A2 Hosting Review 2017
In this review, we’ll take a look at the shared hosting plans from A2 Hosting. Despite affordable prices, A2 Hosting boasted impressive speed and uptime in our real-world tests, even beating some managed hosts.
Originally launched with the mouthful of a name “Iniquinet” in 2001, A2 Hosting (A2 = Ann Arbor, Michigan) has been operating under their current name since 2003. They’re known for speed-focused shared hosting at affordable prices.
In addition to those key focuses, A2 Hosting also offers modern solid state drives (SSD) for all of their shared plans and data centers on three different continents.
Keep reading for a detailed look at A2 Hosting’s features and the results of our real-world performance tests.
Overview of A2 Hosting Features
Here’s what you can expect with A2 Hosting:
- Unlimited bandwidth on all plans
- Unlimited storage on all plans
- SSD on all plans for increased performance
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Firewall and virus scanning to keep your site safe
- Data centers on three different continents
- 24/7/365 support via phone, live chat, ticket, and email
A2 Hosting Performance – Impressive Speed with Real Testing Data
A2 Hosting was impressive in our real-world tests. Not only did they beat most of the other shared hosts on our list, they also outperformed some of the expensive managed hosts we tested!
With regards to uptime, A2 Hosting boasted an impressive 99.985% uptime. This surpasses both their own uptime guarantee, as well as every other shared host that we tested.
When we tested Time to First Byte (a basic measure of a server’s response speed), A2 Hosting scored an impressive .15 second response time. This was the fourth fastest response time of any host we tested – which includes a number of managed hosting providers! A2 Hosting beat Flywheel, Page.ly, Dreamhost, and every shared host we looked at.
The average load time for our test site wasn’t quite as impressive. Our test site loaded in 1.98 seconds, which was the third fastest load time we measured for shared hosts. Again, this number still beat out some of the expensive managed hosts.
As we said, A2 Hosting performed impressively in these tests, beating both shared and managed hosts alike.
A2 Hosting Data Centers
A2 Hosting lets you pick from data centers on three continents. Currently, they have data centers in North America (Michigan), Europe (Amsterdam), and Asia (Singapore), which makes them a great shared host for anyone targeting internationally.
Given that most other shared hosts we looked at only offer one or two data centers in North America, A2 Hosting offers an impressive number of choices.
A2 Hosting Speed-Based Features
A2 Hosting puts an extra emphasis on speed when compared to other shared hosts. This emphasis was certainly reflected in our real world tests.
To boost performance, A2 Hosting offers solid state drives (SSD) on all of their shared plans. A2 Hosting uses these drives for all aspects of storage, including website and database data. By eliminating physical motion, SSD can offer 200-300% better performance.
A2 Hosting also offers a Turbo plan/upgrade, which offers up to 20x faster speeds than their other plans. They also offer three different levels of server-side caching for their Turbo plan.
HackScan and Perpetual Security to Keep Your Site Safe
One thing we really like about A2 Hosting is their Perpetual Security commitment. The main result of this commitment is HackScan, which proactively protects your site with firewalls, scanning, and monitoring.
This service is offered on all of their shared plans. Given that millions of websites are hacked every year, every ounce of added security you can get is a huge benefit.
A2 Hosting Green Hosting Commitment
Another thing to love about A2 Hosting is that they offer all these features while remaining 100% carbon neutral. They’ve worked with Carbonfund.org since 2007 to offset their carbon usage. They also plant 3 trees for every hosting plan purchase, which is a unique twist on green hosting.
Running on the Latest Technologies – PHP 7 and HTTP/2
Without getting into the gory details, we’ll just say that PHP 7 and HTTP/2 both offer major performance improvements over their predecessors.
A2 Hosting supports PHP 7 on all of their shared plans and they offer HTTP/2 support on their Turbo plan.
They also support SSH and GIT, which makes A2 Hosting great for advanced users.
A2 Hosting Support and Knowledge Base
A2 Hosting offers 24/7/365 support via phone, email, live chat, or ticket. The variety of contact methods is very nice – some shared hosts push you into using tickets. With A2 Hosting, you can always get someone on the phone if you want to chat with a real person.
They also offer a massive knowledge base with over 4,300 different articles. So, if you want to find the solution to your problem by yourself, you can probably do that!
A2 Hosting Shared Plans and Pricing
Ok, so you know that A2 Hosting offers some of the fastest and most reliable shared hosting out there. How much is that gonna cost you?
Surprisingly, not that much. A2 Hosting is more than competitive with other shared hosts, despite offering better performance.
Their cheapest Lite plan starts at $4.90 per month when billed monthly (discounts for annual billing). It offers one website and unlimited storage and bandwidth.
Their Swift plan bumps that up to unlimited websites for $6.37 per month when billed monthly.
And finally, their Turbo plan offers unlimited websites with up to 20x faster speeds thanks to the Turbo features starting at $12.37 per month when billed monthly.
A2 Hosting VPS and Dedicated Hosting
In addition to their shared plans, A2 Hosting also offers VPS, reseller, cloud, and dedicated hosting.
Their managed VPS starts at $32.99 per month for 75GB storage, 2TB transfer, and 4GB RAM.
Their dedicated plans start at $149.09 for a managed server with 8GB RAM, 2X500GB storage, and 10TB transfer.
Should You Pick A2 Hosting?
The answer is a resounding YES.
Not only did A2 Hosting have one of the best performance and uptime of any shared host that we tested, they also offer data centers on three different continents and a commitment to green energy.
When you consider that their plans are still competitively priced, A2 Hosting is, without a doubt, one of the best shared web hosts out there.
You can even give them a try without any risk thanks to their 30 day Money Back Guarantee.
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We do not receive any money for positive reviews and all opinions on this page are our own.