I used to be hosted on a VPS at ServInt, but when the project that required the VPS was over, I needed a new hosting provider. I looked for a shared hosting package to host a few personal sites of mine and some small sites that belonged to some people I knew. I decided on 1and1. I heard that their support was horrible, but that they were decent in other aspects. Thinking that I didn't need much support and wanted the reliability of a "big company". I moved in.
The move was rather smooth. The control panel took a while to get used to, but after everything was established, it seemed fine. Speeds were great, allowing me to reach 1.1MB/s on my cable connection. A little over a year later, I noticed that connection speeds would drop, often to roughly 150 KB/s. Using a download manager that supports multiple connection would bring this back to the limit of my connection (could this be per connection throttling? ouch.) I lived with this, since the few sites that I had required little bandwidth and had few visitors. There were also a few problems with e-mail and blacklisted mail servers.
Last month, something finally made me decide to move away from 1and1. A database server that ran the local high school's computer club website (cs-south dot ca) went down on a Saturday evening. Seeing that the database server wasn't back up by Sunday morning, I sent 1and1 an e-mail. On Monday, I received a reply that they were working on it. I called their toll free line and was placed on hold for half an hour, just to be told the same thing. After a few e-mails and phone calls, I finally received a backup of the database in my home directory on FRIDAY and was told to simply restore the data to a new database. This was too much for me: lack of support I can live with, data going missing, I cannot.
After collecting a list of hosts and talking to sales, I decided to go with Steadfast. Signup was quick and I started migrating my sites over. The only problem I had in the migration process was my dislike of HSphere. Personally, I found it rather cumbersome. Everything was up and running within a few days, after switching nameservers and updating the DB info in scripts. Server speeds are excellent.
I ran into some difficulties removing a file (belonged to me, but I had no access to it) the other day and I submitted a support ticket. Within three minutes, the problem was solved and a reply to the ticket was in my e-mail. For the price I'm paying, I doubt I can get better support or the peace of mind anywhere else.
I am very impressed and hope to enjoy this level of service in the future.
Thanks for writing such a detailed review! Just goes to show how important good support is! Looks like you did your research and are happy with the results. Come back in a couple months and give us another review on how Steadfast is going for you.
Jim - 2Macs H-Sphere Web Hosting
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Steadfast offers good services and support indeed. I've got experience with them and I only have positive things to say. The only "downside" is that they are a bit expensive compared to other hosts offering the same account-stats, but this is well weighed-up by their level of support and helpful staff-members.