NearlyFreeSpeech is a rather unusual provider of web hosting services, which has a unique outlook on this aspect of IT.
Founded in 2002, NearlyFreeSpeech delivers a truly unusual web hosting solution in which you only pay for what you use, and 'beyond the occasional pizza' they tend to reinvest the profits.
But is NearlyFreeSpeech quality of service as interesting as their standpoint?
What Were My First Impressions?
NearlyFreeSpeech really stands out from the crowd in the web hosting sphere with its website alone. Although the website looks like an old MS Word-based school project, I was glad to see that there was no garbage talk or hard selling.
NearlyFreeSpeech puts a huge emphasis on fundamental values related to privacy. This is hinted at by the name of the provider, but its website also makes this clear as well. This is always welcomed, particularly when it comes to hosting.
As for the services - they promise to deliver a metered system, in which you effectively pay-as-you-go. The site also makes the payment process transparent by providing a bandwidth calculator and pricing estimator.
This means that (in theory) you can make NearlyFreeSpeech work for you, on your terms.
NearlyFreeSpeech operates in a completely different way to other web hosting providers. It is much more difficult to evaluate its pricing model compared to others, solely because they only charge you for what you use.
|Base Charge||$0.01 per day||$0.05 per day||$0.50 per day|
|Intended Usage||Personal & Beta Sites or Experiments||Business websites||Large business websites|
|SSL||Not included||Not included||Not included|
|Base Bandwidth||1GB per day||10GB per day||100 GB per day|
|Extra Bandwidth||$0.10 per GB||$0.10 per GB||$0.10 per GB|
|Storage||$1 per GB per month||$1 per GB per month||$1 per GB per month|
|SSD or HDD||SSD||SSD||SSD|
Along with this information, NearlyFreeSpeech does have a calculator on their site which allows you to see how much you will spend according to your average usage.
Although it allows you to completely customize your package, this could turn out to be more expensive than other web hosting solutions.
I think it's fair to say, though, that this provider is much more suited to advanced users who understand exactly what they need.
More to add, customer reviews show that the pricing is way too complicated and sometimes you can't fully comprehend what you are paying for. Even when your domain expires, you can be charged for privacy domain settings and other options. These can be discontinued only with the help of customer support.
And that's where it becomes really interesting.
NearlyFreeSpeech provides an unmanaged environment and that's why their free customer support is somewhat non-existent.
Their viewpoint is that all members are especially 'knowledgeable and willing to learn on their own'.
No one will hold your hand and guide you through services if they are working on NearlyFreeSpeech's side.
Although if you decide that you really need help, you need to pay additionally and become a Subscription Member.
If you subscribe for $5/mo. you'll get some support. Although it's not clear when you'll get your answer and if the support will respond at all (as some customers' reviews show.) With Baseline membership, you are on your own.
I tested NearlyFreeSpeech's response times and found they were reasonable. Although, it should be said that the times were much better throughout the western world than in Asia.
I also found there to be zero issues with the sites I was running with NearlyFreeSpeech, which is a clear positive with this provider.
NearlyFreeSpeech Review - Summary
While other providers sell you basic packages that you may not use to its full potential, NearlyFreeSpeech only sells you what you do use.
Although, they can still trap you and you'll be left paying until your virtual wallet is drained out.
After checking out other NearlyFreeSpeech reviews too, it seems that a lot of its users love the customizable control panel that NearlyFreeSpeech offers, while I personally found this provider lacking in many other essential areas, such as clearness of pricing and support.
Although there are some interesting ideas with this provider, I cannot recommend NearlyFreeSpeech to anyone with little tech knowledge looking for a basic web hosting provider. NearlyFreeSpeech is a little too complicated for beginners, and therefore would be better off checking out other providers.