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Communications The Internet

What Are the Best Web and Email Hosts? 183

GreyPoopon asks: "My wife has been running a small business for a couple years now. She is currently paying for web hosting services for a domain, but has elected not to put up a web site (she doesn't need more business), instead using the service only for sending and receiving email. Recently, the hosting service has become less and less responsive, and attempts to switch monthly bills to a different credit card have been completely ignored, and she's now looking for a new provider. She's interested in both hosting service providers as well as email-only providers that will allow her to use her existing domain name with up to five mailboxes. What are the best choices, these days?"
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What Are the Best Web and Email Hosts?

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  • I've been using godaddy - they are very cheap, responsive, and have pretty good customer service. The only issue I've had is there times when you would want a shell and can't get one....also, the free e-mail accounts only come with 10 MB of mail, but the for-pay ones come with tons more.
    • I recently had a problem with godaddy for domain hosting. I had the domain set up to point to my own DNS servers and it was spontaneously reset to point to their default DNS servers. It was easy enough to set it back but they have yet to respond to my request for an explanation.

    • I use GoDaddy, but only because I can't find anything better. Every GoDaddy web page is so cluttered with ads for things of dubious value that I believe that they cannot be trusted. They seem to try to take advantage of the ignorance of people who are new to domains and web hosting.

      Why aren't there more "do no harm" companies like Google?

      Recommendation: Stay away from They've had amazingly serious problems for a long time, such as not forwarding email, and their technical support gives
  • I use Lux Scientiae,, for email-only hosting, though they do offer web hosting as well.

    I've been very pleased with the service. It's inexpensive, and has a very good spam/virus filter provided by MXlogic.

    I'd provide my email address so anyone who chooses them could put me as a referral, but that doesn't seem ethical to me :-)
  • You can try yahoo - it will allow you to use your own domain to send email from. And it's extremely cheap at $34.95/year. Here is the link []. If you want you can always upgrade to a full hosting service later.
  • [Warning, below is a shameless plug, but that's what the question was].

    Well, in one of our OpenVPS [] based accounts, you'd do something like:

    $ ssh
    $ su -
    # service httpd stop
    # chkconfig httpd off
    # ^D
    $ ^D

    And viola - just mail and no web for about $27/month. There is no limit on how many accounts you host, host a million if you want for as long as you pay the bandwidth. AND there is no restriction on what mail server you run - if you prefer qmail or exim ov

    • And viola - just mail and no web for about $27/month.

      I believe you meant "voila". A viola is a musical instrument. Well, it's an instrument, anyway.


  • It's really pennies (Score:2, Informative)

    by Prien715 ( 251944 )
    I use Yes, it's more expensive ($40/year for domain + email, use promo code "domaindeal"), but really I know I'm paying for convenience. $40 is about what I'd spend on a typical night out on the town or about 2 DVDs or 1 day of minimum wage work (in the US). Rather than getting a cheap service, I get a reliable service that has free 24/7 phone support.

    If you were a spammer or something, scalability to large ammounts of e-mail addresses and cheapness in bulk would be important (godaddy is g
    • If you were a spammer or something, scalability to large ammounts of e-mail addresses and cheapness in bulk would be important (godaddy is great for this).

      I didn't know that GoDaddy was a spam friendly company, I think that it's time to update my black hole list!

      Personally I use and I pay the extra money for "spamfly" which hides my contact info. So when I libel someone they won't be able to easily find out that my home is (let's say) in *******, **, and sue me. I pay for an separate VP

      • So I take it you've been to Seaford...I'm sorry.

        I always find it strange looking at monster or dice because they always are looking for people with lots of experience, and while I have a degree, I don't have a lot of work experience yet. I also find it funny how people expect to find things like a C# programmer with 5 years of experience when the language is really quite young.

        Unless they count programming out of boredom, in which case I have 15 years experience (though before the internet, I mostly did
        • There are good entry level jobs in there, often they call for a degree or experience. I'll agree with the Karma saving AC above me that your resume needs a fair amount of good solid work.

          The most important thing is to emphize all of the technologiges which you have worked with and push the programming experience to the top of the list of duties. For example, I am not just a Java programmer, but J2EE, servlets, JSP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and I have experience with WebLogic, WebShere, Tomcat, Unix, Solaris

          • The CSS and HTML stuff are on there. as well as Solaris and Unix (in the skills section, though to mention it in the other section might not be a bad idea either). And there is a resume in word format on the reward page at the bottom (I actually save in HTML so I don't have 2 seperate versions of my resume floating around, which can be a pain, only equaled by the fact that Word can't produce W3C compliant HTML). I thought I had the support thing moved to the bottom already, I guess not.

            Most people believ
  • I don't use this company as I host my own email server (and always have). However, I have heard a few good comments about them and they serve email needs of all levels - from individuals and small businesses to corporations and community groups. Webmail, POP, IMAP, etc.

    I can't reccommend them, since I've never had any experience, but I would suggest you check their site out and see if it sounds suitable for your needs: []
  • (Score:4, Informative)

    by rueger ( 210566 ) * on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @02:27PM (#11542541) Homepage
    I have been hosted by Magma Communications [] in Ottawa for many years and have nothing but praise for their support and service. Not the cheapest company but superb service and extremely reliable.

    Great spam filtering too!
    • My first paid-hosting was Yahoo! Hosting. It was a little more expensive than other hosting companies but I got my Website hosted on speedy Unix-based servers (FreeBSD) and great technical support. Now Yahoo! has good deals on both hosting and email. For more info about Yahoo!'s promotions visit []

      I have also used some other paid-hosting company services (WebHostXL) and... but oh man! Many free services were a lot faster than that! I paid in advance for one year
  • My best experiences have always been with smaller companies that have fewer clients and can give VERY personalized support.

    One in particular that I've used for a few years is Dragonfort [].

  • Man, if there was ever a Slashdot article where damn near 100% of the comments are going to be astroturf, this is it.

  • My preferred host is me. Although your requirements may not allow it, consider doing it yourself. If you have a good broadband connection and a reliable box, running your own email and web services is not that difficult. I started doing it as a hobby just to see if I could and it turned out to be fairly easy to set up a server with Apache, Exim, Cyrus and SSH for access. The only major difficulty I had was once when a hard drive went bad and I was really busy with my full-time job and couldn't bring it back
    • If you want to run your own mail server with very little hassle, check out ClarkConnect []. Their 3.0 version just came out and looks really cool. I've used their 2.1 and can verify that it is really simple to run.
  • 2 comments (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dJCL ( 183345 )
    If you want reliability, hop over to and check their list of most reliable hosting providers. Then just get some hosting from them.

    Cheap, but with control, try something that gives you shell/root access. I would recommend (29.95/month dedicated servers) but their ip range is in a globally spam blocked range - almost no one will get your mail. Otherwise I recommend linode - no spam issues, and scalable usage options.

    Of course this is based on the assumption that you are willin
    • Linode is great! You get to select which Linux distro you want to use and you get full control over it, including root and the ability to install software or even upgrade your kernel. Yes, it's on a shared server, but it looks and behaves as if you had your own dedicated machine.
    • I'm using []. Same VPS implementation. Looks like a slightly better rate than Linode. I'm paying $15/mo. + $1 setup for what looks to be equivalent to the Linode64 plan at $20/mo + $10 setup.

      I'm very happy with the customer support so far from TekTonic and distro selection is excellent.
  • I recommend I have been with them for a about 15 months. Good, responsive service, unlimited email accounts, web mail & a host of tools. 3Gb of online storage. Only ten dollars per month, with month-to-month service. Additionally, one of my clients hosted with them and had to do a credit card change. It was painless. When I started with them they were a bit shaky, but they have only improved.

    Finally, they offer both RedHat Linux boxes and Winders.
  • I used to use XO.. They were HORRIBLE! Forget customer Service. Now use OpenSourceHost [] and they have been great.... Full cPanel Setup, PHP, MySQL, webmail or POP mail... Rare to find a provider whom has regularly increased bandwidth/disk quotas for the same price as the price decreased to themselves...
  • I've been very happy with Lux Scientae []. They were one of the few companies I could find that offered all of the email features I needed for multiple domains that I own. They do web hosting as well but I haven't used that.
  • I've been happy with for my hosting.

    It's about $6/month with a basic FTP account, which includes 5 mailboxes. You can set up procmail filters, and there's a web interface for common filtering needs.
  • try []. I hear nothing but good about them.
  • Fastmail (Score:4, Interesting)

    by h3 ( 27424 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @02:34PM (#11542618) Homepage Journal
    If I was in the market for email-only hosting, I'd be looking at Fastmail []. I have a free account with them right now and I've been impressed with their professionalism.
    • I second that. I run my own colo server for a semi-sized web site. A few years ago I switched from doing my own IMAP mail to Fastmail enhanced (2GB) accounts for all 4 staff members. Very convenient and much cheaper than doing it yourself.

      In these days of spam and viruses running a mailserver is not as easy as it once was.
  • 1and1 (Score:4, Informative)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @02:36PM (#11542632) Homepage Journal
    I've been using a small mom and pop for the last 5 years, but as the prices keep dropping and limited disk space (50 megs), I decided to find a new one last month. [] seems ok, best price ive seen, so far fast, and the cheapest server hosting for 49 dollars a month I've seen. Seen their ads in magazines, figured for that good of a price why not try it out.

    The plan I went with for 20 a month has 5 domains, 200 subdomains, 3 mysql, web email, 4000 megs disk space (Guess not a real 4gigs ;), 100gigs transfer, admin website, and shell account. Everything is automated, i transfered 2 domains and had them up by next morning. They also offer 5 dollar domain registration. I suspect they keep prices low by keeping everything automated, the mysql accounts (On firewalled db servers) had random username/passwords on different db hosts. I havnt tried the webmail or ssl, but they say its include.
    The only drawback, no irc bots or chat servers. So I cant host a Teamspeak on them, but they might offer it, I need to ask.

    I also think you have to be a little technical savey if they are truely automated, you must be your own tech support.

    I play on moving some domains from if this goes well for a few months. Im just hosting gamer guilds and forums on them.

    Only snag I hit was ADOdb for phpnuke isnt installed by default, and I havnt spent the time to try to get it to install it its own directory.

    If anyone has any info on 1and1, please post it, i didnt find much negative feedback on usenet.
    • I should also mention, the other one I was thinking of going with after some research was [] they had good packages, and did mention CMS support which I use. But they had a little less disk space. They appear to be one of the largest registar's also in a few surveys ive seen.
      • I can't speak as to their hosting, but Dotster is a great registrar. A little tricky to navigate their site, but you get used to it pretty fast.

        Their front page is way too busy, but I've referred everyone that I know to them, and no one's had a single bad experience. No stolen domains (domain locking is on by default) reasonable prices ($15us/yr for .com/net/org, and it only cost me $10 to transfer from netsol to Dotster, when Netsol wanted $35/yr).

        If their hosting is anything like I've found their other
  • I recommend Summersault []: I co-founded this business about 8 years ago. We built up our hosting business slowly with reasonable prices and great customer service.

    Until we upgraded the OS recently, we had 480 days uptime [] on our primary web server.

  • by gtrubetskoy ( 734033 ) * on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @02:41PM (#11542698)

    BTW, many people don't realize how web hosting companies work and how they're able to offer dirt-cheap hosting. Most of the very cheap hosts are a kind of a ponzi scheme - they run an unsustainable business, but because people prepay for a year of service, they get pretty good revenue for as long as new customers are signing up.

    Thus it's in their interest to get you to pay upfront, then they could not care less about you. Most of these companies are operated by similar type of people who send spam - the make-a-quick-buck-on-the-internet crowd.

    Back when I used to work for a large ISP, we had a few customers that simply dissapeared - they were running these cheap hosting companies, and when they felt they had enough money in the bank they just abandoned their colocated servers in the racks, stopped paying the bills, disconnected their phone, etc. Which is probably what happened to the original poster's hosting service.

    • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @02:50PM (#11542821) Homepage Journal
      You are correct, never pay yearly, NEVER. I've worked at ISP's that do this to keep afloat. ( ahem...

      The most you should ever pay is first/last, and no setup fee for webhost. And if co-locating a server, look at normal prices, ive seen anywhere from 99 on up. Be careful.
      • Nonsense. If you don't trust your hosting provider to be around in a year, you shouldn't go near them. If your site is at all important to you, you need to look for a company with a solid reputation. If it has that, then you're perfectly safe paying them a year in advance. And if it doesn't, you're wasting all the money you do give them -- there's no point in having a web site if you can't count on its availability.
    • Back when I used to work for a large ISP, we had a few customers that simply dissapeared - they were running these cheap hosting companies, and when they felt they had enough money in the bank they just abandoned their colocated servers in the racks, stopped paying the bills, disconnected their phone, etc.

      I worked for a hosting company in the dot com days. When I first started there, they had their servers at WHHQ (webhosting headquarters or something like that). Usually they were decently responsive, but
  • I'm using Fuitadnet for my stuff and it seems pretty good. Found them from a popular online comic, so they seem to be able to handle moderate load.
    It's cheap and the support over IRC is great.
    They also have reseller accounts if you'd like to resell their hosting to your own customers.
    • I second that. The service has been great so far. My only problems were encountered at the start, there was some pretty serious lag time to get my account set up, apparently they were pretty understaffed at the time. But the true test is whether you need to contact them for support, and for myself I found that once my account was set up I've never had anything to complain about. :) Awesome prices, great service, tons of administrative options. Best bang for the buck out there, imho.
    • After looking at some of the other providers posted, I'd like to point out a few things...
      1. starting package is around $5/mo
      2. includes Gigs of storage, not megs
      3. tens of Gigs of bandwidth, not Gigs
      4. can bring your own DNS service or use theirs
      5. cPanel, FTP, SSL POP3

      After looking at other services posted I was surprised, i thought it was just my customers getting ripped off by paying over $5/mo for less than a gig, often less than 100MB of storage and only 1 to 3GB of bandwidth. Guess Fuitadnet really is a good

      • They're pretty good, yeah. Lots of administrative options, mysql databases, etc. Can have a lot of email accounts too (which means it's a good thing they give you tons of space). I have an online comic, so the bandwidth was the main attractor for me.
  • For my Linux/BSD hosting I use CSoft []. For my windows based hosting I use Tactical Systems []. I've been very happy with both. I've been with CSoft for something like 5+ years now, and with TS for about a year.

    Note: Neither link above has any kind of referer or affiliate junk, just straight links to their websites.
  • My site [] uses Easy CGI []. They have email only plans that include 50 addresses on your own domain for under $5/month.

    My hosting package is $8/month, and includes 3GB of space, and 50GB of bandwidth/month. It includes the .Net framework, and mySQL.

    EasyCGI []
  • I currently use for my MS/.Net hosting, and have an account with for some php/mysql hosting. Both do web and email, both have a nice back end control panel, both have been rock solid reliability wise, both are fairly cheap, and both have been good with regards to service response, i.e. responding to questions and emails. So, depending on your needs, I would definitely suggest the above two hosts.
  • I've been using AffordableHost [] for years, and I'm very happy with it.
    • I second this. AffordableHost is superb and very inexpensive, and the online chat tech support is astonishing. They use the cPanel web-based control panels so that I don't have to remember a lot of cryptic commands to do things. Everything is hassle free and reliable. I'd easily pay four times the price they're charging me (shhh... don't tell them that). (I don't work for them, etc.)
  • Verio has some nice windows hosting solutions, so does existhosting.

    Verio is in my experiance more mature, they have a better tech support staff and respond the quickest. they also provide MS-SQL server DB's and mySQL, as well as ODBC drivers and support.

    existhosting is realy cheap: $6.50/mo for a linux account, 7.50 for windows 2003, mysql is included and for the windows hosting and all the goodies...
  • I'd pop over to WebHostingTalk [] and check out the reviews for any host you're considering.

    In general, you can get a pretty good feel for a host by what's been said about them at WHT. Many hosting co's also actively post at WHT, so you can often see what their support staff is like as well.

    they are canadian and they host postgresql
  • Owned and operated by /.'s very own SlashChick [], [] does both hosting and co-location.

    I've heard great things about the tech support and they are fanatical about helping their customers.
  • and by far, the best is readysetconnect []. I tried wholemilk, liquidweb,, Xlan, and several others with my many domains.

    Most hosts have their own personal strengths and weakness, like for example, is fantastic if you want a Scoop site, but not as good if you need to have immediate support available. is completely reliable, but their plans suck.

    Take my advice - go for whomever you want, but make sure they use cPanel. It's WELL worth it, and you can pretty much control your own d
  • DreamHost (Score:3, Informative)

    by nullspace ( 11532 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2005 @03:36PM (#11543348)
    DreamHost []. This is hands-down the best web/email hosting service. I have used them for four years. They primarily run Debian servers and have a easy-to-use web interface for changing options on your web/email account.

    They have a long history [] and have been in business since 1997.
    • Mod parent up as they were nice enough to not try to milk referral bonuses for Dreamhost out of it, and they're referring to a truly oustanding hosting service. I've been with Dreamhsot now for about a year and am loving every minute of it. One of the best hosting providers I've seen to date.
  • I host my website at the Utah-based WestHost. It offers GNU/Linux-based VPS (near root access) on all shared hosting packages, and the prices are good. Their support department does a good job answering quickly, too. They even provide a forum where customers can discuss.
  • I need to host some lists, so need a recommendation on hosting. I'm thinking mailman, but open to others. Doesn't need to provide POP email addresses or web hosting, I'm willing to farm those out to other companies, if necessary.

    Don't want to have to pay for a whole box, want the ability to start up new lists and have some control over them - at least be able to alter moderation and stuff on them.

    • Hi. I host with dreamhost ( []). Even on their cheapest plans they include unlimited Mailman lists, so it is a pretty good deal. I run about 8 domains with them and they are quite reliable. Their tech support is also quite good. Note, I wrote the Mailman list admin documentation [], so I consider myself experienced on this topic.

      If you are not averse to referral credits, use this link [] (and thanks). --chris
  • I've used Dreamhost for over a year now, and have been consistently impressed with them, especially for webhosting. They actively work to upgrade their services, and they've increased space and transfer amounts several times over the year (often doubling).

    If you want a plain email only hoster, though, I'd definitely check out They offer an email hosting package for $0.99/month (yes, 99 cents) that includes 5 mailboxes with 1GB space each and IMAP or POP access. Definitely one of the best deals

  • For just webmail, you should check out Slashmail []. They have a high level of security, and can host your email domain for just $14/year. It's run by some friends on mine, and they've done a good job of putting it together using Open Source packages. I use it just to offload the spam filtering work to them.
  • If you have a good, reliable broadband connection from an ISP like Speakeasy [], then you can probably set up a small server and handle your own e-mail and hosting. So long as you don't need rocket science, you'll get really good results. You just need to have an ISP that gives you a static IP (ideally) and has an AUP that allows you to run servers.

    If you do that, then good options for the hosting OS itself would be either the SME Server (from []), or the new version of Clark Connect t
  • They're absurdly good. I've used them since 2000 or so, and have continued to use them instead of taking up offers from friends to host me for free.

    Yes, they're that good. See my posting history for a longer review. I'd link you myself, but Slashdot seems to enjoy giving me 503 Service Unavailable messages today.
  • I have had good experiences with ix Web Hosting [] since I started hosting my domains with them. The only real 24/7 tech support that I have found, with nice american (as in, not indians speaking engrish) techs the few times I have had a problem with site configuration.
  • Over the past several years, I have experienced the same pattern, over and over.

    Sign up with a new hosting company and everything is fine. Good service, good performance. Then, after 12-18 months things start to go bad. I finally get fed up and switch to a different company and the cycle repeats. Everything is fine for 12-18 months and then goes to hell.

  • Some comments here mention $50 per month hosting services.

    Do yourself a major favor, and get a complete real server from Thats $30 per month for 200GB transfers, a whole $40 gigs of disk space including OS.. and unlimited mailboxes, domains etc.

    It completely escapes me why people pay so much more for so much less. Before these guys I was with a jvds or something like that, which sells virtual servers for $5 a month even. You get maybe 10gigs of disk space.. and performance is reasonable
  • by Ramses0 ( 63476 )
    Dreamhost [] (or their comparison chart []). 'nuff said.

    I'm on their "level 3" plan, $20/mo, great email support, 3 real live telephone callbacks PER MONTH (never had to use it), great web panel, web email, etc. Full shell, ssh (passwordless!), mysql, php, c-compilers, etc. Really well run shop. 8gb storage, 200gb transfer, 15 domains, 75 subdomains, countably infinite # of email addresses, etc, etc, etc.

    I really can't emphasize enough the type of support they give. They got my issues with crontab sorted o
  • while this may not be exactly what you need, costs me about $16/year for the domain and redirection service.

    you can have unlimited email redirections to a mail account such as yahoo or gmail. different names could be redirected to different accounts, or to the bit bucket.
  • I've been with [] for about 2 years now, on a reccomendation no less. Prices are good and cheap, servers have been rock-solid and customer support, particularly helpdesk, was stellar during teething problems.

    I also use them for my web clients and have had no complaints from them either.'s forums are lively and well-attended by staff. During a growth phase, they even froze new signups so as to better upgrade while still maintaining a high level of customer care.

    The only caveat I can offer

  • used to be a premier service, with lots of Linux and BSD options. Does anyone have experience with them? I'm soon going to need similar options and would like to hear about them as well.


  • I've been using after bouncing around various other hosting services.

    I like them. The prices are not the cheapest but generally fair.

    Most importantly, they are very responsive to any support issues. Their servers tend to stay up.

    The service isn't anything fancy, with most things accessed with the cpanel front end.

    I tried a few other companies beforehand, and ended up leaving when I found service and system reliability to be poor.

    One advantage to hostforweb is that they are a real compa
  • Handy Hosting [] has never done me wrong. True they're one in a million but:

    1) How many hosts will fix a medium priority (there was a workaround) email problem you're having on Veteran's day...mine did!!!
    2) How many hosts give you the IM screenname of the founder...mine does!!!
    3) How many hosts give you hosting that goes down maybe 1 hour a month, in a bad month for $20/month (quarterly paid), you guessed it, mine does!
    I can go on and on...but it's really some of the intangibles that matter in web ho

  • For email hosting, I'd have to recommend Securenym []. I signed up with them initially because I got tired of changing email addresses every time I switched to a new ISP, and it has been well worth the $5 a month it costs. (And about $3/month for additional addresses, I believe.) The big seller for me, though, was the fact that all communications can be encrypted. IMAP, POP3, SMTP, their SquirrelMail client are all protected by SSL. This is highly important to me since I want to be able to read my email from a
  • Check your hosts information on a whois directory eg via samspade ... that way you can see if they are a reseller and go straight to the source. The nameserver and registrant details should give the game away.

    For example, I currently (until it expires in the next month or so) use studentwebhosting ('SWH') for my sites. SWH use Fasthosts as their registrant. Checking Fasthosts, I find that they are their own registrant and have their own DNS servers. Perhaps I'm wrong but I reckon that SWH are
  • I've had a good expereince with WestHost. [].

    Their basic package is:
    15gb Bandwidth a month
    600mb Space
    Virtual Private Server
    $7.95/month USD

    I will however advise there are some latency problems with their cheapest package (average ping 150ms), though throughput is very good.

    They have a VERY nice datacenter: [].

    Their uptime is ranked by CNet at 100% over the past 56 weeks and I have never seen my website go down.

    They have 24/7 live phone support (
  • I use which I heard about because the owner used to post here as Slashchick. Cheap and they have always responded to my questions with a couple of hours at most. I have a small business site & also receive email through them (seems to be some problem with sending email).

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.