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  1. #1
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    HostNexus Review

    I haven't seen many recent threads reviewing HN, so I thought a short review would be appropriate.

    I have had a reseller on one of their Plesk servers for just over three months. An example domain is the one in my signature.

    If the name HostNexus rings a bell, NexDog and HostNexus-Mike are two of the HN crew that are around WHT.

    The reason I chose HostNexus in the first place was due to their WHT presence, financial backing, and technical savvy. NexDog has been around WHT long enough to judge his character, which was enough to ensure that he wasn't a hot-headed (which I have seen from quite a few people). In an older thread, he paid ~$3k to replace a failed harddrive (I believe they have a better backup system in place now), which many of the less reputable hosts here probably couldn't do. Lastly was the fact that they could manage over two dozen Plesk servers, which is a feat for anyone who knows how temperamental Plesk can be.

    Regarding my experience, it has been good so far --what I would expect from a host that charges slightly more than the WHT norm. I can only recall ten minute or so of downtime, which is a lot better than I could say for some of the previous hosts I have used.

    The support has also been helpful--all of my tickets have been resolved, not one ambiguous answer.. The response time for tickets with a normal priority aren't lightning quick, though it shouldn't be a deterrent for anyone who doesn't expect five-minute answers at three in the morning.

    Overall, I would recommend HostNexus to anyone who wants a stable host, especially one with Plesk.
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  2. #2
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    I haven't seen many recent threads reviewing HN, so I thought a short review would be appropriate.
    Very nice of you to take the time to write a review about them.
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  3. #3
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    Great review, it is great to have these assets on this forum.
    Eleven2 Web Hosting - World-Wide Hosting, Done Right!
    Shared Hosting | Reseller Hosting | Dedicated | Virtual Premium Servers
    Server Locations in: Dallas | Los Angeles | Singapore | Amsterdam
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the review Dan. If you wouldn't mind I'd like to touch on a few points you mentioned...

    Backup - Oh yes, that was an adventure. Now we have developed the ultimate solution to backups and complete redundancy. FortressITX (DedNow) built us a few 1TB backup servers in RAID 5 and waived the transfer bill on them. Our linux servers back up every minute of every day to remote backup servers. So as well as having an up-to-date copy of client's data in a remote location, the backup runs continuously and creates no load on the server being backed up. No more hours of slowness while a backup copies to a secondary drive.

    Also we are replacing all the old P3 Tualatins with 3.2ghz P4's or Opterons and deploying RAID on these. All new servers have been built with RAID for a while now. So Remote Backup + RAID - you could say it was a better system.

    As for two dozen Plesk servers, you need to triple that figure. Can't remember the exact figures but it's something like 30 shared and reseller servers, 10 Windows and 30 managed. Plus 10-15 cpanel servers. The last 18 months has been incredible for us and we are about to restructure things internally to ensure service continues smoothly during this growth boom.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
    Fully Managed [Shared][Reseller][Cloud VPS] [Dedicated]
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  5. #5
    I have some HN experience- wow I can't believe it's been 4 YEARS with HN. I must be nuts- Lawrence do I get a HN watch or something?

    hmm well where do I begin?

    I will comment that Lawrence always was calm when I fumed about this and that. 2002-2004 I can't recall as I really wasn't doing much and things have only recently gotten really busy for me.

    Also I just discovered WHT and in my research for another host (which I'll get to later) so I was not really comparing them to anyone.

    The Bad


    When their server Alpha crashed in '05 they were exposed and were caught with their pants down. They were not doing ANY backups or rather they were not working and the server was down for I think a few days- 3, maybe more. Yes Lawrence spent 3k but what's the big deal in that? I'd do it too if my old server died and I had 100 or so clients who's business was affected.

    So the story went that the server was put back together but the last backup was 6 months ago- nuff said. They promised compensation to me in an email but it was washed over after their final bill came in. Lot's of apologies, that's about all we received.

    the overall up time I guess is good but my server seems to go down for about a few minutes every 2 months or so. I submit a ticket and the response is that "it's back up" DUH !

    The other major issue was the time it took for spam filtering to return on my server Alpha. It was working then disappeared for 6 months -and they stated they were "configuring it'. There is a nasty thread that speaks volumes about the user’s frustrations on this. Totally unacceptable- and furthermore they did not reply to this thread for a good while which is the worst thing you can do.



    The Good

    -I can't find too many hosts that offer squirrel and horde.
    -they offer some creative packages [but I've never been able to get anything beyond what's on the website after my 4 years of being with them- as in a 'custom package'.]
    -They have a good forum and great site with tools, scripts, usage meter etc which compliments the package.
    -some good new servers and good datacenter

    Summary

    I have seen them grow and with the new data center they seem to be on stable ground. I often wonder when they are going to restructure their core plans as they have been the same for some years. They have presented Win plans, reseller and such but the core shared plans could perhaps be just a tad more competitive considering their stature.

    I think maybe they suffer from growing pains as things are not quite a well oiled machine, but the competency level is high at HN which is good

    I would also like to see them get the mail part down. The spam and AV on my server is an ongoing drama.

    So this brings me to my reason for my current host search. I need a Win plan with SQL server 2k and they do not offer this. I also need the Linux plan but do not want two hosts. Also the recent lengthy lapse of spam filter setup on my machine again points to either too small a staff (more money in someones pocket) or just not prioritizing things right.

    Lawrence I'll allow you to reply and offer a pakcage I can work with and I'll take it from there.
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  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    Great review. You've been with us a long time so have really experienced everything we have to offer - the good and the bad!

    The Alpha issue was probably the most painful thing I've ever experienced at HN. We did manage to recover data but it wasn't current and what made it an especially tough pill to swallow was that this was our first ever server so the clients there were our oldest. I was completely devastated by that incident but it made me sit up straight and work out a better system.

    Everyone wants a fast server at all times and the traditional drive-to-drive backups were not a very good solution as the server would slow to a crawl when the backup ran. So we brought online a 1TB backup server and have been backing up to this and it's been working great. The beauty of that system is that it backs up 24/7 and causes no load on the servers it's backing up. We now have a new backup server coming online 3TB Raid 5 monster.

    That's some great redundancy but not enough. So all new servers built after Jan '05 (time of the Alpha crash) now come with RAID as standard. Never again we will get caught with our pants down!

    the overall up time I guess is good but my server seems to go down for about a few minutes every 2 months or so. I submit a ticket and the response is that "it's back up" DUH !
    Few minutes every few months - gotta love that uptime. Servers do need to be rebooted sometimes.

    The Spam Filtering issue has been a tough one. The reason is we require that our servers are fast and responsive all the time and SpamAssassin was causing major load spikes. So we devised a new system where mail was sent to separate servers for spam and virus scanning. It was a great solution at first but it was soon evident that it simply couldn't keep up and would create delays in email delivery. We kept adding servers but the demand was too great. Such a config needs 1 email server per 3-4 servers to be truly reliable and keeping it all in sync was another obstacle. So back to the drawing board we went.

    So we've been developing a new anti-spam integration with Plesk which should be easier on resources and also we are currently testing Plesk's own SpamAssassin on some other servers as we haven't used it for so long and Plesk swears it's better now. So yes, SpamAssassin did disappear on Liunux shared/reseller servers for a while but we've kept the old email relay system for the Windows servers and at a ratio of 3 mail servers for 10 web servers it's a nice balance.

    To address your other points.....

    We will be revamping the core plans this year. Those plans will get resources doubled or trippled!

    2005 saw crazy growth. I think we brought about 50 servers online in that year alone. I got together with my partner and head of tech support and we mapped out some new targets for staffing levels which were achieved. On the Linux side we have 6 techs working on rotating 8 hour shifts (2 per weekday shift and one on the weekend). Plus we have myself, 2 other admins and Mike in Customer Relations overlooking everything all the time. On the windows side we have a team of 5 on rotating shifts with 2 admin overseers. Tech support has basically been transformed over the last 6 months with Windows seeing the most dramatic changes with Bogdan at the helm there.

    We do offer Windows hosting with SQL 2000. We are actually bringing a new database server online and Bogdan is seriously contemplating using SQL2005 there too. Our Windows line is very "cutting-edge" with ASP2 and CFMX7 too.

    Many thanks for such a detailed review. I really think you hit the nail on the head with many points and I hope that the fact that you've been with us since the beginning is somewhat of a testament to our good support and dedication to customer service.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
    Fully Managed [Shared][Reseller][Cloud VPS] [Dedicated]
    Featuring the atOmicSTACK™ ● Speed ● Performance ● Reliability
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  7. #7
    hhhm quick reply!- maybe AU time its morning and I'm just a fool being up at 2am in NYC!

    I have a great idea. This information needs to be more prominent to the users. You send out some basic communications but how about an HTML email monthly. This would build HN morale for sure.

    Reason being I don't browse the forums that often and perhaps other users don't as well and you need to be more proactive in pushing out this stuff which is kinda major [and changes my current feelings a bit.]

    And yes the fact that I'm still with you states that you have learned and this is what life is all about, making mistakes and learning from them but MORE IMPORTANTLY being man (or woman) to quickly admit and bust your *** and get it right, which is pretty much the case at HN.

    so, it's time to give the 'ol computer eyes a rest and perhaps me and you can talk and put a package together for me to compare.

    cheers~
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  8. #8
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    You must be reading my mind as you keep mentioning things that I'm working on at the moment. Yes, we do have a newsletter coming out and I'm currently writing it. Keep getting interrupted by server orders.

    I think the newsletter will be a good communication tool and I'm hoping to foster some more activity at NexusPortal as things have waned a bit there.

    Please email me by hitting the email button in one of my posts and let me know what you need and I'll put together a package for you.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
    Fully Managed [Shared][Reseller][Cloud VPS] [Dedicated]
    Featuring the atOmicSTACK™ ● Speed ● Performance ● Reliability
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  9. #9
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    You guys convinced me to buy a HN account, but i dont have the needed money for that. I'm still in the cheap area right now, as things arent going so great where i live. Maybe in the future i'll jump to HN or directly to a VPS.

    THX for the review, i really felt nice after reading it.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by frodiggs

    The Bad


    When their server Alpha crashed in '05 they were exposed and were caught with their pants down. They were not doing ANY backups or rather they were not working and the server was down for I think a few days- 3, maybe more. Yes Lawrence spent 3k but what's the big deal in that? I'd do it too if my old server died and I had 100 or so clients who's business was affected.

    So the story went that the server was put back together but the last backup was 6 months ago- nuff said. They promised compensation to me in an email but it was washed over after their final bill came in. Lot's of apologies, that's about all we received.
    Most hosts on WHT would just walk away from the incident, cite their TOS and lack of liability for any damages incurred. I think it's quite admirable that they went to such lengths to recover client data.
    ‹‹SHAW NETWORKS›› Simple. Professional. Reliable. Web Hosting Done Right.
    Low Cost & Award-Winning: cPanel Reseller Plans ›› 24/7/365 Live Technical Support ‹‹
    Website: www.shawnetworks.com Fast Response E-mail: sales @ shawnetworks.com
    Sick of downtime? Fed up with excuses? Drop your host! Switch to Shaw Networks.
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  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Since the thread got bumped, might as well add in my update. I've been with HN for almost a year and have no plan on leaving

    I am testing out FuseMail.com however, as they have very efficient spam handling, and I can check a dozen of my email accounts on one page.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone - you just made my day! Was having a lousy one - but not anymore!
    ||| Mike Bowers - Marketing Director
    ||| atOmicVPS LTD
    ||| OnApp Powered Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting ► [Shared] ► [Reseller] ► [VPS]
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  14. #14
    NexDog and HN-Mike...

    NexDog's post was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for (for refference look at the thread webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=475447&page=5 ), a detailed explanation of current problems with plans on how they'll be overcome, a no nonsence explanation of past messups (accepting responsibility is a huge thing for me), and a commitment going forward.

    You just made a sale... The only question I have now is which sites will I be moving over. Initially I plan on testing things out with your VirtNex-1 plan. What are your rules on on overselling... To this point I have a total of 9 customers that I directly manage (I create and design the sites for them and take care of all their requests... keeping them out of the backend saves me a lot of trouble... I activlly look for companies which just want a webpage to say they have a webpage). They're using a total of about 300MB of space and for the last 6 months have averaged about 2 GB of xfer a month combined. However currently they all have 1GB space / 5GB xfer plans... I would love to consolidate them but wouldn't be able to unless you guys used Actual Use.

    For that matter if things work out, I'd love to consolidate everything (personal and business) under one roof, but that's down the road as my contracts with my personal host don't run out until July...

    I'm rambling...
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  15. #15
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    SpringCypress,

    Welcome to HostNexus! We look forward to seeing you about.
    ||| Mike Bowers - Marketing Director
    ||| atOmicVPS LTD
    ||| OnApp Powered Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting ► [Shared] ► [Reseller] ► [VPS]
    ||| Follow the atOmicVPS Blog
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringCypress
    NexDog and HN-Mike...

    NexDog's post was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for (for refference look at the thread webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=475447&page=5 ), a detailed explanation of current problems with plans on how they'll be overcome, a no nonsence explanation of past messups (accepting responsibility is a huge thing for me), and a commitment going forward.

    You just made a sale... The only question I have now is which sites will I be moving over. Initially I plan on testing things out with your VirtNex-1 plan. What are your rules on on overselling... To this point I have a total of 9 customers that I directly manage (I create and design the sites for them and take care of all their requests... keeping them out of the backend saves me a lot of trouble... I activlly look for companies which just want a webpage to say they have a webpage). They're using a total of about 300MB of space and for the last 6 months have averaged about 2 GB of xfer a month combined. However currently they all have 1GB space / 5GB xfer plans... I would love to consolidate them but wouldn't be able to unless you guys used Actual Use.

    For that matter if things work out, I'd love to consolidate everything (personal and business) under one roof, but that's down the road as my contracts with my personal host don't run out until July...

    I'm rambling...
    Well, Plesk doesn't allow for overselling so maybe HostNexus wouldn't be the best choice for you. However, we do offer cPanel with its overselling on the ResellerNexus.com brand.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
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  17. #17
    Thanks NexDog... glad you clarrified that before I opened the account... you might want to have a look at what's stated on the website, because it led me to believe that Actual Use was in effect...

    Specifically:

    "At HostNexus, we don't restrict the amount of domains that you can host on your account; just the server resources that those domain names actually use. You pay ONE monthly fee and have the power to set up as many domains as your account allows. Unlike most other providers, HostNexus does not charge you per client domain that you set up! Our system gives resellers real freedom to manage their accounts as they wish and with a multi-tiered control panel, your clients have full access too!"

    you can see where I might have been confused...

    So just for clarification, what you're saying is that if I had made my mind up to use HostNexus for the above stated reasons, I should instead use ResellerNexus to meet my needs since it's run by the same company?
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  18. #18
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    Yes, because overselling is a cPanel thing and ResellerNexus is our cPanel brand.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
    Fully Managed [Shared][Reseller][Cloud VPS] [Dedicated]
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  19. #19
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    I dont know if my 2 cents is worth the money or not, but I just thought I would throw it into the donation bucket, I just purchased an HN account for the simple fact that they offered the best Coldfusion package I have seen in my life, I looked at over 50 Coldfusion hosting providers, some did offer more but they seemed to have how should I put it, shotty shites, yes I said that right, my little word , the minute I landed on HN site it was probably 2:00AM in the morning Im guessing give or take a few hours had a long day that night, and I ran into Laurence (sorry if I misspelled the name mate) who I am assuming is the owner, I talked to him for about 20 minutes I would say, just sprouting questions that I would ask somone in person if I was going to use their hosting, he answered everyone, and pretty much answered some questions that I was iffy on and would have NOT chosen them if given the wrong answer. Then today probably about 6 hours ago, I talked to Mike, twice as a matter of fact, right before I purchased, asked a few more questions and he answered very politly and was very helpful.

    Out of all the hosts I looked at they seemd to be the best priced for CFMX 7 based hosting, they offered me 3 MsSQL databases on a basic account for 9.95 :O which struck me as odd because never in my life have I seen a company offer something like that for the price they gave it to me at. After buying the hosting I decided to do a little background check (dont ask why I did it after Im strange) I ran into the good and bad, non of the bad actually scared me away, because the bad is typical but the bad led to good because what I was looking for was a technically inclined company that could put up with my bad fussy attitude, which from what I read HostNexus is really good at.

    I wasnt one who was worried about data being lost rather server uptime and after reading about the network and doing a bit of research on the network from their site I was very impressed with the works they have in place.

    I have to give props to them for having excellent pricing for CF based hosting because they very reasonably priced to me, and I am known as a host jumper, and I havent even started with them completly yet but I can forsee a future with them for a very long time to come, especially if they start offering phone support

    Now I know it doesnt mean much because I only got the basic plan but Im an ex-web-developer gone student to re-study and I am broke so I was really interested in a good solid provider and I would really trust them with mine and my wifes site. and for any other CFML / MSSQL students out there, I would deffinatly reccomend them
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  20. #20
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    ghettopixel, glad to hear you have a goo initial experience with HN. I'm sure we'd all appreciate it if you could give us an update a few months from now.

    Do you have a domain pointing to your HN account? May we know it for review validation purposes? Thank you!
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  21. #21
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    Q For You : You are the owner to WHReviews?
    My Comment on Q: I actually found your site first when doing my background check on HN which led me here, your site provided me with many details on the company from y'alls point of view which helped me out a bunch in making feel like I made the right decision.


    Now in reply to your question: yes I do have a site tied to it, my student site which is also the site of me and my wife (ghettopixel.com)

    I dont know if I should but here are some of the details in my email for better confirmation for you

    Account Type: CF-Starter
    Server Name: ELECTRON
    Domain Name: ghettopixel.com
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  22. #22
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    Glad my site was of some use!

    ghettopixel.com
    Now, why didn't I think of that?

    Thank you for your cooperation ghettopixel!
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  23. #23
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    GhettoPixel,

    Welcome to HostNexus and welcome to WHT!

    Thanks so much for the wonderful review. I do remember speaking with you in chat. As for phone support. We did have a toll free number for a couple of years, but it was abused so we discontinued it. There is some thoughts about bringing it back, but we will see. As you know, we have a lot of support options available, so the phone has not been an issue.

    By the way - I love your domain name! One of the more original ones I have seen in quite a while!
    ||| Mike Bowers - Marketing Director
    ||| atOmicVPS LTD
    ||| OnApp Powered Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting ► [Shared] ► [Reseller] ► [VPS]
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  24. #24
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    Mar 2006
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    Do you guys all work at Hostnexus out of curiousity? Hostnexus almost single handedly brought down my company after moving my site their. I was their 3 weeks before i pulled out as fast as possilbe. In that time we had approximately 10 tickets and about 7 hours of downtime. It was more downtime than i have ever had with any other host and I continue to be amazed at how bad this service is. I have 1 website still there and I wish i could get it out of their faster. Hell we wer just down 25 minutes ago for over 1 hour with that site.

    It's amazing. Always a problem always an excuse..some of these reviewwers must be nuts. Of course i am on windows hosting so i don't know what everybody else is on.
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  25. #25
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    May I have teh URL of the remaining site to check on issue for you. Then I can cross-reference with our third party monitor. Not meaning to doubt you but thanks for taking the time to sign up at WHT to flame HostNexus. You must be really bitter but HN will come through just fine.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
    Fully Managed [Shared][Reseller][Cloud VPS] [Dedicated]
    Featuring the atOmicSTACK™ ● Speed ● Performance ● Reliability
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