Review

A2 Hosting Review- February 2016


Review of: A2 Hosting
Hosting by:
A2 Hosting
Version:
Hosting

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On February 10, 2016
Last modified:March 4, 2016

Summary:

Read our A2 Hosting review to find whether their developer-oriented plans and numerous additional features might be the right choice for hosting your website.

A2 Hosting has a motto of “being for developers, by developers”. While this kind of cliche can be overused and occasionally misleading, A2 Hosting gets it right by offering affordable plans powered by a powerful network and SSD drives to ensure their sites are reliable and fast.

A2_logo

Founded in 2003 in Ann Arbor, Michigan (hence the A2), A2 hosting offers a variety of hosting options through shared, VPS, and dedicated servers. With their exclusive SwiftServer platform powering servers, high reliability and blazing fast speeds are the result for A2 hosting.

So, does A2 Hosting live up to their reputation as one of the most powerful and reliable hosts? Keep reading our A2 Hosting Review to find out!

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A2 Hosting Pricing & Plans

A2 offers shared, VPS, managed VPS, dedicated and managed dedicated hosting packages, along with a multitude of freebies and add ons that we found highly impressive. Free site migration, SSDs, CloudFlare CDN and free server backups are just some of the benefits of signing up with A2 hosting, giving them a clear advantage over the competition in our eyes.

A2_features

Similarly to other hosting providers, A2 shared hosting introductory rates are different depending on the term of your plan, with a 51% discount for the first term (monthly, annually or biannually) available.

Shared plans start at $3.92 a month for their “lite” package, although this is will limit you to one domain and five databases, it still comes with unlimited bandwidth and disk space, which is quite a bargain considering the price. Their premium “turbo” package for $9.31 a month ($18.99 after the introductory term) comes with a lot of extra goodies, including A2 optimized caching system, Railgun Site Optimizer, Edge Side Includes and HTTP/2.

A2_sharedplans

VPS plans can come managed or unmanaged, giving you the amount of resources and increased management required for your growing site. Starting at $5 a month for a single core, 512 MB memory, two TB bandwidth plan, A2 has great options available, but still not comparable to some of the top VPS hosts we’ve encountered in VPS.NET, Digital Ocean, and Linode.

Managed VPS plans start at $32.99 a month ($49.99 after the introductory term), which gives you the comfort of having A2 handle the hardware, software, and security of your website.

A2_vpsplans

Dedicated plans come in two different plans, unmanaged and managed, with unmanaged starting at $99.59 a month. The unmanaged plan is meant to be developer-friendly, as it comes completely stripped down and without a control panel. Both plans come with dual 500 GB storage, 8 GBs of RAM, 10 TBs of bandwidth and a dual core processor.

A2_dedicatedplans

A2 Hosting has an anytime money back guarantee in addition to their standard 30-day guarantee, which means that after the 30 days expire you can still cancel your account at any time for a prorated refund.

Video Review

Check out this video from A2 Hosting on their VPS control panel.

 


 

 

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A2 Hosting Speed and Reliability

As we mentioned earlier on, A2 prides itself as being a developer-oriented provider with a well built back end and excellent network infrastructure. With the sheer amount of positive reviews and praise on social media regarding A2’s network, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that they are indeed an elite provider.

The simple fact that SSD storage is available means a massive boost for speed, but A2 takes it a step further by providing their servers on a rock-solid, 10 GB/s redundant network with 12 core servers and 64 GB of RAM.

A2 also has various pre-tuned software that is optimized for faster page load times through various caching and compression techniques. WordPress, PrestaShop, and Drupal are just a few examples of software that A2 has specifically optimized to give your site the fastest speed possible.

A2_installs

We were able to test A2’s Amsterdam data center by running a speed test through a third-party V-speed test, which resulted in us getting an acceptable 11.5 MB/s download speed from our Budapest office location. Additional data centers are located in Michigan and Singapore, which means you have a nice range of locations to choose from.

A2_speedtest

The free version of CloudFlare CDN comes standard with all plans while you can also purchase CloudFlare Plus (Turbo plans only) for an extra $8 a month, giving you additional SSL encryption and mobile optimization for your site.

A2 Hosting Interface and Security

A2 hosting uses CPanel as their standard interface and comes included in all plans (with the exception of the Dynamic VPS plan, which requires a separate license), giving you all the usability and access that CPanel is known for.

A2_controlpanel

A2 also includes RVSiteBuilder in all shared hosting plans, with the popular site building software much appreciated by those who may not possess advanced web developer skills.

In terms of security, A2 has a “Perpetual Security” program included with all plans, consisting of custom firewalls, daily kernel updates, brute force detection and a hackscan protection tool to protect your website before it is attacked. Patchman security is also included to make sure all your applications stay secure with the latest and most secure updates.

A2_security

As we mentioned previously, A2 data centers are located in Michigan, Amsterdam and Singapore, giving you the choice of choosing a server best suited to your visitor’s demographics. These data centers are protected by 24 / 7 physical security and on-site monitoring, with redundant power supplies and all facilities being up to par with strict SSAE16 auditing guidelines.

If you do encounter any issues or lost data with your site, you can take comfort in knowing that A2 has an extensive backup system in place entitled “Server Rewind”. You can access Server Rewind from the comfort of CPanel, scheduling and creating snapshot backups of your databases, server, or entire account.

Additional security for e-commerce sites in form of SSL certificates are also available starting at $49.95 a year, while a free shared SSL certificate can also be installed.

A2_SSL

A2 Customer Support

In terms of customer support, A2 relies on quality, 24/7 telephone, e-mail and live chat options to solve any issues that may arise with your site. Additionally, A2 claims to have a “Guru crew” of highly trained and in-house (never outsourced) support technicians who are experts and developers themselves.

A2_support

While one can find numerous positive reviews regarding A2 customer service, we decided to conduct our own live chat test to see what all the hype is about. We were already impressed by the client telling us exactly how many people were ahead of us in line, but receiving an answer after just 11 minutes of waiting (at 6 AM EST!)gave us a real feeling of attention and care from A2.

A2_livechat

Again, should you have any issues with A2’s services, take comfort in knowing that they provide an anytime money back guarantee with prorated refunds on top of their standard 30-day full money back guarantee.

A2_moneyback

A2 Hosting Review Conclusion

I liked

  • SSD powered servers
  • Server Rewind Backups
  • Excellent customer service

I wasn’t so sure about

  • Lack of Windows-based services

I hated

  • Nothing

So, with a heavy emphasis on feature-rich, developer-friendly hosting, could A2 be the right option for hosting your site? In our eyes, A2 Hosting has earned a well-deserved top spot on our hosting leader board.

With impressive hardware and their exclusive SwiftServer platform powering their servers, you can bet that speed won’t be an issue with your site. True, 24/7 support coupled with a helpful knowledge base means that you won’t be staying in the dark for long should something go wrong.

As we’ve mentioned already, a anytime money back guarantee exists in addition to their 30-day guarantee, so give them a try at no risk today!

Visit A2 Hosting »


Published on: February 10,2016.
Thomas Ujj is an expat/traveler and IT enthusiast with a passion for IT security and privacy. When he isn’t planning his next trip, he likes to take time to practice his Italian cooking as well as religiously watching Italian football team AS Roma.

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