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Dead Pool September 2010

Last month was bad, and I was somewhat hoping this month would be better so I don’t have to spend half a day writing about dead budget providers. With better tracking script in place this month (detection of redirects, cPanel default pages, and posting updates to our wiki etc) we still ended up with quite a few dead providers to report. Argh!!!

BitEntity BitEntity

Current Status: IP address not resolvable

BitEntity was only less than a month ago when Brandon and Tim contacted me to have BitEntity listed on LowEndBox.com. $5.99 for 256MB OpenVZ VPS from this UK operation. Then on 24 September its DNS stopped to resolve the A entries for their website. Not that surprising actually from the comments as our community members can smell the kiddie host from miles away. After all what do you expect from those advertising on a Habbo forum?

GrandiosHost GrandiosHost

Current Status: Apache directory listing page

GrandiosHost was first featured last year with their $6.95/month 128MB Xen VPS, and it seems the ownership has changed to HostDime back in July — that was when Jacob acquired HostLatch.net from Adam (of VPSLatch.net currently). I have only recently detected it when the site starts showing just directory listing page. With GigeVPS’s recent sale from Jacob to NetIntelligence/ThrustVPS — it does seem that customers are just goods traded between providers (aren’t we?!!)

Host Gigs Host Gigs

Current Status: IP address not resolvable

I posted about Host Gigs back in January — a BurstNET reseller that sells VPS at dealer price than BurstNET. Not really a recipe for success I guess, so it almost went into dead pool in April. Somehow managed to come back up in mid-May, only to die again soon afterwards. I have only detected the IP address not resolvable last month but they could have been gone as early as July.

HostLambda HostLambda

Current Status: Redirect to Google

ibnefahim at HostLambda was a permanent reader of LowEndBox when I first wrote about his hosting business back in August 2009. $3.99/month 128MB OpenVZ box later on discounted to $32/year. Unfortunately his permanancy on LowEndBox does not extend to HostLambda, nor is his yearly plan customers can fully enjoy what they have paid for. Their website really struggled back in May. They have also gone up and down according to the tracker. They have died before September, but it was only detected this month that the domain was showing cPanel default page. Now it just redirects you to Google.com. FAIL!

Indeed, be very careful when you purchase yearly plans.

Host Our Web Host Our Web

Current Status: Sold to Servarica.com

Don’t believe me when I said that Host Our Web “looks like a legitimate business”. Currently on the website it displays a simple page stating that the VPS customers have been sold to Servarica.com — not because of financial difficulties, but because of “lack of time”. That sounds like an excuse when you run the operation from your garage in your spare time and suddently you have other commitments like exams. $5/month 200MB Xen VPS was a good deal and Servarica’s $60/month 256MB VPS is not.

Mr. WebServer MrWebServer

Current Status: Redirect to HostRail.com

MrWebServer first appeared on LowEndBox in January 2010 with $5/month 256MB OpenVZ VPS (a BurstNet reseller from the sound of it). It was then sold to Constantinos in Cyrpus in late June, which turns out to be HostRail. It did not do too well anyway as the reason for the sale was expense > revenue, i.e. not the best way to run a business. It is now redirecting to HostRail’s website. HostRail has also previously been featured here. However their WHT account is currently in “suspended” state. Hmm.

Nixism Nixism

Current Status: Web site offline

When I first wrote about Nixism here in July 2009, it claims to be a 3 year old web hosting company. 2 months later to got sold to an individual, and then another month later it got sold to HostDime. $5/month 128MB OpenVZ VPS didn’t do too well I guess. HostDime then shut down the server that hosts the website last month (similar treatment to GrandiosHost?) Talking about confusion, the original owner is now running HostMonkey.com that got featured a few times on LowEndBox.com, providing VPS in the data center of… HostDime!

RackVM Rack VM

Current Status: IP address not resolvable

Ben from RackVM would probably be rated as the top con-artist here on LowEndBox. Starting out in May offering humble 128MB Xen VPS for 2.80GBP/month. The offers then got better — especially those exclusive to LowEndBox readers. Things started turning sour when they stopped accepting PayPal as payment method back in August. Their servers started going off-line one after the other — and eventually their last batch of servers at VooServers in UK were shut down and their website was no more.

Not sure how many people actually took Ben’s offers but I think it must be huge, as RackVM posts have longest discussion threads. I was also affected as I too fell for their 6GBP/Year 128MB OpenVZ VPS. Oh well. Money spent and lesson learnt.

Upcoming…

These providers are categorized as “half-dead” (zombie providers would be an appropriate name I guess). If they stay dead for October you’ll see them listed in next month’s dead pool post.

  • BlazeVPS — currently an empty website saying that they have experienced hard drive error.

The original owner of LowEndBox known as "LowEndAdmin" or "LEA" for short founded LowEndBox in 2008 and created the concept of hosting applications on low resource "Low End Boxes". After creating the roots of the community that we know today, "LEA" stepped aside and allowed others to carry the torch forward.

25 Comments

  1. Another month in the world of Low end Boxes, amazing how fast they go down.

    If you do the sum’s, it’s a hard business to stay alive in for long unless you are subsidizing.

    October 5, 2010 @ 10:45 am | Reply
    • Yes I think people here are also spoiled by cheap VPS which makes non-subsidizing providers harder to get into the market. I am perfectly fine with paying $7/month for a 128MB Xen VPS — but these days people ask for much more. I can see the quality goes down there, in either support or the quality of hardware.

      October 5, 2010 @ 10:29 pm | Reply
  2. AlexuSSS:

    Rack Vm скоты!!! Very Very bad hosting company.

    October 5, 2010 @ 12:04 pm | Reply
  3. AlexuSSS:

    And Hostlambda very big SCAM! my 64$ is lost.

    October 5, 2010 @ 12:06 pm | Reply
  4. You forgot to mention RLShoating, which went out of business last 2 weeks.
    Although they did it in a nice way with an email an offering money back.
    I had a vps with them bu I cancelled it a week before due to it’s crappness.

    By the way, I got my moneyz back from RackVm cause I filled a compain in google checkout.
    I did advice everyone to do the same on the comments here.
    You would’ve got ur moneyz back

    October 5, 2010 @ 3:13 pm | Reply
    • Yes you are very right. I posted the email and I just forgot… They will be suspending their servers on 10 Oct so I’ll include them in this month’s dead pool (if they don’t suddenly resurrect :)

      October 5, 2010 @ 10:31 pm | Reply
  5. Hostrail recently merged most of their companies into 1 which is why MrWebServer is redirecting there.

    October 5, 2010 @ 5:19 pm | Reply
  6. Arthur:

    I wish Nochex would do the same. Keep asking Nochex and they said they can’t find the owner, and hence refuse to refund. Surely they have his contact detail, otherwise how could Ben get paid.

    I don’t just get conned by the VPS, but also a dedicated server with RackVM.

    Would appreciate if anyone can suggest other ways to pursuit a refund. Tried my bank and they refuse to put it through as a fraud as I’ve used nochex for something else before.

    I did have a great service for the whole of August though.

    October 5, 2010 @ 6:04 pm | Reply
  7. Karl:

    BlazeVPS is missing. I lost $20 with them. SSL error in all the domain.

    October 5, 2010 @ 8:40 pm | Reply
  8. Adam:

    Does CurlHost resolve for any one you ?

    “It’s not just you! http://curlhost.com looks down from here.”

    October 5, 2010 @ 9:28 pm | Reply
    • According to our tracker they were down just 2 hours ago. Provider’s own website goes off randomly for a few hours seem to be pretty common around here. In CurlHost’s case it’s the IP that cannot be resolved. Problem of having non-redundant NS.

      October 5, 2010 @ 10:33 pm | Reply
  9. Oh well, and some people thinks our prices are expensive! lol… go figure, as they always say at WHT you get what you paid for lol.

    October 5, 2010 @ 11:38 pm | Reply
  10. The number of VPS companies disappearing every month is incredible. My guess would be the majority of these are hobbies run by people who also have another job or high school kids trying to make a quick buck. Maybe we should have an LEB accreditation that goes on the Wiki similar to the way MS accreditations work where you have to have so many recommendations from clients before you can be accredited to give a bit of faith to people.

    October 6, 2010 @ 8:59 am | Reply
    • Accreditation would be a good idea. However there should be a mechanism to also accept new companies owned/managed by one who has good reputation.

      October 6, 2010 @ 9:08 am | Reply
    • Yes working out the mechanism would be the difficult part. However you should note that most problematic hosts were spotted pretty much from day 1. Except maybe RackVM.

      October 6, 2010 @ 12:26 pm | Reply
      • Heh heh… RackVM is certainly an exception. I still think that RackVM owner is a crybaby who was surprised to see how tough the hosting industry is and just do the business without proper calculation. They’ve got my money though…

        October 6, 2010 @ 12:35 pm | Reply
  11. wingtam:

    Why admin don’t talk about the atelra.com ? That is a big scam company too!

    October 6, 2010 @ 9:05 am | Reply
    • Is there a conclusive evidence that they are out of business, other than your Windows VPS is down? All I can do is relying on the availability of their own website.

      October 6, 2010 @ 12:10 pm | Reply
  12. Over the years, there are also quite a number of small VPS companies sold to other companies. Some of them merged into the new company and some of them are “using the old flag with a new commander”. I think it is good if LEB would post this change of ownership on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis.

    October 6, 2010 @ 9:56 am | Reply
    • Only if all of them send me an email in case of change of ownership :)

      All I can track is their website and WHOIS. I also just found out that sometimes they can change WHOIS info on the registrar without altering the “Updated Date” field, which makes tracking a bit harder.

      October 6, 2010 @ 12:11 pm | Reply
      • Yeah, website and WHOIS is not a reliable source. In my opinion a good company would have to announce whenever there is a change of ownership because its good for them and for the customer (might build a sense of trust), and I so far LEB is one hell of a reliable source to point out that information as you are always trying to be as objective as can be.

        October 6, 2010 @ 12:29 pm | Reply
  13. It looks like hostmonkey is now on the selling blocks over at webhostingtalk

    October 19, 2010 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

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