Vultr Review: 5 Pros and 4 Cons You Need to Know About It (2020)

These days, all anyone talks about is “the cloud.”

After all, the cloud is futuristic. It’s how the modern internet works, and how it increasingly will work, or so we’re told.

But how do YOU actually use the cloud the best way possible?

Enter: Vultr.

Vultr was founded in 2014, and basically provides cloud hosting plans. Vultr is all about providing high quality, cutting-edge tech.

As they say, their mission “is to simplify the cloud.”

Since being founded, Vultr has serviced hundreds of thousands of customers and “spun up” over 30 MILLION cloud servers.

Vultr people

So as Vultr is certainly worth looking into, let’s look into it!

I’ll start us off with the good things I found out about Vultr:

Pros of using Vultr

Pro #1: Great performance

Performance is everything for hosting, but especially if you’re looking for a cloud solution.

Aware of this, Vultr comes out swinging—it guarantees 100% network uptime:

vultr pro1

Plus, Vultr will credit customers if uptime drops below what’s guaranteed:

vultr pro

The credits are pretty generous—and they show confidence in that 100% figure.

Now, does Vultr actually deliver on that guarantee?

A look at customer reviews will quickly reveal some complaints about performance. However, quite a few of these complaints seem to involve errors on the reviewer’s end.

Vultr’s ACTUAL performance lives up to its own hype, for the most part.

You can see for yourself how Vultr’s servers are doing globally using their server status page.

And of course, that “globally” part—aside from using state of the art software, Vultr can deploy cloud instances using physical servers that are all over the world.

Because of this, you can get even faster cloud hosting than ordinarily (though it does depend on where you are).

So all in all, performance is not an issue with Vultr…to say the least!

Pro #2: Nice range of quality cloud products

One of the cool things about Vultr is that its product range isn’t actually too different from a traditional, general-purpose hosting company:

A general-purpose hosting company will usually sell cheap shared hosting, higher-quality virtual private servers and higher-quality cloud hosting, and then premium dedicated servers.

Vultr’s products, in contrast, are all of a higher level of quality, as they’re all cloud servers. But they still offer the same basic spectrum:

vultr pro

There’s “Cloud Compute,” which is basically an affordable VPS plan (or virtual private server). Then there’s “Bare Metal,” and “Dedicated Cloud.”

Bare Metal and Dedicated Cloud plans are very similar, in that both basically dedicate a server to you through the cloud.

The difference is that the Dedicated Cloud allows you to purchase a fixed percentage of a dedicated server—like 25% or 50% or even the whole thing.

Bare Metal, in contrast, gives you a full server with totally unfettered access. In both you get to keep dedicated resources that are private to you, but Bare Metal offers a higher degree of control.

“Block Storage,” meanwhile, lets you add storage capacity to your hosting packages.

So there’s a solid spectrum along the lines of usability, cost, and performance that is similar to the traditional spectrum of hosting.

Pro #3: Overall, flexible pricing

Let me show you those products to explain.

First up, are the Cloud Compute packages. Like I said, these are basically more affordable cloud VPS (virtual private servers).

In general, it’s very straightforward: you pay for the amount of resources you want, and are billed per hour of use at a certain rate:

vultr pro

Now, there are way more options than this. The max you can get with this package is 1,600 GB of storage, 24 cores, 96 GB of RAM, and 15 TB of bandwidth.

If you need to use more, then you can simply upgrade to a higher tier. But you’ll still only be charged for what you use, just at a higher hourly rate. If you need storage only, you can add block storage.

The monthly price you see there isn’t separate from the hourly price: divide it by 672 hours (equivalent to 28 days), and you get the per-hour price.

This is a lot more flexible than yearly or even monthly contracts, which are common and force customers to limit use, or force them to accept disproportionate price increases for extra use.

And like I said, if you want more storage space, but you’re satisfied with your RAM and bandwidth, or if you don’t need that much of a storage upgrade, block storage is the thing for you.

This is Vultr’s Block Storage product:

vultr pro

It’s as simple as that.

With the baseline price, and bare minimum at $1 per 10GB, it costs just $0.10 to add 1GB.

This flexibility allows you to pay for just what you need:

vultr pro

This same basic concept of per-hour use applies to the remaining products Vultr offers.

The Bare Metal products (currently limited to one package at the time of this writing) and the Dedicated Cloud Instances have higher prices, as they’re more premium products, but are still billed per-hour by a monthly cap.

Pro #4: Simple and clean interface

Vultr’s interface pulls a lot of weight, especially for setting up and deploying a server.

When you want to spin up an instance (deploy a virtual server), you’re given the option of where you want to deploy:

vultr pro

Then you just need to choose what operating system you want:

vultr pro

And if your preferred Linux distribution isn’t featured, you can just upload the one you want as a .iso file.

Additionally, you can install apps with one when setting up:

vultr pro

But beyond set-up, Vultr has created a clean and stylish control panel for users to manage their products.

vultr pro

Despite being simple in design, the control panel gives a lot of flexible settings and tons of information on the instances or servers.

The control panel also allows for team management and the allocation of privileges to additional users. Plus, it’s super easy to deploy more instances later on, even from mobile.

Pro #5: Nice infrastructure

You can probably tell from Vultr’s general vibe thus far, but the company places a lot of emphasis on how high-tech it is.

Vultr is so eager to prove that it has great infrastructure that it has a whole page about it—you can check out the full performance benchmarks page here.

Some highlights include the computer cores/CPUs, used for the Cloud Compute plans:

vultr pro

What they’re basically saying, is that these are very fast processors that can handle a lot more work—and they’re being used for even the affordable Cloud Compute plans.

On top of that, Vultr is constantly improving its security set-up.

In fact, just before I started writing this, Vultr announced two improvements to its network security!

vultr pro

Essentially, they’re increasing the amount of encryption they use, and agreed to uphold a set of standards that other tech industry companies have also agreed to.

So overall, Vultr’s infrastructure—physically and digitally—is pretty impressive, and it seems to be constantly getting better.

Cons of using Vultr

Con #1: Not as beginner-friendly as it seems

Like I said, Vultr said its mission is to “simplify the cloud.” If you didn’t know better, you’d think they offered managed cloud hosting solutions, or at least dumbed-down cloud plans.

Nope—the “simplify” is apparently for people who are already technically minded and know what they want in cloud hosting.

IF that’s you, then Vultr indeed provides straightforward hosting solutions.

But otherwise, it’s probably going to be too complicated.

Let me give an example—here’s the overview of Vultr’s plans I showed you earlier. It’s from their home page:

vultr pro

If you’re not that familiar with cloud computing, how much sense would this make to you?

But that’s just a surface-level point.

The thing is, Vultr is NOT providing managed solutions. Which means that you get the advantages of lower price, but you also have to handle your server yourself.

To its credit, Vultr has some things to make deploying and configuring servers easier, like a simple and clean interface (as mentioned).

In general, choosing a location, choosing an OS, adding features—like I showed earlier—is a straightforward matter.

So I’m not saying it’s unusable, particularly as the basics are easy. But even with Vultr’s slick control panel, managing just the Cloud Compute plans can be tough for beginners.

As for the Bare Metal and Dedicated Cloud plans—they’re definitely more for the more tech-proficient user. But that’s the case with such plans in general, so I don’t think much needs to be said about them.

The short version is that Vultr is still usable for beginners, but it’s people with a general hosting proficiency who will most appreciate Vultr’s “simplification.”

The Cloud Compute/entry products wouldn’t be too bad for beginners…if customer support were better. So on that note:

Con #2: Support is iffy

If you Google for reviews of Vultr, you’ll quickly find that a lot of users have at best “mixed” reviews.

We don’t need to look far to see evidence of this—you can even find it right on Vultr’s Facebook page.

vultr Cons

Some of these reviews have to do with complaints about billing and server issues.

However, to be blunt, a lot of these have to do with lack of understanding on the part of customers, on what Vultr says it will do and what it offers.

But, a VERY common complaint is that support is sub-par.

Part of this is because Vultr does not offer live chat or phone support (at the time of this writing), so the only way to contact support is to use an email/ticket system.

Looking more closely, I don’t think Vultr’s support representatives are that bad, but it’s hard to say they’re good enough given the consistent complaints about them.

I’d like to say that Vultr has strong support information to compensate for its weakness in representative support.

But that’s not quite the case. Vultr’s onsite info is pretty decent if you’re already a developer:

vultr Cons

The center and right sections are the most robust, which is good for the more technical users.

But if you’re less technically minded—and using, for example, the Cloud Compute plans—then you don’t have many resources to consult.

The FAQs cover important questions, but they leave a lot out, and the answers are very short in any case:

vultr Cons

Plus, sometimes the answers to FAQs are less clear and read like advertisements.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still important stuff in the FAQ. But it falls short of what a less tech-literate customer would need to use the service.

This depends partially on your assumptions about Vultr. If you view it in the context of being only for more advanced users, the onsite resources are fine.

But to me, it looks like Vultr is generally for more advanced users, but still tries to simplify and provide services for the less knowledgeable—and in that regard, it still has work to do.

Con #3: Higher-end plans are less available globally

One of the great things about Vultr is that it has high quality cloud hosting available for customers all over the world.

And if you want a Cloud Compute package, you’re in luck: you get to choose from over 17 locations globally:

vultr Cons

But if you want a Bare Metal plan?

vultr Cons

You’re down to 7, with only one location in Europe and one in Asia.

And if you want a Dedicated Cloud plan/instance, it’s even less:

vultr Cons

With just three locations in the U.S. and one in Japan.

It’s not the end of the world. But if you live outside the U.S., you may find you don’t have as solid a set of options for the Dedicated Cloud or Bare Metal plans.

Don’t despair too much, though!

Vultr is still growing and adding new locations. In fact, they added their 17th location as recently as May:

vultr Cons

Con #4: Lack of info about security

To be clear, lack of information about security does NOT mean lack of security.

I’ve found Vultr to have a website that at times seems to put important info in weird places. So it could very much be an issue on the part of the marketing and PR side of things.

However, information about the security of your host is important. Are data centers physically protected? Are there guards? Cameras, at least?

Vultr does say there’s 24/7 monitoring, but how intense is that monitoring, and how much of it is for security?

Like I said earlier, Vultr’s infrastructure is solid, and they introduce new security features regularly. So we have some information, but it’s scattered.

Again, I won’t accuse Vultr of being deficient in security without evidence. But it’s not good that they lack easily accessible information about the state of their security.

Do we recommend Vultr?

So at the end of the day, is Vultr a company I recommend?

The answer IS “yes.” But it’s a conditional “yes.”

First and foremost, Vultr is a service that beginners ought to be wary of. Ultimately, I do believe even newbies to the cloud can figure it out, thanks to the simple interface.

However, cloud hosting is generally more advanced than regular web hosting, and Vultr doesn’t have much aside from a slick interface to make things easier for beginners—including sub-par customer support.

But, if you’re familiar with the cloud, Vultr is great.

Not only is the pricing itself very good, the pricing system is as well. Things such as block storage also allow customers to get the most value out of the cloud without overpaying.

And for such great prices and such flexibility, you’re using top-tier machines and guaranteed 100% uptime.

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