The ultimate comparison of the best web hosting providers

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PCMag's Editor's Choice 4 Years in a Row

"The reasonably priced AccuWeb Hosting offers terrific uptime, helpful customer service, and a Windows server operating system option for your website."

The ultimate comparison

The Ultimate Comparison Of the Best Web Hosting Providers

When the success of your company, business or even your presence as a solo digital entrepreneur depends on your websites, systems, and software applications, you know the quality of those web-based investments and the return they deliver depends on the technical expertise of you and/or your team.

However, the server host with which you entrust your online business solutions may or may not consider your fortunes as big a deal as you do. That's actually one of the key differences between most web hosting providers and the best website hosting services.

AccuWeb Hosting and the Rest

AccuWeb Hosting for example, has a long-established reputation for exemplary customer care and hosting reliability, as evidenced not by the company's own proclamations, but by those of the many business customers who have provided positive reviews and testimonials about the AccuWeb Hosting service.

Ultra-fast servers, customer-support that's always online and accessible through a number of channels, and very realistic pricing plans are just a few of the benefits offered by AccuWeb Hosting.

Of course there are other great hosting providers out there, so how does AccuWeb Hosting measure up against the other top players in the space?

Here comes the ultimate comparison of all the most important service features offered by the leading web hosting companies. As Windows VPS hosting is probably the most popular service among commercial web-users, it would seem a good place to start.

Windows VPS Hosting

Sharing the top echelons of Windows VPS hosting with AccuWeb Hosting, GoDaddy, Cheap Windows VPS, Myhosting, PhotonVPS, and Win-VPS are all tried, tested, and well received solutions among customers who aren't prepared to take chances on server uptime.

Here's how these six competitors compare across a number of key service criteria. Please note that all prices quoted, are those provided by each vendor at the time this article is published:

AccuWeb Hosting vs GoDaddy AccuWeb Hosting vs Cheap Windows VPS AccuWeb Hosting vs MyHosting AccuWeb Hosting vs PhotonVPS AccuWeb Hosting vs Win VPS Winner! AccuWebHosting
  • $34.99 per month for new subscribers only.
  • $39.99 per month for renewal.
  • Top end plan is $109.99 per month.
  • $149.99 per month when you renew.
  • $10 per month plan gets you 1 Intel virtual processor RAM, 40 GB of storage and 1 TB of transfer bandwidth.
  • $15 per month, the same package comes with unmetered transfer.
  • $150 per month you receive 16 GB of RAM and 800 GB of drive space, with your VPS powered by 8 processor cores.
  • $34.95 per month gets you one virtual processor, one IP address, 1 GB of RAM, 25 GB of storage, and 300 GB bandwidth.
  • $69.95 per month gets you the Reseller + Plesk Plansh which runs on Windows Server 2012 and provides two virtual processors, two IP addresses, 4 GB RAM, 80 GB storage and 3,000 GB transfer bandwidth.
  • $10.95 per month and gives you one virtual processor, 512 MB of RAM, 20 GB of solid state drive space and 2 TB of transfer bandwidth.
  • $165.95 per month for the SSD - 5 Plan with 4 virtual processor allocated, 16 GB of Ram, 130 GB of storage and a whopping bandwidth of 64 TB.
  • The Wood 1 Plan, which can be had for as little as $4 per month (if you pay up-front for one year of service), includes 512 MB of RAM, 10 GB of SAS hard drive space, and unlimited bandwidth.
  • Win-VPS costing from $160 per month. For this price you'd get is 32 GB of RAM, 240 GB of SSD storage and unlimited transfer bandwidth.
  • AWH Classic VPS Opal plan starts at just $7.99 which gives you a guaranteed 1 GB of RAM, 35 GB of storage space on an enterprise-class RAID 10 drive, one dedicated IP address, 2 virtual CPUs and 150 GB of bandwidth per month SSD VPS.
  • Emerald plan gives 8 GB of RAM; 200 GB of RAID 6 SSD drive storage, four virtual processor cores, four IP addresses and 1 TB bandwidth. That's a VPS that packs a lot of punch for $153 per month.
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  • GoDaddy uses the latest virtualization technology.
  • You can take advantage of the popular Plesk control panel, provided you choose one of the managed packages.
  • All managed packages include 3 dedicated IP addresses and a 1-click application installer.
  • Manual backup facility is free, but you'll need to pay a hefty fee each month for automatic backups.
  • Unfortunately, if you'd like the added peace of mind offered by RAID drives, you won't find it available with GoDaddy's Windows VPS packages. For that, you need to pay for a dedicated sever.
  • Virtualzation technology for high standards of performance and security.
  • Self-managed, no control panel included in the price.
  • You have the benefit of a SolusVM dashboard, to analyze and manage the performance of your virtual private server.
  • This vendor provides just one IP address as part of your plan, but additional addresses can be purchased for an extra monthly fee.
  • There is no backup solution included in any Cheap Windows VPS plan.
  • This company's money-back guarantee is only good for your first three days with its VPS hosting service.
  • All in all, this vendor really offers a bare-bones provision, which of course is reflected in the low price.
  • Frills such as a 1-click app installer are not included.
  • Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization technology.
  • Plesk control panel only included for free on the higher-end plans.
  • No single-click app installer is included in the plans.
  • Disaster recovery backups are included, but online backup tools and storage space cost extra.
  • This provider uses fully fault-tolerant RAID disc arrays.
  • Technical support is available 24/7 by live chat, email and telephone.
  • All plans provide just one IP address.
  • Select from Windows Server 2003, 2008 or 2012 operating systems.
  • Xen HVM virtualization technology.
  • Plesk control panel software is inclusive with this vendor's higher-priced plans.
  • All plans are inclusive of the Softaculous 1-click app installer tool.
  • SSD drives utilize RAID 10 technology, for exceptional server speed and reliability.
  • Backups are not provided as standard in this provider's plans, but you can purchase continuous backup-and-restore plans for as little as $5 per month.
  • Unfortunately, Win-VPS doesn't provide any clear indication of how many virtual processors are used to power each plan. Neither does the company's website state what virtualization technology is used.
  • None of the Win-VPS plans come with an IP address.
  • This provider employs RAID 10 technology on all its servers, so users on all plans enjoy the advantages of RAID drive arrays.
  • No control panels, automatic backups or 1-click app install tools are included in the Windows VPS hosting plans from this provider.
  • HyperV virtualization technology from Microsoft.
  • Every plan comes with either WebsitePanel or Plesk control panels. Websitepanel is included at no additional cost.
  • The WebsitePanel control panel has many excellent features, including one-click installation for a wide variety of apps.
  • All plans also include free weekly backups, a service for which AccuWeb Hosting's competitors typically charge a premium.
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  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • 5% of your hosting fee for the month in which the SLA is not met uptime level of 99.9% per month, you can claim a credit worth 5% of your hosting fee for the month in which the SLA is not met.
  • One big plus is Cheap Windows VPS uses only solid state RAID drives--good news in terms of reliability and failover assurance.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee and also one-for-one credits payable if service falls below the uptime guarantee of 99.9%.
  • PhotonVPS offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a credit system for failure to meet guaranteed server-uptime levels.
  • This vendor offers no guarantees of refunds, although the company states it can guarantee 99% uptime for customers on its servers.
  • AWH is so confident in its service quality that you are safeguarded by a seven- day money-back warranty if your server hosting doesn't meet with your satisfaction, plus up to 5 days-worth of service credits for any month in which this provider fails to ensure 99.9% uptime.
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  • Host your software on CentOS 6, Windows 2008 or Windows 2012 operating systems.
  • Windows Server 2003 Standard.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard.
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard operating systems.
  • Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012 operating systems.
  • Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems.
  • Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2012.
  • Windows Server 2008 or 2012 OS.
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  • In terms of technical support, you have the choice of self-service through a portal, or contact with a support team member via live online chat, email or telephone.
  • Technical support is only available via email (although it is online 24/7).
  • Technical support is available 24/7 by live chat, email and telephone.
  • Technical support is available via an easy-to-use ticketing process on the company's website, as well as by email and telephone hotline.
  • Technical support is provided via online chat, web-form ticketing system and phone.
  • Live support is available 24/7 by phone and online chat. Tickets are guaranteed to be responded to within one hour.
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Windows Shared Hosting

If your Windows hosting needs are a bit simpler than those which might require a virtual private server, a lower-cost Windows shared hosting solution may be sufficient to keep your online applications up and running.

Here's an overview of how these six Windows shared hosting providers stack up:

AccuWeb Hosting vs Applied Innovations AccuWeb Hosting vs AccuWeb Hosting vs HostGator AccuWeb Hosting vs Arvixe WinHost Winner! AccuWebHosting
  • Plan VS1 comes with 4 GB of disk space, 100 GB of monthly data transfer bandwidth, and 3 domains for $22.46 / month.
  • Plan VS2 ramps up the disk space to 6 GB, allows 5 domains and provides 150 GB of bandwidth per month priced at $44.96 / month.
  • The basic paid plan is called .NET Basic and is charged at a paltry sum of $2.95 per month, for which you get hosting for a single website.
  • The most expensive plan, named .NET Premium, is $7.95 per month and provides hosting for an unlimited number of websites and hosted domain names.
  • The Personal Plan costs just $4.76 per month if you sign up for a three-year term. For this price you get a single domain.
  • The Enterprise Plan is priced at $14.36 per month (for three-year signup) and provides you with five domains.
  • Personal Class ASP Plan, which costs $5 per month if you sign up for two years. This plan allows you to have six websites and provides unlimited bandwidth, storage and email accounts.
  • Business Class ASP Pro, which comes with unlimited storage, bandwidth and email accounts, and the ability to host an unlimited number of websites. The cost of this plan is $40 per month, for a two-year signup.
  • The Basic Plan is $3.95 per month if you sign up for two years. For this price you get 3 GB of disk space, 50 GB of monthly bandwidth; 250 email accounts and can host one website.
  • The Ultimate Plan costs $15.95 per month for a two-year signup. This plan gives you unlimited bandwidth, storage and email boxes, but you can still host only one website. If you want to have more than one website with this provider, you must open a plan for each site you want to host.
  • AccuWeb Hosting's Personal Web Hosting Plan offers 10 GB of storage on a reliable RAID 10 drive, 100 GB of monthly bandwidth and 150 email accounts for $3.19 per month.
  • For just $16.40 per month the Cirrus Cloud Plan provides 25 GB of cloud storage and 100 GB of transfer bandwidth each month. You can host up to five websites and if you sign up for an annual contract, you get a free dedicated IP address.
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  • Neither plan comes with a dedicated IP address as standard.
  • You are supplied with a control panel for easy management of your account.
  • Incorporated technologies include SQL databases, ASP. NET and PHP 5+ and a single-click application installer.
  • Safety features include daily data protection backups.
  • All paid plans offer unlimited storage space, bandwidth and email accounts.
  • All plans use solid state drives, but it is not made clear whether RAID technology is used by this provider.
  • You can purchase a dedicated IP address, but they are not included as standard in any SmarterASP's .Net plan.
  • All plans utilize a custom control panel, developed in-house by SmarterASP.NET.
  • All plans are inclusive of SQL databases, installed on dedicated servers.
  • Single-click application installer, ASP.NET with full trust support and PHP 5+ come included with all SmarterASP's .NET plans.
  • All paid plans include a daily backup.
  • All plans provide unlimited bandwidth, drive space and POP3 email accounts.
  • A dedicated IP address comes free with the Enterprise Plan only.
  • HostGator does not use RAID technology for its shared hosting servers.
  • All HostGator plans provide you with a control panel, for simple account management.
  • SQL databases are inclusive in all plans, along with PHP 5 and ASP.NET, although full trust level is not supported by HostGator.
  • One-click installation is not provided in HostGator's Windows shared hosting plans.
  • Daily backups are not provided as standard.
  • A free dedicated IP address is included only in the BusinessClass plans.
  • Arvixe uses RAID 10 drives for all Windows shared hosting plans.
  • All Windows shared hosting plans from this provider come with the Website Panel control panel as standard.
  • SQL databases, PHP 5, and ASP.NET with full trust support are all included in the Arvixe Windows shared hosting plans.
  • Free daily backups.
  • One-click application installers are provided with this vendor's hosting plans.
  • A dedicated IP address is only included if you subscribe to Winhost's Max or Ultimate plans.
  • As a customer of Winhost, you benefit from a service hosted on reliable RAID 10 drives.
  • An easy-to-use control panel is featured as standard when you host your website or Windows applications with this vendor.
  • ASP.NET with full trust support, PHP 5 and SQL databases are standard inclusions in Winhost plans.
  • Installing apps is simple when you use Winhost, thanks to the packaged one-click application installer tool.
  • It's possible to have your online data backed up daily, but you have to pay an extra monthly premium for this service.
  • A dedicated IP address is available with any AccuWeb Hosting Windows shared hosting plan, upon purchase of an SSL certificate, for which prices start at only $49 per year.
  • All plans are inclusive of the WebsitePanel control panel, making it easy to centralize your website and database management.
  • Few providers pack such a wealth of technology into their website hosting packages. With AccuWeb Hosting you get a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or 2012 database with its own separate data-storage space (two SQL databases are included with some plans), ASP.NET with full trust support, a one-click application installer and PHP5.
  • Daily backups are a complementary feature of all plans.
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  • Money-back guarantee is good for 60 days from signup.
  • 60-day money-back guarantee means you are not out of pocket if this provider's service does not satisfy.
  • Guarantee of one full month's service fee credit per hour of interrupted service.
  • 99.9% and offers credit worth one-month's service fee if you experience a lower percentage of uptime than the guaranteed level. If you are a new customer, you also benefit from a 45-day money-back guarantee after signup.
  • This vendor provides a 60-day money-back guarantee for new customers.
  • Hopefully downtime will rarely be an issue, as Winhost does guarantee 99.9% uptime, although it's not clear whether the company backs this guarantee up with any credits for downtime.
  • There is a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with the overall service after signing up with this provider, which at least provides some initial peace of mind.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
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  • Both hosting server plans utilize the Windows Server 2003 operating system and your service is hosted on a RAID 10 drive array.
  • All plans run on Windows S server 200 8 or 2012.
  • Both Windows shared hosting plans run on Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • All Arvixe Windows shared hosting plans use Windows Server 2008.
  • Windows 2012 server software.
  • Windows 2008 server software.
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  • When you need some help, technical support agents are on hand 24/7 and can be contacted via live chat, phone and email.
  • Support available 24/7 by telephone and live online chat.
  • Technical support is available 24/7/365 via phone, email and live chat. This vendor also provides a comprehensive self-help knowledge base.
  • Technical support is available via ticketing system, phone, email and live chat. Priority support is also available for an additional monthly fee.
  • Technical support is second-to-none, in terms of both coverage and courteousness, something which many providers are not able to claim.
  • It's rare to access fully managed technical support with a Windows shared hosting service, unless you are prepared to pay a premium, but with AccuWeb Hosting, that's all part of the package.
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Linux Hosting

If your web hosting needs don't include Microsoft SQL or ASP.NET, you might prefer to opt for Linux hosting. Linux is especially suitable if you're planning to use web apps such as WordPress on your websites. AccuWeb Hosting offers a full range of Linux hosting plans and ranks as one of the best web host vendors in the Linux space. Here's how the Linux Lineup looks under the microscope of a close comparison:

AccuWeb Hosting vs GoDaddy AccuWeb Hosting vs GreenGeeks AccuWeb Hosting vs SiteGround AccuWeb Hosting vs CrocWeb AccuWeb Hosting vs HostGator Winner! AccuWebHosting
  • Prices start at $4.99 per month (for new subscribers only; $6.99 per month when you renew) for the Economy Plan, on which you can host a single website.
  • The Economy plan includes 100 GB of drive space, 100 email addresses and unlimited monthly bandwidth.
  • At the other end of the range, Godaddy's most expensive Linux plan, called Ultimate, is $7.99 per month ($14.99 per month when you renew) for unlimited websites, storage, and bandwidth, plus 1,000 email addresses.
  • For a very lowly fee of $3.96 per month you get unlimited domains, with unlimited storage on a solid state drive using RAID 10 technology. You also get unlimited data transfer bandwidth and can have an unlimited number of email addresses.
  • The StartUp Plan includes hosting for a single website, with 10 GB of web space and unlimited bandwidth for $3.95 per month. You also get unlimited email addresses with this plan.
  • The plan GoGeek, costs $14.95 per month, gives you 30 GB of drive space and allows you to have unlimited email addresses and to host an unlimited number of websites. Monthly bandwidth is also unlimited.
  • Egg Croc costs from $2.96 per month and boasts 10 GB of solid state drive storage, an unlimited number of email addresses, unlimited bandwidth and, despite it being the cheapest of the CrocWeb plans, allows you to host an unlimited number of websites.
  • The Top-end plan (Adult Croc) costs $6.95 per month. This plan also has just about everything unlimited and increases the available SSD storage to 50 GB.
  • The most affordable package is the Hatchling Plan, which costs just $5.56 per month if you sign up for a three-year term. For this price you get a single domain.
  • The top-tier service is the Business Plan. This is priced at $11.96 per month (for three-year signup) and provides you with unlimited domains.
  • The Personal Web Hosting Plan gives you 10 GB of SSD storage, on servers using Raid 10 disk configuration, no less than 150 email accounts and 60 GB of bandwidth per month paying just $3.19 a month.
  • With all the SSD Linux plans, including the Personal Web Hosting Plan, your online presence will be powered by the CloudLinux operating system with the ulta-fast content- serving capabilities of LiteSpeed Webserver for $22.06 per month.
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  • Dedicated IP addresses must be purchased, you don't get one for free with any shared Linux plan.
  • GoDaddy Linux plans support PHP 5.4 and 5.5.
  • All Linux packages include a 1-click application installer and a control panel for easy management of your hosting technology and account.
  • Daily data backups are available, but you must pay an additional monthly fee to take advantage of them.
  • GreenGeeks hosting supports PHP 5.4 and 5.5.
  • If you want to have a dedicated IP address, you will need to pay an annual fee to GreenGeeks.
  • As a customer of GreenGeeks, you will be able to control your website and hosted files using the provider's enhanced version of the cPanel control panel tool.
  • For easy app installation, GreenGeeks provides a one-click application installer.
  • Nightly backups are free of charge with GreenGeeks.
  • Following a recent hardware upgrade, SiteGround now provides all customers access to hosting on a solid state drive with Raid 10 redundancy.
  • It's possible to have a dedicated IP address with SiteGround web hosting, but you will need to pay for the privilege.
  • All SiteGround plans support multiple PHP versions including 5.5 and 5.6.
  • All plans come with an-easy-to-use control panel and one-click application installer (Softaculous).
  • All plans offer free daily backup, but with the StartUp plan you just get one backup copy. The other two plans take 30 copies.
  • All plans support PHP 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6.
  • This provider uses RAID technology to protect your hosted software or websites using a redundant disk array.
  • CrocWeb does not issue dedicated IP addresses free of charge.
  • All plans include a one-click application installer and a control panel to simplify your account and host server management.
  • Free daily backups are included in CrocWeb plans.
  • You can host an unlimited number of websites on all the Cloud Server Plans, but the Enterprise Plan gives you the most bandwidth (200 GB per month), email addresses (1,000) and cloud storage space (50 GB).
  • All Linux plans support multiple versions of PHP from version 5 upwards.
  • If you purchase the Enterprise SSD or Enterprise Cloud Server plan with an annual contract, you are entitled to a free dedicated IP address. Alternatively, a dedicated IP address can be requested as an optional extra.
  • All plans come with a free control panel and 1-click application installer, meaning however many websites you have, managing them will be a breeze.
  • Daily server backups are provided as a standard plan-feature.
  • All Accuweb Hosting's Linux website hosting accounts are covered by a fully managed support contract, surpassing the normal support standards you might find elsewhere.
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Guarantees ---
  • 30-day money-back guarantee if you are a new subscriber.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • 60-day money-back guarantee.
  • HostGator guarantees uptime of 99.9% and offers credit worth one-month's service fee if you experience a lower percentage of uptime than the guaranteed level.
  • If you are a new customer, you also benefit from a 45-day money-back guarantee after signup.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
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  • CentOS 5, CentOS 6 or Fedora 14.
  • SiteGround Linux hosting runs on the CentOS operating system.
  • All Linux shared hosting plans run on the CentOS 6 operating system, with Apache webserver software.
  • The Cloud Server Plans are hosted on the CentOS Linux operating system.
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  • Tech support can be accessed via portal, or by live online chat, email or phone.
  • Support from Green- Geeks technical team is available 24/7/365 via phone, email or live chat. There is also an extensive knowledge base if you want to try to resolve an issue yourself.
  • SiteGround provides tech support 24/7. You can contact the support team via phone, online chat and by logging tickets online.
  • As with most of the best web hosting companies, CrocWeb provides technical support coverage around the clock, which can be accessed by raising a ticket online or by phone.
  • Technical support is available 24/7/365 via phone, email and live chat. This vendor also provides a comprehensive self-help knowledge base.
  • Technical support channels include 24/7 live chat, phone and an online help portal.
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Which Will You Choose?

Whether you've read this comparison in its entirety or just skimmed through some of the vendor offerings, you'll surely agree there's plenty of choice among the best web hosting providers in today's digital marketplace. Choosing from among all the plans and their features will never be an easy task. However, one way to arrive at the right choice is to check some of the customer reviews and testimonials for each of the providers listed in this comparison.

What you will almost certainly find, is that the majority of providers have had plenty of negative appraisals, along with a smattering of good ones. This often seems to result from a less-than-customer-centric approach to technical support, which seems to be a common thread among even the best web-hosting services.

Linux Hosting

If you do read some reviews and testimonials, you will also find that AccuWeb Hosting is one of the few vendors that receive mostly positive write-ups. That's because the management and staff at AccuWeb Hosting are truly passionate about delivering great service and being a provider that people can stake their livelihoods on. Along with great plan-prices, top-notch technology and super-scalability, it's the people behind the service that make AccuWeb Hosting stand out among the best website hosting companies.

Why not join those who've been delighted by the AccuWeb Hosting service ethic over the company's 12-year history of customer satisfaction? Sign up today for your preferred plan. Within the week, you'll wonder why a 30-day money-back guarantee is even necessary.