I decided to pick the first offered option and make a phone call - the system immediately connected the dots (presumably, from my previous brute-force attempt) and asked whether I was writing about the hacking problem. I picked the 'Yes' option and was informed that the customer security agents only work from 9 to 5 - I called before 9 AM, so had to wait a while. Afterwards, I made a call and was connected to an agent. This time, there were no questions about my account getting hacked.

I was connected to John - a real gentleman, I will add. He listened to my acting performance and reassured me that it's going to be okay and I will get my account back. After multiple questions (I only told them the e-mail) I was guided through the 1and1 website until I made my way to the Account Change Request form. This is what it looks like:

John didn't know how much information is "enough" for me to get into the account - but he told me that each entry is treated manually and the account is not going to be given away easily.

All in all, there are plenty of security mechanisms implemented into 1and1 in order to assure the safety of your account. There is a very low chance that some ill-meaning people are going to get into your account. On the other hand, if you are going to run into serious verification problems, it's going to take a while to get everything back.

NOTE - keep your personal information safe. Use different passwords, don't pick easy combinations. Also, have account information and invoices available in person so you can't prove your ownership even in the worst of scenarios.

1and1 Review: Conclusion

Overall, 1&1 IONOS offers a very nice web hosting service. However, I don't think that there has been a host that confused me so much.

On one hand, you get really solid and stable performance, a terrific price, good account safety, HTTP/2, and a free SSL certificate. When you think about it, there is not much more you could ever want. On the other hand, you get a very confusing panel, an expensive website builder, chat support which probably hates you and servers who hate Singapore.

After this evaluation, I can say that I certainly like 1and1 hosting for what it is trying to do. Decent performance and plenty of tools for a great price are all admirable. Yet perhaps going more simple - implementing cPanel and putting extra emphasis on live chat - would benefit this host greatly. There are plenty of reasons to love 1&1 hosting - it just needs a couple more.

Pros

  • Scalable performance allows to adjust everything to your needs.
  • Very low introductory price.
  • Very good performance.
  • Great account security.

Cons

  • Subpar customer service.
  • Panel very difficult to use.
  • Website builder expensive, unintuitive.

Leave a Review

  1. Chris picture Chris
    2019 May 1st
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Been hosting with ionos for many years. We host a lot of content and have never had any issues with content delivery, outages, or any of the issues I’ve read in these comments. To get anything done you have to call and work out the details with the sales people. Do not speak to technical staff until the sales people direct them to you. Then the technical staff are top shelf. The server hosting has expanded with our site and with just a call you can add memory and cpus in minutes. However, the trick to get you storage space expanded is, you have to run a manual script. However, any time we’ve had to do this, we get the sales person to agree to include this service as a “favor” to us for upgrading the service. They won’t mention this so you have to be proactive, but with the pricing of the servers now, these guys can’t be beat. We don’t expect to move off off ionos until we’ve expanded beyond their max dedicated server package.

  2. Difrint Drumr picture Difrint Drumr
    2019 April 16th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I hosted my website with Ionos, but later learned that if you do not develop your website using their products – they provide no support tools for you to maintain your website. No Cpanel, no HTML editor, no nothing. And their Filipino support staff are almost hostile…they treat you like you work for THEM – like you’re annoying them. Bad, bad company. I am cancelling my hosting agreement ASAP!!!

  3. Shanise picture Shanise
    2019 March 12th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I have numerous emails confirming cancellation of my contract as well as refunds that were never received. The company has billed me twice after cancellation, when I called my card company with Ionos on the phone and my card company confirmed that there is no refund the Ionos representative disconnected the call. I received a very rude follow up email after filing a BBB report (with screenshots of emails), as well as requesting a new card and charge reversal from my card company saying “you can do what you want” this is RIDICULOUS. Stay away! I am now over $200 in the hole for a service that was cancelled over a month ago.

  4. Glenn picture Glenn
    2019 March 9th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I WAS CHARGED FOR SERVICES FOR 3 YEARS AFTER I CANCELLED THE PLAN AND THEY REFUSED TO REFUND THE MONEY BACK TO THE DATE I CANCELLED. Even though my website contacted them to take over the hosting they said that I needed to call them which is not written anywhere. I even have an email form them showing that the service is no longer being handled by them. I WOULD STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY AND IF YOU DO PLEASE READ THE FINE PRINT OR AS WAS MY SITUATION THE PRINT THAT DOESN’T EVEN EXIST! I WOULD LOVE FOR THEM TO DO THE RIGHT THING SO i COULD TELL YOU ALL THAT THEY REALIZED THEY WERE WRONG, BUT TO DATE NOTHING FORM 1 & 1 IONOS

  5. kayla picture kayla
    2019 March 7th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Building a webiste with Ionos is infuriating and limited. I strongly recommend Wix or someone else if you truly want a beautiful and creative looking website.

  6. Kat Damian picture Kat Damian
    2019 March 4th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    My experience with 1and1, currently, ionos, started in 2003 and it went form good to the worst possible. I decided to switch to the unlimited pro plan in 2014 and they kept charging me $180 per year without even including a caching system or an SSL certificate, let alone other features that other hosting companies offer. They recently introduced a basic SSL at the end of 2018, but it’s just basic… for this price other companies offer of ton of features. I finally decided to move and emailed 1and1/ionos with a request to cancel my entire package and help me link one of my old domains I bought through them years ago to my new hosting. I’ve been waiting for two weeks, and no reply to my 4 emails I sent them. They even claim I have a personal adviser, but I tried to chat with that guy and every time he was unavailable; I emailed him three times and I didn’t get any response…. So, I spent days trying to figure out how to disconnect my domain from the wordpress application it was connected to… did everything their online support advised, like uninstall the application, delete the website to release the domain, nothing worked. They basically keep my domain hostage and I cannot point it to my new host server because it gives me an error message every time. I forgot to mention the main reason I decided to move to another hosting company was the overpriced service and the fact that my sites were down every day several times a day on their most expensive shared hosting plan… What they advertise is one thing, and what they really offer is another thing! I advise everyone, no matter how cheap and reliable they seem, stay away from these guys. They are the worst nightmare, but very quick to take your money and promise a ton of things. There are other companies out there much more decent than them.

  7. Kate Collins picture Kate Collins
    2019 March 4th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I don’t really need to say much more than this company is truly horrible. Website down. No email access. What a nightmare. Transferred my domain back to GoDaddy but now am waiting for them to release my domain.

  8. Halil Kaya picture Halil Kaya
    2019 March 4th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    very bad ! don’t like. registrer domain and 3 days later accept ? wtf ?

  9. ALLAN THORNTON picture ALLAN THORNTON
    2019 March 3rd
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    We are a medical device start-up and one of our partner’s uses 1&1 for domain purchases. We setup a Godaddy website and use it for potential investors and information for specialty physicians. Our domain was up for renewal on 1/18/19; we renewed on 1/5/19 and received a confirmation by email and a charge to our credit card (which was verified as charged). What happened, 1&1 allowed another company SedoParking take our domain after we renewed. Please be careful when dealing with them, we have been given the runaround and they wanted us to pay over $1,000+ to get it back they also said they would refund the fee, that was their solution. REALLY, what about all our logo’s, marketing collateral, shipping labels, documentation, presentation, videos and online work which is extensive and took hundreds of hours to complete. It’s now Friday in PA and they want us to wait until next week to have someone to speak with, even though Thursday they told us we would be back up Friday, they didn’t even have the courtesy to call us Friday before they walked out the door for the weekend. Apparently someone was incompetent and didn’t do their job and they want us to pay for their error. It’s also obvious that we weren’t escalated to a person of authority who could correct their mistake. If there site or a large customer were in this position, I guarantee they would take immediate action and be online in short order.
    ****** Here’s the email verification we received on 1/5/2019 @ 2:01 PM EST. *****
    I am pleased to inform you that your domain uistop.com has successfully renewed for the next 1 year(s). The next renewal date is set for 01/18/2020.
    To manage your domain, please log in with your customer data through the button below
    If you have any questions about managing your domain, please refer to the Help Center.
    The renewal fee for the domain listed above will be charged in the next few days.
    Please log in and check your payment method to ensure that the renewal is not interrupted by an expired credit card or any other billing-related matter. To check your billing information, please follow the instructions in the Help Center article.
    The Terms & Conditions can be viewed here.
    Thank you for using 1&1 IONOS.
    Sincerely,
    Gunter Eberling
    Head of Customer Satisfaction

  10. Edward Orcutt picture Edward Orcutt
    2019 February 25th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    . Finally i cancelled and transferred clients. Took me 3 days of long hours on hold switching to rrible the last year since the buyout. Same thing happened to me as with other clients. Eventually, it all was about going back to security as the security somehow let hackers into my websites and then they blamed it on google and put a lock on one of my websites and would not even talk to google about it which i payed them for years to take care of.I finally cancelled my two websites. They were very rude and not helpful at all.Stay away from them. They were great when they were 1&1. Everybody helped then. If your smart stay away. You cannot even find a corporate office to talk to management because you have to go to united Kingdom and you still cant find the CEO to the company.

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