InterServer Review

InterServer Review
Plan in review: Shared
Reviewed by:
Rating:
Review Last Updated: March 08, 2018
Summary
InterServer is less mainstream but it's hard to look past them once you get to know the company. The web host is a great bargain (life long rate $5/mo), highly scalable; and the server performance is superb.

Founded by Michael Lavrik and John Quaglieri, InterServer is a New Jersey-based company that’s been in the game since 1999. Initially launching as a virtual hosting account re-seller, the hosting provider has grown over the past 17 years and now operates two data centers in New Jersey and is in the process of expanding to additional locations, including Los Angeles.

Self-deemed (and widely proven) a budget-friendly provider, InterServer specializes in shared, VPS, and dedicated and co-location hosting solutions.

My experience with InterServer

This review is based on my experience with their VPS hosting (in year 2013/14) and shared hosting service, which I still own at this point of writing (March 2018).

I did an online interview with Interserver co-founder Michael in September 2014 and visited the company’s HQ in Secaucus, New Jersey in August 2016.

entrance-of-interserver-office
Interserver office entrance.

About InterServer, the Company

  • Head quarter: Secaucus, New Jersey
  • Established: 1999
  • Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated, and co-location hosting

(Quick link) Review InterServer Hosting in:

Interserver Promo Code: WHSRPENNY

Apply promo code “WHSRPENNY” to get InterServer (VPS or shared hosting) at $0.01 first month.

* Click image to enlarge. 

Order page at Interserver.net – the promo code “WHSRPENNY’ will be inserted automatically if you visit this special discount page.

 Click here to visit the special discount page at InterServer.net

 

Back to top


 

InterServer Hosting Performance: Uptime & Speed

 

Our Experience & Thoughts:

Excellent server performance 

Hosting uptime above 99.97%

Time-to-first-byte (TTFB) below 222ms

Rated B+or A at Bitcatcha Speed Test

 

Server location only in United States

 

I have got two test sites hosted at InterServer. In overall, I am impressed with the host performance.

While most hosting sites shoot for a 99.9% uptime (and many fall short of that), InterServer managed to keep my site up 100% most of the time. The uptime history is published below.

InterServer server response speed meets my expectation for a $5/mo host. My test results at Bitcatcha and Webpagetest.org are also published below.

InterServer Uptime (February 2018): 100%

No downtime is recorded at InterServer in February 2018.

Past Uptime Records (2015 – 2017)

* Click image to enlarge. 

March 2017: 99.97%

July 2016: 100%

interserver uptime 072016

February 2016: 99.99%

interserver feb 2016 uptime

September 2015: 99.99%

InterServer Uptime for the past 30 days (September 2015): 99.99%

InterServer Speed Test (Bitcatcha)

Recent server speed tests show that InterServer is one of the fastest budget hosting services around.

We ping our test site from 8 different locations using Bitcatcha and compare the server response times with other websites. As you can see in images below, the results were pretty good.

Feb 2018: A+, Excellent

In average, test site hosted at InterServer responded below in less than 200ms.

 

Mar 2017: A+, Excellent

 

Feb 2016: B+, Good

interserver feb 2016 response speed

* Click image to enlarge. 

InterServer Speed Test (WebpageTest)

Recent test at WebpageTest.org (March 8th, 2018): Site tested from United States server, TTFB = 222ms.

Note: Why stress so much on server speed? Because 1) according to expert case studies, just 1 second decrease in site load time offers a 7% improvement in conversion rate and 11% bump in page views; and 2) Google is now using site speed as one of their ranking factors – you need a faster site to outrank your competitors. 

A little more about InterServer servers and data centers

I dug deeper to see the technology behind InterServer servers and found some interesting facts.

First, InterServer platform is very well built. The company runs its own data centers in New Jersey and uses an intelligent BGPv4 routing protocol. The BGPv4  protocol allows it to route traffic to the closest backbone provider. That reduces latency while increasing speed. Second, the company doesn’t overload its servers.

Many hosting companies out there load their servers to capacity and that causes some serious latency. Because they build their own servers (hence cost is lower than others),  InterServer keeps its servers around 50 percent capacity. That means that when you use the servers, you have more resources at your disposal than you get with many of the other shared hosting companies out there. You might think that as this service gets more popular, the company will end up overtaxing its servers, but InterServer only allows 100 new customers a day. That way, it doesn’t grow too quickly so it never overburdens its servers. Michael Lavrik also had some input about his company’s performance.

During our interview, he said:

mike lavrik

I think the difference is experience; we’ve been doing this for 15 years.

We’ve made all our mistakes already. We follow a proven model for every aspect of the operation from running an Ethernet cable to installing software.

InterServer builder’s room

The data center power and cooling system is designed by Michael; all servers were built from scratch by InterServer team in this “Builders” room.

InterServer data centers

interserver-server-room
One of the server blocks in Interserver’s data center.
Michael and I. Photo taken during my visit to InterServer HQ in August 2016.

 

 

Back to top


 

InterServer Essential Features

 

Our Experience & Thoughts:

Shared hosting packed with all essential features

Allow more than 200,000 inodes

Free site migration for first time customers

Room to grow – easy upgrade to VPS and dedicated host

Great flexibility in VPS hosting plans

VPS is not newbies-friendly

“Unlimited hosting” is limited by other terms

 

Room to grow: Hosting options at InterServer

In term of features, there’s nothing much to shout about – but they do cover all the essential features in shared hosting (which is great).

The company offers various hosting options: shared, VPS cloud, and dedicated server hosting. We’ll take a closer look on their VPS and shared hosting.

InterServer Shared Hosting

The InterServer shared hosting plan is a budget-friendly option, at just $5 per month with discounts available for longer-term contracts. If you use promo code WHSRPENNY and pre-order 3 years, the price drops to $3.88/mo.

The service includes a wealth of handy features, including one-click installs, 24/7 customer support, a free migration service, “unlimited” features (more on that later), and more. InterServer shared hosting features, server specifications and other details are shown in the table on right sidebar.

InterServer VPS Hosting

InterServer offers a variety of VPS and cloud hosting plans to provide the flexibility and scalability its clients are looking for. Linux cloud VPS begins at $6 per month, while Windows cloud VPS starts at $10 per month. Both offer a variety of options, based on your needs for CPU cores, memory, storage, and transfer caps.

 

Features Linux
Cloud (1)
Linux
Cloud (2)
Windows
Cloud (1)
Windows
Cloud (2)
CPU Cores 1 2 1 2
Memory 1024 MB 8192 GB 1024 MB 8192 GB
SSD Storage 25 GB 200 GB 25 GB 200 GB
Monthly Data Transfer 1 TB 8 TB 1 TB 8 TB
cPanel Add $10/mo Add $10/mo Add $10/mo Add $10/mo
Fantastico Add $4/mo Add $4/mo Add $4/mo Add $4/mo
Unique IP Add $1/mo Add $1/mo Add $1/mo Add $1/mo
Monthly Cost $6/mo $48/mo $10/mo $80/mo

 

InterServer Free Migration Service

The biggest plus for InterServer is their free site migration service.

For those who are too busy (or new) to move your web host, just contact InterServer and get their support staffs to do it for you.

To initiate site migration, visit this page.

Highly customizable VPS hosting plan

I tried InterServer’s VPS plan in 2014 and quickly appreciated how customizable it is. VPS clients can customize just about everything, from their preferred operating system to the software, control panels, and server capacity.

interserver os choice
Operating system options at InterServer.

There are 16 sets of pre-configured VPS plans at InterServer. Users can choose the number of needed CPU cores, RAM, as well as storage and data transfer capacity

VPS plans start as low as $6/mo.

Also, unlike many other VPS hosting providers that require users to pay for bundled software and apps, InterServer only requires its clients to pay for what they need and use.

VPS Upgrades Additional Cost VPS Upgrades Additional Cost
Additional IP Add $1/mo/IP Fantastico Add $4/mo
cPanel Add $10/mo Softculous Add $2/mo
Direct Admin Add $8/mo Ksplice Add $3.95/mo
* Note: Usually what many other VPS hosting providers do is to include the cost of these features into their VPS plans and claim that they are free. With InterServer, you get the choice to go without these additional software.

 

VPS Hosting – Not for non-techie

Because InterServer does not bundle the usual software (like cPanel and Softculous) into their VPS plans – the initial setup process maybe overwhelming for newbies and non-techies. I tested InterServer VPS in 2014, the setup process was very manual and took longer time than I expected.

If you plan to go with InterServer VPS, I recommend allocating a bit of additional time for the learning curve and setup process.

InterServer unlimited hosting is limited

For starters, although InterServer offers “unlimited” features in its shared hosting environments, the unlimited hosting does come with limits.

This will always be the case with any provider, though… and, like with any provider, InterServer users are bound by server usage rules and terms. However, unlike many other hosts, InterServer gives users a clear foray into what those limits are, providing them in the TOS.

No single shared hosting account is permitted to use more that 20% of the server resources at a time. A single account is limited to 250,000 inodes at any given time. Clients on the Unlimited SSD shared hosting platform using more then 1GB of space will be moved to SATA.

 

 

Back to top


 

InterServer Customer Care

 

Our Experience & Thoughts:

Clear service terms and guarantees

99.9% uptime guarantee backed by SLA

100% in-house support via chat and phone

Price lock guarantee – $5/mo for life

Good billing practice – users can refund or cancel account easily

– (No issue for this section)

 

Great support: Helpful + 100% In-house

InterServer customer support team doesn’t just say they’ll help you. They actually do.

For example, during a recent crackdown of another hosting company (which I can’t tell you who – but it’s reviewed here, go figure), InterServer stepped in to help the unhappy customers. It set up a special team to help the people migrate their sites over to the InterServer hosting platform, making the transition seamless. You won’t get that type of service with many hosting companies.

All customer supports are done from InterServer office at Secaucus, NJ.

I was at their office and witnessed the team answering users requests.

interserver-office
The new client list and support requests are shown in the screens hanging at the ceiling.

99.9% uptime guarantee

InterServer service is backed by clear writing SLA (see image). Should they fail to meet the guarantee in a given month, they’ll credit clients on a case by case basis.

* Click image to enlarge. 

Going beyond the uptime guarantee, Interserver also gives a 100% guarantee of uninterrupted electricity.

InterServer now limits the number of new customers

interserver daily sales limit
Interserver is now applying daily sales limit.

InterServer has implemented a daily web hosting capacity limit to 100 in June 2016. The reason why this is implemented:

When a new customer joins our service there is an extra load on our support department. Often times, the customer needs a little help during the initial configuration. An overwhelming amount of customers are not happy and have been turning to InterServer for a superior hosting experience. InterServer has always been about quality over quantity. In order to maintain our standard of quality, we have decided to implement a daily sign up limit. This daily limit will reset at midnight Eastern Standard Time.

 

 

Back to top


 

Pricing: Is InterServer value for money?

 

Our Experience & Thoughts:

Reasonable: Good shared hosting at $5/mo

Cheap VPS: Plans start at $6/mo

Users can try InterServer at $0.01 first month

Biggest plus: Price lock guarantee

– (No issue for this section)

 

 

 

 

Interserver Discount, Promo Code: WHSRPENNY

Apply promo code “WHSRPENNY” to get InterServer (VPS or shared hosting) at $0.01 first month.

* Click image to enlarge. 

Order page at Interserver.net – the promo code “WHSRPENNY’ will be inserted automatically if you visit this special discount page.

 Click here to visit the special discount page at InterServer.net

 

Price lock guarantee 

Many hosting providers lure in new customers with super low pricing for their initial term of service… and then jack the rate upon renewal.

I love that InterServer avoids this practice and instead values loyalty; its price lock guarantee ensures that the price you start with will continue to be your price for as long as you keep your account.

Interserver does not jack up their price on renewal.

 

 

Back to top


 

Verdict: InterServer = 5 Stars!

Pros

  • Excellent server performance – average hosting uptime above 99.97%, TTFB below 220ms.
  • 20 years of proven business track record.
  • Good billing practices with 99.9% uptime SLA.
  • 100% in-house customer supports.
  • Price lock guarantee for shared and VPS hosting.
  • Free sites migration for new customers.
  • Plenty of room to grow – users get to upgrade their hosting servers to VPS and dedicated hosting at reasonable price.

Cons

  • Server location in United States only.
  • VPS hosting not for newbies / non-techies.

I spoke to Michael and John, the two founders, at length during my visit to their New Jersey office.

It was clear that they’ve very serious about their customers and their business. They have a clear vision of how they’re going to take their business to the next level.

 

To put it simply, I strongly recommend this web host.

 

Back to top


 

Order InterServer at $0.01/mo

To visit or order InterServer: https://www.interserver.net/

 

P/S: Is this review helpful?

WHSR is funded mainly by affiliate income. If you like my work, please support us by buying via our affiliate link. It does not cost you more and helps me to produce more helpful hosting review like this one.