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1&1 IONOS is Europe's largest domain name registrar and hosting company. With bargain-priced plans, a website builder, and money-back guarantee, choosing this host may seem like a slam dunk decision.
But how's their customer support? What about server response speeds? How do they stack up against competitors like GoDaddy?
Here's what you need to know.
Pros and Cons
- Wide variety of web-related products
- Easily scalable
- No guarantees against price increases
- Lots of services are sold separately instead of bundled together into one package
If you're looking for a hosting company that offers more than just hosting, 1&1 IONOS might be a good fit for you. Their prices are competitive. We were impressed that even the shared hosting plans were scalable — typically, this is reserved for advanced hosting options like VPS plans.
1&1's hosting plans will come with all that you need to get your website online. However, the company offers a lot of different products, and rather than including everything in all-inclusive packages, you'll have to opt-in and purchase the extras you want — many do not come standard with web hosting.
About 1&1 IONOS
Founded in 1988, 1&1 IONOS (formerly called 1&1 Internet) is owned by German company United Internet.
It employs over 7,000 people globally and has offices in ten countries. The company's headquarters are in Montabaur, Germany. Its primary US office is located in Chesterfield, Pennsylvania.
The company currently manages over 8 million customers and 12 million websites, making it one of the largest internet and hosting companies.
Web Hosting Types and Plans
1&1 assigns performance levels to each of its servers. The upper-level (and more expensive) plans thus offer more enhanced performance over the lower-level, cheaper plans.
All 1&1 plans also include a free domain, a shared SSL certificate, and access to 24/7/365 customer service and technical support. Customers can select shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting packages, with several different plans available for each service. 1&1 doesn't use cPanel, but offers an in-proprietary option to its customers.
Web Hosting (Shared Hosting)
You can pick from three shared hosting plans.
The Essential Plan
The basic, entry-level shared plan features:
- 10 GB storage
- 1 website
- 10 databases
- 10 email accounts.
The Business Plan
This plan's regular price is $8 per month and it can host up to 5 websites.
You'll also get:
- 100 GB of storage
- 25 databases (1 GB SSD)
- 25 email accounts
- Up to 2.5 GB of RAM.
1&1 states that the Business Plan can handle up to 100 visitors/minute.
The Expert Plan
1&1’s top level shared hosting plan — called the Expert Plan — costs $14 per month, can handle up to 300 visitors/minute, and provides:
- Hosting for up to 50 websites
- 500 GB of storage
- 500 databases (1 GB SSD)
- 500 email accounts
- Sitelock malware protection
The top-level plan also includes enhanced performance metrics, SiteLock security, and access to a CDN (content delivery network), which helps stabilize your site during high traffic, DDoS attacks, and node outages.
Specialty Hosting: WordPress or Windows
1&1 also offers some specialty shared hosting plans similar to the Web Hosting options.
There's the WordPress Hosting option for those with WordPress sites, as well as Windows/ASP.NET hosting for those working with Microsoft technologies. These plans are similar to the Web Hosting ones, but with small customizations to suit these groups of users.
1&1 IONOS offers cloud hosting, which we've slotted in between shared and VPS hosting, even though its cloud-based infrastructure puts this product in a slightly different category.
The Cloud Hosting option is more performant than the shared hosting plan, and you can see this reflected in its pricing. There are four different cloud hosting plans from which you can choose, each varying in the number/amount of CPI cores, RAM, and SSD storage offered.
Cloud Hosting plans come with the Cloud Control Panel for management, and you'll get additional bonuses like pre-installed apps (WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are some of the options), managed services, automatic server updates, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee).
VPS Hosting Plan Features
Virtual private servers give you the best of both worlds — the added reassurance that comes from breaking away from shared hosting without the stiffer price tags that come with dedicated hosting packages.
You can choose from among five different servers, S to XXL, each with increasing amounts of storage and RAM, all with unlimited bandwidth. All packages also include full root access, VMWare-powered virtualization, and SSD storage.
Additionally, you can select your data center location and choose between Linux and Windows as your server’s OS. 1&1’s VPS plans offer 99.9% uptime and around-the-clock customer service.
Dedicated Hosting Plan Features
For developers who need more powerful servers with deeper capabilities, 1&1’s high-performance dedicated servers offer a number of features that will keep your more complex projects well supported.
You can choose from the value or performance-oriented servers at a number of various price points to suit your budget. The server specifications range from 240 GB to 1 TB SSD storage and from 8 to 64 GB of RAM.
You can select the specifications and cost that fit your needs, but you can always upgrade or downgrade should those needs shift in the future. Each plan offers root access and your choice of operating system (Linux or Windows).
Alternatively, you can opt for a managed hosting package and let 1&1 IONOS handle all the server administration tasks.
These plans also come with up to 1 GB/s bandwidth and unlimited traffic.
Features and Add-Ons
When opting for hosting with 1&1, here are some of the features and add-ons you can expect.
SSL Certificate and SiteLock security
All packages include one Wildcard SSL certificate to protect your website-related transmissions and improve your search engine rankings.
Those with Pro and Expert packages will also get a SiteLock subscription, which scans your webpages for malware and safeguards you against vulnerabilities.
Does 1&1 Use the cPanel Control Panel?
No, 1&1 does not use cPanel, a popular control panel. They have their own custom control panel that's easy to use. You do have the option to install cPanel if you prefer it.
Note that some of 1&1's cloud, VPS, and dedicated plans use the Plesk brand control panel.
Performance and Uptime
In our experience monitoring 1&1's performance with Pingdom, we saw a monthly uptime ranging between 99.98% and 100%. Even though 1&1 doesn't offer an uptime guarantee at the shared hosting levels, you can rest assured that your website will see little downtime.
In terms of performance, we saw average response times ranging between 333 to 358 milliseconds, which makes 1&1 one of the fastest hosts around, especially in the budget-friendly tier.
1&1 uses the Cloudflare content delivery network to cache and distribute your website to over 60 datacenters around the world. This ensures that your visitors are talking to the server that's as close to them as possible, speeding up their page load times.
Railgun Available on Some Plans
Cloudflare's proprietary Railgun technology — which provides further speed optimization — is available on the Unlimited Pro and Managed Server hosting. (You can also purchase it directly from Cloudflare.)
Website and Online Store Builder
Selecting your hosting plan is only the first step. You still have to build a site. Of course, with your HTML skills, you can do that! But every developer takes advantage of timesaving tools and apps on occasion, and 1&1 has an impressive assortment on offer.
Intuitive and Easy to Use
The 1&1 Website Builder tools are perfect for people with little to no experience in HTML and website building. But whether you’re an expert in HTML coding or not, you can use this site-building tool with its user-friendly interface that lets you get a gorgeous site up and running in no time.
You can also use a more advanced tool offered by 1&1, NetObjects Fusion, for even more fine-tuned customization. It’s not quite as beginner-friendly as the 1&1 Website Builder, but the tradeoff is a greater degree of creative expression and control.
Additionally, you can take advantage of an extensive collection of apps in the 1&1 App Center. Here, you’ll find a wide assortment of extensions, themes to add functionality or visual elements to your website.
1&1 also offers WordPress installation, if you’re planning on building a WordPress-powered site. You can select the WordPress option during your hosting checkout process.
Other Products and Services
1&1 offers the following marketing services to help drive traffic to your site:
- Local Business Listing to get your site on the radar of local search
- Google Ads Management Service to make sure your website gets seen, even if it's not ranked at the top
- Search Engine Optimization Tool to help you get to the top of search engine rankings organically
- Email Marketing Software to help you reach out to those on your mailing lists.
Email and Productivity
1&1 IONOS offers email hosting and cloud-based storage if your hosting plan doesn't come with either service.
1&1's email services support encryption, though you will need to provide your own client and certificates to make this happen.
Infrastructure and Datacenters
1&1 IONOS employs datacenters in seven locations in the United States and Europe. Additionally, the company’s network relies on multiple redundant junctions to increase connectivity rates, speed-up loading times, and enhance user capacity for all of its hosted sites.
1&1 utilizes green, environmentally-friendly technology in all of its datacenters.
Network and Facility Security
The facilities are protected by steel-reinforced walls, redundant uninterruptible power supplies with emergency diesel generators and plumb gel batteries, and 24-hour-a-day surveillance. HVAC systems keep the servers at optimal temperatures.
The company has also secured various auditing certifications for its network, thus assuring customers of the highest commitment to current security standards.
The datacenters house over 70,000 servers, each with multiple redundant connections between sites, thus ensuring an uptime of almost 100%.
1&1 offers 24/7 technical support that can be reached via telephone or Support wizard. Those who would prefer to work on their own will find the documentation contained in the 1&1 Help Center useful.
1&1 IONOS, in general, makes its products easy to use. For example, if you wanted to transfer your domain name from, say, GoDaddy, you will find a lot of information to help you do so and make sure you don't miss any steps. If you wanted to cancel and delete your account, you can do so 24/7 by phone.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
1&1 offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on most hosting plans. Be aware that this guarantee does not apply to “Premium” products. If a money-back guarantee is important to you, we suggest reviewing the Terms of Service for details before you sign up.
1&1 IONOS vs GoDaddy
If you're looking at 1&1, you're probably also looking at GoDaddy as well. How do these two compare?
Both companies are similar in that they offer domain name services, a variety of hosting options, and professional services. GoDaddy might have a slight edge in terms of products on offer, but 1&1 is no slouch.
1&1 is slightly cheaper, and we see much better performance and uptime from 1&1.
Both have website and online store builders and support material for small businesses. 1&1 provides a “Personal Consultant” who can help you with a number of issues like marketing advice.
Comparison of Entry-Level Plans
|Feature||1&1 IONOS Essential||GoDaddy Economy|
|Intro price (month)||$4.00||$4.33|
|Renewal price (month)||$4.00||$7.99|
|Free domain?||Lifetime||Contract term|
|Storage||10 GB||100 GB|
Comparing on Storage
On storage, we note that GoDaddy's entry-level “Economy Plan” offers 100 GB of storage.
1&1's comparable plan is the Business Plan, not the Essential Plan. The Business Plan costs more but includes a number of other features including the ability to host multiple sites.
Other 1&1 Alternatives
1&1’s entry-level plans are a good fit for the bargain-conscious. Developers can choose from multiple cloud plans providing granular control.
With pro services to increase traffic to your website and fast server speeds, 1&1 can be a good fit for small businesses. If that's you, visit 1&1 IONOS now.
Your Review of 1&1 Hosting
Are you a former or current 1&1 Hosting customer? Following your experience, would you recommend them to your nearest and dearest? How do they perform in terms of speed, features, and customer service? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below and let us know what you think.
Contributing editor: Sherrie Gossett.