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10 Things You Should Know When Choosing A Web Hosting Service For Your Website

10 Things You Should Know When Choosing A Web Hosting Service For Your Website

We live in the age of the web. Sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to consider building your online presence. That’s when you’ll need to consider a web hosting service.

There are companies out there trying to lure you by promising features like unlimited resources, 24/7 technical support, virtually 100% uptime, etc. But beyond all the technical mumbo jumbo, there is still an informed decision you need to make.

So, here are 10 things you should look into before considering a particular service.

1. Pricing

There are numerous service providers that provide similar services for different prices.

Of course there always are many different factors determining these variances in services, but you should still consider looking into a number of different choices before choosing one.

If you’re hosting a simple webpage and don’t expect a lot of concurrent traffic or bandwidth; it is always wisest to go with the cheapest of the available services. If you’re looking to host a more complicated website, consider other features too.

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2. Tech support

Another important feature you need to be looking for is the tech support that the provider gives. This is a biggie for most. Imagine if your website goes down at peak traffic hour and you have no idea why or how to address the issue quickly.

Of course one could always refer to manuals for support but nothing feels as reassuring as having a real human being you can talk to and ask for help. Most services guarantee this. So you need to make sure you’re not being scammed out of it.

There are several factors you need to look into. For instance, are they available 24/7? Is the call toll free?

3. Hardware

For most of us, this part may not make much of a difference since we are looking to host small webpages with small to medium range traffic and predictable bandwidth. However as the complexity of your web project increases and you’re going to need to do a lot more than a simple page display, you’ll need to start considering the hardware.

The CPUs, the GPUs, the RAMs, and the type of Storage (Solid State Drive vs SATA) are just a few considerations. How much computation does your web application require? And how much traffic do you expect? These are the things you need to consider beforehand.

4. Email features

This is another feature you need to consider. What email features does the provider guarantee? Regardless of what you may have heard/read about social media having replaced the purpose of web email, trust me, email is still going to a big part of your web presence.

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You need to make sure that the email service you get with your hosting comes with important features like spam control, time travel feature etc. For example, many providers offer unlimited email forwarding and auto response service. It’s always a wise decision to ask the provider beforehand.

5. Control panel

The control panel is the user interface that you use to control/administer your website. It is yet another feature that your web hosting provider offers and you need to make sure you’re getting the best control panels.

If the control panel is too difficult and you need to call the hosting company every time you need to make a small change that could be a huge inconvenience for you.

So, make sure your service provider uses cPanel, Plesk or a similar services. At least make sure the control panel isn’t something you can’t figure out.

6. Shared vs private

This is another thing you need to consider. What kind of hosting are you looking for? If you’re looking to host a simple display webpage, then you’re probably going to be OK with a shared hosting service. They are cheaper and for the most part easier to operate and deal with.

Basically a shared hosting service is like sharing a server with a number of other website owners, kind of like sharing a personal computer. But if you’re looking to host a more professional or a more complicated website, private hosting is what you need.

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They may be a little hard to work with and they are more expensive but it’s the price you pay for more professional hosting.

7. Scalability

This is another important thing you need to consider when you have your business in mind. If you’re hosting a growing business, you can expect your web presence to grow with it. And a growing web presence requires an upgrade of your service. This includes everything from your hardware to the tech support.

Anyway some services like the Amazon Web Services provide automatic scalability, meaning your system is automatically updated if your current system cannot handle the incoming traffic/bandwidth. Anyway you need to be sure what kind of scalability service your provider offers.

8. Backup

This is a very important feature. Imagine what would happen if all your web articles, posts and other data were to be deleted as a consequence of some accident. Most service providers try to make their facilities highly reliable, but nobody plans for accidents.

For example, you could accidentally delete content yourself. In either case, most good web hosting service providers offer a solid backup feature. You need to make sure yours does too. Ask your prospective provider about their disaster recovery plan. One hosting provider, A Small Orange, for example, creates free automatic backups daily.

9. Parking service

This is sort of a bonus but it’s a great feature to have. Find out if your provider can park some of your other domain names. For most of us this might not seem like much of a big deal but it could mean a lot if you’re running a business.

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Most business tend to buy a lot of domain names, usually the misspellings, the alternative names etc. of their current name. With parking services you can have all these under one control panel. This is a huge plus in terms of brand management. And it is also a great way to ensure that you never lose any traffic.

10. Exit strategy

This is a big one. You may be satisfied with your current provider but in time you could have a change of mind. You may want to host your website someplace else and in this scenario you need to be able to do that with the minimal discomfort. You should be better off choosing hosting providers like Arvixe which offer free website transfer when moving from another host.

Make sure you read the initial agreements including the fine print properly and make sure your web hosting service provider offers a viable exit strategy. Trust me, this is more important than you think it is.

Imagine what could happen to your business if your website were to go down for days just because your current provider wants to make it difficult for you to leave. You’re not having that!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Published on September 25, 2020

10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

How to Choose a VPN

  • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
  • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
  • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
  • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
  • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

Why You Should Trust Us

Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

1. NordVPN

The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

Buy this VPN.

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2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

Buy this VPN.

3. Surf Shark

With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

Buy this VPN.

4. CyberGhost

Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

Buy this VPN.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

Buy this VPN.

6. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

Buy this VPN.

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7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

Buy this VPN.

8. TunnelBear

As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

Buy this VPN.

9. Norton

Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

Buy this VPN.

10. StrongVPN

The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

Buy this VPN.

Bottom Line

Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

Reference

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