This is my 1-year review of SolarVPS, who has been my first and only VPS, and who I still have an account with. I've tried to be complete as well as constructive.

After outgrowing shared hosting little over a year ago, I signed up with an unmanaged account from SolarVPS, taking advantage of a pretty slick 128MB RAM Free promotion, which they still run every few months. During account setup, Ross was prompt in getting back to me about information I didn't provide in the sign-up page, and my account was ready within an hour after correcting my mistake.

The quality and stability of the service has been top notch. With very little exception, the server has always been fast and responsive. The couple real notable quirks for me were actually with their datacenter, Interserver, and Bob was very helpful in forwarding my issue to them. I can remember near the beginning of my term, there was a week where they stopped accepting new customers while they waited for new hardware to come in, which to me is reassurance that they do care about their customers' quality of service. I think the fact that this is a 1-year review alone makes a pretty strong statement.

Because my plan is unmanaged, I havn't had too much communication with support. For the few times in the beginning that I did need network of Vz support, they were very prompt in responding, sometimes just a couple minutes turnaround time. After June, unmanaged customers were no longer gaurenteed SLA times on their tickets, and it has had an impact on the couple tickets I've had to send in. But this was communicated well in advance to customers, and for what I pay, I can accept that. We'll still be given priority treatment in an emergency. I've only heard good things about their managed support, so I can assume they're channeling more energy to where it should be.

Now, the points that could use improvement

The only thing that's been a little slugish has been sales tickets for upgrades, one which took the better part of a month to resolve. Next time I think I will try their live sales chat, because a couple minutes of live chat could have definitely cleaned up all the confusion in the process quickly. I'd rather see lightning fast responses on support tickets anyway, but you might be better off giving live chat a go first.

Now, this is more of a problem to prospective customers rather than myself, but they've been pretty lax on keeping their website up-to-date. There's been a few accounts of outdated promotions sitting on their front page, and some of the descriptive links in their packages page don't point anywhere. If I'm going to open an account, I would like to know what some of these terms or features mean, and clicking a link that points me back to "#" is a dissapointment, if not a concern.

Now, there was a one-time event for me in mid-July that goes hand-in-hand out of date info on their website. Automated Vz backups are a feature managed customers get, but not unmanaged. Without ever getting an email on the issue, I started seeing daily incremental backups appear. This happened to coincide with my losing my mysql config file, and I ended up panicing, thinking my VPS was on the fritz. A ticket did eventually clear up the confusion, and the auto-backups only lasted for 8 days, so maybe they were only trialing the backups and felt an email wasn't necessary until they decided to keep them or ditch them. I'd like to be informed of all changes, even if they are trial or temporary, but usually they've been good about it.

In summary, I got everything I was looking for with SolarVPS, and it's performed great since the start. Like any host, there's been a couple hiccups along the way, but they've been few and brief. I can't give advice on the managed plans (although if I had less time and more money, I would love try one out), but the unmanaged plans have done everything I was promised, and done it well.