Web Hosting Reviews from Real Customers

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1&1 Reviews by Users & Experts

Overall Rating:
8.0
Reliability
9.0/10
Pricing
10.0/10
User friendly
6.0/10
Support
5.0/10
Features
10.0/10

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. Considering that, my expectations were simple – I fully expected 1&1 to blow me away. After all, one doesn’t get to stay in the business for 30 years 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
  • 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”. One thing that both experts and beginners need, however, is domain names. 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.

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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

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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

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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 $0.99 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:

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  • Basic – a plan which includes 100GB of storage, 2.5GB of RAM and only allows 1 website.
  • Unlimited Plus – a plan offering unlimited storage, 6GB of RAM and multiple websites.
  • Unlimited Pro – the best of the three plan, which includes 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 limit100GBUnmeteredUnmetered
Bandwidth limitUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
How many domains allowed 1 UnlimitedUnlimited
SSD or HDD used in servers – – –
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 accounts500UnlimitedUnlimited
FTP accountsUnlimited Unlimited Unlimited
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 1and1 hosting do that.

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*Prices include VAT.

Technically speaking, 1and1 do the same thing most of the providers do and charge you for the entire period in advance. However, $11.88 per year for an entry plan is a great price already – no surprise you can’t pay 99 cents every month. From the hosts I reviewed so far, only NameCheap offers a better yearly introductory price.

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

Payment Period / PlanBasicUnlimited PlusUnlimited Pro
1 month$8.99$11.99$16.99
12 months$11.88 ($7.99 renewal)$59.88 ($9.99 renewal)$107.88 ($14.99 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 $7.99/$9.99/$14.99 monthly renewal fees for ‘Basic’, ‘Unlimited Plus’ and ‘Unlimited Pro’ plans respectively. If you choose a monthly plan instead, the fees will increase.If you choose a 12-month ‘Basic’ plan, the price is difficult to beat. Less than $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.

If you choose a 12-month ‘Basic’ plan, the price is difficult to beat. Less than $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 fees. You will have to start paying them exactly 12 months after joining – no comparison with GoDaddy, which offers plans up to 10 years!

1and1 Customer Service

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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!

1&11&1

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 enquiries, 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.

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The wait times when you finally succeed are great. Yet when you take all the things in concern, it provides no solace. 1and1 chat support is unsatisfactory and there’s no other way around it.

Email Service Evaluation

During the live chat, agent Darrell offered me to contact the 1and1 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:

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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 this is the only reputable way to get technical assistance.

First Impressions During and After the Purchase

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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.

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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 1and1 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.

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These are the results of this website:

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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:

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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.

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:

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In terms of response times, we see 1and1 showing steady speeds, which is very good. Going from around 200 to 400 ms, the response times are more than enough for most websites. They remained somewhat steady for the entire 1 and a half months of testing. The “spikes”, common with nearly every hosting

The speeds have only improved as the time went by. In my late October 1&1 vs. Hostinger comparison article, I have noticed the amazing speeds this host is putting up. They were so good, it was basically a match to Hostinger, our current undisputed champion. Although that is a great thing to hear, an issue has to be addressed – that is downtimes.

During the testing period, 1and1 hosting suffered from one major downtime – on the 24th of August. It was big – 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.

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Source: downdetector.com

Apart from that, our website had no more downtimes exceeding 5 minutes. 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.

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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.

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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:

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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

I don’t think that there has been a host that confused me so much. This 1and1 review is waiting for a conclusion and I am not sure what to say. 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

    • !Xenom!
    • 2017-November-21st
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Let’s recap. It’s quick and secure but the support is horseshit, yet still look amazing in comparison with skin cancer of a panel.

    • Ahmed Na
    • 2017-November-19th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I like 1&1. It quick and good

    • Gaber
    • 2017-November-18th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    People appear to be clearly overseeing that 1-1 is clocking AROUND 200MS. REGULARLY. This is incredibly quick – what’s SiteGround doing? 500?

    • Basanni
    • 2017-November-17th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    So are we now doing this thing where we agree to give our personal information to Merkel’s country? Count me OUT.

    • Ahmed Na
    • 2017-November-16th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    i like 1&1. it’s quick and easy.

    • bolognish boloney
    • 2017-November-1st
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    heard stories about hoasts boomshuting the accounts when they go up to 10gb or smth. 1and1 offers 100gb on the cheap plan. Soooo is the big plan like 500gb? Big if true.

    • dillydingdong
    • 2017-October-15th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    1&1 was my first and still my only provider and what do you know…i had no idea the panel was actually bad. No idea whether i should switch and learn it again or stick with 1&1 and not give a fuck….okay.

    • Mindy W
    • 2017-October-12th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    not sure how to feel. When I moved from the UK to Estonia (family) and tried changing my credit card no. and address, I’ve been told it’s not possible. Client of 6 years, I feel like a trust has been broken.

    • justin
    • 2017-September-22nd
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I figure that reviews are supposed to highlight problems but does anyone use website builders these days? Having said that, glad the security is okay, especially remembering the Fappening and other things like that. Not that I have raunchy pictures of mine in a website somewhere…

    ….or maybe i do?…

    • Tosi
    • 2017-September-9th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I do understand the concerns about panel and website builder. I, however, must add that such stuff is irrelevant if you are a more advanced user. I’ve been using 1&1 for years now – not shared hosting, perhaps, but still – and it had zero problems. I am very happy about it. If you are an user which knows hosting only in the name of cPanel and wants to use a website builder (a weird combination?), 1&1 is the worst option ever. But if you plan to use your own FTP and work with proper software? Perfect. Don’t go here if you are not ready to be more advanced, that’s my main word of help ^^

    • kieran
    • 2017-September-6th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    still my fav hosting, by a mile. eight years and counting! :>

    • ste
    • 2017-September-3rd
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    i like this security measure more than most. bit odd seein providers just drop one security question like it’s gonna stop my ex wife from logging in

    • gazza
    • 2017-August-30th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    the kangaroo cracked me up ???

    • carlos
    • 2017-August-23rd
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    definitely understand the hatred for the panel and the customer service. but the numbers don’t lie, it’s a quick damn provider, you just need to know how do some things operate. it’s always a learning experience but after a while i feel like I know 1and1 really well. Improvement needed? yes. But we’re not perfect people ourselves, right?

    • Curtis VdM
    • 2017-August-11th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Just. Stick. With. cPanel. There’s something poetic about a failing mail service insisting on using their subpar panel for their subpar services. I feel for the admins who do their absolute best to make those servers be quick just for everything to get ruined by….well…everyone else? Such a shame but i wouldn’t miss it if it was gone.

      • Tre. T.
      • 2017-August-19th
      Reply

      looooooool you’re not wrong, probably. It’s wierd seeing it being like that.

    • crumrob
    • 2017-August-1st
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    🙂 Every singlething is included in the plans and it’s a good company. So weird because my experiece clearly not the same with you guys. It is okay to disagree ofcourse.

    • Scarlett Grey
    • 2017-July-30th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Never a problem, never a doubt. I’m a big fan of mail.com and this as well. Fight’s Google’s authoritarian monopoly!

    • sysadminoncaffeine
    • 2017-July-23rd
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Their website builder is fun to use and very very simple. But I don’t think it’s worth using this for big operations. Simple reason: you only get phone support. Imagine something breaks and you need to copy and paste code. Can you do it via phone? Never. It’s okay if it’s like a blog, you can send a ticket, wait a couple hours and that’s it. But if it’s a sensitive project? You need people on chat 24/7. It’s a no from me. However, i had this set up for my colleagues recently and it’s not bad. It’s just that chat is very important to have a website running.

    • JohnA
    • 2017-July-20th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Decided to take 12 month of the most basic plan and i thought it is very decent so far. However, i agree that the panel is a bit difficult to work with. Wish you could just choose which one is the best for you. Kinda missing Bluehost! But the price is nothing to complain at.

      • OHHHH
      • 2017-September-4th
      Reply

      RUN WHILE YOU CAN, JOHNNY

    • awful
    • 2017-July-11th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    1and1 support are serial offenders. Impossible to get chat and later hold a conversation with.

    • Muhammad
    • 2017-May-12th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    wierd about the support, i never had any problems. panel is confusing though, I agree

    • ???
    • 2017-May-7th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Ok, i tried to register and i wasn’t allowed? Is there some sort of a geographical lock?

    • Tina
    • 2017-April-30th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    The best! Never looked back!

    • Merson
    • 2017-March-9th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    German cars are great, German beer is great, German football is amazing, German hosting is a problem. Mostly because of how totally weird getting anything done is. You need to google everything because the FAQ section is bad. Live chat, as y’all just read, doesn’t work either. I don’t know what to do anymore – I assume this is a good service if you feel like you’re an expert. But then again, you’re properly an expert on cpanel which this doesn’t have sooooooo have fun…

    • claude
    • 2017-March-7th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    1&1 have like 5 servers in Germany, i assume if you’re German, there’s no one else you would go with.

    • Franklin
    • 2017-February-25th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    99 cents is an AWESOME price and that’s why i took it. Huge, huge shame they don’t have like 36 month plans, would love to take it. But i’m still super happy. It’s quick and convenient and that’s what matters. WIll reiterate once more – it costs less than 12 dollars per year. I think it’s the best deal ever.

    • gary
    • 2017-February-7th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    So many people say this is the best provider in the planet and then BOOM, this review comes out. Howeverrrrrrrr….if that’s how their support REALLY works, i wouldn’t have been surprised to see them dead last. Disrespectful.

    • Z.
    • 2017-January-30th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Hmmm no idea why everyone is so mad on 1&1. Had no similar issues with them – although I’ll admit that after nearly a year i’m looking for a different provider…but that’s only because of the prices.

    • fre
    • 2017-January-14th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Definitely plenty of better providers available, i’ll tell you this much