Saturday 20th October 2018

Fasthosts Review

Very poor uptime and response time, avg. customer service and no uptime guarantee.

  • Very poor on both uptime and response time;
  • Their annual renewal fees are double the price of their annual introductory fees;
  • Their customer service is average;
  • They don’t offer free SSL nor do they appear to support HTTP/2;
  • Their entry-level package includes a free domain;
  • They don’t appear to offer an uptime guarantee.

Fasthosts Review

Very poor uptime and response time, avg. customer service and no uptime guarantee.

  • Very poor on both uptime and response time;
  • Their annual renewal fees are double the price of their annual introductory fees;
  • Their customer service is average;
  • They don’t offer free SSL nor do they appear to support HTTP/2;
  • Their entry-level package includes a free domain;
  • They don’t appear to offer an uptime guarantee.

Latest rankings

We performance test the world's biggests hosts on a second-by-second basis. The top 3 performers for July 2018 are listed below.

Host Uptime Response time
HostGator 100% 390
Bluehost 100% 502
Hostinger 100% 513

Latest rankings

We performance test the world's biggests hosts on a second-by-second basis. The top 3 performers for July 2018 are listed below.

Host Uptime Response time
HostGator 100% 390
Bluehost 100% 502
Hostinger 100% 513

Overview

According to our internal monitoring reports, on occasion Fasthosts monthly uptime has fallen as low as 95.28%, which equates to roughly 1 day and 10 hours of downtime when measured monthly.

That rate – 95.28% – would equate to more than 17 days of downtime if it applied over the course of a year.

Its monthly server response time isn’t much better and, for some months, has been as poor as 2,867 milliseconds – the best performing hosts typically post response times in the low hundreds of milliseconds.

They are average on price however, unlike other hosts, they allow you to pay monthly (though they do require you commit to a 12 month contract – some hosts offer a rolling monthly contract).

Overall, their Ignite package lacks many of the core features of other hosting packages in this price range and its performance is below average.

Latest uptime

Month Uptime Response time
January 2018 98.87% 1788ms
February 2018 99.57% 1826ms
March 2018 99.01% 1699ms
April 2018 99.76% 1874ms
May 2018 99.79% 2185ms
June 2018 95.28% 2414ms
July 2018 96.90% 2668ms

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Monthly price1

£2.50

Bandwidth/data transfer

Unlimited

The not-so-small small print

1Many web hosts advertise monthly prices but don't allow you to pay monthly. If you can't actually pay monthly we don't display a monthly price.

2This metric lists the annual price for packages paid 12 months in advance. It doesn't calculate the cost of packages paid monthly for 12 months.

3This is what it costs to renew a package paid annually in the second year. Most hosts increase prices for the second and each subsequent year.

4A "free domain" may sound like an enticing offer but keep in mind its costs will often be subtracted from a refund and some web hosts charge significantly more for renewals than registrations.

5Most web hosts display their uptime guarantees to one decimal point e.g. 99.9% is actually 99.90%. While some uptime guarantees look more attractive e.g. 100%, it's the compensation terms - how much they pay you if they fail to honor it - that matter.

Fasthosts alternatives

Excellent uptime and response time but offers poor customer service and lacks essential features.

Annual price

$59.88

Uptime

99.99%

Nothing spectacular, nothing truly terrible. They're expensive relative to other web hosts.

Annual price

£94.99

Uptime

99.93%

1&1

Solid uptime but limited customer service, excessive legalese and overbearing restrictions.

Annual price

$11.88

Uptime

99.97%

Good uptime, features and value for money but no free domain and response time is average to poor;

Annual price

$24.88

Uptime

99.94%

Pricing

The entry-level Ignite package costs £2.50 per month (excluding tax). Unlike many other hosts (if not most hosts), the price advertised is the price you pay, and the term advertised is the term you pay across.

Fasthosts don’t allow you to pay in advance for their Ignite package, however it will renew, after 12 months, at double the price of the introductory price i.e. £5 per month.

They also provide options to upgrade your package in their admin panel. You can add an additional 10GB of storage to your account for an extra £2.99 per month (which is more than the cost of your hosting package) or you can purchase an SSL certificate for £59.99 per year (unlike other hosts, e.g. Hostinger or Siteground, they don’t offer free SSL).

You’ll receive a free domain with the Ignite package however after 12 months it will automatically renew for the retail price (and they will also charge you for it 30 days before it expires).

It’s challenging to get a clear answer on how much it costs to register and subsequently renew a domain name with Fasthosts.

On one page it tells us it costs £12.99 to register a .com for 1 year and £12.99 to renew a .com for 1 year:

Fasthosts - domain renewals

When we click through to the checkout it tells us it costs £4.99 to register a .com for one year but in fine print underneath it tells us “renewal £25.98 per 2 years” (£12.99 x 2 is £25.98 so perhaps they’re telling us we must renew for 2 years after the first year).

Fasthosts - more domain renewals

We then reviewed the terms and conditions for this “special offer” (which seems to be a permanent special offer) and it states a domain costs £4.99 for the first year but it renews at £10.99 (another unique price point) for the second year.

These prices exclude tax, however when you add tax the renewal price comes to £13.18.

We got in touch with Fasthosts through live chat and they informed us it costs £4.99 to register a .com for 1 year and £13.99 to register a .com for 2 years. They told us registration and renewal prices are equivalent.

We asked if this meant a .com registration would cost £4.99 in the first year and £4.99 in the second year, to which we received the response: “Yes, I believe”

We were then told to call Fasthosts billing department for more information (we’re not prepared to do that simply to find out how much it costs to buy and renew a domain with Fasthosts).

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Monthly price

£2.50

Compare web hosts

We compare 17 web hosts against 56 metrics, including monthly and annual pricing and bandwidth, CPU, read/write, storage and database restrictions.

Technical

Fasthosts states very little about its technical restrictions.

Either they don’t monitor your resource usage (web hosts often utilize CloudLinux to apportion resource to each shared hosting account) or they simply don’t state how they restrict you.

Most hosts specify several metrics to guide you in your resource usage (I/O, CPU usage, physical memory allocation, entry processes, HTTP connections, etc.) however, after an extensive look through their website, Fasthosts doesn’t seem to publish anything more than rudimentary information about the above topics.

They restrict storage to 10GB and the utilize SSDs for storage (which is always a plus).

They also state the following about bandwidth in their acceptable use policy:

Fasthosts - acceptable use policy

As you can tell, it doesn’t give us very much.

Fasthosts also state in their acceptable use policy that “You may not use the services”:

Fasthosts - acceptable use policy

Our restrictions section is usually the longest section of our reviews however we can’t recommend a host that doesn’t seem to publicise the restrictions placed on its customers’ accounts, particularly when other web hosts are willing to and thus allow consumers to make like-with-like comparisons.

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

CPU usage restriction?

NS

CPU usage restriction

NS

Number of CPU cores

NS

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Storage restriction

10GB

RAM restriction

NS

Database size restriction

NS

No. of websites restriction

1

Compare features

Annual price

Compare all 18 hosts by what it costs if you pay 12 months in advance.

Host Annual price
SiteGround $47.40
Bluehost $59.40
Hostinger $39.00

Free domain?

Compare all 18 hosts by whether they offer a free domain with new hosting subscriptions.

Host Free domain?
FatCow Yes
A2 Hosting No
HostGator Yes

Offers HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 was the first update to the HTTP protocol in 20 years. See which hosts support it.

Host Supports HTTP/2?
Just Host No
GoDaddy No
SiteGround Yes

Entry processes

Learn more about, and compare 18 hosts by, limitations placed on entry processes.

Host Entry processes
InMotion 20
GreenGeeks 100
Namecheap 20

Service

They offer a 99.90% uptime guarantee – it’s marketed on their cloud pages – but it doesn’t seem to apply to shared hosting customers. This guarantee is also outlined under their service-level agreement for virtual and dedicated servers.

This contrasts with many other web hosts that do offer an uptime guarantee for shared hosting accounts and also publicise it prominently on the shared hosting pages of their websites.

We can’t find information about how to backup your website. A cPanel installation will typically come with an option to manually backup your website, however as Fasthosts uses a custom admin panel this option isn’t available to customers.

Instead they offer you a premium option which starts at £13.20 inc. tax per month, which, inexplicably, is three times more than the cost of your hosting account (other web hosts offer free daily backups or premium options for upwards of $2.50 per month).

If you want to backup your files or database, you can go through PHPMyAdmin and either the file manager or an FTP client.

Their 30 day money back guarantee does apply to shared hosting accounts however it can be a little challenging finding out how to redeem this (there’s a link right at the bottom of the main “web hosting” page in your control panel).

Again, we couldn’t find any reference to their money back guarantee on their main terms and conditions page, however that’s because it’s linked to from your admin panel (it’s in a separate terms and conditions document which isn’t linked to from the main landing page containing all the other terms and conditions).

The guarantee is standard, however it’s worth noting there are no refunds for domain names purchased (which is also standard for most web hosts) and that ‘any refunds given will be minus the usual cost of the selected domain name extension’.

Fasthosts offer a custom admin panel and there are a number of features missing from a more traditional cPanel installation.

You can still configure zone files, access a file manager, manage mailboxes, set-up MySQL databases and utilise 1-click installers, however you can’t monitor resource usage, implement hotlink protection, block IP addresses, etc.

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Uptime guarantee

No

Live chat support

Yes

Ticket/email support

Yes

Phone support

Yes