Thursday, May 10, 2007

1and1.com dedicated servers...

So you are a small business like me and you have a Geocities/Yahoo/freebie website. Ads pop up all over the place and, well, it looks ugly.

Or maybe you pay something like $10 per month for scripting abilities and get embarrassingly slow speeds with the site when visitors do their thing and, uh, visit.

Or maybe you need some sort of customized setup. Or you are tired of paying tons of money for a few gigabytes of bandwidth per month. Or you run the web server on your Cable/DSL line and have an outage every month or two. Then let me point you at my provider:

http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=9130514

If you visit forums, you will probably find users ranting about how horrible 1and1.com is. Those users are paying for the $2/month service. 1and1.com dumps something like 300 websites onto a single server blade and then moves onto the next blade, dumps 300 more websites, etc. They don't give a darn about you if you go with their shared hosting services. And why should they? You aren't the core of their business if you use shared hosting. Where they shine is in what is called "dedicated hosting". You probably have seen dedicated hosting solutions and wondered what it is all about.

Shared hosting is where your website and a few hundred others all reside on the same PC. Now you might get lucky and get a whole bunch of useless websites on the same server that no one visits and yours is the only one consuming CPU, RAM, and HD space. But there is no way to tell who else is on the same server and your data is accessible to 1and1.com staff (and perhaps others). For most businesses, that last sentence is the killer - off-site hosting solutions are a no-no because of sensitive business data. 1and1.com managed hosting has the same problem - someone can log into the server that is not part of your business.

A dedicated host means you (or your trusted IT person/web developer) manage the server. 1and1.com provides the PC, power, bandwidth (1 Terabyte transfer per month), and basic software and then leaves the rest up to you. And they are pretty affordable. The downside is you have to keep up to date with the latest stuff or risk getting hacked.

I keep my server secure by employing a triple firewall approach with IP address/port-based restrictions and no VPN into my own internal network (meaning there is only one computer in the world that has access to my webserver and I have to be physically sitting at it to make changes). And I don't put all my eggs in one basket. Even if 1and1.com gives me the shaft (for whatever reason), my DNS is hosted by GoDaddy.com. While I don't like GoDaddy's tasteless marketing strategy, they DO offer the most affordable domains and have plenty of good reviews from users. Every developer I know will tell you: Don't buy hosting at the same place you get DNS from.

From my own perspective, this combination is perfect: 1and1.com provides me with uptime, power, CPU, RAM, HD, and bandwidth and then they get out of my way to let me do whatever I want with my server. They can't even log into the server. I do have to manage the little things like updates, but otherwise it runs itself by itself.

One other thing of note is I have a highly customized setup. I'm working on making it a little more standard as I go but it is a slow process - mostly because I'd rather be doing other things. And what always amazes me is that as soon as you mention "I have a dedicated server" to 1and1.com support (should you actually need it), they instantly treat you like an actual customer.

It is also important to back up the server regularly - you have to treat it like any other PC only web servers are much more volatile. Hard drives go bad sooner, the blade might set itself on fire, someone else's blade next to yours might explode which then sets yours on fire, etc. They'll replace the blade for free but data recovery is left up to you. Even still, this is excellent value for the price. I've looked at what solutions are offered locally and nothing stands up to 1and1.com. I know they only have 'one 9 support' (99.9% guaranteed uptime) but I've never had any outages and I've been using the dedicated hosting service for a couple years.

If this convinces you to use 1and1.com dedicated hosting, please use my affiliate link above. It'll help me cover my monthly costs for hosting. Even if you don't use dedicated hosting or 1and1.com, you should be better educated about dedicated hosting solutions after reading this. I used to wonder why people would choose dedicated over other options. It is a terrific, yet cheap solution for small businesses.

If you need help setting up a 1and1.com dedicated host, I can help you. Call me: 517-803-4197.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, I have 1and1 now, I've had them for about 2 years. I
    switched to the professional package and misplaced the 'Premium Software Suite' CD that came with it. I asked them to ship me another copy but it's against their policy.

    Do you happen to have that hosting package and that CD? I'd really like to get a copy of it, I still have all the license keys in my 1and1 control panel. If you can help, great if not, that's ok too. My email address is ahab71@gmail.com. Thanks!

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  2. I don't know where my CDs are that they sent me, but I have a dedicated server. I've been with them for a long time and my server and benefits are actually somewhat dated - the Dedicated Server line has long since been updated and improved - but my server still chugs along smoothly. So, even if I can locate the CDs they sent me and it were legal to share, the software on them would be quite old.

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