Friday, February 4, 2011

ASPNix Website Hosting Review

If you are like me then you are always on the lookout for a good affordable website host. Unfortunately, unbiased reviews of hosting services are hard to find so I thought it might be worth relating my experiences as a customer of ASPNix for anyone who might be thinking about using them. I have been a customer for about 4 years and have subscribed to a few different plans.

Features

If you are looking for Windows hosting with current technologies then ASPNix might look like an attractive option. They are quick to implement the latest technologies. They will often be 1 or 2 versions more current than most other hosts. Their accounts are quite affordable and include a good range of features.

Support

No matter who you host with, at some point you will need to contact support to resolve an issue. If you were attracted to the features they offer you should read on before making any decisions about signing up. My experiences with support can only be described as dismal.

Support options

On their website they advertise 24/7 support. This is definitely not the case.

Chat Support

Chat support is available some of the time. I often go to their website to find chat is offline. If you do manage to access chat you will find chat personnel (I think there is only one) are polite but not able to provide help with technical issues. They will not open support tickets for you either. Typically with chat support you will end up having to go to the support section of the website and submit your support request via email. So chat support  is usually a waste of time.

Telephone Support

They list support telephone numbers on their site. But no one ever answers or responds to messages left on their answering machine. One time all our websites and the ASPNix website went down in the middle of the day for several hours. I tried to contact support via telephone numerous times as well as email with no response. I assumed they had gone out of business and was frantically searching for another hosting provider when finally the websites came back online.

Email Support

Email support is often the only option. Support response is slow. Usually several days. Often support tickets are abandoned. I recently had an experience where my support request was discarded because I was not sending it from the correct email address. I was not the billing contact on the account so I sent the request to sales using an email address that was registered as an administrator for the account. Instead of taking the time to look into my support request the rep promptly rejected my request. This went on for several days until I finally successfully submitted the request using another hosting account I have with them.

Customer Service

This is where things get ugly.

Recently the Helm control panel used on a reseller account I have with them stopped functioning. Specifically, I get error pages whenever I try to create any new sub account. This is a serious fault because I am no longer able to create accounts or add domains names. Basically the account is useless. This has gone on for several weeks. Here is a quote from an email I received from them:

"... As of about 3 weeks ago our control panel experienced an issue which we are working to resolve. As for the refund, as stated in our TOS sales are final after 30 days, and that we assume and take no responsibility for buggy / errornous software..."

Apparently they think it is OK to charge for the use of the Helm software but take no responsibility for its functionality.

It's a bit like a car rental company charging for the rental of a car and then saying you are not entitled to a refund when you discover the car will not start.

Connectivity

Website server uptime is usually over 99% according to the monitoring service I use. However email server uptime is usually bellow 95%. I am often unable to retrieve messages from the mail servers via pop3. I would not recommend using them for email hosting.

Summary

ASPNix offers affordable Windows hosting but has very poor support and customer service. There have been too many incidents where accounts have not worked properly and I have been unable to get adequate support.

So I am still looking for that perfect host. Does anyone have any unbiased suggestions?

65 comments:

  1. I found your review while also looking for reviews on ASPnix. I would like to point out that Helm and a rental car are completely different :).

    A closed-source control panel is a bit hard to work on, since the source is not available. If the car does not start though, they can have a mechanic pop open the hood and see that the battery was disconnected :). Everything in a car can be serviced, either by a mechanic, or the normal everyday person. An application that has no source available and is obfuscated / protected from being reverse engineered etc. cannot be services by the everyday person. It must be serviced by the original developers.

    So this comparison is a bit off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris,

      Are you saying that if the company you rented a car from told you the car wouldn't start and they couldn't fix it because the manufacturer locked the hood, you would happily pay for the rental?

      I think you are missing the point. I paid you for a service. I don't know or really care why the service was not delivered. All I know is I paid for something I did not receive. It is your responsibility to me to make sure the service works regardless of whose fault it is. I have no relationship with Parallels and have no way of knowing if it really is their fault. I have used Helm with another host for about 7 years now and have never had this issue.

      Delete
    2. Came across this review and thought I would say I have been very very pleased with ASPnix thus far. They do not use Helm any longer and are constantly evolving their control panels available features and services.

      I think you should take another look!

      Delete
    3. I was consitently treated very poorly. I do not see how a different control panel would change this.

      Delete
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