My first paid hosting account was in 1996. Around 2001 I outgrew standard web hosting plans and moved to a dedicated server and currently I utilize a fleet of dedicated servers with Amazon CloudFront as a CDN. I have used some poor providers over the years but I will not bother to shame them here. Lets focus on the great ones! I get asked for hosting recommendations which is why I have put together this post covering the providers I currently use. In case you need assistance managing your server I reviewed a server management company too. This is my 100% honest review and I am not using any affiliate links in this post.
Our primary provider is WebNX. They are simply the best. Support, the network, hardware, you can not beat them anywhere. They have three locations, Los Angeles, CA, Ogden, UT, and New York, NY. We have only used the Los Angeles location which is a super connected location using intelligent routing with the following carriers: Comcast, Level 3, XO, Zayo, PCCW, Telia, GTT, Ace, Any2, NTT, China Unicom, Hurricane Electric, Cogent, and private peering. They use so many carriers it gets boring writing them all out. If they do not have the config you are looking for they will special order it. They have no limits and can even do quad CPU servers with dual GPU’s. GPU’s! It is hard to find those in any server.
Also like WebNX Wholesale Internet was founded in 1999. They are based out of Kansas City, MO and they are a budget provider. For a budget provider they offer very customizable solutions and they network they have is good. The best of any low cost provider. They have a lot of private peering plus they use Hurricane Electric and Cogent. All of our backup servers are with Wholesale Internet.
QuickPacket has two locations to choose from. They are Atlanta, GA and Los Angeles, CA. I have used both locations and prefer Atlanta. The connectivity seems to be better as the Cogent connection they have in Los Angeles gets congested at times. Overall however both locations are good and support is top notch. The servers they offer have some impressive hardware specs while still being at an affordable price. Our server monitoring software and some other tools are with them.
Reliable Hosting Services has fantastic support. I have been using them for over five years now. They do lose points however for the network. It does have problems at times and some of the peering the primary bandwidth provider they use is at capacity which causes slowness. The network problems started happening after the primary carrier they use was purchased. I only use them for development servers now and I do not have any primary or backup servers with them.
All of the providers above are unmanaged which means you need to manage the dedicated server yourself. You may not want to or know how to manage a dedicated server but that does not mean you can not use one of these providers. You just need to add on a management service. You can have a monthly plan where they take care of everything or a per request rate where you handle most needs but sometimes need assistance. I manage our entire fleet of servers but if I am going on a vacation or sometimes when my schedule is very full I will use them. CliffSupport does a fantastic job and I highly recommend them. I have used a few management companies over the years and they are by far the best.