“Avoid This Product” is an ongoing series where I discuss products that I absolutely recommend you avoid!
I have a number of VPS’ (Virtual Private Servers) with various providers that serve different purposes for me. Some host production services like websites or web services for my home, and others are purely for developing and tinkering where I prefer an environment outside of my home server for doing so. I don’t have high demands for these servers, so other than my production website server, most are pretty low cost and low system resource servers to meet those needs.
I had come across NFP Hosting on LowEndBox about a year ago and signed up for a promotional price plan they offered for LEB readers. Since then, NFP Hosting has seemingly grown in size and added more plans, and even a full fledged VPS Reseller plan where you could, in theory, start your own VPS Business on their backbone (which is more than likely a wholesale service they’re buying from someone else – you’re getting into a VPS inception at this point).
I’m here with a simple warning: avoid doing business with these guys.
Within a few days of signing up, their customer control panel was down and I couldn’t access or configure my server. This would later become a regular occurrence – it seems almost every time I need to access this panel urgently, it’s down or suffering timeouts. But that’s just the panel, let’s talk about the server itself now.
The server started strong, it performed well for about a week or so, and then gradually went downhill. Response time and overall speed became absolutely horrendous to the point where one day I simply could not access or login to the VPS at all, even after rebooting it. I opened a support ticket and apparently the only thing they could do was destroy my server (note: I’d lose anything on it that wasn’t backed up) and move me to a new host node. I let them do this, and it was better for about a week again.
Even on the current node, performance is once again terrible. Even serving a static HTML page via an Apache2 web server can take 5-10 full seconds to load in my web browser!
Last week the server spent an entire day being inaccessible, when I needed it most for a project of course. I opened an urgent ticket, lost a day working on the side project on that server, and finally heard back the next day that it was “fixed”. In that same ticket I had asked many questions like what their support hours are (not published on their website, I should have caught this red flag!), what their SLA’s are for ticket priorities, and the RFO for the downtime. All my questions were ignored and I was simply told it was “fixed”.
I replied back, once again asking for answers to my questions, and was given a one line answer that they “can’t support third party apps”. Unclear what that had to do with my questions about their support policies, I asked one last time. This time, only one of the questions was answered, and I was told the host node load was the issue.
The owner had posted his email several times on LowEndBox for anyone to email him if they had questions or problems and a week has passed and he’s ignored everything I’ve sent him (all of which were very polite emails, simply asking some questions about my server and their support).
I feel like NFP Hosting is a company that’s a side project. It seems apparent that these guys oversell very badly, and based on the names I see in all my support tickets, probably only have one support guy who likely isn’t even a full time resource. Based on the fact there’s no published phone numbers or hours of support, and SLA’s on even the highest priority tickets take days, it’s clear that NFP Hosting isn’t a company that takes their business or customers seriously.
There’s many higher quality companies with compatible VPS servers in this price range. I would run, as fast as I can, from NFP Hosting. I’ve cancelled my auto renewal.
My verdict: AVOID THIS PRODUCT!