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The company employs more than 7,000 employees worldwide and has data centers across Europe and the United States. The company provides web hosting solutions for small and mid-sized companies and has products available in countries such as Poland, Austria, Germany, United States, Great Britain, Spain, Mexico and Italy. With over 19 million domain names under its belt, 1&1 Hosting is great for you if you are a new website creator.
In case of any questions about the hosting service or your account, you will be glad to know that the company has 24/7 email and phone support. Unfortunately, the service does not offer a live chat at this point.
If you enjoy troubleshooting on your own, then you will love 1&1’s help center, which has been categorized into numerous sections such as hosting, servers, email and office, account and billing and so on. The neatly organized page lists all the popular search queries right on top so you might not even have to use their excellent search feature.
1&1 offers a cloud community which is an exhaustive resource and you can find useful information sub-divided into categories such as news, tutorials and updates. There is also a section where you can ask your query in the community forum where other 1&1 users will attempt to answer it. Though chances are that the question may have already been asked.
As promised, 1&1’s phone support is round the clock and is manned by knowledgeable customer support executives. The waiting period is not too long and the executives are friendly, don’t try to rush you through your query and answer you accurately and thoroughly.
The email help is equally responsive and quick to respond to your queries. Queries are answered in a detailed manner usually within the hour even though you are told that it would take up to 24 hours.
Ironically though, the internet is full of consumer forums that are not so impressed with 1&1’s customer service and bemoan that the executives could do with some general knowledge. They also allege that it is impossible to find solutions that you already couldn’t find in the help center. However, it is very difficult to judge any hosting service purely by their customer service, so we will move on to the next section.
1&1 provides some very attractive packages and you have multiple choices to choose from. Like other web hosting companies, they have also slashed their prices to attract more customers. There are three plans to choose from — Basic, Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Pro.
Priced at an astounding $0.99 per month, this plan is being touted as ideal for professional websites that have up to 500 pages and for those who have no prior knowledge of website building. This is against their “normal” price of $7.99, so it sounds like a steal. With this plan, you are offered top performance with up to 2.5GB RAM (that essentially allows up to 3,000 processes per minute), 100GB storage, 25 databases, 500 email accounts (with 2GB per email account), a domain free of up to a year, SSL Wildcard certificate and 24/7 customer support.
This plan is priced at $4.99 per month, against its “original” price of $9.99 and is ideal for several or a single big project. You are offered up to 6GB RAM (of which 3GB is guaranteed and up to 6,000 processes or 200 visitors per minute), an unlimited number of storage and websites, unlimited databases, an SSL Wildcard certificate and 24/7 customer support are included in this offer.
This is the most premium plan 1&1 offers and is priced at $8.99 as against the earlier price of $14.99 per month. This plan promises you top performance with up to 9GB of RAM, of which 4.5GB is guaranteed and is equivalent to about 300 visitors per minute. This plan offers you all the features of the unlimited plus and basic plans and additionally offers SiteLock basic and a content delivery network with railgun technology.
Converting visitors into customers happens only when a website is at its top performance and 1&1 hosting does not disappoint. Most of the times, one can judge this performance by the uptime and 1&1 claims to support 99.99% uptime for its hosting services. It also depends on how fast a website loads, but that relies on how your website is set up, that is, factors like if it is image or video heavy. 1&1 takes care of this by employing the use of solid state drives (SSDs), that are high performing.
In user tests, 1&1 has indeed performed very well in the time to first byte (TTFB) tests, when compared with its direct competitors such as GoDaddy. The company offers hosting packages that fall into 5 different categories:
- Site Builders
- Shared Hosting
- Managed Cloud Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- Online Store Builder
All these plans come with varying prices that deserves an article in itself, so suffice to say that the scale of hosting services offered by 1&1 is unparalleled compared with its competitors.
Signing up with 1&1 is easy and as soon as you are signed in with your preferred plan, you are taken to the control panel. Please note that 1&1 does not use the widely-used cPanel so it will take some getting used to. However, if you are a seasoned developer, you might be surprised that you don’t see the features you need immediately.
This is owing to the fact that the panel has been designed for those who have little or no experience in web hosting. As you move along, you will find that there are many features that can be accessed; these are — setting up Microsoft email, viewing your account information and settings, accessing the MySql and FTP databases, activating SSL certificates or scaling your bandwidth.
If you have paid for the MyWebsite site builder capability, you will be guided to another interface for creating a website. The whole process is simplified with their drag-and-drop functionality and you can play around with the template with pages, widgets, content and photographs (your own or provided by 1&1). Overall, the interface is very user friendly and intuitive in nature.
When it comes to website security, 1&1 has a lot to offer. It includes the SiteLock feature in its most advanced plan and offers it as an add-on for its other plans. Let’s take a look at 1&1’s security features.
Day after day, users enter sensitive information such as passwords, payment details and contact data on scores of websites, that could be intercepted by hackers or those with malicious intent, if it weren’t for the presence of SSL certificates. At 1&1, your information is secured with SSL Wildcard certificates.
A distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) can cripple the workings of any website and render it useless. When you register with 1&1, such attacks are detected early and are prevented by implementing counter measures to protect your website and data.
1&1 claims that its data centers are the safest in the United States. They credit this to multiple redundant connections to major internet hubs. These centers adhere to the highest standards of security and are approved by the German Technical Inspection Association.
The hosting products at 1&1 are run at two parallel data centers, so in case if one of the centers is affected, the operations are automatically transferred to the second, ensuring that there is no disruption. If that weren’t enough, daily data backups are also performed.
- Lack of Live Chat: Even though 1&1 has email and phone support along with an excellent knowledge base that has an active forum, the lack of a live chat system is somewhat annoying. The presence of a live chat would have made it much easier to reach customer support rather than relying on email or long telephonic conversations.
- High-Cost Renewals: For first-time users, 1&1’s pricing options are brilliant. But like a lot of other hosting companies, you will only benefit from them if you are locked in for a certain period.
- Unfamiliar Control Panel: Even though the control panel has an overall great functionality, what it lacks is familiarity. Users who have used other hosting services are more familiar with cPanel, so it is rather unusual to see a brand-new control panel that they will have to spend the time to familiarize themselves with.
If you are starting a new business venture or launching a new website for the first time, 1&1 is recommended. On one hand, it’s low-cost hosting, email setup and website building are just some of the benefits that will attract new users. On the other hand, the unfamiliar control panel and a lack of live chat are some of the fields that 1&1 can improve upon.