Tsohost Review

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Alex Baldwin

32 comments

2019 October 4th at 3:22

4.2

Performance

2.0

Pricing

5.0

User friendly

3.0

Support

8.0

Features

3.0

tsoHost is a British hosting provider, aiming to make web hosting simple and very scalable. Trusted by over 250,000 customers, it's one of the biggest hosting providers in the country.

In this tsoHost review, we'll be putting this company to the test - and see how it performs to the worldwide giants.

What is tsoHost?

Tsohost has actually been around for quite some time, since 2003, in fact. Frustrated at the fact that high-performance hosting at an affordable price didn't seem to exist, founder Darren Lingham decided to make it possible. UK based web hosting is a competitive market, and Tsohost hopes to be a company that not only attracts customers from the UK but from all over the world with their attractive pricing model and 24/7 customer support.

Let's find out how it does, shall we?

*This review is based on the 'Startup' package*

Tsohost Hosting Services

What does Tsohost offer? Well, hosting, obviously. But let's look a little more deeply into exactly which options we have available to us.

  • Domain names
  • Web hosting
  • Virtual private servers
  • Dedicated servers

Strong options! Nothing out of the ordinary, but it's nice to see Tsohost offering more than just simple web hosting.

However, web hosting will be the thing we take a look at in depth today. It is worth mentioning though, that the first thing you'll find after landing on the Tsohost homepage, is a big old search box for domain names. Take a look.

Tsohost review

Well, it's a good start, at least aesthetically. It's always a nice treat when a hosting provider puts some effort into their website design. Looking at you, Arvixe...

Moving on to the next part of the Tsohost review, we'll take a look at the packages on offer.

What’s Included In The Tsohost Hosting Packages?

Tsohost review

Four in total.

With prices ranging from £1.34 per month to £18.02, Tsohost have an option for almost everyone. It's a welcome thing to see a package that is aimed primarily at eCommerce sites, too!

I'll now go ahead and break down the plans in a little more detail in the table below:

Personal Startup Business eCommerce
Disk Space Limit 500MB 15GB 50GB 100GB
Bandwidth Limit Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
How Many Domains Allowed 1 3 8 20
SSD Or HDD Used In Servers? HDD for Shared Hosting, SDD for VPS & Dedicated Servers HDD for Shared Hosting, SDD for VPS & Dedicated Servers HDD for Shared Hosting, SDD for VPS & Dedicated Servers HDD for Shared Hosting, SDD for VPS & Dedicated Servers
SSL Let's Encrypt SSL Support Let's Encrypt SSL Support Let's Encrypt SSL Support Let's Encrypt SSL Support
Anti-DDoS Protection No No No NO
Anti-Malware Protection No No No No
Email Accounts 5 x 200MB Mailboxes 100 x 200MB Mailboxes 100 x 1GB Mailboxes Unlimited x 10GB Mailboxes
FTP Accounts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Website Builder No No No No
Website Templates None None None None
Assisted Website Transfer Free Free Free Free
cPanel No No No No
Auto-Installer Included Included Included Included
Auto-Installer Scripts 28 28 28 28
Money Back Guarantee 60 days 60 days 60 days 60 days
Customer Support 24/7 Live chat, Ticket, Phone 24/7 Live chat, Ticket, Phone 24/7 Live chat, Ticket, Phone 24/7 Live chat, Ticket, Phone
Choice Of Server Location  No No No No
Free Automated Backups Daily Daily Daily Daily

Well, lots to talk about! Let's get on with it.

First Impressions

Features

Features, features, features!

Starting with the good points. Unlimited bandwidth on all plans. This is pretty great, as you won't be capped or slowed down if your bandwidth is exceeded, as is the case with some other providers.

You also get unlimited FTP accounts, as well as free automated backups daily on every plan.

In terms of storage space, things scale as you go up in price. Starting with 500MB for the Personal plan, and ending with 100GB for the eCommerce plan. Good stuff, most people won't be exceeding 15GB of disk space, let alone 100GB unless your site is incredibly graphics and video heavy.

'Let’s Encrypt SSL Support' is included on all plans, too.

Tsohost review

Now onto the not so good stuff.

There is no built-in Anti-DDoS or Anti-Malware protection. It's down to you, the user, to ensure the security of your site through PHP and plugins. There is no included website builder or website templates and you also cannot choose your server location.

Now the biggest downsides, to me at least are the following:

On all web hosting services, only Hard Disk Drives (HDD) are used. You only have access to Solid State Drives (SSD) when purchasing VPS hosting or Dedicated Server hosting.

This is pretty disappointing, as a modern and seemingly forward thinking company should really be using SSDs for their web hosting, at the very least on the £18 per month eCommerce package. SSDs are much faster at responding and far less prone to being damaged than HDDs.

The next incredibly disappointing thing is the lack of cPanel. Tsohost include their own control panel, named 'Tsohost Cloud Hosting Platform' which is accessible through your account on the Tsohost website. In theory, this is fine, but in practice, things are quite different.

Tsohost review

Above you can see the dashboard presented to you immediately after logging in. Pretty standard so far. I imagine this is particularly useful for users that have more than one website, as you can easily choose to manage whichever site you have from here.

For people with one site, like we have here, just going directly to 'Manage website' after login would be a smarter way of doing things, I believe. Still, it's only a small issue, not much to complain about so far.

The issues become a little more evident once we jump into managing our website.

Tsohost review

See the problem? It's just a lack of features. If you take a look at something like ResellerClub, you'll see cPanel in its glory. Full of features and very easy to understand. Sadly, it's not the case here.

I still am not quite sure why Tsohost decided to implement their own control panel instead of just using cPanel, but each to their own, I suppose.

There is an auto-installer present, but quite frankly it is dreadful. It just installs/uninstalls applications in the background. There is no visual clue of how the installation is going, and other than an 'installing, please wait'  message, you just have to sit and wait for the page to refresh once it's done.

tsoHost Pricing

tsoHost has 3 main plans - starting at £2.92 per month, and going all the way to £18.02 per month. Plus, you will also have to pay taxes, depending on the location you are in. All of the plans include unlimited bandwidth and can host multiple websites.

But the numbers are not as simple as they may look.

Let's break them down completely, and find out exactly what you'd be paying for each plan in the cart.

Payment Period / Plan Startup Business eCommerce
1 Month £3.82 £8.78 £23.98
12 Months £37.90 £87.90 £239.90
24 Months £70.00 £158.22  £432.37

*Excluding VAT

So there it all is. These are the prices you'll be paying at check out. Because, oh yes, you pay up front. Even though the prices you see in the promotional plans are monthly costs, you don't have the option to pay monthly, you have to pay it all right at the start. This is typical for hosting providers, so not much room for complaints.

Tsohost Customer Service

Tsohost review

Those are some pretty great options. A knowledge base is always a welcome thing to see when checking out the support section of a hosting provider, as it shows they have thought not only about proactive but preventative support, too.

The rest of the support options are fairly standard, you have the following:

  • Live chat (available from 7AM - Midnight, GMT)
  • Phone support (available from 7AM - Midnight, GMT)
  • Ticket support (available 24/7 through your Tsohost account)

Like I said, pretty standard. It's a little disappointing, however, that the live chat is not available 24/7. This is a problem, as let's say you have an issue that comes up at 1AM GMT. You can go ahead and submit a ticket, but chances are the ticket support will take a long time to get a resolution. Or, you can wait for 6 hours before being able to talk to someone live, either by chat or by phone.

Live chat in action

I've had a fair few issues that needed support since purchasing Tsohost, so it gave me a great chance to put their live chat support to the test.

In this part, I will take a look at the chat services and see how they perform on the 3 main qualities every good company should be striving for:

  • Response times. Live chat is supposed to be quick and 'live' – people starting them often don’t want to wait.
  • General knowledge of the agents. They should know the nooks and crannies of their company better than anyone else.
  • Human factor. The agents are supposed to act like real human beings and be emphatic. It’s expected, considering a lot of people who come to them will be angry and want their problems to be resolved.
tsohost reviewtsohost review tsohost review tsohost review tsohost review tsohost review

✓ Good response time

✓ Knowledgeable agent

✓ Friendly and human

Ticket support

Just a quick section here. I pretended to be having issues with the control panel not responding and giving me error messages, just to see if the technician would check it out and offer any kind of advice or solution.

Well, there is good news and bad news. Which would you like first? Hmm, sadly I can't hear your answer, so let's go good first, bad second.

The good: The response I received was professional, personable and offered a solution that probably would help if I was, in fact, facing this issue. (Clearing the browser's cache)

The bad: Response time was pretty poor. I must say that the first thing the technician wrote was 'I apologize for the delayed response!', which was welcome. But still, the fact I had to wait over 8 hours for a response to a technical issue is pretty disappointing. There is always the live chat, though!

Support is really where Tsohost shines. I can honestly say I haven't come across any better service in the world of hosting providers. The only downside here is the lack of 24/7 chat support, which hopefully they will change soon!

First Impressions During And After Purchase

Before making your purchase, you are prompted to either log into an existing Tsohost account, or create a new one.

Tsohost review Tsohost review

You have three payment options when purchasing a Tsohost plan. Paypal, BACS (Bankers' Automated Clearing Services), and Credit/Debit card. Pretty standard options, but it would have been nice to see cryptocurrencies available as a selection.

Anyway, moving on.

After paying for your desired package, you'll find yourself on the Tsohost dashboard.

Tsohost review

Not much interesting to talk about here. You have the options to see your products (hosting etc), your invoices, domains and tickets. Up top, you also are able to see all control options.

After we hit the 'Products' tab, we are taken to this page.

tsohost review

From here, you can see your domain, username and some other useful information like server name, IP address and nameservers.

More interestingly, though, is that here is where you access the aforementioned control panel. Now we have already talked about the control panel and my frustrations with its limitations, so let's talk about webmail instead.

Webmail

Like we saw from the table earlier, the startup plan comes with allowances for 100 200MB Mailboxes. Now, you'd think after clicking that link 'Login to Webmail' for the first time, you would be prompted to create a mailbox or at least a username/password to access it, right? Well, no. It turns out, you do it like this.

Step 1

Tsohost review

Firstly, you have to login to the control panel. From there, head to 'manage my website' and you'll find this list of 'Basic Management Tools'. You'll next want to hit 'Email Accounts' and you will be onto...

Step 2

Tsohost review

Here is where the magic happens. You'll have to hit the 'Create Mailbox' tab, and from there you'll be prompted to create an email address (****@yourdomainname.***) and a password for said account.

Step 3

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And finally, you can login with the credentials you just created. It's a bit of a shame that this isn't more streamlined. Tsohost could pretty easily implement the email account creation into their webmail application, or at the very least, have the link to webmail inside the control panel. It feels disjointed.

Performance Evaluation

Now you have already seen the 2/10 rating in regards to reliability, so you can probably tell that the performance section of this Tsohost review is going to be, well, interesting, to say the least.

I can sum it up in one word. Terrible.

Here are the 4 things we will be testing in terms of performance:

  • Host’s speed during low upkeep
  • Host’s speed with a website created using concrete5 website builder
  • Server’s overall uptime
  • Anti-theft security strength

Host Speed During Low Upkeep

This test shouldn't be difficult at all, it's a really simple HTML page that I quickly created. Sure, there are some links and CSS in there, but anything other than the absolute worst servers should handle this with ease.

Tsohost review

And let's take a look at how it performed:

tsohost review

Honestly, pretty great! Some of the response times are pretty weak, but overall not bad. Don't put too much stock into that 'A+' rating, as I've seen scores almost identical get rated anywhere from B to D+. So take it with a pinch of salt. The actual ms' though, those are accurate!

Host Speed During High Upkeep

This test should be more challenging. Using concrete5, a builder that is part of the 28 auto-installer scripts offered through Tsohost's control panel, I created a simple site, with some pictures, a rotating carousel and some Javascript plugins, to see how it would fare.

Tsohost review

A little more complex, but still something that should be not bogging down a server much at all. Here is how it performed:

Tsohost review

Not great. These speeds are again, kinda decent, but we can clearly see a slow down when compared to the simple HTML site. A quick note on the concrete5 builder, by the way. It's not bad at all! For a free add-on, I would say it's probably one of the best things that Tsohost offer.

Server Overall Uptime

For this part, as always, I set up a simple WordPress site and popped it into our handy friend Uptime Robot for tracking. This gives us a detailed breakdown of any and all downtimes, server response speeds and current server status.

Here is how it has performed over the last few days of monitoring:

Tsohost review

I don't even know what to say here. This kind of performance is not something I expected in any way at all. Peaks and troughs all over the place. Only 95% uptime over the last week! And where do I even begin when we look at the average response time?

Over 7500ms. Touching 8000ms. With spikes up to and exceeding 30000ms. That is 30 seconds of waiting time. Quite frankly, it's unacceptable to charge people for this kind of dreadful performance.

These kind of results are not something I expected from a company that boldly proclaims:

Tsohost review

'Super fast speeds and highest reliability...' 

Uh, well, either Tsohost are lying to us, or they really aren't aware of just how bad their servers actually are.


However, after a few more days of monitoring things have improved dramatically. I won't get ahead of myself, the average response times are still weak, very weak, but nothing like what we were seeing at first.

tsohost review

As you can see, things have improved. The average response time over the past 24 hours has been around the 2000ms mark. Still poor, but much better than almost 8000ms!

Sadly,  there has still been some downtime present, the most recent one lasting almost 2 hours.

Anti-Theft Security Evaluation

Now it's time to take a look at how much impotence Tsohost put on security.

First up, a brute-force protection check. Imagine someone that may have an idea of what your password is – but doesn't know the entire thing. Maybe even an automated script that tries out all possible combinations until the password is guessed correctly.

I attempted to replicate these things by changing my IP and browser before quickly entering the incorrect password 20 times, and finally entering the correct one on the 21st attempt. I was allowed in.

This is poor. Tsohost could easily implement an additional step after incorrectly guessing say, 5 or 10 times. A Captcha, answering the security question you are made to choose when signing up? Anything is better than nothing.

The second test involved connecting to the live chat and trying to convince the agents that I had lost access to both my email account and my Tsohost credentials, and I attempted to get the logins from them with no solid evidence from my side.

No luck. Nothing, zilch. Without knowing anything about myself, Tsohost wouldn't give anything away. They would only provide my username and logins if I provided my ID, proof of the card number I used to purchase, my address, as well as the answer to the security question I set up. Good stuff, finally!

tsoHost Review - Conclusion

In short - tsoHost isn't a great hosting provider. The performance is woeful - you just cannot charge paying consumers for a web hosting service that has frequent downtimes. The response time is among the worst we've ever come across, and I'm truly shocked that things turned out this way.

You look at tsoHost's home page, their ethos and the clear effort that has gone into their site; and you assume that they really are a great provider. Clearly, this has taught us to never judge a book by it's cover.

To sum things up, Tsohost is like a car that looks great on the outside but has the performance of a desert jellyfish. You're better off buying literally any other provider in our best web hosting list. With the possible exception of Network Solutions, of course.

Pros

  • Good pricing options
  • Great customer support
  • Free daily backups

Cons

  • No SSD servers
  • Dreadful performance
  • Lack of cPanel

Performance

2.0

Pricing

5.0

User friendly

3.0

Support

8.0

Features

3.0

Disclosure: We earn a commission if you make a purchase through referral links in this review. This helps to cover the expenses for running ongoing performance tests.

Tsohost User Reviews

32 comments

Jeff picture
Jeff

2019 October 22nd

TSOhost fail again. Some time back they had a problem with Microsoft blacklisting emails that had been transferred from Daily, but they did eventally clear it up. Here we are again and weeks this time have passed with no progress despite what the Status page says the problem has not been resolved. Their suggestion to me was for me to take out a subscription to their CPanel hosting at a cost of £82 a year with a complimentary 20% discount on my first bill. Guess what – I am migrating as soon as I can set it up.

Pricing User friendly Features
mark picture
mark

2019 August 7th

I have now been waiting nearly three weeks for TSO to sort our emails as we are getting blocked by Microsoft. Tso say the IP has been blacklisted which i understand but as i run my own business the thing i cannot understand is why they have not just moved the IP until the matter is sorted rather than blaming Microsoft, offer the customer a service and say how we can solve this for our client rather than waiting for another company to solve. Very poor customer service, i am sure i am not the only one but moving all my products when we get a chance.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Tim Evans picture
Tim Evans

2019 July 14th

Let me first start with the reviews on this site. TSO Hosting are rated as “excellent” with apparently 89% of five star reviews. Something smells fishy, very fishy. I have been in the IT business for 35 years and this does not look right. When you consider the amount of appalling reviews and the experience we have had I just cannot believe that there are that number of genuine 5-star reviews.

We have been in business with TSO Hosting for around a year and a half, formerly with Vidahost, which amalgamated with TSO Hosting. It seems that TSO Hosting is run by Eastern Europeans yet they say they are based in the UK – again, very fishy. My belief is that they are run from Eastern Europe, possibly Bulgaria.

We have over 30 domains registered with them and wanted to add three more variations for a charity. Because we use a VPN for security on our browsers (like millions worldwide do) they said we were acting fraudulently, yet, they allowed us to pay deposits on our account and even pay for an existing domain whilst online at the same time, using the same browser and the same VPN. Their security checking methods are clearly terrible.

We will now be looking to move all of our business away from them and making a compensation claim against them approaching £20,000. I would strongly suggest that anybody else who is messed about by TSO Hosting, not only move your business away from them but claim compensation too.

Matt picture
Matt

2019 April 2nd

Hi,
We experienced tremendous amount of downtime on the S cloud server, our business is being affected including our SEO – 4 days of downtime and then regular hiccups. We came across this website of reviews who also used to host with VidaHost before being TSOHost. We came across a company called Speedydot, which is now Stablepoint.com.

We’ve just moved everything over which has around 50 sites and cannot be any happier. Infact, the original founders of tsohost have founded stablepoint so it’s a plus! recommend stablepoint

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Will picture
Will

2019 March 28th

I would agree with this. TSO were great 2-3 years ago but now their service is absolutely terrible. Daily outages which are never reported. Server and site performance is worse than woeful. Such a shame this company used to be good but now its close to the worst on the market Ive experienced. Support staff simply suggest you buy a dedicated server from them.

Avoid TSO Host like the plague.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Dan picture
Dan

2019 March 12th

I moved all my hosting accounts from Heart Internet to Vidahost a few years back, this was a horrible and unpaid process over many months. The hosting from Vida was ok, better than Heart, so I committed to moving all my customers over. Sadly though in the last 2 years they have declined and the service is now a complete joke. Constant issues, performance is dire, often entire clusters are problematic and can be going on for a week or more which is frankly ludicrous. I am kind of stuck with them as I can’t even begin to entertain yet another mass-move, however I have started to move some clients over to SiteGround. Save yourself the bother, and don’t even consider TSO for Cloud hosting. Their VPS service, in contrast, is pretty decent though!

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Angela picture
Angela

2019 March 4th

We’ve finally moved away from TSOHost/VidaHost, after doing an initial search and reach out we are now moving over to Speedydot.. Did you know the original founders of VidaHost/TSOHost are now on-board with Speedydot.. After they left tsohost/vidahost in 2016, things have gone downhill.. we’ve just signed up for our reseller package with speedy dot and hoping to transfer our sites as soon as.

Goodbye to downtime/tsohost and welcome to a better support and service.

Rob picture
Rob

2019 March 4th

We used to be with Vidahost UK and were quite happy with them. TSO then took over and the service has been deteriorating ever since. The dedicated VPS offerings are OK and seem reliable but the cloud and shared hosting services are now quite poor. Frequent issues with load balancing, our status notifications of downtime now effectively spamming us as some of our client websites go down every couple of hours for about 10 minutes, frequent SQL connection errors and lengthly response times averaging at round 3 seconds but can spike at 30 to 40 seconds. Even emails about account suspensions being sent in error. The uptime of our websites on their shared hosting solution is now at 97% for this past month. The support has also declined in quality and is far below most of the other competitors out there. At times, they can be helpful, other times they suggest it is your website that is the issue. As a result of all the above, we are considering moving our client websites away from TSO soon.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Mike O picture
Mike O

2019 February 21st

Constantly slow service in the afternoons after 4pm GMT, we’re in the process of moving away from TSO Host

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Dave Wave picture
Dave Wave

2019 February 19th

Used to be such a good host but service is now terrible.Constant downtime, servers overloaded etc.
The whole point of their cloud offering is that it can cope automatically with spikes etc. I’ve had constant problems for the last 2 weeks this is their latest response.
“Hi Dave,

The load has been mitigated now and the performance should be back to normal.

We’re really sorry for the inconvenience caused by this. This is a shared server and it’s normal to experience some slow load because all of the resources are shared between many users. Although the Cloud is clustered, there are still many customers on each cluster so if there’s any load caused by any of them, all sites will get affected by it. We can offer you a better performance on one of our VPS servers. The benefit is that you will have your own dedicated resources and you will get what you’re paying for. Nobody will encroach on them and you can do as much optimizations and server modifications as you wish. Another plus is that we do 24/7 monitoring and if anything goes wrong with it, our system administrators will catch it and fix it for you so you won’t need to worry about it yourself. We also offer full backups for 30 days on a separate server.

Let me know if you’re interested in switching to a VPS, I will be more than happy to answer any questions you have and assist with the transition.

Kind regards,

Svetlana A.”

They just want you to upgrade to a vps solution.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features