Back in December 2010 when my previous provider became less reliable than I could tolerate I decided to make a move to a new dedicated server. My requirements included a Quad-core CPU, at least 8GB RAM, 1TB main storage and 1TB backup drive, CentOS, WHM/cPanel, and a data center that provides electricity 24/7.
I also wanted the server to be in California because I am, and most of the domains on my server are my own, so I wanted better ping times than I had been getting to Chicago. I'm constantly uploading and downloading small files, so better ping times can help with that.
My last requirement was that it had to cost less than my existing fully managed server, and to make that easier I was happy to have an unmanaged server.
After shopping for at least ten days and talking to providers in San Diego and LA I settled on a small, lesser known company named WANSecurity. They have locations in Asia and the US, and they have a presence at a data center on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, about 110 miles west of my location.
Since I wanted such a large amount of disk there was not a ready made package that suited my needs exactly, so I contacted their salesman Robert and he worked with me to setup a Core Duo Quad Q9550 with 2 500GB hds in a striped RAID for the main volume, a 1TB backup drive, 8GB RAM, CentOS_64, WHM/cPanel and no management. I wanted a provider that would not turn off the power to my server or boot up another server with the same IP in the same rack, and that is what I got. Robert even worked with me to let me select specific brands and models of hard drives, we went with Western Digital Caviar Black SATA drives.
The signup process with WANSecurity includes a requirement for photo ID. This did not bother me at all, since I am the person I claim to be, and I'm perfectly happy to be in a data center with no fraudsters hosting in the same rack. I like very much that WANSecurity takes their name seriously and screens their clients carefully. It works to my advantage.
Since my sites were all still online at my old provider and they had not turned off the power in days I made it clear to Robert that my need was not a rush job, and despite their having to order in the hard drives I had chosen and an expansion chassis for my SuperMicro server they still had it ready in about 4 days.
I took possession of the server on December 24th, and since then WANSecurity has not yanked out the power cord, changed my root password, or otherwise done anything that caused me any downtime at all. One of the nameservers listed in my resolv.conf was offline for a few hours one day but my server stayed online, of course, and just queued up its outgoing emails for later.
I took a few days to optimize my Apache/PHP build and tighten down the hatches, then used WHM to bring over my own and my clients' sites. Transferring sites using WHM/WHM is such a breeze it is almost fun.
I did have one problem very early on. The new server was not sending emails, they just kept piling up in the queue. I spent hours and hours looking over the EXIM configuration to no avail. Finally I asked my brilliant tech support husband to log in and take a look. Three seconds later he said "Something is blocking you from making outgoing connections on port 25" and I did a face palm because he was obviously correct. It was not my firewall. It was WANSecurity.
I submitted a tech support ticket asking if they might know about this, and they did. Port 25 was blocked intentionally. I was required to double dare pinky swear that I would not send SPAM, which I did agree to, and suddenly my EXIM configuration seemed quite adequate. While at first glance this might seem a bit draconian it is another example of the way that WANSecurity is not going to tolerate Spammers, and that is a good thing. Now that I have "Promised not to SPAM" checked next to my name I'm one of the good guys, and I am
I like WANSecurity, I like that they are very strict about things like SPAM and other dodgy activities, I like that my server is humming along happily.
My new server is saving me $75 a month, I like my new provider, and as far as I'm concerned it is all good.
I would not hesitate to recommend WANSecurity to anyone that intends to obey the law.
██ Skeptic Hosting
██ Promoting a reality-based lifestyle choice
██ Hosting by invitation only, nothing for sale