“We have been a paying customer for InterServer since March 2019.
We are monitoring InterServer’s shared hosting servers for Uptime and Performance through our website hostingpill-is.com.
This review of InterServer is based on actual testing done on their servers.”
This InterServer Review was revised and updated on April 11, 2019.
If you’ve been reading some of my other reviews, you know I love a good underdog.
InterServer is one of the BEST underdogs in the hosting world:
It’s not nearly as famous as a lot of other hosting companies, nor does it support millions of sites.
But, it’s been around since 1999, when it was founded by two high-school students. So it’s been in the game for 20 years, and has a classic humble-beginnings story.
What’s not to like?
Oh yeah, you haven’t heard of it before.
Well, even if YOU haven’t heard of InterServer, some other people have.
And this is what happened:
So clearly, InterServer isn’t just some nobody.
But wait, how come you haven’t heard of it, even though it seems so well-received?
Well, it’s complicated. But that’s what I’m going to talk to you about here: to an extent, InterServer is underrated and a good option.
…But there are also some flaws that have kept its profile down.
You’ll see as we get into it. Let’s start with:
Uptime is one of the most important things in hosting—after all, you’re paying to have a site hosted, meaning paying for it to be up and available.
This is how InterServer does: (I have been monitoring thru my test site)
Hm. This may be one of the reasons why InterServer isn’t the most discussed host.
To be frank, an uptime of 99.43% is way BELOW standard, especially because this was just over a single week.
My standard is 99.95% over a MONTH—which amounts to about 21 minutes of downtime a month or 5 minutes of downtime is measuring weekly.
According to our uptime calculator, THIS is what 99.43% means over the course of a WEEK:
Uh-oh. During the course of a single week, we saw just under AN HOUR of DOWNTIME.
To make matters worse, this flies in the face of InterServer’s uptime guarantee:
So look. I don’t want to be unnecessarily harsh. But this is just realistic:
The uptime is poor.
Now, there is a BIT of good news:
The response times are excellent. Uptime is usually the most important, but good speeds help keep visitors on your site and keep you up in Google’s search rankings.
So with that bit of good news, here’s my overall take on InterServer’s performance:
It’s still poor. The uptime isn’t good enough for people with ecommerce needs to trust, but others who are less stringent about uptime may find it worth their time. Plus, who knows—it could just be my bad luck.
I can’t lie: InterServer’s on thin ice, and we’re still in the beginning of the review. Luckily, this next section will help their case:
Ease of Use
We all could use an easy time hosting. Ease of use doesn’t always equate to lack of control (though it sometimes does).
Plus, even if you’re advanced, an easy to use host will reduce the amount of time you spend going back and forth…and no matter how experienced you are, you’ll probably just be less STRESSED if a host is easy to use.
Let me show you how InterServer performs in this category.
If you log in, this is where you end up:
Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of upselling.
I don’t find the main login page itself to be super useful.
Most of what you need is in the toolbar, like this:
The only other thing the main page is good for is providing an extra step for you click on your website/domain management page.
And then from here you can get to whatever you need—usually it’ll be the cPanel.
But to be honest, there’s not too much more to InterServer than this, as far as the user experience goes.
I’m not a huge fan of this format, and this is why:
It’s sluggish and wastes space.
By sluggish I mean both that there is LITERAL lag time when I move my cursor to the toolbar, and that navigating around has unnecessary extra steps.
So the interface isn’t the most streamlined, or sleek.
BUT, there’s an essential bit here:
It’s still easy to use.
Everything is pretty much self-explanatory, and won’t slowdown either advanced users or total beginners (at least, not much more than any other host).
So all in all, while I’m NOT a big fan of the user interface, InterServer IS easy to use.
I know, I know…so far, InterServer just seems lackluster. Well, keep reading: because this next part is where InterServer starts to SHINE.
Pricing and Features
We all care about the amount we pay—even if some of us care or more or less than others.
No matter what your budget is though, you want to make sure you’re at least getting a good set of STUFF for your price.
AND, you want to have a lot of OPTIONS, especially where hosting is concerned, as everyone has different online needs.
This is one of the BEST things about InterServer: it’s got a ton of hosting options AND good deals.
Even for just web hosting, InterServer has got 3 main choices—and no, NOT as in three tiers of the same type of hosting.
Here’s the first—the basic shared web hosting that you’re used to:
On the face of it, this is a little more expensive than the starting prices of most standard web hosting.
BUT, there are two important things you need to keep in mind:
Firstly, there isn’t a tiered system. In other words, this is the only “standard” (basic) shared hosting plan offered by InterServer.
In effect, it’s a one-size-fits-all solution, so you’re not purchasing first-tier capabilities, but second and third-tier shared hosting abilities (to compare to other companies).
Secondly, look closer:
NO INCREASES IN RENEWAL PRICES.
So in my opinion, the initially higher price is TOTALLY reasonable:
You’re actually paying comparatively less and getting relatively more, compared to entry level plans from rival hosting companies.
And I haven’t even gotten to the features yet.
Take a look at this:
It’s pretty much a fully-featured, shared web hosting package. No limits are placed on anything.
And some things are ESPECIALLY nice:
Storage is RAID-10, which on most hosts is something you’d only get with dedicated servers or other premium plans.
Plus, CloudFlare CDN is included for free, as well as weekly backups. Some hosts offer daily backups, so this is unfortunate, but still okay.
Plus, the standard web hosting package comes with special performance boosting mechanisms—perhaps explaining our good response times:
So, all in all, InterServer’s standard web hosting is one of the BEST featured and BEST priced shared hosting packages I’ve ever seen.
The second type of web hosting InterServer offers is called Pro Hosting.
But what this REALLY means is reseller hosting. Check it out:
As you can see, these prices are fairly standard but on the lower side, with a range of $19.95 to $69.95 across 5 tiers.
In my honest opinion, these are pretty decent plans: well-priced and well-featured.
Some people might complain about the monthly bandwidth limits.
Here’s the thing:
ON PAPER, limits of any kind don’t look great. But realistically, the reseller hosting plans are still shared hosting plans. Because of this, there are just realistic limits on how much can be accommodated.
Placing these limits ensures you can sell realistically to your clients without crashing shared server resources.
And honestly, these limitations are pretty reasonable, especially per the price.
If you remember that each account gets a cPanel (with unlimited cPanel accounts) and all standard web hosting features—which are really solid—then I think InterServer’s reseller program is SOLID.
This is a bit unusual, but basically ASP.NET is a framework suited for those who want to run their sites on Windows tech.
Note that not everyone will need this ASP.NET hosting—it’s more suited for those with unique needs.
Typically, customers will be more tech-savvy, often programmers who need to produce dynamic pages or run special applications.
Usually Windows hosting is notably more expensive than Linux hosting (in this case, the standard package), even if not by much.
But what’s GREAT here is that the prices are still super low, especially considering the low renewals.
Along with that you get basically everything that came with the standard package.
However, there are more limits on how many sites you can take on, and there are also a lot fewer cloud apps that can be installed quickly (specifically I’m referring to 1-click installs).
Overall, though, the ASP.NET web hosting package is really solid. Like the standard and “pro” web hosting options, the features are well-worth the prices. Plus, no extra renewal costs.
Now, it’s time we get to one of the MOST impressive things about InterServer:
The Virtual Private Server options.
Here’s why I’m impressed with InterServer’s VPS options:
There are SO many. In fact, there’s SO much I can’t even go through them all in detail. So briefly, here are the different offerings.
First up, we have general cloud VPS plans.
You won’t believe it:
It STARTS at $6 a month.
$6 a month for 30GB of SSD space, 2TB of data transfer, and just over 2GB of RAM. That is just insane—almost no VPS plans start at $6 a month.
But it’s not a scam. This is what the max option is:
For just under a $100 a month, you can get 16 cores, 16TB of data transfer, and just over 32GB of RAM.
That’s a super BUFF VPS plan. A lot of major competitors don’t even offer that many cores or levels of RAM, and that’s a super decent price for it too.
The other VPS plans follow this general plan. There are a TON of Windows VPS options. Here are the first three:
And here are the last three:
That’s right. 16 options, with about the same buffed-out resources as the cloud VPS options.
And then there’s WordPress VPS:
Yep. A VPS designed specifically for WordPress. Plenty of options for as much power as you need.
And if you wanted a VPS running on your favorite Linux distro, InterServer supports a bunch:
So I don’t think I can say any more. Some other hosts have scalable VPS pricing, that charges you as you use more resources according to a predefined pricing table.
But I don’t think I’ve seen any host offer such a robust selection of VPS hosting packages.
And the kicker:
The prices are completely reasonable, and sometimes downright AFFORDABLE.
So InterServer has got to be one of the BEST options for VPS hosting around.
But we’re not done. If the VPS options weren’t high-powered enough, InterServer also has some dedicated servers available.
I guess after all the VPS options, this shouldn’t be surprising, but I’m still impressed.
InterServer has a TON of options.
There are lots of options per the amount of cores you want. You can get anywhere from 1GB of RAM to 256GB. You can get some popular mid-range servers or the latest ones.
Plus, a lot of servers are “rapid deploy” servers: meaning they can be up and running in 15 minutes.
Don’t get too excited, cause we’re still not done:
You can also get some dedicated servers just for intense storage jobs.
InterServer also does a special job of supporting 10GB per second (10GBPS) dedicated servers: by reducing the amount of servers on the same switch, InterServer reduces the amount of stress that can be put on your server by another server.
This is of course more expensive, but is also a surefire method of getting quality service.
Computer nerds will also find that InterServer has a strength in offering GPU servers, which are better at processing tons of info than CPU servers.
I’ve got to be honest with y’all. At first, things looked a bit weak for InterServer, with the uptime. But:
The pricing and features are INCREDIBLE.
The standard web hosting option is one of the best bargains I’ve seen, with a low price but great features.
The other web hosting options—Windows and Pro (reseller) are similar in being well-priced but also well-stocked.
The VPS options just knock InterServer out of the park—you can get a VPS option perfect for your business for a very reasonable price, and scaling up is also easy because of this customizability.
The same principle is at work with InterServer’s dedicated servers: tons of options, all customizable until you get the right one for you.
Now, of course things CAN get expensive on the high-end. But that’s natural for the high-end of hosting. If you need something top-tier, you can’t afford to take shortcuts even if it saves some money. Quality is an investment.
But the thing about InterServer that’s GREAT—speaking generally here—is that it’s fully up to you how much you want to invest.
You’re not limited to cheap and lower quality options OR to expensive, high-quality ones. There’s a full range and it’s up to you to pick.
So I think InterServer has been saved a bit. But now we’ve got a whole other item to tackle:
Customer support will always be an essential, even if you’re not a beginner.
And as InterServer offers a ton of higher-quality hosting options, it’s only natural to expect it to have great customer support in place, too.
InterServer has two forms of customer support available.
The first is on-site informational material. InterServer’s organization of this material is a bit unique. For example, there’s this at the bottom of its website:
Instead of having a single link for “tips articles,” that takes you to a knowledge-base-style help center, you just click on the area you want tips on.
Once you do, you’ll get taken to a surprisingly robust selection of articles.
This is what the “getting started,” category looks like:
Each article is super robust, surprisingly:
Usually there’s lots of detail, plus links to video tutorials and lots of pictures as well.
Getting to the overall knowledge base is slightly convoluted. You have to click on a subsection of the “tips” (e.g., getting started) and then from there click another option for “tips.”
This will take you to a search bar and some extra accounts.
So it’s not perfectly organized or super-fast, but it’s also not a big deal.
The other type of support is from contacting representatives directly. You can contact staff the usual ways:
It’s decent overall.
I haven’t had a bad experience with any of the representatives. But…
Sometimes I try InterServer’s chat and THIS happens:
“What? I don’t see anything.”
But I HEARD something: I had been sent a couple messages, but nothing showed up on screen. I only heard the notification. When I sent a message, it never showed up on screen.
I tried again later.
The same thing happened, but if you click one of the buttons above (print, or email) it jolts the rest of the messages into existence. At least, this has been the case for me.
Aside from the issue of an invisible chat, the response was nearly immediate and was a clear answer as well. Plus, minimal upsells.
This has usually been the case with InterServer, in my experience: the representatives on live chat are fine, but you might have some issues seeing the messages at first.
On the bright side, tickets usually work pretty well. They’re also fairly accessible, as is the live chat.
So all in all, InterServer has strong customer support.
There ARE a couple drawbacks: the live chat can be glitchy, and the knowledge base home page is a little inaccessible.
But these are easily resolved, and once you do access InterServer’s resources, you’ll find them to be pretty good.
In fact, considering that InterServer is a massive hosting company, I’m really impressed by the quality of its support.
And guess what?
InterServer isn’t finished impressing me:
InterServer’s reliability is questionable, but we’ve seen a lot of competence for servers. It seems an open question:
How good is InterServer’s security?
Well, from the end-point of the customer, I think things look pretty good.
Remember that standard web hosting package? This is part of what gets included:
This is solid security, and it’s included by default for InterServer’s entry-level plan.
This is a really great precedent to set, and InterServer follows through with its other plans accordingly.
But that’s not all that matters. We also need to know about how well InterServer handles things from its end.
Check this out:
Ha, don’t worry if you skimmed.
Let me translate the gist of this to English: InterServer has a strong network!
I think it’s safe to say that InterServer has met the industry gold standard for secure networks, with full redundancy and fail-safes—meaning an unexpected situation or problem in ONE area won’t take out the WHOLE network.
InterServer also has some 007-level security for its datacenters.
Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. I just mean that InterServer has met the industry gold standards here as well.
But still, I’m impressed. The more datacenters a hosting company has, the higher the risk they won’t get equipped with proper security—as a shady way of cutting costs.
But InterServer has 4 data centers that are still tightly locked down.
We’re talking about both great physical security measures (like biometric entry requirements, motion-detectors) and tech protocols for the servers themselves (more redundancy, proper wiring, etc).
Once again, here’s some good news:
InterServer has GREAT security, ESPECIALLY for its size.
Let’s continue on this positive note, yeah?
We can get to the faults in a second—first, let’s review what InterServer does well.
- InterServer is overall easy to use.
- InterServer’s shared options is a great deal in terms of features, and price.
- InterServer has a TON of VPS options. In fact, InterServer has the most impressive selection I’ve seen of VPS plans, AND good prices to boot.
- Specifically, on prices, InterServer’s standard and Windows-based shared hosting packages don’t have renewal fees higher than the registration fees, making them very affordable in the long run. Some other hosting packages (such as VPS hosting) have higher renewals, but not NEARLY as high as with other platforms.
- InterServer OVERALL has highly customizable high-quality hosting, including VPS and dedicated hosting, with good pricing.
- InterServer has overall strong customer support.
- Although the uptime isn’t good, the response times are fast.
- Lastly, InterServer’s security is really good.
Okay my friends. Time to pinch your nose, and wade through the mud:
- This may sound unusual, but there are various typos and poorly written sentences throughout the website, plus things are sluggish and sometimes malfunction—all of which affects the credibility and professionalism.
- Specifically, sometimes live chats can have glitches.
- Online information is somewhat poorly organized.
- Our records show poor uptime. And I mean, pretty poor uptime.
Conclusion: Do I Recommend InterServer?
Oh, dear readers: I told you I loved a good underdog.
And I do. And THAT’S why InterServer pains me:
It’s ALMOST perfect. Of course, no host is genuinely perfect for everyone. But InterServer does SO much right:
The prices are great. There’s little I’d consider genuinely over-priced: when the prices are high, it’s almost always completely reasonable.
And, there are a LOT of options with low prices but a lot of resources and features.
This includes quite a few VPS and shared options.
And, InterServer offers probably the most impressive, customizable selection of higher-end hosting plans I’ve seen—at least for a host of this size.
There are a TON of VPS and dedicated options, highly customizable and scalable. There’s a solution for almost everyone.
Plus, renewal prices are either the same as initial purchase prices or not much higher.
The customer support is good, if imperfect, and InterServer is overall user-friendly, though not excessively.
BUT, there’s one BIG problem:
That dang uptime! An uptime score that low for a single week is usually unacceptable.
Now, there’s a chance the jury is still out. If every other week I test is perfect, and that was a one-time fluke…
Well, that still wouldn’t be great, but it would be more acceptable.
So as it stands now, I have to be honest: InterServer is a fantastic host but has a major Achilles heel, and as a result, I can’t recommend its shared hosting package to businesses.
Higher quality hosting could have better uptime, and thus be an excellent bargain.
But for now, its shared hosting packages should be limited to those who don’t mind risking poor uptime scores.
BUT, InterServer is so strong in other areas that I think it should be given a chance.
“Why should I spend my money finding out?!”
Don’t worry—you don’t need to spend money finding out:
Unlike most other hosts, InterServer doesn’t include a free domain registration or domain transfer with the purchase of a shared hosting plan.
Instead, registering or transferring is DISCOUNTED for the first year, but not free.
No, InterServer’s website builder (SitePad) is included with the standard hosting plan for free.Remember also that you can install content management systems (CMS) with your hosting plan, which are usually free and are relatively easy to set up on InterServer—just in case you don’t like their site builder.
While I don’t think English writing quality on a website should ALWAYS affect how you view a company, it is true that many scammy or shady sites have high promises and poor writing.What makes InterServer seem less appealing isn’t just the poor English ALL OVER the site, but that the company is headquartered in America and most of the data centers are in America.
This adds the appearance of a discrepancy, so I can understand why some might be mistrustful.
However, InterServer has been established and reviewed by many people, including myself right now.
But, this is just the world we live in. While it looks bad to have lots of typos on a professional website, in 2019, it doesn’t necessarily mean a scam—it probably means underpaid freelancers.
That’s what I’m here for—to test InterServer first, so you can figure out whether it’s worth your time. Whatever you think of InterServer, it’s definitely NOT a scam.