InterServer Review

Reviewed by: Jerry Low . .
  • Review Updated: Jun 27, 2019
InterServer
Plan in review: Shared
Reviewed by:
Rating:
Review Updated: June 27, 2019
Summary
InterServer is less mainstream but it's hard to look past them once you get to know the company. The web host is a great bargain (shared hosting locked at $5/mo for life), highly scalable; and their server performs very well in our test.

Founded by Michael Lavrik and John Quaglieri, InterServer is a New Jersey-based company that’s been in the game since 1999. Initially launching as a virtual hosting account re-seller, the hosting provider has grown over the past 17 years and now operates two data centers in New Jersey and is in the process of expanding to additional locations, including Los Angeles.

Self-deemed (and widely proven) a budget-friendly provider, InterServer specializes in shared, VPS, and dedicated and co-location hosting solutions.

My experience with InterServer

This review is based on my experience with their VPS hosting (in year 2013/14) and shared hosting service, which I still own at this point of writing (June 2019).

I did an online interview with Interserver co-founder Michael in September 2014 and visited the company’s HQ in Secaucus, New Jersey in August 2016.

About InterServer, the Company

  • Headquarter: Secaucus, New Jersey
  • Established: 1999
  • Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated, and co-location hosting
entrance-of-interserver-office
Interserver office entrance.

About Michael Lavrik, Interserver Co-founder

Michael and I. Photo taken during my visit to InterServer HQ in August 2016.

Excerpt from my previous interview-

My name is Michael Lavrik and I’m an operating partner at Interserver, but my official title is Director of Business Development.

My colleagues and I work out of our office/datacenter in Secaucus, NJ. We started this business in 1999 -when I was only 15 years old- by reselling virtual hosting accounts for another provider. Then we bought our first dedicated server, switched to colocation, then a rack, then multiple racks. Fifteen years later we operate two datacenters in Secaucus NJ and are expanding rapidly into other locations like Los Angeles, CA.

After sitting in front of the computer at the office all day, I love to get dirty! In addition to the various maintenance and repair at the office, in my free time, I’m restoring a 1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible.

 


 

In a Glance: What’s in this InterServer review?

InterServer Plans & Pricing

Verdict

 


 

The Pros: What I Like About InterServer?

1- Reliable – Average hosting uptime above 99.99%

I have got two test sites hosted at InterServer. In overall, I am impressed with the host performance.

While most hosting sites shoot for a 99.9% uptime (and many fall short of that), InterServer managed to keep my site up 100% most of the time. The uptime history is published below.

InterServer Uptime (February 2018): 100%

No downtime is recorded at InterServer in February 2018.

Past Uptime Records (2015 – 2017)

* Click image to enlarge. 

March 2017: 99.97%.
interserver uptime 072016
July 2016: 100%.

interserver feb 2016 uptime
February 2016: 99.99%.
InterServer Uptime for the past 30 days (September 2015): 99.99%
September 2015: 99.99%.

 

2- Fastest budget hosting around – TTFB below 220ms

InterServer Speed Test (Bitcatcha)

InterServer server response speed meets my expectation for a $5/mo host.

Recent server speed tests show that InterServer is one of the fastest budget hosting services around.

We ping our test site from 8 different locations using Bitcatcha and compare the server response times with other websites. As you can see in images below, the results were pretty good.

Jun 2019: A

Interserver speed test results from 10 locations. Range = 20ms (United States East Coast) – 561ms (Bangalore, India).

Feb 2018: A+

On average, test site responded in less than 300ms for all but one locations.
Mar 2017: A+, range = 9ms – 265ms.

 

interserver feb 2016 response speed
Feb 2016: B+, range = 10 ms – 1063 ms.

* Click image to enlarge. 

InterServer Speed Test (WebpageTest)

Speed test is equally impressive as well for Interserver’s hosting. We used Webpage Test for our test site on the U.S. server and received a high A rating with a Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) of 222ms.

Recent test at WebpageTest.org (March 8th, 2018): Site tested from United States server, TTFB = 222ms.

Side note: Why stress so much on server speed?

That’s because 1) according to expert case studies, just 1 second decrease in site load time offers a 7% improvement in conversion rate and 11% bump in page views; and 2) Google is now using site speed as one of their ranking factors – you need a faster site (or at least a up to par server) to rank well. 

 

3- Price lock guarantee

Many hosting providers lure in new customers with super low pricing for their initial term of service and then jack the rate upon renewal. The renewal prices increase for more than 200% fro some hosting companies. I love that InterServer avoids this practice and instead values loyalty. The company’s price lock guarantee ensures that the price you start with will continue to be your price for as long as you keep your InterServer hosting account.

Interserver does not jack up their price on renewal – Shared hosting costs $5/mo for life.

 

4- Great support: Helpful + 100% In-house

InterServer customer support team doesn’t just say they’ll help you. They actually do.

For example, during a recent crackdown of another hosting company (Arvixe), InterServer stepped in to help the unhappy customers. It set up a special team to help the people migrate their sites over to the InterServer hosting platform, making the transition seamless. You won’t get that type of service with many hosting companies.

interserver-office
All customer supports are done from InterServer office at Secaucus, NJ. I was at their office and witnessed the team answering users requests – The new client list and support requests are shown in the screens hanging at the ceiling.

 

5- 99.9% uptime backed by SLA

InterServer service is backed by clear writing SLA (see image). Should they fail to meet the guarantee in a given month, they’ll credit clients on a case by case basis.

Going beyond the uptime guarantee, Interserver also gives a 100% guarantee of uninterrupted electricity.

 

6- InterServer free site migration service

One big plus for InterServer is their free, white-glove site migration service.

For those who are too busy to move your web host, just contact InterServer and get their support staffs to do it for you.

No matter what control panel or account access you have on your old host, the folks at Interserver are there to migrate your sites for free. To initiate account / site migration, visit this page.

 

7- Highly customizable VPS hosting plan

I tried InterServer’s VPS plan in 2014 and quickly appreciated how its flexibility.

InterServer VPS clients can customize just about everything, from their preferred operating system to the software, control panels, and server capacity.

interserver os choice
Operating system options at InterServer – there are 15 of them to choose from.

 

There are 16 sets of pre-configured VPS plans at InterServer. Users can choose the number of needed CPU cores, RAM, as well as storage and data transfer capacity.

Also, unlike many other VPS hosting providers that require users to pay for bundled software and apps, InterServer only requires its clients to pay for what they need and use.

VPS UpgradesAdditional CostVPS UpgradesAdditional Cost
Additional IPAdd $1/mo/IPFantasticoAdd $4/mo
cPanelAdd $10/moSoftculousAdd $2/mo
Direct AdminAdd $8/moKspliceAdd $3.95/mo
* Note: Usually what many other VPS hosting providers do is to include the cost of these features into their VPS plans and claim that they are free. With InterServer, you get the choice to go without these additional software.

 

 

8- 20 years of proven business track record

With over 20 years of experience under their belt, Intersever has established themselves as one of the best hosting providers today with a business track record that’s equally impressive.

They’ve often been the choice for bloggers and website owners who want a great performing web host that is still affordable.

Everything is built and managed in-house at InterServer – including the power and room cooling system. This is how the company manage to keep their prices low – as told by Mike.

interserver-server-room
One of the server blocks in Interserver’s data center.

InterServer servers are built from scratch by the team in this “Builders” room.

Play room for the geeks?

 


 

The Cons: What’s Not Good About InterServer

1- InterServer unlimited hosting is limited

For starters, although InterServer offers “unlimited” features in its shared hosting environments, the unlimited hosting does come with limits.

This will always be the case with any provider, though… and, like with any provider, InterServer users are bound by server usage rules and terms. However, unlike many other hosts, InterServer gives users a clear foray into what those limits are, providing them in the ToS (quoted below).

No single shared hosting account is permitted to use more that 20% of the server resources at a time. A single account is limited to 250,000 inodes at any given time. Clients on the Unlimited SSD shared hosting platform using more then 1GB of space will be moved to SATA.

 

2- VPS hosting not for newbie or non-techie

Because InterServer does not bundle the usual software (like cPanel and Softculous) into their VPS plans – the initial setup process maybe overwhelming for newbies and non-techies. I tested InterServer VPS in 2014, the setup process was very manual and took longer time than I expected.

If you plan to go with InterServer VPS, I recommend allocating a bit of additional time for the learning curve and setup process.

 

3- Host in United States East Coast only

InterServer operates on only one data center – which is the one they built in their Secaucus, New Jersey office. If majority of your website traffic is non-U.S. , you will need a content delivery network (CDN) to ensure that they can access your website quickly.

Note – CloudFlare CDN is free of charge, Key CDN charges ~$0.10/GB traffic.

 


 

InterServer Hosting Plans & Pricing

InterServer Shared Hosting Plans

The InterServer shared hosting plan is a budget-friendly option, at just $5 per month with discounts available for longer-term contracts. If you use promo code WHSRPENNY and pre-order 3 years, the price drops to $3.88/mo.

The service includes a wealth of handy features, including one-click installs, 24/7 customer support, a free migration service, “unlimited” features (more on that later), and more. InterServer shared hosting features, server specifications and other details are shown in the table on right sidebar.

 FeaturesStandard
Strorage and Data TransferUnlimited
Websites / DomainsUnlimited
Domain Registration$1.99/year
Available AppsWordPress, Joomla, Drupal
eCommerce Ready
Inodes Limit250,000
Free CDNCloudFlare
Money Back Guarantee30 Day
Price Lock
Support24/7 In-house
Price$5/mo – monthly
$4.50/mo – 12 months
$4.25/mo – 24 months
$4/mo – 36 months

 

 

InterServer VPS hosting plans and details

InterServer offers a variety of VPS and cloud hosting plans to provide the flexibility and scalability its clients are looking for.

Linux cloud VPS begins at $6 per month, while Windows cloud VPS starts at $10 per month. Both offer a variety of options, based on your needs for CPU cores, memory, storage, and transfer caps.

FeaturesLinux
Cloud (1)
Linux
Cloud (2)
Windows
Cloud (1)
Windows
Cloud (2)
CPU Cores1212
Memory1024 MB8192 GB1024 MB8192 GB
SSD Storage25 GB200 GB25 GB200 GB
Monthly Data Transfer1 TB8 TB1 TB8 TB
cPanelAdd $10/moAdd $10/moAdd $10/moAdd $10/mo
FantasticoAdd $4/moAdd $4/moAdd $4/moAdd $4/mo
Unique IPAdd $1/moAdd $1/moAdd $1/moAdd $1/mo
Monthly Cost$6/mo$48/mo$10/mo$80/mo

 


 

InterServer Alternatives

A2 Hosting, Hostinger, InMotion Hosting, SiteGround, and TMD Hosting are some common alternatives to Interserver.

All five hosting companies offer wide range hosting solutions (shared, VPS, managed WP, dedicated) and performed well in our server tests. A2, Hostinger, and TMD Hosting are relatively cheaper where users get to host multiple sites with them for less than $5/mo (first bill). SiteGround and InMotion Hosting are slightly pricier but they do come with additional advanced features and good customer support.

To stack up Interserver with other hosting providers, make use of our Hosting Comparison Tool here.

Screenshot – A2 Hosting vs InMotion Hosting vs Interserver.

 


 

InterServer Special Discount: Start at $0.01/mo

Promo code: WHSRPENNY

Not sure about Interserver? You can now try them out for just one cent. Use promo code “WHSRPENNY” when you order InterServer cloud or shared hosting and cut first month bill to $0.01.

Order page at Interserver.net – the promo code “WHSRPENNY’ will be inserted automatically if you visit this special discount page.

To visit or order InterServer: https://www.interserver.net/

 


 

Verdict: Should You Host at InterServer?

Here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons about InterServer.

In short, I think InterServer is a rare gem in hosting market. I spoke to Michael and John, the two founders, at length during my visit to their New Jersey office.

It was clear that they’ve very serious about their customers and their business. They have a clear vision of how they’re going to take their business to the next level.

To put it simply, I strongly recommend this web host.

Who should use Interserver?

InterServer shared hosting is good for small businesses and individual bloggers who want a cheap hosting solution. Keep in mind that InterServer does not jack up their price during renewal – this means your hosting cost will be stable for long term.

InterServer VPS, on the other hand, is a great solution for advanced users who are not afraid of handling their own server.

 

 


 

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About Jerry Low

Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.