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Worst Web Hosting experience? 101

Posted by Cliff
from the anecdotes-of-warning dept.
Tim asks: "I have just come through an experience with a web hosting company. Basically, a script on the server was compromised, because of incorrect security settings on the server, and used as a zombie phishing mailer script. My account was suspended for phishing, and through the course of several tickets, it was made clear that I had nothing to do with the phishing. Still throughout the entire ordeal, they refused to give me any of my files, saying that they could not be released now, or ever for 'legal evidence reasons.' So, here I am without a database (I should have backed up!), and without several files I was working on. What is your worst web hosting experience, and how have you dealt with it?"
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Worst Web Hosting experience?

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  • starting out with barely any knowledge of the web and realizing there was something called "bandwidth" which Geocities didnt have enough of, especially when you decide to test download zip files in mb range which you decided to host just to prove you could :P of course, with Cleverdot [cleverdot.com] i havent had any problems and I've had an account for over 1 year :) domain name-wise, however, someone stole my home address and then joke threatended me on irc. either way I was not amused.
    • Re: Cleverdot et al (Score:4, Interesting)

      by some guy I know (229718) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @02:30AM (#14420439) Homepage
      The main problem that I see with Cleverdot and most other hosting companies is that they charge extra for exceeding monthly bandwidth limits.
      This can be really, really expensive if your site ever gets Slashdotted.
      What I'd like to see is an option to redirect to a "bandwith exceeded' page when the bandwidth is exceeded, with no extra charges.
      The problem with this, of course, is that if your bandwidth limit is exceeded near the beginning of the month, your site is offline for the rest of the month.
      To avoid this, one company that I checked out had a 30-day "sliding window" bandwidth policy.
      This meant that if you exceeded your thirty-day bandwidth limit, your site would be shut down only for the rest of the day.
      (Unfortunately, I forgot to bookmark that company, and have been looking for it (or one like it) ever since.)

      It would be really nice if sites that review web host providers would indicate which sites are pay-extra-when-bandwidth-is-exceeded, and which are shutdown-when-bandwidth-is-exceeded.
      • globat.com do what you say. The bandwidth quota in their packages is quoted per-month, but it's worked out per day - if you excess that day, you get the "bandwidth exceeded" page, but the site comes back next time it reaches 12:00PST. Overall their packages seems good value and I've had no real problems with them. Hope this helps.
        • Thanks for the info.
          Reading their TOS, it appears that they restrict their low-end customers to files under 10 MB, and attempt to regulate how the bandwidth is used (HTML pages vs zip/bz2 files, etc.).
          Since I may eventually have archives and other files over 10 MB on my site, this makes globat.com unsuitable for my needs.

          Since I made the GP post, I have signed up with nearlyFreeSpeech.net [nearlyfreespeech.net] (mentioned elsewhere [slashdot.org] in these comments), which has an innovative payment scheme that charges you for what you think that
    • Bytemark [bytemark.co.uk] - UK based, £15 a month - you get your own User Mode Linux machine, choice of distro, root access, and it's fast and reliable.

      Have a look at my uptime - http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http:/ /cnuk.org [netcraft.com]
    • After a terrible experiance with CI Host where I got slow speeds and didnt get features that they said I would get (like IMAP) I finally quit (after finding my email getting blacklisted because it was from a CI Host mailsedrver).

      I switched to Dreamhost who have been absolutely great at only about $7 a month for a ton of services/bandwidth/storage. If you sign up with this link [dreamhost.com] (or use the promo code 7BACKNOW) you get $7 off...so basically your first month free. There may be better deals but for 20GB st

    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is a question about BAD experiences. How did this turn into an advertising forum?
  • 1and1 (Score:5, Informative)

    by irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @12:05AM (#14419885) Journal
    1and1 (I'm not going to link them as it would help their pagerank) is HORRIBLE. They offer a free webhosting trial (easy signup, just need to give a phone number so they can call you to verify), but then when the trials over, they force you to go out of your way to cancel or they start billing. Of course canceling involves printing out a form, filling it all in & signing it, then faxing it to their offices (on a fax number that most of the time is busy or out of service). Then a few months later they'll try and send a collection agency after you.
    Avoid them at all costs. They also go as '1und1' in germany, and oneandone in the uk I believe.

    • Re:1and1 (Score:3, Informative)

      by zhiwenchong (155773)
      Well they seemed to have changed their procedures.
      http://faq.1and1.com/miscellaneous/1.html [1and1.com]

      Cancellation can be done online now.
    • Re:1and1 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      We've had 2 dedicated servers with 1and1, one of which we cancelled 6 or 7 months ago. The other one is in the process of being transferred to another provider, because just last month, out of nowhere 1and1 tells us they weren't able to bill our credit card. I checked with the card co. and my balance was fine, but it ended up they were trying to charge us not for the $69 for that month but for over $900! Our bandwidth usage was well under what they allowed, so I said "What?!" They come back with a claim
    • I've been with 1&1 for over two years now and, while I don't doubt people may have had problems with them, I've found them to be nothing less than superb. I started out with a pretty basic account and they kept upgrading my storage space, bandwidth and email address allocations etc. spontanously and for free. The only problem I've found is that there's no apparent way to stop paying for a domain name once you've registered it.
      • Theyre okay while you use them, just wait until its time to move and you'll see what the hate comes from. I also didnt like their web panel stuff, but I'd rather be hacking config files, so ymmv there.
    • While I couldn't be called someone who has used 1and1 a lot, I did buy a domain from them. The service I recieved was less than great. I got a letter from some company I'd never heard of, talking to me about domains, never once mentioning anything about why it had been sent, or how they had got my address. The only reason that I would have got such a letter is that 1and1 sent them my address, as I am very particular about who knows where I live. The letter also gave me some sort of access code, which confus
      • Re:1and1 (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        >The only reason that I would have got such a letter is that 1and1 sent them my address

        when you register a domain your contact information is added to a public whois database for when someone needs to be contacted about that domain. it's very easy for marketers to mine this for people to send information to. doesn't have anything to do with service since every single registrar does this.
    • I've been using them without any trouble since they opened until this past Thursday. It took me 3 hours on the phone to get somebody to hit the reset button on my server - after being hung up on three times by people who were confused by what filesystems were. Very disappointed.

      The trouble is they have a $50/mo plan for a root server and they have a nice internet connection and good backup power. If anyone has recommendations for "service with a smile" and good infrastructure for similar prices I'm all e
      • Re:1and1 (Score:3, Interesting)

        by i.r.id10t (595143)
        linode.com - manage your own server, less than $50 if you don't need tons of resources. I'm using a $20/mo plan, 80mb ram, 4gb disk, 50gb xfer.
        • Re:1and1 (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *
          Thanks for the pointer - the guaranteed CPU takes much of the problem of VPS out of the equation - this might be useful for some of my clients.

          Unfortunately their disk space and transfer pricings are such that it would cost me over 5X as much to host with them than 1&1, for a difference of > $4000 per year. I can also buy local colo space for about that price.

    • I have a personal 1and1 account that is almost done its 3 year free trial and have had good experiences with it in general.

      However, I started a free 6 month trial for a client who later didn't need it and had a similar bad experience canceling the service despite the fact that the the account had never been used. They insisted on me printing out some form and faxing it to them despite my repeated emails that i was not in the USA and I had no access to a fax machine. Finally, they gave up and cancelled the
    • It would not help their pagerank because the anchors are tagged rel=nofollow.

      I know because I work at Google (in the cafeteria).

  • by toddbu (748790) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @12:20AM (#14419944)
    So, here I am without a database (I should have backed up!), and without several files I was working on.

    I'd argue that you're never going to have a good experience if you don't take reasonable care to protect your work. You should never trust an ISP with anything that's important to you. We colo our own stuff, and even though we own our own equipment and trust our ISP, we still assume that the box could at some point in the future become unavailable (stolen, buried under tons of rubble in an earthquake, etc.) Don't blame your hosting service for your own lack of preparation.

    • I've the same thinking. I've been using serverpronto for some time. Uptimes are ok, maybe less than average (99.9% or so) and although they advertise 100mbps, you have 580mBps downloads maximum.

      They said they do this to 'protect' the customer from ddos and other charges. Probably my 'worst' hosting experience. Still my uptime is upwards of 200 days on my dedicated server (at $29 per month). I still feel I need more control over everything, so I'm going for their colo service.. colopronto.com at 19 per month
      • $29 a month sounds good, but each reboot over 1 costs $29 a month? For what, some guy to click a button on the power console? Better hope two kernel patches aren't released within a week of each other.
    • by baadger (764884) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @08:59AM (#14421320)
      I agree.

      Basically, a script on the server was compromised, because of incorrect security settings on the server, and used as a zombie phishing mailer script.

      To a certain extent this is also the submitters fault. If you must rely on server configuration for security related matters runtime checks for required functionality or config options should be made and if not satisfied your scripts should quickly perform a respectable suicide.

      A good example is PHP's magic_quotes_gpc which often protects novice PHP developers from SQL injection attacks, but when moving scripts to a new host where this functionality is disabled it will soon bite them in the arse.
    • All true, but those five words "I should have backed up" really say it all. No one should trust their web hosting provider to back things up, maintain all equipment in perfect condition, avoid all subpoenas, and stay in business forever. One or more of these things is bound to happen.

      A prior webhosting company I had used for years (and recommended to several others) experienced a hard disk failure which took down my email and web sites for about 10 days during which time they were attempting to "recover d
  • by Kris_J (10111) *
    Jason Scott, of the BBS Documentary fame, recently detailed on his weblog [textfiles.com] an appropriate tale.
    • by Inoshiro (71693)
      but instead of being a main-page link(wank)er, link to the permalink for the entry [textfiles.com] -- without that link, your "topical" link will be useless (in fact, it already is, since I had to scroll around to find the anecdote in question!).
      • I was using my PocketPC. PIE blows. I thought a timely link would be more important than futzing around to get the permanent link. (BTW: You can't right-click on a link to copy it to the clipboard, you have to actually visit the page and copy it from the address line. And about 20% of the time you do a "right-click", to copy to the clipboard, by holding down the pen on the screen it locks up and you have to re-start it.)
    • Quite a story he's got there. And I can't fault him for being very pissed at his hosting company. But I also have to say their support sounds pretty nice. Sure, they messed up telling him to buy more bandwidth, but apparently they refunded him without a problem - and a mail "Go to hell." to their support actually got a very nice reply asking if there were any problems they could help with. That's all more than I would expect from some of the web hosters out there...
  • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Sunday January 08, 2006 @12:25AM (#14419974) Homepage Journal
    I learned the hard way to buy my domain names and my hosting from different companies. Tried to get control of the domain back, but that was a no-go, so I had to wait until it expired, then bought it back. Thankfully there was nothing major at stake, I just needed a new email address for a while.
  • Well, since the entry bar to web hosting is so very low, it's easy for any dufus to set up shop and call himself a hosting company. Heck, I have a 7MB/sec connection to my house. Frankly, it suprises me that more people don't have problems with hosting.

    I've had my share of horror stories - sites down for days and even weeks, nimrods in tech support that don't even know which side of a keyboard goes up, the free consulting I've had to do to get my site(s) back on line, the couple of hacking incidents (neit
    • I wrote about the economics (as I understand them) of the market for web hosting, and why it's a market with problems:

      http://www.dedasys.com/articles/webhosting_market_ lemons.html [dedasys.com]

      In short, you're right - anyone can get set up, and it's difficult to tell which ones are any good before signing up!
    • Heck, I have a 7MB/sec connection to my house.

      I hope you mean 7Mb. A 7MBps = 56Mbps, which is better than a 51.844Mbps OC-1 (A/K/A: T3) line. Otherwise you must crap $100-bills or you live upstairs from an ISP with an unsecured, channel bonding 802.11g network. (Both of which would be pretty sweet.) </nitpick>

      Eh, but your UID is almost half mine, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you know what your talking about. :-P

      Seriously though, is that a symmetric 7Mbps? I mean, it's
  • by wahmuk (163299)

    My worst hosting experience was with a small, cheap company whose only real enticement was unlimited bandwidth. They didn't even meter it, you couldn't ask them how much you'd used in a month... anyway, I never got the whole story on why I was having a problem (they couldn't give me details for legal reasons?), but it had something to do with script kiddies attacking another website on the same box. Every Friday afternoon, mail would start getting sluggish, and by Saturday morning the websites would be down

  • Worst experience was with a company that was so bad it was eventually bought out by Verio. Billing was totally messed up, my account on a shared server never worked quite right, and my leased/dedicated server had the most botched install of SuSE I've ever seen.

    Best experience has been with 10for10.com / Simpli.biz. Small mom-and-pop type business yet they're located in the silicon valley with their equipment in one of the best datacenters on the west coast. Doesn't get any better than that!
    • Best experience has been with 10for10.com / Simpli.biz. Small mom-and-pop type business yet they're located in the silicon valley with their equipment in one of the best datacenters on the west coast. Doesn't get any better than that!

      Hmm, 10for10.com redirects to for10.com which seems to be some sort of parking service.

      You're the second person (with only 10 comments) to recommend simpli.biz, but it just gives me a blank page when I try to load it. I'm not sure how it could get much better than that! :/

    • Re:Best and Worst (Score:4, Interesting)

      by VGR (467274) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @08:16AM (#14421216)
      I was using an excellent local ISP, ClarkNet, which had been around since well before the advent of the Web. Then they were bought by Verio.

      I don't know when it happened, but one day I went to check on my web space, which had always been accessible as www.clark.net/~vgr, and discovered www.clark.net itself was simply redirecting to some Verio promotional page.

      Where the hell were my files? After many phone calls to both Verio and to the few ClarkNet contact numbers I had, I learned that when ClarkNet's customers were "migrated," all web files were destroyed. Forever.

      Verio's support was particularly irritating, since their first question was always, "Okay, what's your domain name?" I don't have a domain name, you jackass, you guys absorbed the competition who was from a time when domain names weren't handed out like candy. (Which was fine with me; a short URL is a short URL, regardless of the slash count.)

      Perhaps if I'd been checking things frequently, I might have caught this at a time when they still had a backup somewhere. But I didn't check the web space frequently, because I never used it for commercial dealings; it was just a place to share some information.

      The lesson I learned, of course, is to check one's web site frequently. And, as many other posts have said, back up your files yourself. The standard practices that every admin should follow, such as daily, weekly and monthly backups, are by no means practices to which large corporate ISPs feel bound. Indeed, I've since held a few jobs where it was evident the person administering the Windows server had little or no admin experience.
  • by amarodeeps (541829) <dave@dubitGINSBERGable.com minus poet> on Sunday January 08, 2006 @01:36AM (#14420256) Homepage

    ...was about a month or so ago. One day, a Saturday I'm pretty sure, I found that my email from the last three or so weeks was gone. Just...gone. I poked around for a while and realized that my DNS had changed without any warning! They had moved the server over and changed the DNS and had used a version of my data that was almost a MONTH old. They didn't even send a warning email telling me they would be moving servers. Granted this was personal email, and personal web site, but I was pissed.

    I emailed back and forth with the sysadmin and could not figure out what the hell was going on, why they were using old data, etc. His final response was, "well, I guess I'll move your up-to-date data over from the old server for you if you want..." I ignored his last email for a day, found a new hosting company (site5.com [site5.com] who I'm quite happy with, they are a LOT better in many big and small ways) moved my data over to my new host (I still could log in using the IP of the old server so I grabbed everything that way as soon as I figured out what was up) and switched DNS. It only took me about a day to get back up and running.

    At that point I emailed the admin a response, saying "if I did what you did at my job I would be FIRED. So, you're fired." The name of the company was imagelinkusa--I recommend you stay away from them.

    P.S. Yeah, I know I should have been doing backups anyways...

    • ...was about a month or so ago. One day, a Saturday I'm pretty sure, I found that my email from the last three or so weeks was gone. Just...gone. I poked around for a while and realized that my DNS had changed without any warning! They had moved the server over and changed the DNS and had used a version of my data that was almost a MONTH old. They didn't even send a warning email telling me they would be moving servers. Granted this was personal email, and personal web site, but I was pissed.

      Sucks, doesn

      • Okay, you've got me--that's much worse considering it was a professional situation--I'd MUCH rather have to deal with this for my own personal stuff than work. Yeesh.

        These kinds of things just really makes me wonder how some places stay in business!

  • Small hosting providers that lease servers from The Planet and EV1 etc. aren't bad (I've had two for CPanel based reseller accounts and had a good business relationship with the owners in both cases), but most of them don't get DDOS protection until its too late...
    • I have a customer who used one of them, and their experience was *horrible*.

      They leased a cobalt from the provider, which was supposed to be up to date.

      It got hacked, and was used to send spam. The ISP shut the server down, and billed the company $500 to re-image the machine (this was about the time the customer called me.) The ISP swore up-and-down that the machine was secure, but a basic audit showed old versions of a bunch of software packages (SSL 0.96b, etc.) which had known security vulnerabilities.
  • by madstork2000 (143169) * on Sunday January 08, 2006 @03:07AM (#14420528) Homepage
    As an owner/operator of a small hosting company (I am not going to pimp my own company here), I can say this kind of thread is a bit irritating, because it happens way too often. I am regularly dealing with web server security issues caused by users.

    Security is always important, but so is the user experience. I would love to only allow users to select from known good preinstalled scripts. But is that realistic? No.... I would love to run PHP in safe mode by default, but then I get plenty of customers jumping ship because their scripts no longer work.

    The point is ignorant users are going to cause problems. Hopefully only to their accounts, but often enough those problems extend to everyone on a shared (read cheap) server.

    If you buy cheap hosting, you get cheap hosting. Do not expect a hosting company to bend over backwards for $5 /month.

    You install a poorly written script...Then your site gets hacked. Popular scripts make popular targets. How hard would it have been to do a google search BEFORE installing? another tip, get the script from the original author or official site. Web scripts are usually patched quickly, but often old versions hang around on mirrors and software search sites.

    In this case, how much do you think your little screw up cost the hosting company? Did you ever stop to think that your mistake probably cost the company more $$$ than they will ever see from you?

    Hosting company at a MINIMUM pays for:
    1. The wasted bandwidth your error caused.
    2. The administrators time to stop the problem.
    3. The technical support persons time to deal with you.
    4. The administrative time it takes to collect the files and cover their asses, in case law enforcement becomes involved.
    5. The admin and support time it takes to deal with the numerous complaints that will flood them. Likely they heard from end users pissed off that they got spam/malware that originated from their IP range. They probably also had to answer to their upstream providers, and give them detailed evidence that the problem has been dealt with.

    So your little error has cost the hosting company, in an best case scenario, hundreds of dollars by the time you add up the hourly costs for the administrator(s), technical support, the BW, storage and other overhead.

    So how much did you pay them for hosting your site? $5 a month? $10 a month? You will probably move on to the next $2.50/month hosting offer you find, long before they recover the cost of your blunder.

    Like, I said I deal with this situation regularly, it is not pleasant for anyone involved. It really is a lot easier (and cheaper) for you to install a copy of PHPMYADMIN and backup your database, and download your web site. Than it is for a hosting company to commit resources to holding your hand through every technical blunder you make.

    If your data is important it is ultimately your responsibility that the data is taken care of, not your hosting company, not your ISP, not the maker of your PC or of your hard drive. If your data gets lost it is YOUR problem.

    Yes, there are slime ball hosting companies (I personally hate them because they tend to make customers pretty paranoid, but at least their shittyness provides me with additional business). But customers need to understand that they have responsibilities and obligations too. Otherwise the hosting experience isn't likely to be a good one for anyone involved.

    -Ms2k

    • by lux55 (532736) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @03:49AM (#14420639) Homepage Journal
      You raise important points in what is unfortunately a pretty one-sided argument. Hosting costs real money, especially when support time is being eaten up. At a minimum, customers should always act in a considerate and polite manner to any support staff. They deserve the benefit of the doubt.

      I hate to say this, but it's also rarely the end of the world if a website goes down for even a day or two, let alone an hour, yet people panic because they feel out of control when technology such as a website suddenly "breaks", and that out of control feeling causes people to act like it's the end of the world. That's a natural response, but the fact is, if it _is_ the end of the world if your site goes down, then you should probably be thinking of redundancy at this point. If you can't afford such a level of service, then you're not making enough to cover the required overhead of running your business, meaning your business isn't working out for you.

      As a rule, being the support person for a software company myself (lead developer, but answering questions and solving problems is a big part of my job), I try to be courteous to all support staff, and to only call on them when there's a real problem I've verified lies on their end of things. This has usually resulted in me receiving very good customer service. I have had a few bad incidents with one slimey mass-hosting provider, but you live and learn.
    • If you can't get PHP to run safely without Safemode then you are lame

      There have been plenty of holes in PHP asfemode

      SuExec is your friend

    • So yeah, some customers can really screw things up.
      In the end though, they're still your customers, and in the case of a screwup like the submitter described you either kick 'm off your service or try to help and (hopefully) educate them.

      I don't see why the hosting company involved (which isn't named, btw) isn't dealing with this properly. Either they should tell Tim that they unilaterally break their contract according to whatever terms both parties have agreed to or work with Tim as a customer to get hi

    • When did the OP ("Tim") ever say it was one of his scripts? It's reasonable that it was a script another customer had put out there and the OP was collateral damage. Which makes it all even more ludicrous. But not something the OP could have ever controlled.
  • by FLEB (312391) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @03:32AM (#14420591) Homepage Journal
    I bought a year of hosting and a domain name from superuser.net, just something to host a personal domain and emails. The place was just a fly-by-night budget host, I came to find out. But, they had a "99 and some nines" uptime guarantee, and a phone tech support line, so I bought in. It was cheap, but I ended up getting what I paid for, and less. About a month or two after the year was up, my site started going up and down on a regular basis. I found that the "tech support" phone number had gone from giving me an answering machine to giving me a "disconnected" message. Sure enough, the tech support number had disappeared from the page. Tech support emails were either blackholed or poorly answered.

    Then, the big bomb hit. I know that SSH shell access isn't absolutely necessary to run a simple website, but I needed to run a few programs (ImageMagick and the like) and do some testing, management, and the like through a shell. When my shell access started coming up "denied", I started to get angry. Since letters addressed with ALL CAPITAL THREATS OF CUSTOMER LOSS OR RETRIBUTION, triple-CCed to "sales", "service", and "support" seemed to be the only thing that got through (trust me, I tried politer methods first), I sent off my trouble and heard back that "These features have been turned off because the server got hacked." These services were the ones listed in the product description... the ones that got me to buy in in the first place.

    Well, long story short, I ended up transferring the domain (with excellent assistance by DotRegistrar [dotreg.com], whom I still use). It was a bit of a hassle, since I'd stupidly abandoned the contact email for the domain name, but I got it worked out. Then, as a final goodbye, my site was unceremoniously terminated, not honoring the 99% uptime guarantee that should have given me a free month.

    After some further research, I found out that the site has been noted for shoddy service and poor support, and "Derek" of Superuser has even been known to vigorously argue with folks, on other web sites and boards, who disparage the service.

    From there, though, I stayed with DotRegistrar [dotreg.com] for the domain name. This was the company that Superuser used, but they were unaffiliated and quite helpful in recovering my domain name. For webspace, I went with Just-hosting [just-hosting.com]. They're another budget shared-host setup, and I have had the not-unexpected shared-host downtimes every so often, but their technical support is quite good, they get it up and running... and often even relay what the problem was... and they were willing to accomadate my needs for extra domains, an alternate SMTP port (since my ISP blocks port 25), and working with me through the weirdness that some of my setups cause.

    So, just to retierate-- Superuser.net: evil. Just-hosting.com and DotReg.com: recommended.
  • by DrSkwid (118965)
    they use smaller hosting companies as a kind of umbrella group

    You sign up with Pipex but end up at Bob's Local Hosting

    I inherited the account when I changed jobs

    It runs :
    Linux version 2.2.16C37_III (root@kbuild.sfbay.sun.com) (gcc version egcs-2.91.66 19990314/Linux (egcs-1.1.2 release)) #1 Sat Apr 12 14:54:32 PDT 2003

    With some sort of Cobalt Control Panel

    I said to myself : I bet this box is a bit vulnerable

    and decided to back it up straight away so did a scp -r / /home/remote_backup &

    watched it tick aw
    • Yes agree...Host-Europe was taken over by Pipex about a year ago and the level of support, courtesy and everything has dropped.

      I've been told recently by one of their 'customer care' (teehee) that I mustn't criticise them in my blog otherwise 'action will be taken against my domain'. The rest of their communications have been heavily influenced by Dilbert too.

      It's notable that Pipex are in fact GMX Communications who have adopted the Pipex 'brand' but not (apparently) the Pipex ethos.

      I've already dumped the
  • I used http://siteburg.com/ [siteburg.com] to host my website. They give you free PHP4 (perfect for me, I can't be arsed to learn the differences between Versions 4 and 5) and a free MySQL database. I have more space than I'll ever use (100 Mb, but it's not a big site), and 10Gb bandwidth a month. And the best part is this: It's totally free!

    I've never had any trouble, and have, therefore, never needed to contact them. My worst ever problem was a slight bit of downtime once, during the night, and a slight slowdown at ra

  • http://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/ [nearlyfreespeech.net] Best host I have ever used. You pay for the bandwidth/storage that you use. That's it. My personal domain I use for development and testing and selling small website services to people... I initially put $10 in my account with them over a year ago, $6.50 still remains. A website I designed and maintain for a singer/songwriter friend who has a good amount of traffic, costs her roughly $1 - $2/month (she gets ~ 10-20gb of traffic per month.)
  • It's been my experience that anyone who hosts a website, particularly on someone else's equipment, that they should keep a current copy/backup of all of their data. This is especially true for those who rest confidently in their hosting provider doing backups for them.

    The reason I say this is multifold:

    • Your own restoration/uploading of your essential site files is almost always faster than the hosting providers restoration thereof.
    • Your ISP may not actually be doing the backups or not in the way y
  • I hated CIHost. The server was down every day, they made all sorts of billing mistakes, they'd leave old versions of software with vulnerabilities on the servers, and their customer support was not very good. They kept trying to bill me after I cancelled, but the card number I had given them expired at about the same time as my account cancellation, so they couldn't charge me anymore.

    I'm hosting with Dreamhost now. They're one of the best hosting companies I've ever dealt with. I'd strongly recommend them.
  • I had my site on ultimatehost for a while. At $40/mo for my own box, I was expecting a fairly high level of service. Well, in only a few months of hosting with them, I experienced three (!) hard disk failures. To their credit, they did allow me to back out of my commitment (which I had made shortly before the first failure) to 1 year of hosting with them that came with a lower rate. The impression I get is that they're honest, but not up to the technical and organizational challenges of running a reliable h
    • At $40/mo for my own box, I was expecting a fairly high level of service

      I hope you realise how clueless that sentence makes you sound? $40 a month for a dedicated leased box puts you firmly in the "budget customer with little to spend" category. When you are paying ~£350.00 p/box p/month with places like Rackspace (last time I checked), then you can expect a high level of service (unless you run an indymedia site, then you're screwed whichever way you turn). True, the company shouldn't offer suc

  • Please identify the pig bastards that stole your data, so that we can avoid them.
  • Not my *worst* experience, but my first really bad experience with using third parties to host projects...

    In '99, I was doing some freelance work for an ecommerce project, and it was hosted at hiway. Right after launch (meaning after the site owner had spent thousands on marketing/mailing/promotion/etc) hiway suspended the site for 'resource abuse'. What???

    "CPU usage is too high".

    That's about all we got - for a week. I had some loon on the phone telling me to rewrite my queries because doing "Select *" f
  • Bargainhost.co.uk (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I used these a couple of years back and it was fine until they got too many customers & not enough servers and the speed of my site slowed to a crawl. This lasted for about a month. Then it went down completely - no website, no email. I tried to contact the guy who runs it (James Innes) by email and fax but no response. It came back up a week or so later, but my website had been restored to a much earlier copy, and I found out later that I was missing a lot of emails. Still no response from support when
    • I was a customer of Bargainhost during this downtime - it was about 11 days in total - and there was barely an apology from BargainHost, let alone any offer of compensation. After wrestling my domain names from them, by faxing proof that they were mine to the registrys, I switched to another host and put up a page to warn potential customers about the service, which got to no. 2 in a Google search for bargain host and bargainhost. A couple of months later I got an email from James Innes threatening legal
  • My worst experience with a host has with the thier 'form mail' junk that they use so that your pages can send e-mails. They had standard subject lines, etc. and so the only fields that you could change were the 'From' and the message body. I thought that was lame, and asked for access to the scritps (which were in my directory) but permissions were not in place to be able to access them. When I asked for permisssions to modify my own scripts, the Support said that they did not support scripts and that I
  • I once had a host who stopped paying his data center and ran off with all the money - from several hundred clients. Moral: Cheap = Risky. I don't think the law got involved because he only stole a few dollars from each person. Now I use a different cheap host, which happens to be reliable. (tronictech.com) In fact, they're so reliable I keep forgetting the name of the company.
  • by SkiifGeek (702936) <infoNO@SPAMbeskerming.com> on Sunday January 08, 2006 @08:58PM (#14424375) Homepage Journal

    Part of my company's Information Security work is monitoring reported defacements of websites under various domains (such as .au). Through this work, we have seen numerous cases where ISPs ignore complaints from their customers about their sites being hacked, ISPs having every single customer site hacked at the same time (and still ignoring customer complaints), ISPs where a commitment to action means some time in the next month or so, and ISPs where their lead technical people have trouble understanding their own technology.

    By a strange coincidence, or maybe not, the troublesome ISPs are those that also accuse us of hacking their customers, threatening us and generally abusing us for providing a report of an identified defacement. The abuse from ISPs and technical contacts has gotten so bad that we no longer report every defacement that we otherwise would have. Now we only report significant cases (such as complete server compromises or sites which may have sensitive information accessible).

  • by metamatic (202216) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @10:19PM (#14424677) Homepage Journal
    I registered a domain using Network Solutions.
  • Yeah, I've been through more than my fair share of being hosted by friends, using 50MB diskspace free hosts, and even a supposed company that's barely anything more than a scam. Bihira is the most ungodly awful hosting service that I've ever used, being far less reliable with far less support than the free hosts I've used. Thankfully, I'm on an incredibly awesome hosting company now, Dreamhost, which recently gave me enough disk space to fill up half my laptop. ._. Anyways, no use copy and pasting a gigant
  • That was with Faradic, and was a similar case. This was my personal website, I had a quotes page full of tidbits from famous people, friends, and random people on the Web and USENET. Since not everyone had a handle or used a real name on USENET, some quotes were attributed to their email address.

    Then a harvester bot came across that page looking for bites. It slurped up every email address on the page. This harvester, as it turned out, was used by someone who tries to sell you page ranking services (or some
  • here is a news posting i made march 10, 2002 on my delinquentminds.com website, after being hosted with them for 2 years they deleted my site for no valid reason and without warning and denied me access to my own files.

    "It has been a rough week!
    My previous webhost, hypermart, deleted the website march 1st. They claimed i was hosting Pirated Software, Serial keys, and/or Copyrighted Software. I sent repeated emails to them and even called them telling them that their reasons were simply incorrect, i cant pir
  • !!!! NEVER USE REGISTERFLY !!!!
    !!!! NEVER USE REGISTERFLY !!!!
    !!!! NEVER USE REGISTERFLY !!!!
    !!!! NEVER USE REGISTERFLY !!!!

    They are NOT accredited by ICANN! http://www.internic.net/alpha.html [internic.net]

    They do NOT have any phone support!

    They do NOT have any escelation procedures for problems that continue to go unresolved.

    Their servers go down for DAYS at a time!

    My problems with RegisterFly are not isolated incidents or one-time goof-ups. The NUMEROUS and MAJOR problems I have encountered are symptoms of a completely
  • I have never myself had a problem, but Im sure my fiance can agree that many issues have arose.... A person I know in AZ uses Cox (Communications) and was telling me once that he received a disconnection from the ISP, when he called he was told they had received intel that his computer was sending faulty logs of hacks, after about 2 hours on the phone with the Cox rep, he had to been able to get a copy of the log file, then have to teach the rep what it really meant. No harm done, damn funny story though. A
  • As requested the name of the hosting company that ripped me off was Acenet. [ace-host.net] Stay away at all possible costs!

    Today I'm using Dreamhost [dreamhost.com] - I highly recommend them. To help ease your switch in I offer the promotional code bigmoney, which saves 90 dollars on yearly plans, and 40, 50, 70, and 90 dollars respectivley on every tier of the monthly plans.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  • Once upon a time I had one of my sites hosted at CiHost. During the summer of 2000 (I think). I had always thought it odd that their two DNS servers at the time were both on the same subnet, but thought nothing of it.

    Until the cache on one of them got corrupted, propogated to the other, and restoring a backup failed. This ultimately resulted in all of the sites (tens of thousands, maybe more) they hosted being unreachable for 30 days.

    I switched somethere else ASAP. I still get meil from them offering

  • For a growing set of sites with growing needs, I had outgrown shared hosting 'reseller' accounts and got a pretty decent deal on a dedicated server ($100/mo rent-to-own type situation).

    First, I ordered a second drive for the machine, which never got installed.

    Second, I got double charged for the CPanel installation/subscription.

    Third, Oktagone was globally DDoS'd numerous times and it seems that nothing was done about it.

    That was while everything was still sort of OK, We were getting a decent deal and gener
  • My worst hosting experience was with featureprice.com - based out of florida, when I found them a number of years ago they had great deals and really cheap service, so I went with them. I had a ton of bandwidth and storage, and it cost me nearly nothing (about $125 per year).

    But, they were a shady company; at one point my site went down entirely for a few days; no one in tech was available or picking up or responding to emails. About a week later I recieved an email titled "Explanation email". It detaile
  • I think my worst experience with web hosting was watching all the people like the ones in this thread, keep trying to find hosting at unreasonably low prices, while the company I worked for at the time had things priced reasonably for GOOD service that didn't have any of these problems.

    I just sit back and LAUGH at all you idiots who lost data to crappy hosting companies.

    Good hosting companies were out there, you just weren't willing to PAY for them. And it eventually led to many of them laying off a lot of
  • Check out http://www.noregisterfly.com./ [www.noregisterfly.com] You can show registerfly they suck!

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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