HostNine Review

Above average speed, but they need to improve their uptime... and they have!!

Brad Smith  —  · Read user reviews

I’ve been a paying customer for HostNine for the last 37 months. During that time, I’ve monitored their performance – avg. load time and uptime.

This review relies strongly on data, such as uptime, load time (speed) and customer support experience.

 

What is HostNine?

HostNine is one of the younger faces in web hosting, originally founded in 2006.

HostNine review
HostNine homepage

Initially showing promise, they were scooped up in 2012 by EIG, who also owns some of the biggest hosting brands like HostGator and Bluehost.

All hosts like to lie stretch the truth a bit when it comes to promotional claims on their website.

They put catchy soundbites on their website, regardless of the facts, attempting to coast by on reputation alone.

HostNine is no different, claiming they are “an award-winning web host with an uptime of 99.9%”. (Without spoiling the punchline, remember this uptime claim.)

We purchased HostNine’s ‘Personal Plan’ back in June 2015, setting up a WordPress website to monitor and run tests over the past few months. We’ve compiled the most important data, including uptime & speed, and are ready to make a ruling in this unbiased review backed by facts and statistics.

Here’s what we found.

 

Pros of using HostNine hosting

HostNine delivered the goods in a few different areas, including pretty good page loading times and a refreshingly modern, easy-to-use website.

 

1. 20.8% Faster than the Competition

HostNine delivered pretty fast page loading times, besting the rest of the competition by about 20.8% (722ms compared to 890ms). Their quick page loading times (unlike their uptime, which we’ll come back to) was also fairly consistent, posting above-average speeds every single month we’ve hosted with them.

Last 8 month average load time

2018:

  • January average speed: 816ms
  • February average speed: 708ms
  • March average speed: 711ms
  • April average speed: 691ms
  • May average speed: 699ms
  • June average speed: 714ms
  • July average speed: 670ms
  • August(21’st) average speed: 767ms

2. User-Friendly Homepage

Most of the major web hosts were started back in the 1990s or early 2000s. Their websites, for the most part, look like it.

Many are outdated, difficult to use, and simply unappealing. They’re tough to navigate and find simple information, which only becomes more problematic on mobile devices (which weren’t around when some of these websites were originally designed from the looks of it).

Thankfully, HostNine has a contemporary website with clear organization and attention to information hierarchy that makes your life simple.

Hopefully, that attention to detail and focus on the user’s point of view is a sign of things to come…

3. 45-Days Money Back Guarantee & Free Site Migration

Many hosts offer a standard 30-day money back guarantee. HostNine is nice enough to extend that be a few weeks, giving up to a month and a half to get your refund before it gets locked in.

And if you already have an existing website hosted somewhere, they’ll help you migrate it for free.

4. Ability to Choose Different Datacenters

HostNine has data centers in six different locations, including the US, UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia, and Amsterdam.

While their cheapest shared hosting option can only be hosted in their US datacenter, you can choose your own location with their other plans.

5. Very Strong Last 7 Months

A few minutes ago, you read a bold claim from HostNine about their ‘award-winning, 99.9%’ uptime.

The truth?

In previous year they only got to 99.66% – .28% below the industry average of 99.94% We were extremely disappointed, to say the least.

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones. We conduct a background check into each host reviewed in order to provide a well-rounded profile that won’t fall victim to bias.

In this case, the overwhelming majority of reviews we’ve seen directly from other customers backs up our experience. Take a look:

  • “I just lost the 3rd client in a row, because their emails have not been working over a week…”
  • “My site has been down 4 days now.”
  • “Had 18 sites go down last week for over 24 hours….two servers get blacklisted and my client’s emails were down for three days and counting with no end in sight”
  • “My websites are down again…. all of them. And they are spread across a dozen different servers. Not sure how much more I can take of this crappy service.”

That doesn’t paint a very rosy picture.

But wait, because it’s about to get a whole lot better.

In the past seven months, they have had NO downtime at all!! Which is very impressive to say the least. They definitely have made some changes and it seems to be working!

Let’s take a look.

2018:

  • January average uptime: 99.35%
  • February average uptime: 100%
  • March average uptime: 100%
  • April average uptime: 100%
  • May average uptime: 100%
  • June average uptime: 100%
  • July average uptime: 100%
  • August(21’st) average uptime: 100%

HostNine last 8 month stats

HostNine: Page Load Speed and Uptime (Last 12 months, full data can be found here.)

 

Cons of using HostNine hosting

Usually, if a web hosting company is going to struggle anywhere (while getting the basics like uptime right), it’s speed. That’s not the case with HostNine, which posts respectable speed despite massive downtime.

Here are the grim details of one of the worst occurrences we’ve seen after reviewing nearly 30 other web hosts.

 

2. Decent, Yet Ineffective Support

Our first experience with HostNine’s customer support was extremely good.

There was zero delay to connect with a support agent. They answered all of our questions, with details and even links to additional resources – all in less than a minute!

It was honestly a fantastic experience that made us want to give them a 10/10.

HostNine support reviewed

But then, our website went down. And all we got was ONE email from them.

Hostnine Failed (server crashed)

Email from HostNine

That’s it.

TWO months of downtime, and a single email where they basically admitted they had no plan to recover the data and didn’t have any backups, either. Not even an offer to refund for those two months of being offline.

Here’s the thing.

It’s not that their customer support is truly terrible (like some other web hosts we’ve reviewed). We experienced fantastic results in dealing with them ourselves.

But when their company’s uptime is so atrocious, their hands are tied. There’s not a whole lot they can do, except go down with the ship as it sinks.

Further research backed this up, with customer support unable to do much to help other customers either:

  • Live Help is a joke as they can’t do anything more than help someone recover a password or open a help ticket that no one will respond to in over 72 hours. This was the EXACT reason I left HostGator and now you guys are doing the SAME thing! ‪#‎pathetic‬”
  • “So….30 hour wait for an response to a support ticket.”
  • 3 support tickets since Saturday + No answers on any of them other than a “we’re looking into it” (which was 2 days ago) = Just moved all my sites to a new host.”

Unfortunately, their customer service is guilty by association in this case.

 

HostNine Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

HostNine offers shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated hosting – no matter what level of service you need, you will find it with them. Below is a quick overview of their shared hosting plans:

  • Personal plan: This plan starts at $6.99 per month. It supports 1 domain name. Your server will be located in the U.S.
  • Business plan: This plan starts at $11.09 per month. It supports unlimited domain names. It comes with a free domain name and you can choose servers from the US, UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Amsterdam.
  • Enterprise plan: This plan starts at $14.99 per month. It supports unlimited domains. It comes with a free domain name and you can choose servers from the US, UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Amsterdam.

All shared hosting plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth.

  • Ease of Signup: One page signup. Very easy signup process.
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: A limit of 10 percent CPU usage, 5 percent or 512MB memory, 50 running processes, 15 minutes max Max Execution Time, 150,000 total inodes and 500 outgoing email messages per 60 minute period is placed on shared and reseller hosting accounts.
  • Upsells: Very few upsells.
  • Account Activation: Very quick activation.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Quick and easy installation of popular apps and CMSs via Softaculous.

 

Do We Recommend HostNine?

Only if you’re a masochist.

Jokes aside, not yet.

They could be above average, as their page speed and a few other categories performed well.

Unfortunately, their uptime (or lack thereof) was a nightmare, bringing the rest of the company’s performance down like an albatross. They have shown very promising uptimes in the last months, but it’s too early to recommend them.

Their bold uptime claims at the beginning were almost an outright lie too, which on top of everything else, doesn’t leave us with a good, warm, fuzzy feeling.

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

Do you have any experience with HostNine? Please leave a review below – good or bad – doesn’t really matter as long as it’s transparent and honest.

 

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23 user reviews for HostNine

1/100 — 

Not recommended

Long time customer (previously Cirtex) a few wobbles with their downtime, but overall 'OK' for the low cost. However, they ceased my account / deleted all of my data as they had supposed to have reminded me about an unpaid invoice. I searched through all emails, nothing received. Though it was a fault for not remembering to renew, it caused a lot of inconveniences. When talking to support, their response was 'bad luck'. No value to customer base, no option to recover, therefore not recommended, regardless of the low cost.

10/100 — 

Run, don't walk.

I have a reseller account with Hostnine. Initially, they were great. 24/7 phone support, English speaking techs, fast. Then it all went to hell. I think it was when EIG bought them…they already destroyed Hostgator’s reputation…now their killing Hostnine’s too. Now I get no good support at all. Sites are having troubles. Hostnine has moved sites to a new IP with no notice; breaking the site and emal. This is NOT BUSINESS CLASS HOSTING. If you have a little personal website, go for it. For a business website, run.

30/100 — 

#HostnineDebacle2017

Steady decline this year warrants the hashtag #HostnineDebacle2017 – I’ve been there since 2006. If you have a site that warrants any sort of credibility to keep a client relationship do not depend on HostNine, especially not a shared server environment there. They’re best used for sites that can be left on autopilot or lower budget work. You get what you pay for on the cheap side, but definitely not the high side. Not sure anyone is really in charge anymore is the main issue. Lacking structure and hierarchy in recent months.

1/100 — 

Server down for over 24hr - losing thousands in revenue

I’ve been a customer for 8 years. My server has been taken down for a “root compromise” and no one has been responding to assist in getting the server back online, or helping me retrieve my files so I can migrate to a new server.

Since they were acquired in 2012, the company has gone downhill. Customer service has degraded each and every year. Yes, there is live chat, but it is apparently outsourced to operators in Asia who have no ability to get anything done. Support is ticket based and responses take more than 24hr.

DO NOT HOST WITH HOSTNINE

1/100 — 

Suspending site without any reason

hostnine is suspending site without any reasaon … the support is playing games with customers ….
they are indian idiots …

the content of DMCA is removed before 4 months and they are suspending site for the content that does not exists in my site ….

server are bad support is bad and they will not refund money

1/100 — 

Bad as it gets

Seriously, do never ever go with hostnine. They are the worst hosting company I worked with. I could talk for England about how bad the support and service is, but seriously, DO NOT DEAL with those people.

DO NOT DEAL WITH THEM!

20/100 — 

Reseller account still sending me update mail after 5 months after cancellation

Cancelled a Resellers II hosting account, that we had for several years…

Pricing, uptime and support were the reasons’ for cancellation 5 months later still receiving softaculous updates for domains that we don’t even own anymore, plus cron backup jobs that we don’t care about anymore.

Account was supposed to have been disconintured/deleted in March of 2017. Had I know that I can’t open a ticket, or get to support at all other than through Live chat I would have deleted all the accounts myself, because relying on someone else to do the job is utter hell.

Contacted support through Live chat 5 times already… First time, it took 27 mins to verify that we had an account subsequent times pretty much the same thing. Each time, we were told the issue was resolved, and each day we received the same update mail.

One CSR through chat actually opened up a ticket and escalated it to “senior admins”….

Do yourself a favour, stay away from Hostnine, there’s better alternatives for way cheaper money

1/100 — 

Avoid, avoid, avoid!

Bad downtime and support is a joke – no phone number, ticketing has been removed and live chat doesn’t even work 9 times out of 10.

5/100 — 

HOSTNINE IS A LYING, DECEITFUL, HOSTING COMPANY

I have never dealt with a hosting company that has wasted my time in such an unprofessional manner as much as Hostnine has. I’ve interacted twice with the same customer service representative who assured me twice that there would be a roll-back of my registrar price which had more than doubled from the prior year.
Instead, I’m seeing that Hostnine is still trying to force through my account payment of the more than double, personal account fee. The new $133 yearly fee to host one account is absurd, and I will not pay it!! At this point, I’m willing to let the account go as I will not be subjected to their dishonest and underhanded methods. But I will gladly tell anyone interested in listening to stay away from Hostnine. Thier Live Chat says one thing, and then their billing section does something completely different in a completely sneaky manner.

1/100 — 

Shocking Service, rip of merchants

I have a reseller package with them and all started off great. However I believe due to a takeover, things suddenly went downhill. Lots of downtime, poor ticket response and emails being spammed. We decided to cancel and move to another host.

Unfortunately they would not refund the balance in our account, so we decided to cut our losses and move on.

Approx one year on, they have attempted to take another payment. I contacted them immediately and was reassured that this was a mistake and no funds would be taken. A week later, the funds are lifted from my Paypal account. I contacted them to tell them of their mistake and was told to open a ticket. 3 weeks later, and several support chats, they are still refusing to refund me. So I have $642.80 tied up with them, which I cannot get back. Plus they won’t give me an invoice for the services because I “don’t have any active services”.

These guys are an absolute joke, and if you want to keep your sanity, avoid at all costs!

1/100 — 

Really bad

Ive had my site hosted for years by hostnine. They’ve always been average but Ive tolerated them until recently when they became totally intolerable. Just recently I finally cancelled my account and shutdown the server when things became dangerous. Zero response after 3 weeks to critical support tickets, Compromised security, constant failures on their own site, Lack of knowledge, Zero care and no commercial acumen.

Dont go anywhere near these fools.

100/100 — 

Pathetic Service Support and uptime

Hostnine was a good service when it was Hostv but since they have taken over it has been a nightmare and they dont even refund I am stuck with them since I have paid them in full for a year for a VPS and evey 7 to 15 days it goes down and their cheap and pathetic Indian support people dont care a bit about customer services since I am stuck with them please view the sites on this VPS (https://syberhostingservers.com )and you will be able to see how frequent it goes down and buyer please dont consider hostnine as an option not even your last resort

Thanks

15/100 — 

Downtime like it's 1999

Agreed with their live support; they are prompt and courteous. As this review states, however, the downtime is…atrocious

I am stupefied that in 2017 a hosting company can take a server offline for 3 consecutive days, and classify this as maintenance / downtime.

DO NOT use this hosting company. Their downtime issues are very real, and will cost you.

22/100 — 

sad story

same here, was starting with h9 in 2015. first the support was also very good and fast with live chat. ok a view down times, but all was working. but now it takes very long time, the staff is somewhere in a callcenter out of nowhere (they are not allowed to say where they are, India or Cambodia but not US or EU i think). they say comments like we apologize and please wait we investigate….. like they ask other teams that are on a nother end, this takes time and is very frustrating. also when you want to start server with netherlands or UK they say the servers are full. and there is only US available on my business plan. all in all very sad! looking for a nother provider now.

1/100 — 

Customer Neglect, not service

HORRIBLE SERVICE!!! I’ve been waiting like 6 months on a reply and phone calls, this hosting is a joke and not at all secure!!! Bunch of kids busy messing with other peoples websites when they were not ever asked to do most of what they do. I’ve lost backups, pages, all kinds of stuff, and I know their reps do this crap because it’s happened for the two years I had their service!

1/100 — 

Terrible support

I have been a Hostnine customer for many years and before they were really a gem in the hosting world. Decent uptime, pretty quick servers and a FANTASTIC support. Then something happened and it went really downhill.

They changed servers on multiple data centers and at the same time thay seemed to have closed down the support completely. Sites could be down for weeks and months with the support not even replying to support mails and I was pretty sure they were going out of business. So I moved all of my clients from H9 but kept a few number of smaller developing sites.

They have changed the support system from tickets to chat and it has become somewhat better but basically it is not acceptable. There are far, far better choices out there. So avoid H9 if you need a reliable support solution. At least for the moment (dec 2016).

Thanks

Robert

1/100 — 

A Cautionary Tale

I started service with HostNine in 2009 with two domain names and a basic shared hosting package. I had no complaints whatsoever for seven years; it didn’t cost much, and it did what I needed it to do.

On September 6, 2016, I paid to renew my primary domain name (Domain A). Several weeks later, I discovered HostNine had let the domain expire anyway. I decided this was unacceptable, so I did some research and decided to move to A2 Hosting on October 14.

I initiated transfers for both domains. Domain B failed immediately because the transfer lock status was still in place despite my request to remove it. Domain A failed a week later because I never received the verification email. I discovered that when they belatedly renewed the domain, HostNine had replaced my contact information with their own and the email had gone to their sales department, where it was ignored.

This began a month-long fight to revert the changes to the contact information, including a long-ignored support ticket, dozens of encounters with live chat, a WhoIs Inaccuracy Complaint with ICANN, and an attempt to contact the accredited registrar through which HostNine acquires the domains it sells. Roughly every tool on the online dashboard was broken – changing contact info or nameservers produced an error – and the chat reps were flummoxed.

Support took at least a week to update each ticket. In the case of that domain renewal failure ticket, I didn’t get a reply for a month. Chat vowed to escalate a ticket, then didn’t; I got an auto-resolve notice two days later. Some updates would claim the problem was fixed when it wasn’t. Others would suggest taking actions that had already failed in previous worklog entries. When I canceled all my services in mid-October, I received an email a week after their expiration date chiding me for not paying and threatening me with late fees.

All told, the act of renewing a domain name, then transferring two domains to a new host, took two and a half months – this wasn’t resolved until November 19. This process took so long that my website no longer exists (except in local backups, of course).

In summary, under no circumstances should you do business with HostNine. Do not give them any money. No matter how good of a deal it may seem, it isn’t worth subjecting yourself to a Stygian maelstrom of bureaucracy, delays, and general incompetence. Avoid at all costs.

1/100 — 

Support is dead

I’ve been with Hostnine since 2007 and they used to be superb but in the last 1-2 years they have gone down the tubes.

Their Livechat support respond quickly but the last ticket I raised has been open for two and a half months with one meaningless response and one halfway useful one.

Blacklisted mail servers which take weeks to clear, complete non-response on trying to move a domain and hosting service from one account to another, etc.

At least my hosting sites haven’t died (I have 8 separate sites) but I’ve heard horror stories about that happening to others as well!

1/100 — 

Requested refund after just 4 days!

Took out a VPS plan and paid immediately for it. Four days later and several attempts to get things moving, all I have was an account set up. No server, no emails, no Cpanel… nothing at all. 16 hours after an urgent request was sent by ticket and not a thing.

When I went to cancel I was pointed to the terms and conditions as at cancellation I was told I would not get a refund. Upon investigating their terms and conditions it turns out that I am entitled to a full refund… the battle begins!

1/100 — 

BUYER BEWARE!!

They lure you in with their “special” rate that you get only if you pay for the entire year. BUT, when you realize their service is TERRIBLE, and they DON’T RESPOND to your service tickets, you will want to leave. The trick is THEY WILL NOT GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK beyond the 45 day mark. So, they keep the entire rest of the year’s payment hostage as “credit” for when you come back, which is NEVER.

I was with them for just over 2 months, and they kept 9 months of fees. What a SCAM!!

30/100 — 

H9 have gone downhill

Been with H9 since nearly there inception, almost 10 years! as a Reseller. I came from Hostgator. Hostgator’s server blew up and all 45 of my accounts that were on that server took 4 days to get back up, that’s why I left Hostgator.

For years H9 was fine, even great BECAUSE of their support, it was fast and effective, phone, e-mail and chat, when you called you got it fixed, so that is why I stayed.

But the biggest PRO and no one else offers it, is the ability to spread your accounts over different datacenters and IP’s. As reseller it is just too much risk to have all your accounts on one server, because it does not matter what hosting company, a server can crash big time and then you have ALL your accounts offline and sometimes its catastrophic. I never want to live through what happened with Hostgator.

So I am now really struggling with H9 and their crappy support. It does indeed take days to get responses and forget the blacklist issue. Their servers are often blacklisted so clients e-mails are always bouncing and it takes days if not weeks for H9 to delist them.

I just can not see how I can have a reseller account else where if I am stuck with one IP..

In conclusion I do NOT recommend H9, there support and service is not good, and the uptime is below standard.

20/100 — 

Support didn't answer

I used to run an adult video site on HostNine. Initially, I didn’t know that they don’t accept/tolerate that kind of content. Eventually my site was offline and they didn’t answer my calls any more. My account was SUSPENDED.

40/100 — 

Declining...

I’ve used HostNine for 5+ years and I’d say that they started to downhill once they merged with EIG.

I guess they just started to over sell their products and web hosting services which resulted a lot of downtime, migrations & errors.

I’m not using HostNine anymore. I might re-sign with them in the future, but not before they’ve fixed their uptime problem.