1&1 was first established in 1988 and can claim to be one of the largest hosting organisations in the world with more than 10.5 million customers and handling 11 million domain names. The company has 10 separate arms located in Europe and North America, each with its own website and hosting plans. The company is truly massive, so for the purposes of this review, I will focus on the UK arm, which was opened in 2000.
UK customers may already be familiar with 1&1 through its TV advertising. The company is focused on domain name registration and shared hosting services, although there are wide range of other services on offer.
1&1 Hosting Plans
There are 4 different Linux based shared web hosting plans available through 1&1 and each plan allows for unlimited bandwidth.
- The 1&1 Starter plan is the ultra-low cost option, providing 5 GB disk space, up to 1000 email accounts, 1 MySQL database and only 1 ‘click and build’ application.
- The 1&1 Standard plan offers a step up from the starter plan with 50 GB disk space, 300 email accounts 10 MySQL databases and 5 web applications.
- The 1&1 Unlimited plan lifts the limit on disk space and web applications allows for 5000 email accounts and up to 100 MySQL databases. This account also comes with a free domain name.
- The 1&1 Business plan is the top end shared hosting plan available and lifts the limit on email accounts and databases.
1&1 customers can also opt for Windows hosting. There are three plans available which are similar to the Starter, Unlimited and Business plans offered by its Linux-based hosting products.
There are 3 VPS hosting plans available. Each plans allows the customer unlimited bandwidth and they can choose from Linux or Windows operating systems. VPS hosting comes with a static IP address, a SSL certificate and an optional FTP backup product.
- For Linux VPS hosting, customers can scale their server needs from 521 MB RAM (burstable up to 2048 MB) and 20 GB disk space up to 2048 MB RAM (burstable up to 8192 MB) and 80 GB disk space.
- Windows VPS hosting is scalable from 1024 MB RAM and 20 GB disk space up to 4096 MB RAM and 80 GB disk space.
There are 3 dedicated server hosting plans available through 1&1. Customers can choose from a range of Linux and Windows operating systems, and each plan is based on processor speed. Customers who choose Linux operating systems can also opt for a managed service, although this costs extra.
- The L plan allows for up to 4 Intel Xeon or AMD processor cores with up to 12 GB RAM and 1,000 GB disk space.
- The XL plan uses Intel Xeon E5 processors and customers can have up to 12 cores with up to 32 GB RAM and 2,000 GB disk space.
- The XXL plan also uses servers built around the Intel Xeon E5 processor but customers can get up to 32 cores, 64 GB RAM and 4,000 GB disk space.
1&1 also offers a dynamic cloud server hosting service. This allows the customer to build a cloud server based on Linux or Windows. The service is configured on a sliding scale, allowing customers to choose up to 6 processor cores, 24 GB RAM and between 100 and 800 GB disk space.
1&1 also offer a variety of other services, including a web site building tool, search engine marketing, eCommerce tools and an affiliate programme.
1&1 makes no claims or promises regarding uptime for web hosting customers, and neither is there an SLA or guarantee to reassure prospective clients. However, all data is stored simultaneously in two locations. Should one server fail, another will take over. This is a good provision, but the lack of uptime guarantee might put off some people.
As 1&1 is part of a large hosting organisation, it utilises data centres throughout Europe and the US. There are over 70,000 servers in use by 1&1 and their data centre all utilise the usual array of power backup systems, cooling systems and 24/7 security to keep them up and running at all times. Interestingly, 1&1 have a mobile app allowing customers to view the status of their servers at all times.
There are a range of support facilities offered by 1&1. Before going into these, it’s worth noting that each arm of the organisation has its own technical support contacts; in America there is a US-based email address and phone line, where in the UK there is a UK number and email address.
Technical support is available 24/7 and the phone line is a freephone number.
Customers also have the option to allow the technical support to view and guide them through a solution using the Netviewer application. The company also maintains a comprehensive list of FAQs for self help purposes.
1&1 has active Twitter and Facebook accounts (again, these are country specific: there are different accounts for German, US and other areas, so make sure you follow the right one for your location). Looking at the accounts, 1&1 do seem interact with their customers through these channels and will readily respond to support queries on social media.
There is also a YouTube channel where 1&1 videos are posted from time to time.
1&1 in the News
1&1 is a huge hosting organisation and as such, it is unsurprising that it has made appearances in the technology news sites. All of the official press reports I found on major tech sites were positive.
1&1 Control Panel
1&1 provide the Parallels Plesk control panel for its VPS and dedicated hosting plans, although it appears to provide its own custom control panel for shared web hosting customers. Unfortunately, there is little detail about the custom panel in the help area, so it’s difficult to compare it to more common control panels such as cPanel. The information about the control panel does confirm that you are able to perform the majority of functions you would expect, although I wasn’t able to confirm how user-friendly it is.
1&1 have also created a useful (and free) application called EasyLogin which allows customers to access all of their 1&1 applications directly from their toolbar.
Web hosting customers who purchase the Unlimited or Business plan get a free domain name and Facebook and Yahoo!/Bing search marketing credits. The control panel also supports one click installs covering some of the most common scripts and applications (such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PHP, ZenCart and more).
1&1 also provides green hosting badges for customers to place on their website. The company uses the top energy efficient servers, paperless billing and other eco-friendly office initiatives to back up its green credentials.
1&1 Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
1&1 is able to offer a 60-day money-back guarantee, and whilst this isn’t the longest guarantee I’ve come across, it is longer than the majority. This guarantee only applies to the shared hosting plans and doesn’t include domain name registration fees, software license fees and software shipping or handling fees.
1&1 is a part of a huge hosting organisation – and you can really tell. Its website is sprawling, and there are a range of options for customers in various countries.
The services it offers are comparable to many other hosting providers, but the sheer number of positive articles in the technical press suggest that this is a company that’s well-respected. This alone is enough to boost confidence.
The lack of information regarding the control panel may put some customers off, and it’s a shame that shared hosting clients aren’t provided with a little more information upfront. A simple video tour would go a long way to easing any fears new customers might have about using a custom panel.
Having said that, the lengthy money-back guarantee on shared hosting plans allows plenty of time for customers to assess the control panel and cancel their services if they don’t find it suitable.