2020 January 6th
In this InterServer review, I tested the services of an affordable privately-owned provider.
The host has quite a few promises - top-level performance, affordable pricing, ease-of-use, and high-end security features.
Is it capable of delivering these claims?
To find out, I evaluated InterServer's pricing, features, performance, and customer support.
Let's see whether the provider is as good as it promises to be.
What is InterServer?
InterServer started small and grew into a big private hosting company. It offers professional solutions for all types of users. The list of services includes shared standard, professional, ASP.NET, and email hosting, VPS and cloud solutions, as well as dedicated servers.
Each hosting package is equipped with all the essential and premium features. Professional customer support, advanced security, top-level performance, and an intuitive control panel are just a few that are included.
The provider also ensures the results by doing everything in-house - from a private data center to customer support. And to make the deal even better, InterServer pricing remains very affordable.
For shared hosting InterServer has only one plan which costs $5/mo. However, the pricing only goes down. Yearly billing period gets you a 10% discount, 24-month is 15% cheaper, and the 3-year plan is reduced by 20%.
So how much exactly InterServer costs?
- The 1-month plan costs $5/mo and each month renews at the same price.
- The 6-month plan costs $4.75/mo billed $28.5 every 6 months.
- The 12-month plan is $4.5/mo billed $54 every year.
- The 3-year plan is $4/mo billed $144 every 3 years.
There's one thing why InterServer is one of my favorite providers - it does not increase pricing after renewal thanks to its Price Lock Guarantee.
It means, that if you pay 3 years in advance, it will be the same $4/mo after those 3 years. Unless, of course, you'll choose a shorter billing period later.
The plan also features unlimited SSD storage and bandwidth. You'll surely have a lot of those as the company utilizes only 50% of each server's capacity.
Other features also include:
- Unlimited email accounts.
- SSL certificate.
- Free website migration.
- Security features - weekly backups, DDoS protection, 24/7 server monitoring, etc.
- cPanel control panel.
- Caching and Cloudflare CDN.
So this is a lot of features for very affordable and transparent pricing. And with the options to scale up to Cloud VPS or even dedicated servers making InterServer an amazing option to get started.
InterServer has affordable and transparent pricing with no expensive renewals. It also features tons of great features making it a great value for money.
Alongside the affordable pricing, InterServer comes with a generous set of features. That's a premium control panel, well-maintained servers, in-house security systems, and speed-boosting services.
So in this part of the InterServer review, I tested how each of them works.
User-Friendly cPanel Control Panel
cPanel is the most popular control panel for hosting management. It's highly visual, easy to use, and has a vast community with guides and support.
So right after the purchase, I went straight to the cPanel to set up my website. The control panel has all the functions to be able to take full control of your account. It's easy to manage domain names, software, access file manager, and more.
It's nice to see the premium control panel included for free and without big pricing increases. Recently, cPanel increased its prices and many smaller hosts started either increasing their own pricing or switching to cPanel alternatives.
However, the most useful feature for all beginner website owners is the Softaculous one-click script installer.
Having hundreds of apps it allows installing CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal in one click. So I just simply selected WordPress, picked a domain for the software to be installed on, and clicked "Install."
The tool makes hosting much easier. You won't need to go through all the steps of downloading software to your computer and uploading its files through SFTP.
Employing cPanel as its main control panel, InterServer makes hosting easy for beginners and advanced enough for pros who need more advanced configurations.
Utilizing 50% of Server Capacity
InterServer utilizes only 50% of each server's capacity. That means, that you'll share the server with way fewer users than a regular provider would put on a server.
What does that mean?
No server overload, more resources for your website, and better reliability.
This point leads to a very important explanation. Although InterServer offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth, you'll still be very limited by the server's resources.
"Unlimited" as a concept is often used as a sales tactic but there are no providers that can actually do that. If that was the case, Amazon would spend much less on its hosting infrastructure and would simply pay a couple of dollars for shared hosting.
Fortunately, InterServer's "unlimited" is closer to the truth - by utilizing only 50% of server capacity it leaves a lot of space for users to scale without the need for upgrading. So while other providers' "unlimited" equal to something like 15GB, InterServer's "unlimited" might be closer to 30GB and more.
To make sure that its claims about reliability and performace are correct, InterServer utilizes only 50% of server capacity. This leaves much more space for user accounts compared to regular hosts and ensures better reliability and speed.
Advanced Security Features
InterServer has developed an in-house security package. It is included for free with each purchase. The list of security features include:
- Web attack blocking.
- Automatic virus scanning.
- Machine learning firewall.
- In house malware database.
InterServer does not just mitigate every possible threat. It also has a database to store information about previous attacks in order to prevent them from happening again.
The security features also include complimentary weekly backups. So even if something happens due to an attack or on your side - there'll still be a functioning copy of the website you can use to restore it.
It's safe to say that security is one of the strongest InterServer sides. It prevents and mitigates threats as well as provides you with a plan B in case anything happens.
Performance Boosting Features
Alongside with the 50% server capacity utilization, InterServer also includes global caching and Cloudflare services.
- Caching is a service that stores static data in a visitor's browser and makes it faster to access if they visit the site repeatedly. Global caching works even more effectively. Files under 2MB are store in RAM - random access memory that delivers data much faster than a regular hard drive. This makes page load times better even for first-time visitors.
- DNS turns all simple domain names such as domain.com into IP addresses in order to ensure privacy and security. But this takes time. Cloudflare DNS allows shortening this period of time from 5 seconds to 11 milliseconds. This makes your site to save up a lot of time loading.
So no matter if your site is big or not, InterServer will do it all to make it fast. And speed is important. Slow loading sites perform much worse in regard to bounce rates, search engine appearance, and hence - conversions.
InterServer understands the importance of website loading speed and includes a couple of valuable features to boost the already fast server performance.
With loads of features to deliver the best performance, InterServer results should be brilliant. To test them out for this InterServer review, I've set up a basic WordPress site.
To get accurate results I used 2 stress tests to analyze results from different locations - the US and Europe.
- Response time is the time that takes the server to react to a request to load a website.
- VUs represent the number of virtual users that imitate real-life visitors.
- Requests rate corresponds to VUs made Requests Per Second (RPS)
The results in the US are great. The average response time was 14ms - extremely great outcome. It will score Google's categorization as fast for a website.
Europe's results are no less impressive. Although the server does perform a little slower due to latency, the issue can be quickly solved by turning the CDN on.
Europe's server averages at 73ms response time and fits into Google's 200ms to be categorized as fast as well.
As you can see, InterServer's methods and services included do work out and result in a great performance.
The provider also promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee which is pretty standard for the whole hosting industry. In the table below you can see live data from the website's tracking tool - uptime and response time.
|Live uptime:||Unavailable||Live response time:||Unavailable|
InterServer is not only fast but reliable as well. The results show that the provider will keep your site up at all times which is one of the key things when building an online presence, establishing a brand, and gaining the trust of your customers.
So when looking for a reliable provider that is also fast, InterServer is one of the options I like to recommend.
InterServer shows extremely great performance results. The speed test show perfect server health, uptime is better than promised, and response time is flawless.
InterServer Customer Support
InterServer has a 24/7 support team available via live chat, phone, and email. There's also a big database of tips, tutorials, and guides if you're not up for a chat.
There's one thing though - you'll have a hard time finding live chat support once you log in to your control panel. The only featured support option becomes email tickets, that are significantly slower than getting an answer right away.
So in order to reach live chat support, you'll need to go through the InterServer's homepage and find the option there.
It's a minor inconvenience but I understand why InterServer is doing this. Ticket support agents can take more time to resolve issues while live chat is often used for sales.
And of course, users are encouraged to use tips and tutorials database the provider has.
But all in all, InterServer has all the support options and the agents are more than willing to help. Also, being an in-house team, employees actually care about the success of their users and are very well trained to solve any issue.
InterServer Review - the Verdict
In this InterServer review, I found out that the provider is exactly what it promises to be. The host is fast, reliable, fully-featured, and above all - affordable.
The key selling point for me is the pricing. InterServer does not engage in any hosting industry tricks - it has no expensive renewals and upsells. Also, the advertised pricing can only go down - not up.
For this affordable pricing, users are also equipped with top-notch service - security and speed-boosting features, great performance, and reliability.
InterServer is a great option for all blog writers, business sites, and eCommerce store owners that are looking for a provider giving the best value for money.
Have you used or decided to choose InterServer? Share your own reviews in the comment section down below!
- Low Price
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Great server performance
- Only one shared hosting plan
- No direct support access in cPanel