This Host4Geeks review 2020 might just end the search for your next (or maybe first) hosting partner.
If you’ve been through any of my other hosting reviews, you’d agree I do not believe in simply “listing down” the provided features. Sure, that’s important. But, of more importance is the real-world performance of these servers.
Every hosting company out there claims to be “the best”, “the fastest” and of offering “99.9% uptime”. The same is true for Host4Geeks as well. But do these claims hold water?
To get a fact-backed answer for the same, I went on and acquired a Host4Geeks shared server, and ran all my usual tests.
Host4Geeks Review 2020
Note that this Host4Geeks review is primarily focused on the company’s shared servers. All the features, tests, add-ons are true for their “Shared servers” only, unless mentioned otherwise. However, the company does offer VPS & Dedicated servers as well.
Here’s everything that I’ll be covering throughout this review:
- Server location-choices.
- Free migrations.
- Free domain, SSL, DDoS protection and CDN.
- Free Backups.
- The Tests
- Page Load-time test
- And Server Response Time Test.
Let’s get down to business, eh?
Proof of Server
How can I review a hosting company without actually using the company myself, right? So well, I did use the servers.
Here’s my cPanel:
And here’s my IntoDNS report proving that the domain-: Updateland-hostingreview.online is indeed hosted on the servers.
The company is an LLC registered in Walnut, California, USA. The primary features which are of concern for a good host have been enlisted below:
- Website: https://host4geeks.com/
- Free domain: Yes.
- Free migration: Yes
- Free SSL: Yes
- Free CDN: Yes
- Server location-choices: 4
- Support: Live-chat/ WhatsApp/ Messenger/ Phone.
- Free Backups: Yes
- Server types: Semi-Dedicated/ VPS/ Dedicated.
- Cheapest plan: $2.49/month.
- Payment modes: Cards + PayPal + Bitcoin.
If these tick any of the boxes on your checklist, do keep reading.
Host4Geeks Pros and Cons
Here’s what impressed me most, and what left something to be desires:
- Tons of free add-ons.
- 24X7 live-chat/ Fast/ Responsive.
- Secure (free DDoS protection).
- Impressive speed and uptime.
- No monthly billing available for cheaper plans.
At the end of the day, I believe it all comes down to the budget, doesn’t it? So well, here are the available pricing plans for Host4Geeks Shared servers:
- Starter plan: 10 GB space / Unlimited bandwidth /1 website : $2.49/month
- Business: Unlimited Space + Bandwidth + Domains/ Free domain : $7.59/month.
The “Starter” plan has to be paid for a minimum of 1-year. No monthly plans exist. The Business plan however can be paid monthly, quarterly or even semi-annually.
Furthermore, the longer the term of your plan, the better discounts you get. The Annual, 2-year and 3-year plans all offer 10%, 15% and 20% discounts respectively.
The company also offers VPS servers, these have 4 plans:
- VPS 1: 4 Cores/ 2GB RAM / 50 GB Space / 2 TB bandwidth – $20.76/month.
- VPS 2: 4 Cores / 4GB RAM /100 GB Space / 4 TB bandwidth – $28.76/month.
- VPS 3: 8 Cores / 6GB RAM / 150 GB Space / 6TB bandwidth – $ 44.76/month.
- VPS 4: 8 Cores /8 GB RAM/ 200 GB Space/ 8TB bandwidth – $52.76/month.
All VPS plans are pre-bundled with 1free dedicated IP address and even free cPanel (this one’s rare).
Two dedicated plans exist as well, the cheaper plan costs $129.00/month and the more expensive plan is priced at $199.00/month.
Host4Geeks doesn’t only make sure users can pay with ease regardless of their location, but also takes into account our anonymity-preferences.
In other words, it not only accepts the traditional fiat modes such as:
- Cards (Visa/ Mastercard / Maestro / American Express)
- And PayPal accounts.
But, also Bitcoin!
Probably the biggest downer personally for me on this entire Host4Geeks review is its strict “No refunds policy”. The company offers no refunds whatsoever, and this applies to all its products and fees.
4 Server-location choices
There aren’t many hosting companies out there which offer users the choice of server-locations. For me personally, locations are of paramount importance.
It’s the laws, content-policies, but more importantly, the performance. In most cases, I already know the user-base I’ll primarily be targeting for a project. Hence, it helps being able to choose a location near my primary user-base.
So, for the shared plans, the company offers the following location-choices:
- US (East Coast).
- US (West Coast).
- India (Pune).
- UK (London).
The plans you go with, do not affect these location-choices.
Not everyone reading this Host4Geeks review may have the expertise, or time to migrate their servers manually. And, isn’t it always better to leave things up to the experts? Especially when it’s free?
Host4Geeks offers free migrations on all their servers’ types. The number of migrations differs based on the exact server you’re going with:
- Shared servers & Semi-Dedicated: 1 cPanel migration.
- Managed VPS: 100 cPanel migrations.
- Managed Dedicated: 200 cPanel accounts.
Again, not something many companies offer, but Host4Geeks does.
Free domain, SSL, DDoS protection and Cloudflare CDN
These are other goodies every website must have. Fortunately, Host4Geeks provides these for free.
The free domain however is only offered on its “Business” plan. And you must register for 1 / 2 or 3 years to get the free domain.
Without SSL certificates, you’ll literally be losing rankings, user-trust and overall revenue. Host4Geeks makes sure that doesn’t happen. It offers unlimited free SSL certificate on all its plan.
The company also includes free basic DDoS protection on all its plan. The exact size of attacks we’re protected against isn’t mentioned. You however can also purchase advanced DDoS protection as an add-on.
Then, there’s Cloudflare CDN. This makes sure your website is served at the best possible speed to all your visitors, regardless of their or your servers’ locations. It also thwarts DDoS attacks. This too is available on all the plans regardless of the price.
This needed to be mentioned separately due to its slightly different T&C. So, the company performs nightly backups for all its shared (and Semi-Dedicated) servers.
The retention-period is 7-days. However, their T&C explicitly mentions that these backups aren’t guaranteed.
So, the company can’t be held liable if the backups aren’t made available. Not even if the company is at fault of losing the backups.
The restoration of the backups (if and when available) is entirely free.
Dedicated IP Addresses
Obviously, alike almost all other Shared hosting servers, Host4Geeks too doesn’t offer free dedicated IP addresses.
However, Dedicated IP addresses can be bought for the standard price of $2.00/month/IP address.
The company not only claims and guarantees a 99.9% uptime, but also backs it up with “refund credits”.
In other words, if the server goes down, users earn credits based on their monthly renewal prices. Here’s a complete chart explaining the amount of downtime correlated to the credits:
However, this credit “may” be granted, and only if the downtime qualifies for it. I personally haven’t experienced any downtime yet so my personal experience with downtime credits is null.
One of the strongest suits Host4Geeks boasts of is its support. My personal experience is limited to their live-chat, and fortunately, it totally was more than enough.
The live-chat is truly 24*7*365 days. The response-time ranges from a couple seconds, to a minute at best. The longest delay in my case was 2 minutes, and that’s only because of a (probable) shift-change.
Additionally, they’re one of the very few hosting companies offering support via WhatsApp message as well. The chat can be taken over to Facebook Messenger, Twitter, or even Phone.
And then there’s the traditional E-mail. If it all fails, the ticketing system still comes to the rescue. Overall, the support sure is impressive.
If you’ve read thus far, it certainly means the company meets at least some of your requirements.
Well, now for the technicalities and actual performance. To test the same, I’ll be conducting a number of tests on my test domain- https://updateland-hostingreview.online.
I installed WordPress with the default theme for the purposes of this test.
Page load-time Test
This is the most basic test I conduct. The page load-time is in the simplest of words your website speed.
I tested the server from the following locations, and recorded the speed:
|London.||349 ms. (Verify result authenticity).|
Now, the performance was beyond impressive for almost all the locations, except Australia. But, that totally could be due to a plethora of other factors and doesn’t necessarily indicate that the server is slow.
The load-time test takes into account all of a webpage’s content. This includes images, scripts, text and everything else. These elements vary from site to site, and so do the results.
Let’s get a more universal result then?
Server Response Time (SRT)
The SRT is a more isolated test in terms of speed. It doesn’t rely as heavily on a site’s content (Images/Text) etc. as it does on the server itself.
Combining this with the page load-time gets us a much better idea of the server’s true performances.
I used Bitcatcha to monitor and record the SRT for my site hosted on Host4Geeks. Here’s the result (verify result authenticity).
These too are pretty good numbers. Anything below 200ms is rare, hard to achieve, and desirable.
However, they should’ve been a tad-bit lower considering the load-times that we recorded earlier.
Either way, even Sydney, the poorest performer didn’t cross the 300 mark and that’s all green lights for me.
Official Speed Proof
Apart from my own tests, I also found another website hosted on Host4Geeks shared plans. It’s officially flaunted as “proof of speed” by the company on their “Shared Hosting” page. If nothing else, it sure speaks volumes for their confidence and transparency.
This website has more content than the one I set up, and hence I believe the tests would yield better understanding of their speed.
Here’s the load-time test results:
As is evident, from USA the site loaded in 951ms. That’s just miracles. For a full-fledged website, rich with content, scripts, and tons of image this is a god-number. Anything below 1 second is actually.
And if you had complaints or doubts that the website I set up wasn’t as “content-rich” so the data may not be accurate, well, I hope these tests could appease you a bit more?
That’s not all, obviously I also went ahead and conducted the Server Response Time test. Here are the results (verify results):
In this case, for reasons unknown to me, the results are truly unbelievable. It’s as if the server responds almost instantaneously without any delay at all! For almost all the locations, the SRT report showed a <10ms response time.
And note that I re-ran the tests multiple times just to make sure the numbers were correct and not a glitch. (You can too).
Bottomline? “Speed” wouldn’t be an issue with Host4Geeks.
Acceptable Use Policy
Even though Host4Geeks offers servers from multiple locations, it can’t exactly be used to bypass local content-restrictions.
In other words, regardless of which server your content is hosted on, laws from around the world are applicable on it.
The AUP also clearly states that nothing that’s illegal in nature, or pirated is allowed to be hosted on the servers.
Host4Geeks Reviews From Other Users
Host4Geeks Review- Final Verdict
Let’s wrap this Host4Geeks review up? As far as my personal opinion goes, I’m impressed with its support, free add-ons, and the largely acceptable pricing.
Even the performance blew me away. But being practical, the site is pretty naked and light-weight right now. So, I wouldn’t sing praise-songs just yet.
All in all, it’s not “THE” best hosting provider, but it’s not the worst. If it’s around your budget-bracket, I’d say it’s most definitely worth a try at the least.