7 Best Windows Hosting: Affordable & Reliable Providers (2021)

For the typical person or business seeking web hosting, it may not matter too much whether hosting is Linux or Windows.

But for others, the difference is super important. Both operating systems have their strengths and weaknesses in terms of hosting, and hosting plans intended specifically for either of them can be a life-saver.

Linux, the more common choice in hosting, is good for standard hosting needs. But some are looking to develop or build things that require Windows applications or tools.

To be specific, some of the common tools or applications that require a Windows server are:

  • ASP Classic
  • ASP.NET
  • MSSQL
  • MS Access
  • Visual Basic Development
  • C#

So if you need to use any of those to build your site or application, you probably need Windows hosting.

Also, for some, Windows hosting is easier to use—Linux hosting usually comes with cPanel as the control panel, whereas Windows hosting usually uses Plesk, which some find easier.

So what are the best options?

Let’s start with our #1 pick:

Best Windows Hosting #1. SmarterASP.NET

windows hosting-smarter asp.net

SmarterASP.NET has been around since 1999, making it a hosting industry veteran, and it’s carved out a solid reputation for itself. As the name implies, the company focuses on the ASP.NET framework as well as related Windows development.

Like I said, ASP.NET is one of those tools that needs Windows to function properly. ASP.NET is a framework for developing dynamic web pages and apps.

So it should be no surprise it has great Windows hosting plans.

Why is it first on this list? It has great quality for Windows hosting given its niche focus, and on top of that, has some of the best web hosting prices around, not just for Windows hosting.

If you’re curious, you can check out my full review of SmarterASP.NET—there’s a lot to say. Until then:

Pros

  • Very affordable pricing that does not renew at higher cost
  • Generous resources: unlimited storage capacity and bandwidth for all tiers
  • Can support basically all Windows-specific hosting needs despite low cost
  • Integration with Windows PowerShell makes scripting more efficient
  • Good performance
  • 60-day money-back guarantee as well as 60-day trial

Cons

  • 99.9% uptime guarantee could be higher, though in practice performance is fine
  • SSL not included for first tier
  • Not as good as competitors with ease of use

Would I recommend SmarterASP.NET?

SmarterASP.NET gets an obligatory recommendation from me. That’s because it’s a highly reputable company that has focused for years on delivering a very specific form of web hosting.

On top of that, it performs well and has very good prices. So it’s easily one of the best providers around for those with Windows-specific hosting needs.

The only word of caution is for those who need to prioritize ease of use:

If you or others on your team need to collaborate but aren’t developing in applications that require Windows, SmarterASP.NET may be a bit tricky (despite its excellent control panel).

But for the vast majority of people seeking Windows hosting, SmarterASP.NET is one of the best options around.

Best Windows Hosting #2. Interserver

windows hosting-interserver

InterServer has been around since 1999, but I still like to think of it as an underdog hosting company.

One of the things that makes InterServer stand out is that its shared hosting is provided through a single one-size-fits-all plan, and that is true of its Windows hosting as well.

Because that single plan basically offers what a third-tier shared hosting plan by competitors would, but for a much lower price, it’s a great option for those who need value with their Windows hosting.

If your interest is piqued by all this, you can check out my full review of InterServer. Otherwise:

Pros

  • Simple one-size-fits-all pricing plan includes almost all features you need and expect for a very good price
  • Generous resources allocation:
  • Pretty easy to use
  • Customers will be on servers running at 50% capacity, so that their sites can grow without the usual issues of shared hosting
  • For the last year, uptime has been functionally perfect and speeds have been very low, according to our test site

Cons

  • Some may prefer more pricing plans
  • Performance in the past has been substandard, but that was early 2019 only
  • Customer support has been glitchy in the past, but has improved

Would I recommend Interserver?

InterServer may have been a more contentious pick a couple of years ago, but given its improvements, it’s an easy recommendation from me.

It’s similar to SmarterASP.NET in that it offers good value pricing without sacrificing performance or features. Where it mainly differs is that it’s both easier to use and a bit less advanced.

So if you need Windows hosting, and you’re on a budget but also need something very user-friendly, InterServer is a great pick.

Best Windows Hosting #3. TMD Hosting

windows hosting-tmd

TMD Hosting isn’t a super large web hosting provider, but it’s still got a notable presence in the field. As I noted in my overall review of the company, there isn’t actually that much wrong with it.

That’s true for its Windows hosting plans as well. Here’s the gist: the performance is generally good but not crazy good, the prices are normal, and the features are pretty good too.

Pros

  • Generous resources: unlimited SSD storage, bandwidth, MSSQL databases for all tiers, with the first tier allowing for up to 6 sites (the second and third have no limits)
  • Good feature list for all tiers, including some more advanced features helpful for Windows hosting (the latest ASP.NET framework, dedicated app pools)
  • Windows servers are placed in isolated server environments for better security and performance
  • Good performance according to our test site’s uptime records: consistently low speeds and generally high uptime (though not perfect)
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Although the uptime guarantee is very high, it does not match our test site’s uptime record, which can be lower than ideal from time to time
  • Informational customer support material—ie., the knowledge base—is not well-organized and can sometimes be lacking

Would I recommend TMD?

In the context of Windows web hosting, TMD is probably best described as a good “jack of all trades.” SmarterASP.NET is budget Windows hosting that’s still strong on necessary features, while InterServer is budget hosting that’s a bit weaker on features but still good.

TMD has good features, but it’s not such a key point of note, and the performance is still pretty good despite some flaws. It’s still pretty easy to use, too, and the prices are standard but still provide good value.

So if other hosting options aren’t sticking out to you, TMD Hosting just might be the best fit. But if you have specific points you’re prioritizing, other hosts might do them better.

Best Windows Hosting #4. DailyRazor

windows hosting-dailyrazor

DailyRazor is one of the more unique hosting providers around. It’s not an enormous host, but has a great reputation, and in particular is known to be great for hosting web development technologies and frameworks.

For example, we consider it to be one of the best Java hosting providers around. So it should be no surprise that it’s also really good at Windows hosting.

Pros

  • Affordable first-term pricing
  • Support for the latest versions of ASP.NET, .Net Core, and ASP.NET MVC available for all tiers, plus other Windows applications
  • Free website builder included (all tiers)
  • Generous resources: unmetered disk space and bandwidth (all tiers)
  • In addition to a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s a 90-day satisfaction guarantee (if you cancel later than 30 days but still within 90 days, you still get a partial refund)

Cons

  • Renewal prices are a tad on the higher side
  • Without the introductory promotional prices, which work only for three-year commitments, even the first-term prices are high
  • Uptime guarantee of 99.9% could be higher

Would I recommend DailyRazor?

DailyRazor is great for those who want to use a smaller, high-end hosting provider. It’s definitely got good plans for the technologies that run on Windows best.

The main issue for people is more likely to be price. Aside from specific promotional pricing and discounts, DailyRazor is on the pricier side. To many customers, that price is fully worth it—but there are some who might prefer more bang for their buck.

Best Windows Hosting #5. AccuWeb Hosting

windows hosting-accuweb

AccuWeb Hosting is another small provider. It services just over 55,000 customers—but don’t mistake quantity for quality!

It’s been around since 2002, so it’s one of the older hosting companies (even if not the oldest). Clearly, they’re doing something right!

And one of those things is probably their windows plans. The gist for these plans: they’re pretty good! But some may find them a bit lacking, depending on their preferences.

Pros

  • Generally affordable pricing even when committing to shorter time periods than three years
  • Supports a long list of applications and frameworks that are best on Windows, including the latest versions of them
  • Dedicated application pool included in all tiers
  • Customers can pay for add-ons of various resources without changing plans
  • In addition to shared server Windows plans, AccuWeb Hosting also offers Windows versions of reseller, VPS, and cloud hosting plans

Cons

  • Starting plans include only 1 Microsoft SQL database (other hosts often offer more), though customers can purchase additional databases
  • Some may prefer a more generous storage allowance (the first tier has 10GB), though realistically the allotments are fine for most customers
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee could be higher

Would I recommend AccuWeb Hosting?

AccuWeb Hosting will hit a great combination for some, and may just barely miss the mark for others:

Its prices are pretty good, but it still supports all the applications or tools that people seeking Windows hosting want. As far as features related to Windows go, it’s pretty good.

But others may feel they can get a better deal—in terms of resources and performance—at similar cost with other providers.

It’s also worth noting that people seeking Windows hosting outside of the typical shared server environment may find AccuWeb to be very accommodating.

Best Windows Hosting #6. HostGator

windows hosting-hostgator

Here we have a bigger-named hosting provider, though it’s not one of the biggest: HostGator was founded in 2002 and since then has grown to power hundreds of thousands of sites.

HostGator can be a bit polarizing in general—that’s why my full review of the company described a love/hate relationship—but there’s no denying its Windows plans are worthy of consideration.

Pros

  • First-tier pricing is generally a good deal relative to what’s offered in features (for the first term, anyway)
  • Long list of supported frameworks
  • Generous resources: unmetered storage, bandwidth, and unlimited databases
  • Good admin tools
  • Free website builder included with thousands of templates available
  • Longer than average 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons

Would I recommend HostGator?

HostGator is definitely a mixed bag. You might have noticed that there’s only one con listed, because everything else is pretty solid.

But that single con of performance matters a lot. It doesn’t entirely rule out HostGator, but it means there’s a caveat:

If you expect or want regular traffic to your site, and especially if you’re running an online store, HostGator could be a bit risky. The downtime could result in lost sales.

In contrast, if you just need a test site or hosting for an application that isn’t mission-critical, HostGator could be a great way of getting all the features you need without breaking the bank.

Best Windows Hosting #7. GoDaddy

windows hosting-godaddy

Last up, we have GoDaddy. GoDaddy is indisputably one of the biggest web hosts and domain name providers around, servicing about 20 MILLION customers and 82 MILLION domains.

But GoDaddy is essentially in last place on this list because it provides less bang for your buck, particularly where included features are concerned, and because of performance issues.

However, it’s still a pretty good option for those prioritizing ease of use.

If you want more info about one of the hosting industry’s biggest names, check out my in-depth review. But in terms of Windows hosting specifically:

Pros

  • Generally affordable starting prices
  • Generous resources: 100GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth for the first tier, with the second and third tiers having unlimited storage and unlimited sites
  • Easy to use
  • Good provider for combo-packages that include a domain name and/or website builder (but these usually renew at extra cost)

Cons

  • Uptime has been poorer recently, according to our test site’s uptime records
  • A lot of upselling and advertising of other GoDaddy products/add-ons
  • Some features are free for the first year only and renew at cost, like 365 (Microsoft) email
  • SSL certificate only included for the third tier, and even that is only included free for the first year, after which it renews at cost

Would I recommend GoDaddy?

Despite GoDaddy’s popularity, I would not recommend it for a lot of people seeking Windows hosting. The key detractors are the value for the price and performance.

So why is it on this list at all?

Because GoDaddy is still pretty good for people new to hosting, or just anyone who just wants an easy experience. Especially with its many combo packages, GoDaddy provides a pretty easy hosting experience and pretty good value for the first term of use.

Conclusion: what’s the best Windows hosting?

So with all this being said, who wins?

Ultimately, I have to award the top recommendation to SmarterASP.NET. At the end of the day, it’s not so surprising—this provider focuses exclusively on hosting the frameworks that rely on Windows.

SmarterASP.NET performs well, as all the important features needed for proper Windows hosting, and is very well-priced. It’s pretty hard to beat.

But of course, there’s no single option that’s best for everyone. SmarterASP.NET is also a bit less easy to use than some other options, and doesn’t pack as many web-building features in.

So our second-place pick, InterServer, could be better for some people. It’s a bit easier to use, but is still good Windows hosting, with strong performance and a lot of features.

And there you have it! No matter what you choose, you should rest easy: there are many great Windows hosting options.

Happy hosting!