SolaDrive Review: Is SolaDrive worth the cost?

Managed server hosting has always been a topic of debate among experts. Some say they’re just a hyped up version of a dedicated server hosting.

Certainly the obvious difference can be pointed out as managed servers can have more priority when it comes to active service than any other hosting. But does that really matter in the broad range of things?

Well, SolaDrive is one such company that offers Managed VPS Hosting at a reasonable price without compromising on features. We hadn’t heard about it till recently but we gave it a shot and decided to put down our opinions in this review.

So, will SolaDrive change your mind about managed servers once & for all? Let’s find out…

Further Information:
  • Best Web Hosting Companies – See our ultimate guide for choosing the right hosting and the list of the best hosting providers of 2020.

Pricing & Features

Why begin with pricing? Well, pricing is an essential part of a service. Even the biggest companies & entrepreneurs work under a budget and that budget looks for the most value under the lowest price.

The Enterprise Managed Server Solutions Provider

Now, one good thing is that SolaDrive offers separate managed VPS plans for Linux and Windows to meet your OS specification along with Dedicated servers and Colocation plans.

Managed Linux NVMe SSD VPS _ SolaDrive

First, you get basic features like fully managed VPS, XEN Virtualization, SSD storage, and choice for server location available with both Linux and Windows VPS hosting.

Managed Linux NVMe SSD VPS

When it comes to pricing, Linux and Windows both have the same cost structure which is really good because a lot of companies tend to charge more in case of Windows due to official licensing.

SolaDrive has a very great looking website, which also extends to their presentation. Instead of using typical tables, you get a slider-like UI that makes you feel like you’re customizing your server.

So for $35/month, you get a dual-core CPU, 2GB RAM, 50 SSD storage, 2TB Bandwidth, and 1 Website. Now these aren’t the most groundbreaking features for the price but they are the same for Windows as well so that’s a plus but still not too great.

Managed Linux NVMe SSD VPS _ SolaDrive

Moving on to something better is the ‘XEN3’ plan @ $75/month has a 6-core CPU, 6GB RAM, 150GB Storage, 6TB Bandwidth, and 2 Websites so that is good. For the price the power is certainly there. It’s safe to say that it’ll be fine for an e-store which will grow with more traffic.

Managed Dedicated Server Hosting _ SolaDrive

Moving on to Dedicated hosting, there are 2 server locations to choose from with 2 different prices. The Los Angeles location costs $10 more than Buffalo,NY. Probably explains the maintenance costs.

Now, for $85/month, you get a powerful processor i.e. an i3-7300 with 4.0 GHz clock speed, 16GB RAM, you choose between 500GB SSD or 2TB HDD, and 10TB worth of bandwidth. It has 2 great things going: A fast processor & the choice between SSD & HDD.

The processing power increases with the price but the last plan is worth going through. For $475/month, you get an Intel Gold 6230, 32GB RAM, and the same storage & SSD as above.

Hence, everything looks clean on the pricing side. The prices are a bit steep but of course you have reasonable features as well.

Ease of Use

Shopping Cart - SolaDrive

The usual setup isn’t as easy as we expected. Not that needs to cater to everyone. People who usually dabble into the science of hosting tend to be experienced folk.

The ‘Configure Server’ section lets you configure your Hostname, Root Password, NS1 Prefix, NS2 Prefix which is short for NameServer for both the servers. So, yeah, you might end up looking up terms on Google.

In the Configurable Options, things are much easier to get. You have the option to select the OS, option to select from 3 given locations, add extra storage, extra RAM, extra bandwidth, extra IPs, and cPanel. Now since these options allow upgrading, they cost more.

Shopping Cart - SolaDrive

There’s also the option to add addons for additional features like SSL Certificate, Plesk Web Admin, CloudLinux OS, CentOS Web Panel, etc. Of course all this adds up to your final bill.

Well, that sums up this section. The setup could be a bit jarring for beginners but there’s a lot of customization to be had as well.

Security

Security is very essential to the whole web hosting experience. DDoS attacks and faulty transactions take place all the time. So, what does SolaDrive have against such threats?

Why Choose Us _ SolaDrive

Now, because this is a managed hosting service, everything is completely managed by SolaDrive while you’re away.

SolaDrive keeps real-time checks on your site’s activity and any impending threats lurking on your site and if these threats become an issue, a ticket with customer support for quick resolution.

Managed Linux NVMe SSD VPS _ SolaDrive

As we said above, DDoS attacks are a serious issue in the hosting world. A random basement hacker can hijack and fail your servers without leaving any traces.

Hence, SolaDrive provides DDoS protection with all VPS plans by default. DDoS protection filters your traffic for any suspicious activity to keep your site running smoothly.

Managed Linux NVMe SSD VPS _ SolaDrive

Obviously, there are also SSL certificates for every webpage. SSL stand for Secure Socket Layer, meaning every interaction between your site and the user will be completely secure without any third party hacker gaining access.

But there’s one catch. SSL Certificates are only available with the Linux VPS hosting and not with the Windows variant. So, that is a noteworthy difference.

Managed Linux NVMe SSD VPS _ SolaDrive

Lastly, there’s daily backups to safeguard your data in the unfortunate event of all other measures failing. And, of course you do need backups as best practise against all threats.

That is all for security. SolaDrive’s managed service does real-time monitoring, protects you against DDoS attacks, SSL Certificates with Linux, and daily backups.

Customer Support

Submit Ticket - SolaDrive

Now, you might think, why not just skip this section entirely. It’s a managed VPS afterall. But here’s where you might be wrong. Managed VPS does not mean hassle-free hosting.

Issues come up even in the best of services and users end up scrapping over the internet for help. Whether it’s a simple query or your entire server is hijacked, everyone needs customer support.

Managed Linux NVMe SSD VPS _ SolaDrive

SolaDrive does have live chat support so that is great. You can click at the bottom right icon for opening the chat client. We decided to post a query and test their live chat.

chat live

It took some while to connect with the chat but we eventually did. We posted a question about their server integrity because oftentimes companies tend to delegate some servers to third party companies.

Managed Linux NVMe SSD VPS _ SolaDrive

And we did receive a reply in under a minute but the chat connection time was much longer than that time. But regardless, the live chat works and can serve you at the right time.

Submit Ticket - SolaDrive

There’s also the obvious ticketing system available for brief support. You have to input info like name, Email, subject, the department that your complaint fits, priority level, and then some space so you can paste in error codes or screenshots.

Knowledgebase - SolaDrive

Lastly, you the knowledge base filled with pre-answered queries that you can refer to, instead of going to Google. SolaDrive has a long list of topics from General Questions to Domain Management.

How do I get a refund

We decided to check out a supposed answer to getting a refund under General Questions. As you can see, the answer is detailed in simple steps to follow with.

Hence, the customer support is satisfactory. The live chat isn’t lightning fast but it gets the job done, and the knowledge base provides intuitive answers.

Conclusion

So, by far the biggest complaints can be summed up as: The cPanel isn’t free with the service & needs to be bought separately and the Windows VPS variant does not come with SSL Certificates.

Beyond these quirks, is SolaDrive worth the ‘Drive’?

In short: Yes. Long Answer: No.

Yes, if you’re into managed hosting. SolaDrive offers one of the best features and services for the price including both Windows and Linux variants.

No, if security feels like concern or the inconvenience of having to pay for cPanel separately bothers you (although there’s alternatives like the CentOS Web Panel if you choose CentOS).

What do you think? Is SolaDrive worth the cost? Is the exclusion cPanel nothing new? Did you try the service? How was your experience? Please comment down below & let us know.

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