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.

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.


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 $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:

  • 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 limit100GBUnmetered (246,000 files)Unmetered (246,000 files)
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 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 1&1 hosting do that.

*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

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 January 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. Here’s how it worked out:

Much better, isn’t it? 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.

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.

1&1 Performance Review Update: June 2018

These are the results from more than 10 months of continuous testing of the 1&1 servers:

Overall, very good performance. 99.98% uptime is not perfect but there’s not much to complain about. Also, the response times hovering at around 300 ms mark make it all the better. 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 5 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.

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.

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

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.

Main Features

  • Scalable Performance
  • HTTP/2
  • Free SSL Certificate

Server Locations

  • United States
  • France
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

Server OS

  • Linux logo Linux
  • Windows logo Windows

Leave a review

    • Leslie portrait Leslie
    • 2018 September 24th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    If I could give negative stars I would. I deactivated my autorenewal and cancelled my domain. They still took money from my account anyway and bounced my bank account. And then when I called, after keeping me on hold a stupid length of time, they ARGUED with me over whether or not I deactivated my autorenewal. In the end, I MIGHT get my money back but they certainly will not pay for the mistake of overdrawing my bank account by taking a fee they were NOT authorized to take. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT sign up with these people. They are a rip-off.

    • Flora Bodcs portrait Flora Bodcs
    • 2018 September 16th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    As said by millions of users: customer service is horrible, basically non-existent. They server is awfully slow, they mislead customers, charge you illegally for things you never ordered plus they steal personal data including your payment information so do not be surprised when you start seeing unauthorized payments on your bank statement as it happened to me. 1and1 is borderline criminal, I do not honestly understand how they still exist on the market. I reported them to the police so there is an ongoing investigation against them, I hope someone will finally do something about this illegal company.

    • Rob portrait Rob
    • 2018 September 12th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Customer service is horrible. Watch out for the hidden fee’s and charges that they slip in the background like “virus scanning” that you can’t opt out of and they charge you more for then the initial plan itself. they also on initial setup double charged me for which I had to call and abuse them to get it reversed. interface is designed to be confusing like this so it is easy for them to hide hidden charges and etc.

    • Fabien portrait Fabien
    • 2018 August 30th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I don’t really get it, I’ve been using them for almost year, but never had problems with customer support… After reading the comment I really hope I will not have any problems like all the guys below me. We’ll wait…

    • Steve Clarke portrait Steve Clarke
    • 2018 July 26th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    First thing you have to be careful about is the hidden fee’s and charges that they slip in the background like “virus scanning” that you can’t opt out of and they charge you more for then the initial plan itself. they also on initial setup double charged me for which I had to call and abuse them to get it reversed. interface is designed to be confusing like this so it is easy for them to hide hidden charges and etc. be very very wary of this company, their tactics are straight out of the 1.99 signup 50.00 recurring tactics of the adult website industry..

    • cynthia portrait cynthia
    • 2018 July 20th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    the site is so slow it’s impossible to use, both the website builder and the site in general are difficult to navigate and not intuitive, the help documentation is not up to date, and customer service is terrible. don’t waste your time and money. most sites have them at 2 or fewer stars. i wish i had read more reviews before i switched.

    • dax portrait dax
    • 2018 July 13th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Very bad support and customer services

    • Vlad Dascalu portrait Vlad Dascalu
    • 2018 June 24th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I hate them. I paid two hosting services a year and I did not receive any hosting or money back. They argue that the transaction was not carried out. I was at the bank and showed me the registers. I sent proof to support 1and1 but they still did not return my money. Cheap support. I answer in 48+ hours. Do not be stupid like me to buy it!

    • Trust me portrait Trust me
    • 2018 May 26th
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Just avoid 1and1, as simple as that…

    • amy portrait amy
    • 2018 March 22nd
    Reply
    Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features

    My experience was awful. DO NOT TRUST THEM TO GIVE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. I am the webmaster of a website I created an account for my boss 3 years ago with my personal info but with his credit card info. I stopped my job there and after 3 years suddenly I had a call from NCO FINANCIAL COMPANY that I owe some money to 1&1. My boss passed away and his credit card has blocked no one from 1&1 called me to ask about the payment issue. They gave all my personal information to NCO Financial company and because of some dollar, they wanted to ruin my credit score. The guy in NCO financial company was really rude and he talked in a way that I am a thief. AVOID THIS COMPANY IF YOUR CREDIT SCORE AND YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ARE IMPORTANT.