Independent test of hosting providers

Choosing a provider is really difficult. One always wants them to be cheap and steady. When going through the descriptions on providers’ web-sites, it seems like they are all offering the best quality at practically no cost, but when one buys into their promises often it turns out not all rosy, as one thought it would be. I always wanted to read an independent feedback about a provider from a person who used their services. However, most often I just stumbled upon affiliated reviews that do not reflect the reality. I guess now its time to write something of that sort myself.

Disclaimer: I don’t claim that tests below are comprehensive and technically accurate. My primary goal, however, is to obtain such a result that will shed some light on main streams in choosing hosting providers. If that helps you – excellent, if not – I don’t mind.

I took three criteria as metrics: computing speed, response time (ping) and file download speed.

Selected hosting providers

So, in this article I am going to compare 7 hosting providers that I used personally. They include 2 dedicated servers, 4 virtual servers and 1 virtual hosting:

1. Hivelocity

Most expensive and fastest server of all tested here:

  • Providerhivelocity.net (USA)
  • Type of hosting: dedicated server
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Price: $183 / month
  • CPU: Quad-Core 3.3GHz E3-1230-V3 Haswell Xeon
  • RAM: 16 GB

2. PoundHost

This one is also a dedicated server, but with a very cheap processor:

  • Provider: poundhost.com (Great Britain)
  • Type of hosting: dedicated server
  • Location: London
  • Price: $50 / month
  • CPU: Dual-Core Intel Atom D525 @ 1.8GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB

3. DigitalOcean NL

This one is a virtual dedicated server in Amsterdam:

  • Providerdigitalocean.com
  • Type of hosting: virtual private server
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Price: $20 / month
  • CPU: 2 CPUs
  • RAM: 2 GB

4. DigitalOcean NY

This one is offered by the same provider, but half as cheap and located in New York:

  • Providerdigitalocean.com
  • Type of hosting: virtual private server
  • Location: New York
  • Price: $10 / month
  • CPU: 1 CPU
  • RAM: 1 GB

5. Ruweb VDS

This one is a virtual private server of Russian provider, located in an American data center:

  • Provider: ruweb.ws
  • Type of hosting: virtual private server
  • Location: Reston, VA
  • Price: $9.5 / month
  • CPU: 1 GHz
  • RAM: 750 MB

6. REG.RU VPS

This one is a virtual private server of another Russian provider, located in Moscow:

  • Provider: reg.ru
  • Type of hosting: virtual private server
  • Location: Moscow
  • Price: $3.5 / month
  • CPU: 2 GHz
  • RAM: 128 MB

7. Ruweb Shared

And this one is a virtual hosting provided by Russian branch of Ruweb, the cheapest hosting of all considered in this article:

  • Provider: ruweb.net
  • Type of hosting: virtual hosting
  • Location: Moscow
  • Price: $1 / month
  • CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 0 @2.00GHz
  • RAM: 32 GB

Test #1: Computing speed on PHP

For this test I used a simple PHP Benchmark Performance Script to assess the computing power of servers. Below are the results of this test:
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So what do we see:

  1. Naturally, the fastest is Hivelocity.
  2. PoundHost turned out to be the slowest one, even though it’s the second most expensive – low processor power played its role in this.
  3. Two processors in DigitalOcean NL do add up to the computing performance against one in DigitalOcean NY.
  4. The cheapest virtual hosting provided by Ruweb (for only $1) works as fast as the virtual server of DigitalOcean (for $10).

Conclusion:

  1. If you need a high computing power, then take a dedicated server with a powerful processor or purchase more processors for your virtual server.
  2. Don’t buy the cheapest processor for your dedicated server, better go for a virtual server as it is going to be cheaper and faster.
  3. In terms of computing speed virtual hosting may be no worse (and sometimes even better) than a virtual private server.

Test #2: PING from six different locations

For this test I used the services of site24x7.com to determine server response time while getting requests from six global locations: Californiathe Netherlands, BrazilSouth Africa, Singapore and Russia. And here’s what I’ve got:
[table “” not found /]

So what do we see:

  1. The fastest here was PoundHost, the one that was the slowest in the previous test.
  2. The slowest here was Ruweb virtual hosting, although not much slower than Hivelocity’s fancy server!
  3. Server location does play role in this case (which is natural). The difference in delay between Europe and America is 2-3 times!
  4. Number of processors and server power does not affect the ping.

Conclusion:

  1. If you need a fast response, then choose your server somewhere close to where you are. In particular it concerns the choice between Europe and America.
  2. Processor power won’t give you a fast response, so look out for a hosting with the best bandwidth (which is PoundHost in this case).

Test #3: File download speed

For this test I downloaded the same 5 Mb file from each server from three different locations: America, Europe and Russia. I used wget (for Linux and Windows) tool to download the file.
[table “” not found /]

So what do we see here:

  1. Downloading from Russia turned out to be the slowest. This, perhaps, is because of my provider (as I downloaded from home). Still, I decided to include these results to make the test look more realistic.
  2. The fastest in this case was PoundHost.
  3. Speed depends on location (naturally), though between European servers it is much higher than between American servers. This was clear from the ping test.
  4. Overall, dedicated servers have outstripped virtual servers.

Conclusions:

  1. It looks like PoundHost’s bandwidth is really good.
  2. Hosting provider Hivelocity won among American hosting providers (though its the most expensive one), followed by Ruweb.
  3. Transfer speed within Europe is quite high.

Summary

So what do we have here?

If you are looking for a cheap hosting, then you might be completely satisfied with a virtual hosting offered by Ruweb. However, overall it didn’t show the brightest results, but for a $1/month hosting it is not all that bad! Truth be told, I have been using this provider for many years and I noticed that the speed of their virtual hosting is higher than that of some VPS servers. I believe that it is related to the fact that they don’t host that many websites on a single machine, unlike other providers do.

If you need a fast European hosting, then ProudHost has demonstrated some good results in terms of data transfer speed. Just don’t try to buy a cheap processor! Tests and reviews of reliable UK web hosting companies you can find at top5hosting.co.uk.

As far as processor power is concerned, virtual private servers might be a good alternative to expensive physical private servers as the former are snapping at the latter’s heels in terms of computing speed. And you will be able to save a lot on this!

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]