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InterServer's primary hosting provides unlimited cPanel web hosting capable of supporting WordPress, e-commerce, message boards, or general website-related projects at a budget-friendly price point.
But is this too good to be true? Is unlimited really unlimited (or are there just hidden limits)? Is there anything InterServer's not telling you that you should know about?
Read on to find out.
Founded in 1999, InterServer is a leading provider of affordable web hosting solutions backed by top-notch customer service.
The company offers a variety of web hosting options and it serves a variety of customers — from individual entrepreneurs and small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, around the world.
Pros and Cons
- Web hosting with unlimited SSD storage
- InterShield security
- Free assistance with compromised sites
- Price-lock guarantees
- Not the cheapest hosting
- Confusing hosting choices
InterServer appears to target a more tech-savvy audience than typical budget hosts. Its website focuses on the company's custom security solutions (offered to all customers, regardless of hosting plan), robust infrastructure, and assistance with time-consuming solutions like fixing an account after it has been hacked, compromised, or exploited.
InterServer also offers a Price Lock Guarantee, which means that the price you pay when you sign up is what you'll pay for the lifespan of the account. At no point will InterServer suddenly change the terms of your payments on you.
While InterServer isn't the most expensive host when it comes to shared hosting, the company isn't the cheapest option around.
(We do want to note, however, that the price tag isn't necessarily without justification — InterServer bundles a lot of professional services with its hosting plans, even at the shared hosting level.)
Furthermore, if you're new to the world of web hosting, InterServer's website and web hosting options might be hard to navigate. Many plans are quite similar, but InterServer chose to list the options individually. If you're not familiar with the terms used, you might assume that the plans are very different, when that is not the case.
Basic Web Hosting
InterServer's standard web hosting plans offer unlimited resources that the company claims is capable of supporting a variety of website-related projects.
While InterServer lists many types of basic web hosting available (eg, Standard Web Hosting, Non-Profit Hosting, Student Web Hosting, etc), note that these are all essentially the same plan.
InterServer's shared hosting plans are probably the ones most appropriate for you if you are looking to get your site up and running with a minimum of economic investment.
However, inexpensive doesn't necessarily mean useless — InterServer's shared plans all come with an unlimited allocation of storage and bandwidth, as well as support for as many websites as you would like to build.
You will also get as many email inboxes as necessary. Additionally, the plan offers free SSL certificate to help you keep your (and your visitors' data) out of the hands of unauthorized users.
You can choose to host your site on a Windows-based server or a Linux-based server.
InterServer's shared hosting plans are just $5 per month.
Extended contracts are available in lengths of 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, and if you opt for one of these, you will receive a discount on your monthly hosting fees. The longer your contract, the larger your discount, so those with 36-month-long contracts pay the least ($4 per month).
If you have an existing site, InterServer will help you migrate it over for use with your new InterServer plan free of charge.
cPanel and Plesk
Once you have gotten your site set up, you can manage it using the included control panel — cPanel for Linux servers or Plesk on Windows servers.
To extend the functionality and feature set of your website, you can access the one-click installer via your control panel and add things like message boards, event calendars, content forms, and more.
You can even set up your content management system (such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla) if that is what you are using to power your website.
Speed and Security
To protect and optimize the performance of your website, your plan comes with automatic backups, usage of the Cloudflare content delivery network (CDNs), and spam filters.
If you are a WordPress user, InterServer will automatically update your core on your behalf, which is important for WordPress security.
InterServer offers quality hardware, even at the shared hosting level.
In addition to offering solid-state drives for storage, your site is hosted on a server that is no more than 50% full. This server setup means there is a lower likelihood that another site hosted on the same server as yours cannibalizes the resources you need, resulting in slow page load speeds.
If you start with a shared hosting plan, later you can easily scale up to a VPS hosting plan, or even a dedicated server, with InterServer's No Downtime Migration Process.
This means that you do not have to seek out another web host if you grow, and you will not see any periods of time where your website is unavailable during the moving process.
Domain Name Discounts
If you purchase a shared hosting plan from InterServer and you do not already have a custom domain name, you can purchase one inexpensively as a thank you gift for purchasing a hosting plan.
Advanced Web Hosting Options
While you are most likely going to purchase a shared hosting plan when you are just getting started, InterServer does offer other hosting options:
- Reseller Hosting
- VPS and Cloud Hosting
- Quick Servers
- Dedicated Servers
- Colocation Services.
In some cases, you might choose to skip the shared plan and go straight to a VPS hosting plan (or even a dedicated server), especially if you are expecting fast growth in the near future. While you will have excess server capacity in the short run, you eliminate the need for upgrading and data migration in the longer run.
Reseller web hosting is a unique type of plan that is aimed at those looking to sell parts of their package to multiple individuals (for example, you could purchase a reseller hosting package and open up your own web hosting business).
InterServer's reseller plans come with instant account setup (many other providers ask for hours or days to provision your account), easy, web-based management, automatic backups, and use of premium hardware.
There are five different reseller hosting plans from which you can choose, each differing based on the plan's resource allocation. Regardless of which plan you purchase, you can host an unlimited number of accounts/websites.
VPS and Cloud Hosting
InterServer's VPS and cloud-based hosting options are typically what you would look to once you outgrow your shared plan, not reseller hosting. The VPS and cloud plans are very similar, but the latter hosts your website space in a cloud-based environment.
When purchasing a hosting plan, you will begin by choosing whether you want a Linux or a Windows hosting environment. Once you have made a decision, you'll need to decide on the number of CPU cores, amount of memory, amount of storage, and data transfer cap that best fits the needs of your website. The resources range as follows:
- 1 CPU core
- 2 GB RAM
- 30 GB storage
- 2 TB data transfer
- 16 CPU cores
- 32 GB RAM
- 480 GB storage
- 16 TB data transfer
VPS and cloud hosting plans are billed on a month-to-month basis, so there are no refunds and no money-back guarantees. You can, however, opt to pay upfront for a one-year contract to receive a 10% discount on the price of your hosting package.
As its most powerful, most customizable, and most expensive option, InterServer's dedicated servers are great for those who run resource-heavy websites that serve a high level of traffic.
In addition to the traditional dedicated server options, InterServer offers a product it calls Rapid Deploy Servers. They are essentially dedicated servers, which is why we have grouped the two options together in this review.
Rapid Deploy Servers are dedicated servers that can be provisioned for use in less than twenty minutes. InterServer offers a few configurations from which you can choose, and the options available tend to be much more powerful than the base servers that you can choose to customize.
The dedicated servers, however, are configurable options that can be provisioned and ready for use within four hours of your order. While there are standard dedicated hosting plans from which you can choose, you can add additional resources to your server if desired. Servers range as follows:
- Intel Dual-Core Atom CPU
- 1 GB RAM
- 250 GB storage
- 10 TB data transfer
- 2 x Xeon E5-2650v4 CPU
- 256 GB RAM
- 2 TB storage
- 50 TB data transfer
Cost-wise, it is difficult to say whether a Rapid Deploy Server or a dedicated server that you customize is a better value since Rapid Deploy Server options do not correspond 100% to something you can customize.
Colocation Services is a niche product where you pay InterServer to store and manage the infrastructure around a physical server that you own. Essentially, you are renting physical space that comes with redundancies in things like electrical connections, as well as physical security. Costs vary based upon how much physical space you need.
InterServer has three datacenters in Secaucus, NJ that you can select for colocation. See below for more details on their datacenters.
Generally speaking, you will be managing your own server when it comes to software, but InterServer offers server management services you can purchase.
Some features apply to all InterServer hosting.
InterServer's primary datacenter complex is located just outside of New York City in Secaucus, New Jersey. The company boasts that their facilities can offer a 100% power uptime and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
They have two other datacenters in Secaucus and one in Los Angeles, CA.
InterServer staffs its datacenters 24/7, offers enterprise-grade climate control and redundancy, and around-the-clock security.
InterServer makes a lot of claims about how well their web hosting performs, but let's take a look at the company's proffered resource limits, uptime, and average response times.
InterServer boasts that its shared hosting plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, and generally speaking, if you comply with the terms of service, you should not run into any problems.
While the terms are somewhat vague, you're not allowed to host sites that would be a better fit for VPS hosting/dedicated servers — like using your hosting for storage, reselling your hosting, hosting chat rooms or large message boards, and so on.
Those who have questions about whether their website would be in violation of InterServer's Terms of Service should contact the company for clarification.
Our monitoring of InterServer's uptime shows that the company generally has not met the industry-standard 99.9% uptime guarantee (though we see that the company did so during four different months in the time period beginning November 2017 and ending May 2019). However, the lowest uptime we ever saw was 99.55%
Because of its poor uptime history, you'd do well to monitor your InterServer website's uptime and ask for compensation if it falls below its guarantee.
In terms of speed, we generally seem an average response time in the range of 400 milliseconds. There are several problematic months with average response times reaching toward 600-700 milliseconds.
As such, InterServer isn't quite as fast as some of its competitors (like A2 Hosting, which averaged 296 ms over the last 10 months), but it's still fast compared to most bargain hosts.
InterServer offers 24/7 technical support that can be reached via the InterServer Live Chat, support ticketing system or telephone. Its customer service team has won awards for the quality of service provided.
But if you're looking for self-help resources (such as documentation or a knowledge base), know that InterServer is not too strong in this area.
VPS hosting plans and dedicated servers come with some free management services, such as system re-installation and repairs (for things like mail, SQL, and DNS). While you still have to do a fair amount of your own server management, these services make it easier to manage your website and server.
There are over 200 reviews of InterServer written by actual customers. The company fairs very well, garnering a rating of 4.7 out of 5 — higher than the vast majority of hosts.
InterServer vs Bluehost
Bluehost is known for its partnership with WordPress, but even if you don't have a WordPress website or blog, you'll find a variety of hosting options that would fit your needs (excepting those looking for reseller hosting).
|SSD Storage||Unlimited||50 GB|
|Best Price (month)||$4.00||$2.75|
|Regular Price (month)||$5.00||$7.99|
With our discount, Bluehost is slightly cheaper than InterServer, though this depends on the specific plan you choose. Bluehost's cheapest plan doesn't come with unlimited resources, though it's mid-range and high-end plans do.
Since March 2017, there have been some hiccups in terms of performance (as measured by average response time). In general, though, we see that Bluehost maintains a better uptime than InterServer, and the company is offering faster and faster average response times as well.
Other companies you might want to consider include A2 Hosting (one of the fastest shared hosting providers around), SiteGround (offers some of the best customer service you can find), and GoDaddy (while known for its domain name services, they can be considered your one-stop website shop).
InterServer is a solid provider of web hosting services that are capable of powering websites both large and small. With its robust web hosting options, powerful infrastructure, and emphasis on website security, all backed by top-notch customer service, InterServer is a great option for those looking to get started with their websites.
Want to get started with unlimited web hosting without breaking the bank? Visit InterServer now.
Your Review of InterServer Hosting
Are you a current or former InterServer customer? Would you recommend them? Please leave your comments below and let our visitors know what you think of InterServer's speed, features and customer service.
Contributing editor: Frank Moraes.