Don't be deceived by Network Solutions' name; they are not a networking company, but rather a web host and domain name registrar (the 4th largest in the world). The company also offers a variety of website design and digital marketing services.
Are Network Solutions' products the solutions you need? Interested in working with an experienced company? Read on to see if Network Solutions is the best fit for you.
Network Solutions Introduction
Network Solutions offers basically every service related to website development that there is: domain registration, website builders, marketing, design, and of course, web hosting.
Who Owns Network Solutions?
Network Solutions became part of the Web.com family in 2011. Web.com owns other brands like Register.com. There is a lot of crossover between these companies — particularly with regard to support.
We're going to specifically focus on the hosting services that Network Solutions offers, to help you decide if it is or isn’t the right host to build your websites on.
Pros and Cons
- Low prices
- Flexibility and room to grow
- Great knowledgebase
- Slow support response
- Free SSL on top plan only
At first glance, Network Solutions' hosting plans don't look as cheap as their competitors, but be aware that these aren't just shared hosting options — they are cloud hosting options at the shared level.
This accounts for the slight increase in cost (and for cloud hosting, the prices are fair). Furthermore, because these plans are cloud-based, there's flexibility to change things up and add resources as your website grows.
If you find yourself needing help, Network Solutions offers its customers access to a robust knowledgebase. In addition to being searchable, the company has grouped topics to make browsing easier.
It's a good thing the support documentation is good because Network Solutions isn't the fastest at answering their customers' requests for support.
We're also disappointed by the lack of SSL certificates included (free of charge) with most of their hosting packages. Given the importance of an SSL certificate for security and for search engine optimization, this omission seems unnecessary. (It is available on the top tier plan.)
Who is Network Solutions Hosting Good For?
The biggest thing that sets Network Solutions apart from competitors is the price. It’s not the cheapest, but all the packages are relatively low cost.
It’s clear that Network Solutions caters towards people building a simple website (such as a static website) for a small business.
Network Solutions can also be a good choice for those who are practicing web development skills, and want a cheap hosting account to work with.
If you fall into one of these 2 categories, you have plenty of other options as well. There are many hosting companies trying to compete on price.
Let's dive into more specifics about Network Solutions to see how they differ from those other low-cost hosts.
The Three Types of Hosting Plans
Network Solutions offers 3 main types of hosting. Compared to those types at competing hosts, the quality and prices are competitive.
It should be easy to see which type of plan is right for you after we quickly go through what they offer.
This is your standard shared hosting.
You’re given resources on a server, along with other customers, and you split the cost.
You get plenty of disk space, as well as a free domain name.
There’s no mention of the hardware used in these plans anywhere on the website. In other words, it’s nothing special. Don’t expect blazing fast website loading speeds.
That being said, depending on the package you choose, you can get access to a CDN (content delivery network) to help speed up load time.
Like most other shared hosting options, Network Solutions supports all the major content management systems (CMSs), like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
They also support other programming languages like Perl, Python and Ruby.
One important note is that despite SSL being free on most hosts (through Let’s Encrypt), it’s only included on the top tier plans here. Essentially, you’re paying for it. It’s not a big deal for a personal hobby site, but businesses should have SSL available.
Finally, one nice feature is that all shared hosting packages come with a technical adviser for free.
They can help you get started migrating an existing site or configuring FTP to upload files.
Your next option, which is a level up in terms of performance is a VPS.
This gives you root access to a virtual server of your own. It also comes with a free domain name as a bonus.
Just like a VPS on most hosts, you can host multiple websites, and have multiple email boxes.
A VPS comes with a minimum of 1 GB of RAM, which is more than enough for most websites and simple web applications. It also has a minimum of 10 GB of disk space, enough to host several small to medium sized sites with no issues.
If the site(s) you’re planning to build is resource intensive, and you find that it runs too poorly on the shared plan, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a VPS. Although that comes with a significantly higher cost.
The final type of hosting is geared towards WordPress.
It has a similar price to the standard web hosting plan (which you can install WordPress on) but has a few tweaks to make it more specific to WordPress.
Again, it comes with 1 free domain, sufficient disk space for a WordPress site, and up to 10 email boxes.
The more significant differences revolve around security.
It starts with having on-demand backups available. If you’re building a website for a business, backups are a necessity. If you’re just playing around with a site to learn, security issues are usually not as big of a concern.
There are multiple plans for WordPress hosting here. As you pay more, you get more security features.
This includes features like:
- Malware detection and removal.
- Basic server security to prevent common hacks.
- An SSL certificate.
- Website vulnerability detection.
Even with those features included, a lot of your website's security lies on you. Will you keep WordPress plugins and the core updated? Will you make those regular backups?
Network Solutions offers a fixed fee managed WordPress service. A managed service basically means that they will take care of all that security work automatically.
Most hosts either offer completely unmanaged hosting or only with managed hosting. Network Solutions is one of the few that offer both, which gives you a nice flexibility.
General Hosting Information
Network Solutions doesn't offer any free trials, but the company extends to its customers a 30-day limited money back guarantee.
We were unable, however, to find the specific details regarding the guarantee in the company's Terms of Service, so let the buyer beware.
Datacenters and Uptime
While we were unable to find the locations of Network Solutions' datacenters, the company claims to have robust facilities that allow them to offer 99.99% uptime guarantee to those with Linux hosting (the uptime for Windows hosting is 99.9%).
They exclude from their uptime calculation periods of scheduled maintenance as well as downtime resulting from events outside Network Solutions' control.
Domain Name Registration
With the purchase of a web hosting package, Network Solutions will cover the cost of registering your domain name for the first year. You can, however, only choose a domain name with any of the following extensions: .com, .net, .org, .info, and .biz.
Email Accounts and Hosting
If you want stand-alone email hosting or if your current hosting plan doesn't come with email functionality, Network Solutions offers Professional Email (formerly known as nsMail), Professional Email Plus (formerly known as nsMail Pro), and a hosted Microsoft Exchange option.
The best option for you depends on how much email storage you need, whether you need productivity tools (eg, spreadsheets, word processing), and whether you're interested in working in the Microsoft ecosystem.
Website Builder and Design Services
Network Solutions offers a DIY website builder or the option to have the host design your website.
They also offer a mobile website builder tool. This may seem a bit confusing.
For clarity, realize that the mobile builder is goMobi, a third party tool that you can use to create a single responsive site that looks good on desktop or mobile.
You can read over 100 reviews of Network Solutions written by actual customers. Network Solutions' customers give the company a rating of 1.8 out of 5, with many people having issues with the domain names and finding the company's support to be lackluster.
GoDaddy vs Network Solutions
You can think of GoDaddy as being your one-stop website shop — the company offers website building tools, web hosting and domain name services.
Online Marketing Done For You
Like Network Solutions, they offer a wide array of professional services like web design and digital marketing, including SEO, local business listings, and PPC advertising.
In short, GoDaddy offers everything Network Solutions does, plus more. Those who are interested in website-related professional services would be well-served by GoDaddy.
GoDaddy Support and Server Response Speeds
GoDaddy, like Network Solutions, offers its customers a 99.9+% uptime guarantee, but neither company is known for fast server response speeds. Where the two differ, however, is in customer service.
GoDaddy isn't as strong as some companies (eg, SiteGround, A2 Hosting) when it comes to support, but it is better than Network Solutions.
Other Alternatives: Bluehost, SiteGround, Namecheap
GoDaddy, however, isn't the only option that is a good fit for someone interested in Network Solutions; other viable companies include Bluehost (known for its partnership with WordPress), Namecheap (known for its domain name expertise), and SiteGround (known for its best-in-class customer service).
Special Coupons for Network Solutions
Ready to give Network Solutions a try? Use the following coupon codes to save on your purchases with Network Solutions:
- Use DOMSAVE25 to save 25% off domain names with the most popular extensions
- Use HOSTINGSAVE20 to get 20% off your cloud hosting package
- Use SSLTAKE30OFF to save 30% off a domain validation SSL certificate
- Use EMAILSAVE25 to get 25% off a Professional Email package.
Visit Network Solutions now.
Overall, Network Solutions has a solid variety of web hosting services that are ideal for hosting a small number of simple websites, for a relatively low cost.
Those who are interested in working with an experienced domain registrar offering cloud-hosting at a great price would find Network Solutions a compelling company.
Not sure? You can take advantage of Network Solutions' 30-day, risk-free money-back guarantee. Visit Network Solutions now.
Your Network Solutions Review
Are you a current or past customer of Network Solutions? Would you recommend them? Please leave your comments below and let our visitors know what you think of this host's speed, features and customer service.
Contributing editor: Frank Moraes.