FastComet Review

Solid host with one major drawback...

John Stevens  —  · Read user reviews

We signed up for FastComet in November 2017, paid, and set-up a test website. Since then, we’ve monitored everything from uptime to speed and even their customer support. Here’s what we’ve found so far…

What is FastComet Hosting?

FastComet is headquartered in San Francisco, but they feature a worldwide customer base of 45,000+ across 83 countries.

That diverse customer base is supported by their eight server locations in major cities like Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Tokyo.

(The closer the server to people trying to reach it, the better-expected performance, so the theory goes.)

FastComet is also one of the few private companies in the hosting business, duking it out with mega-conglomerates like EIG, who has the unique distinction of owning pretty much every brand on the bottom half of our rankings.

Being private means there are only a few dozen people in the organization, whose actual names and faces appear on their site. (We’ll get into why that matters in a second.)

So how’d they fare? Can a small, scrappy upstart trying to support a worldwide customer base keep up with billion-dollar hosting brands?

We signed up for an account to find out. We purchased the cheapest plan in November 2017 and set up a test WordPress site.

Here’s a link to our test website so you can check it out for yourself. Since November, we’ve been tracking uptime figures and site speed in Pingdom (you can view those results, too).

Let’s get into our early findings by starting with what FastComet does well.

Pros of FastComet Hosting

FastComet makes some pretty bold claims for a relatively young, small firm.

The good news is that they were able to back up a lot of them, posting strong uptime in the several months we’ve worked with them.

They also go above and beyond typical hosts with transparent pricing and free additional services.

Here’s a full look.

1. Strong Uptime Out of the Gate

When you visit FastComet’s homepage, one of the first things you’ll see is this awesome graphic:

fastcomet hosting graphic

It quickly positions their services against many of the best-known brands in the space. And it assures you that they’re the best overall.

Fortunately, their uptime performance started off strong. The first few months were a flawless 100%, with later months only dipping slightly.

The average comes out to an excellent 99.98%.

Here are the monthly figures to back that up:

2017 avg. uptime:

  • November uptime: 100%
  • December uptime: 100%

2018 avg. uptime:

  • January uptime: 99.94%
  • February uptime: 100%
  • March uptime: 99.99%
  • April uptime: 99.99%

Click here to find more detailed insights on Fastcomet uptime and speed.

2. Fast, Personal Support

FastComet might be small in comparison to other hosting companies, but that can also work as an advantage.

For starters, the team has been around the block a time or two.

The public cloud hosting side of the business has officially been around since only 2013. But before that, the founding team had been in the hosting business for over nine years.

They worked almost exclusively on System Admin for business clients (read: big, complex, expensive). So if they can take care of that, scaling down shouldn’t be a problem.

True to form, they’ve run over 400,000 live chat sessions and 875,000 support tickets.

The second major benefit of a small team is that they’re able to offer fast, friendly service that most other companies can’t match.

Here’s how this support section usually reads on every other hosting company.

The company’s live chat pops up. In most cases, you have no idea who you’re dealing with. In the small chance that there is a picture of the person helping you, it’s obviously a fake, stock image.

(Or worse, they don’t offer live chat and force you to send an impersonal, slooooow email.)

But not FastComet.

Shortly after visiting their site for the first time, Bogdan reached out for help. And to my surprise, he started engaging seconds after I threw a question his way.

Fastcomet great support

Now, you’ll notice a few misspellings. But you know what? I’m actually OK with it.

Bogdan was super friendly, answering my queries within seconds. It shows he’s a real person who’s friendly and wants to help.

Sure enough, head on over to their team page and you’ll see Bogdan’s picture again!

So this isn’t some unprofessional, call center that barely pays minimum wage. FastComet invests heavily in customer support and it shows.

3. Longer-than-Usual Money-Back Guarantee

Let’s be honest with each other for a second:

Moving to a new hosting company sucks. Seriously. It’s super disruptive, forcing you to take down a seemingly-good site. It’s also time-consuming and technically problematic.

So the last thing you want to do is be forced to move your host again because you’re unhappy with the one you chose (but are now locked into a long-term, prepaid deal).

Fortunately, FastComet will give you a full 45 days to get your money back. That means you can try out their service, or even spin up a test site like we did, and have over a month to vet them.

This 45-day period is among the longest we’ve seen. And it means that FastComet is confident in the service they provide.

4. Free Daily Backups

You know what they say… 💩happens.

Like it or not, you’re bound to run into site problems that threaten to derail all the hard work you’ve put in.

Stay in the game long enough and it’s bound to happen to everyone.

No problem if you’re on FastComet, though.

First, they offer free daily backups. That’s almost unheard of on cheap, ‘value’ plans.

Second, they’ll store these backups for you, safely off-site for up to 30 full days.

And third, they’ll help you restore older versions of your site within just a single click if needed.

All of this is done standard, on all of their plans. Almost too good to be true.

5. Free Cloudflare CDN

FastComet will also throw in a free Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN) on their basic plans, too.

Content Delivery Networks will host your data across worldwide servers, so that it loads almost instantly for anyone, anywhere.

Again, most basic cloud hosting companies don’t even offer this service on their plans. And if they do, you’ll have to fork over a few extra bucks as an expensive upsell.

But not at FastComet. They’ll go ahead and throw one in gratis.

This, in addition to being open source friendly with over 150 applications, makes FastComet one of the best options for new businesses to get up-and-running ASAP.

6. Free Migrations

But wait, there’s more!

If you already have a site on the interwebs, FastComet will help you move it over to their service for free.

Again, here’s how this typically works:

  1. The hosting company will say they do free migrations, and then when you need it, they’ll send you a support doc that you’ll have to figure out all by yourself.
  2. Or, they’ll use some janky ‘wizard’ tool to automatically move the info so they don’t have to lift a finger.

FastComet, on the other hand, will have their own team of experts moves the entire site for you. So you won’t have to lift a finger. And it’ll be all wrapped up in less than an hour, with zero additional fees or higher plans needed.

7. Free Domain for Life!

Yes, you read that right.

Sign up for a domain name through FastComet and you’ll get it for.ev.er.

We’ve reviewed over thirty other hosts, and this is the only time I remember seeing this benefit.

Sure, most other hosting companies will happily sell you a domain name. They might even throw the first year in for free or knock off a few bucks to sweeten the deal.

But then what happens?

After that first year expires, they get you on the renewal rate. You’re obviously not going to get a new domain name after, right?

So they take advantage. The first year might have only been a few bucks, but subsequent years might cost you 4-5X that initial price.

And this is just one example of FastComet’s honest, transparent pricing. Here’s another…

8. Honest, Transparent Pricing

If you go to their website right now, FastComet’s pricing will look something like this:

  1. StartSmart: $2.95/month
  2. ScaleRight: $5.95/month
  3. SpeedUp: $9.95/month

Once again, most hosts will use low monthly fees like this to suck you in.

But then, after that initial deal expires, they’ll jack up the rates.

Your hosting renewal fees might go up to double or triple what it was during the first year. Because there’s no way in hell you’ll want to move services again.

Now, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the renewal pricing FastComet:

  1. StartSmart: $2.95/month
  2. ScaleRight: $5.95/month
  3. SpeedUp: $9.95/month

It’s the exact same!

This, too, is almost unheard of in the hosting space. We’ve seen every trick in the book.

FastComet will keep your renewal prices fixed so you get to enjoy the same exact pricing as the day you signed up.

Cons of FastComet

FastComet’s uptime was excellent, support was friendly, and they offer a ton of free goodies.

Of course, no company is perfect. And neither is FastComet.

Here are a few of the issues we’ve encountered so far.

1. Concerning Speed

I’ll admit it:

We had high hopes. We were expecting a lot.

Because on the FastComet site, there’s a page that says “Why FastComet?”

And inside that page, there’s yet-another awesome graphic:

fastcomet claims to be fast

Pretty snazzy, right?

Now, here’s the thing.

We’ve signed up, paid for, and tested all of those other sites listed. So we’ve got the cold-hard data to do actual comparisons.

We just recently reviewed GoDaddy’s hosting option, for example, and were honestly blown away by the speed results of a super-low 394.7ms over the last few months.

Similarly, our BlueHost test site clocked in at only 418.7ms. While our favorites, the HostGator Cloud option, is a similarly-quick 461.5ms.

So far, these are all pretty good speeds. They’re going to be tough to blow away.

The regular shared HostGator, however, came in at a sluggish 991.3ms. So yeah, that one shouldn’t be too difficult to outperform.

But guess what?

Our FastComet site came in even slower!

These past few months, we’ve enjoyed a dreadfully-slow average of 1083ms.

For those keeping track at home, that’s almost three times slower than what the earlier graphic lists on their site.

You can see for yourself. Here’s the data to back this up.

2017 load time:

  • November avg. speed: 1,168ms
  • December avg. speed: 1,351ms

2018 load time:

  • January avg. speed: 1,245ms
  • February avg. speed: 893ms
  • March avg. speed: 938ms
  • April avg. speed: 908ms

 

FastComet Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Here’s a quick overview of the hosting plans offered by FastComet:

  1. StartSmart: You get a free domain name for life, space for a single site, 15GB of SSD space with unmetered traffic, for only $2.95/month.
  2. ScaleRight: The middle tier offers the same free domain name for life and fixed renewal rates, but this time they also throw in multiple websites and almost double your SSD space. All for only $5.95/month.
  3. SpeedUp: FastComet’s premier plan looks pretty similar to the last option, but with a little more space and the ‘RocketBooster’ option to speed things up. (Which according to our tests, might be worth the upgrade.) But it’s going to cost you a little extra at $9.95/month.
  • Free domain? Yes.
  • Ease of Signup: Easy signup process.
  • Payment Methods: All standard credit cards and PayPal.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: According to their terms of service, “We cannot and do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information, including prices, product images, specifications, availability, and services. We reserve the right to change or update information and to correct errors, inaccuracies, or omissions at any time without prior notice.”
  • Upsells: A few upsells, but not too bad.
  • Account Activation: Fast account activation.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Access to over 150 popular open source apps.

Do We Recommend FastComet?

FastComet blew us away on several factors.

The uptime was among the strongest we’ve seen. The customer service was both friendly and fast. Even the pricing transparency was like a breath of fresh air.

There was only one big complaint. Unfortunately, it was a big one though.

Maybe we got a dud. But our site’s speed was just too slow to recommend.

Hopefully, that performance improves dramatically over the next few months and we can change our tune.

P.S. If you want to see hosting providers that ranked above FastComet, check our best web hosts here.

Have you had experience with FastComet – either positive or negative? If so, please leave a transparent and honest review below!

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