When it comes to cloud hosting solutions, one of the top companies that comes to our mind is New Jersey-based Linode. Linode was founded back in 2003 with the vision of providing affordable and flexible VPS solutions.
With hourly pricing and scalable plans, Linode isn’t too far off from what Digital Ocean offers (check out our review), except they also place a “monthly cap” on their plans. This means that if you are under a certain amount ($10 for their starter plan), they will bill you for the hours used as opposed to charging you whatever the monthly fee would be.
So, want to see how Linode compares to other cloud hosting providers? Keep reading to find out more!
Linode Pricing & Plans
As mentioned above, Linode has a monthly price cap set for each VPS plan, which if you stay under means that you will only pay hourly for the services you used. This type of billing can be highly useful if you aren’t necessarily running your VPS 24/7 with high resource requirements.
Linode also separates plans based on memory, with the Linode 1 GB plan starting at $10 a month or $0.015 per hour of use. Linode 1 GB also includes 24 GB’s of SSD storage and 2 TB of bandwidth, which coupled with they’re standard Intel Ivy Bridge E5-2680 v2 server-grade processors means that you will be enjoying some of the tops speeds in the industry.
All plans can be upgraded or downgraded through the Linode Dashboard, meaning that if you are expecting any traffic or other changes to your website, you can easily scale your plan accordingly.
Linode also offers a Managed VPS option which is $100 a month per server, meaning Linode will handle all back-end details and issues with your cloud server, leaving you free to focus only on the business-related front-end of your website.
Check out this video on Linode’s Longview Monitor add-on!
Linode is committed to security and they show it by having multiple safeguards in place should your site experience any kind of security breach.
Two Factor Authentication is available and highly recommended by Linode, which can be easily and quickly enabled from the Linode Manager dashboard.
Taking data protection to another level, Linode also offers full disk encryption as well as SSH access, meaning that any malicous attacks will be met with garbled code and inaccessible databases.
Linode’s data centers are all guarded by 24/7 physical security along with various network firewalls. Strict filtering rules also ensure that any servers will only communicate using their assigned IP addresses. These filters help prevent any outside “middle-man” spoofing on your server from occurring.
SSL certificates are not available for purchase, but Linode does have a guide to help install one on your server.
Linode Speed and Reliability
When it comes to speed, Linode has some of the best stats we’ve seen in the industry. While comparable to Digital Ocean, Linode takes it a step further by offering data centers in 5 different countries spanning 3 continents.
SSD storage, Intel e5 processors, and a 40 GB network with multiple levels of redundancy also ensure that your server will be operating at the fastest speed possible.
Page load times for Linode are blazing fast, which showed after testing a couple websites with Pingdom’s Website Speed Test. The industry standard hovers around 2-3 seconds, which Linode obliterates. For a .5 MB page, Linode was loading at an average of 400 MS from the NYC test server! Quite impressive stats.
With a 99.9% uptime guarantee, Linode will credit your account if you experience any downtime more than 0.1%.
If you are looking for further availability and performance, Linode also has their “NodeBalancer” service available for $19.95/month. NodeBalancer is a load-balancer-as-a-service (lbaas), which is meant to properly distribute and handle growing traffic to your website.
One of the first things we discovered when preparing for this review was a December 2015 large-scale DDOS attack against Linode servers resulting in almost ten continuous days of interruptions. Naturally this had us worried for all the right reasons, but Linode worked hard to rectify the problems by patching security vulnerabilities themselves.
Unfortunately, Linode doesn’t include a control panel when you purchase a VPS, with Linode Manager instead available to help deploy and manage your VPS.They also offer a couple guides on how to install Drupal, Joomla and WordPress.
While the omission of a control panel such as CPanel is slightly disappointing, it makes some sense when considering that Linode is meant for tech-savvy customers. One thing that seemingly makes up for the missing control panel is the ability to manage your VPS servers using Linode’s mobile app, an awesome feature we wished was available with more hosting providers.
A positive part of Linode’s interface that we enjoyed was the “Longview” addon. A tool that displays system-level metrics up-to-the-minute, Longview is a great way to better understand your site’s resources and traffic. There is a free version that gives data for the past 12 hours, while the Pro version collects unlimited data starting at $20 a month.
Linode Customer Service
Linode offers 24/7 e-mail and telephone support, with live chat also being available through IRC (an online chat room).
While it is slightly disappointing that they do not offer their own chat client, we had a nearly flawless experience on IRC, being able to connect via a web-based IRC client directly from Linode’s page. Once in the channel, we could see hundreds of other users and their various issues and concerns.
Our telephone support experience was also highly satisfying, with our call being connected to an American-English(!) speaking representative in only three minutes! This response time was especially impressive considering we made the call at 8 AM EST on a weekday morning.
Linode also has a ticket system in place, although this is only recommended for matters that aren’t urgent or highly important.
We were somewhat disappointed to learn that Linode doesn’t have a money back guarantee to offer its customers, something that is pretty standard in the industry today. To slightly alleviate this, they do offer a 7-day free trial which can be canceled with no questions asked. While this no-risk trial certainly is welcome, it doesn’t compare that well to other hosting providers 30-day or longer money back guarantees.
Linode Review Conclusion
- Flexible plans
- Longview add-on
- Mobile app
I wasn’t so sure about
- CPanel not included
- IRC-based live chat
Things I hated
- No money back guarantee
So, how does Linode compare to other cloud hosts such as Digital Ocean? When it comes to pricing and hardware, quite well!
The lack of a control panel means there is a learning curve for newcomers to the web hosting scene, but Linode was aways geared towards more advanced users anyway.
Once again, Linode does offer a 7-day trial, meaning you can cancel your account within the first week with no questions asked for a full refund! Give them a try and let us know your experiences!