A2 Hosting Review- Super Fast Hosting, Is It The Fastest Host?

Introduction

TL;DR:

The fastest host out there, A2 Hosting offer impressive loadtimes for a reasonable price – although with some steep renewal fees. However, the excellent customer service and flexible VPS plans overall make it a tempting proposition.

With A2 Hosting, it’s all about the speed. Thanks to their much-touted Turbo Servers, A2 claims to offer the fastest hosting on the web – and for a reasonable price, too. But can they really outpace the likes of HostGator or Bluehost? And how do the rest of their services stack up?

Plans and Pricing

Shared Hosting

A2 offer four Shared Hosting plans. Each have names that once again remind us that yes, they’re pretty fast – Startup, Drive, Turbo Boost and Turbo Max:



With each plan, you can expect the following:

– Startup

  • $2.99 per month.
  • 1 Website.
  • Free SSL Certificate.
  • 100 GB Storage
  • Free email.
  • Free site migration.
  • No TurboServer access
  • .7GB Physical Memory

– Drive

  • $4.99 per month.
  • Unlimited Websites.
  • Free SSL Certificate.
  • Unlimited SSD Storage
  • Free email.
  • Free automatic backups
  • Free site migration.
  • No TurboServer access
  • 1GB Physical Memory

– Turbo Boost

  • $9.99 per month.
  • Unlimited Websites.
  • Free SSL Certificate.
  • Unlimited NVME Storage
  • Free email.
  • Free automatic backups
  • Free site migration.
  • 2GB Physical Memory
  • TurboServer access (up to 20x faster)

– Turbo Max

  • $14.99 per month.
  • Unlimited Websites.
  • Free SSL Certificate.
  • Unlimited NVME Storage
  • Free email.
  • Free automatic backups
  • Free site migration.
  • 4GB Physical Memory
  • TurboServer access (up to 20x faster)

Managed WordPress Hosting

As many other hosting companies are doing, A2 also offer Managed WordPress Hosting services for web design professionals. Prices are a little steeper than the standard shared hosting plans. However, the extras are pretty much essential for anyone running a big site. The plans are – rather unimaginatively – titled 1-Site, 3-Sites and Unlimited, and pretty much do what they say on the tin:

Each plan offers the following:

– 1-Site

  • $11.99 per month.
  • 1 Website (shock!)
  • Free SSL Certificate.
  • 10 GB Storage.
  • Unlimited email addresses.
  • Free site migration.
  • Easy automated backup,
  • TurboServer access (up to 20x faster).

– 3-Sites

  • $18.99 per month.
  • 3 Websites.
  • Free SSL Certificate.
  • 25 GB Storage.
  • Unlimited email addresses.
  • Free site migration.
  • Easy automated backup.
  • TurboServer access (up to 20x faster).

– Unlimited

  • $36.98 per month.
  • Unlimited Websites.
  • Free SSL Certificate.
  • 40 GB Storage.
  • Unlimited email addresses.
  • Free site migration.
  • Easy automated backup.
  • TurboServer access (up to 20x faster).

All sites are powered by the Plesk Control Panel.

VPS Hosting

A2 has two tiers of VPS hosting, standard and Turbo VPS options. They also give you the choice between managed and unmanned VPS. Overall, the VPS plans on offer from A2 are flexible, powerful, and reasonably priced, which is awesome to know since scaling up is a serious consideration for many websites.

Unmanaged VPS

With these plans you’ll have to take care of all the software updates and other details of running and maintaining a server. This may be extra work and responsibility but the plans reflect the fact that they’re self managed with the extremely low price points.

You’ll have a choice between standard and Turbo options, the turbo options boast up to 20x faster load times.

Standard

Turbo

Renewal Rates

Note that these rates are for a 3 year commitment

PlanPromo PriceRenewal Price3yr totals Promo/Renewal
Runway 1$4.99/mo$8.99/mo$179.64->$323.64
Runway 2$7.99/mo$14.99/mo$287.64->$539.64
Runway 4$9.99/mo$19.99/mo$359.64->$719.64
SuperSonic 8$34.99/mo$59.99/mo$1,259.64->$2,159.64
SuperSonic 16$54.99/mo$99.99/mo$1,979.64->$3,599.64
SuperSonic 32$74.99/mo$139.99/mo$2,699.64->$5,039.64

Managed VPS Plans

These plans are fully managed by the A2 hosting staff, which means all the software, hardware, security, and configuration details are taken care of for you. These plans are for perfect for people who don’t know how or don’t want to look after the maintenance details of a server.

Standard Plans

Turbo

PlanPromo PriceRenewal Price3yr totals Promo/Renewal
Lift 4$33.99/mo$69.99/mo$1,439.64->$2,519.64
Lift 8$46.99/mo$99.99/mo$1,691.64->$3,599.64
Lift 16$57.99/mo$119.99/mo$2,087.64->$4,319.64
Mach 8$59.99/mo$139.99/mo$2,159.64->$5,039.64
Mach 16$89.99/mo$189.99/mo$3,239.64->$6,839.64
Mach 32$99.99/mo$239.99/mo$3,599.64->$8,639.64

What’s Included and Breakdown (managed and unmanned VPS plans)

All plans come with super fast RAID-10 SSD storage, free SSL certificates, website migration, and an anytime money back guarantee. Furthermore, the managed plans are come with a cPanel license, which is an optional add-on for the unmanaged plans.

Unmanaged and managed plans have root access and unmanned plans have choice of operating software, and come with Webuzo 1 click installer.

Managed plans also boast 100% worry free hosting solutions by providing:

  • cPanel and managed updates
  • 24/7 support
  • Daily automatic updates
  • Managed installs and upgrades of core software
  • Smart system notifications
  • Security patches
  • 99.9% uptime commitment

Opinion

The VPS plans from A2 hosting are some of the best on the market. They’re highly flexible, come with great features, and are backed by top of the line hardware. The unmanned plans are a great deal and offer developers and web master a great place to deploy their projects and websites.

The managed VPS plans are a great option for those who need to upgrade from a shared hosting environment but still want to use the familiar interface of cPanel and other shared hosting creature comforts.

Nevertheless, the price on the managed plans are a bit steep, we prefer all plans to come with their turbo 20x servers, rather than the higher only the higher tier options. Also, if you can stick to Lift 4 or Lift 8 you’ll we think the value for money ratio is fair, but once you go higher than that we think the prices get quite expensive.

Overall, the plans are great, but potential customers should be mindful of the increasing prices as the plans scale up as things can get expensive quickly.

Pros:

– It’s As Fast As They Say It is

As we stated in the introduction, much of A2’s marketing is focussed on how much faster it is than its competitors. And we’re happy to report that A2 Hosting is, indeed, extremely fast. According to data from HostingFacts, A2 is indeed the fastest hosting service on the market, averaging an impressive 317ms loading time – almost 100ms faster than the likes of BlueHost.

– Anytime Money-Back Guarantee

There’s the industry-standard 30-day Money Back Guarantee. There’s the likes of DreamHost, with their 97-day Money Back Guarantee. And then there’s A2, who are happy to refund your money anytime after your purchase if you’re not happy with their service. Admittedly, it’s not quite as generous as it sounds on paper – if, say, you’re two years into a three year contract, you can only expect the last year to be refunded. Also, extra services like domain registrations are not refundable. But it’s a pretty generous offer nonetheless.

– Great Customer Service

A2 offer extensive customer support services, from your industry-standard ticketing service to real live over-the-phone human beings. Reviews of A2’s ‘GuruCrew’ (no relation) are almost unanimously extremely positive, with helpful, friendly and knowledgeable staff always on hand to provide assistance.

– Free Site Transfer

Provided your site uses cPanel (which more than likely does), A2 will generously transfer it over from their competitor for absolutely nothing. All you’ve got to do is fill out a small form and get in touch with their Migration Specialists. However, non-cPanel users will have to pay a small fee.

Cons:

– Good, but not Great Uptime

Despite its impressive speed, A2’s uptime ranks middle-of-the-pack, with HostingFacts reporting that A2 sites were live around 99.93% of the time. Certainly not bad by any means, but if uptime is your priority you may be better off with the likes of SiteGround.

– High – And Slightly Sneaky – Renewal Fees

It’s a common – if slightly shady – industry practice to offer knock-down initial sign-up rates on hosting plans and to auto-renew at the (significantly higher) standard rate once that first year is up – and A2 is no exception. Plans renew at almost double the initial sign-up rate. In addition to this, the process of opting out before the renewal is (some might argue deliberately) over-complicated, with customers having to write an email to billing requesting cancellation within 15-days of the auto-renewal. Again, this isn’t too dissimilar to many other providers – but it might be a shock to developers who aren’t used to it.

Wrap-up

If you feel the need for speed, A2 should definitely be your go-to choice. Its load-times are undeniably impressive, and hosting plans are for the most part inexpensive. Although it’s a little lacking in the uptime department, A2 provides an excellent service for both newbies and professionals and the anytime money-back guarantee means you’re not taking a big risk trying their services out.

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