Hostens likely has my favorite mascot among web hosting services. With an adorable hamster mascot, Hostens could take over the world. However, does this hosting provider’s cute hamster amount to a quality product and service that your website can depend on? Let’s find out below.
Please note: No hamsters were harmed during the writing of this Hostens review!
Hostens Hosting: Company Overview
Interneto Vizija, the owner of Hostens, was founded in 2003. Both are under the same branch, becoming the largest hosting provider in Lithuania by 2005.
They have one data center located in Vilnius, Lithuania. This location is convenient for European consumers, as this is a geographic center for Europe.
With 15 years of web hosting experience, this makes Hostens, a relatively older web host. However, there are those coming from the 90s still swinging their canes at Hostens.
Who Should Use Hostens?
Hostens has a few solid features we plan on mentioning throughout. To save you time, here’s who I believe should be using Hostens Hosting:
Would Recommend If you like hamster mascots and happen to be a small site owner. Hostens web hosting features are great if you don’t need a lot of bandwidth.
It’s also better for web developers and those who know how to manage servers. Hostens offers no managed VPS servers or dedicated servers.
Would Not Recommend If you are a small business that expects to see a hosting provider scale with them. While Hostens offers a solid array of features for small businesses, they stop being useful for larger companies.
This is odd given that their SSL certificates seem to be directed toward medium to large businesses. I will revisit that point in the security section.
Pros and Cons of Hostens
Those who know Hostens know that the little hamster runs pretty fast on the server wheel. They have a solid bit of available features.
One Free Domain Name
All shared hosting plans come with one free domain name. Hostens does not offer multiple free domains despite allowing for a minimum of 100 websites on its minimum shared plan.
Domain Registration and Transfer Features (Extra Cost)
Hostens supports the ability to register your first domain or transfer a domain to them. The domain transfer feature is not free, making this web hosting provider weaker than other offerings.
One-Click Installation of Over 100 Content Management Systems and Scripts
Hostens offers support for over 100 content management systems (CMSs) and scripts. To do so, you can access Installatron Applications Installer, use the Applications Browser, and search for your chosen CMS. One example CMS Hostens supports is WordPress.
Database Limits of Between 10 and 40 Databases
Hostens’s cheapest web hosting plan contains a limit of 10 databases. Even under the most prominent web hosting plan, you have a limit of 40.
Both have support for the two primary database types: MySQL 5.6 and MariaDB 10. However, the database limits can make it challenging for those eCommerce businesses that need multiple customer databases.
Hostens Performance Testing
When testing Hostens speed, they must share the same Lithuanian server as its parent company, Interneto Vizija. So you might find some crossover regarding these European servers.
In my research, I found that Hostens has some solid speed potential. Here are the results from the first of three tests: Pingdom.
Pingdom shows us a load time of about 2.17 seconds. Considering this speed is average, we are running speed tests out of California on a European server. GTMetrix has pretty similar results:
GTMetrix revealed page load times of about 3.1 seconds. In this case, testing servers are out of Canada, which also has a distance to Lithuania. Lighthouse showed more surprising results.
Lighthouse revealed overall solid speed test results of 3.1 seconds with a First Contentful Paint of under a second. Lighthouse has previously been the great equalizer on other tests.
It appears Hostens has some excellent speed potential. Speed tests reveal an average of about 2.8 seconds, one of the faster web hosts I have seen.
Given that Hostens owns Lithuanian servers, your most significant growth potential comes from being in Europe.
Is Hostens Reliable?
Hostens has a 99.95% uptime guarantee, which is above the desired 99.93% threshold. This guarantee contradicts claims made in 2019 stating that their tier III data center ensures 99.98% uptime.
You might think that the differences are mute, but eight hours of downtime (at 99.9%) against a few seconds can be significant.
You might think that having a tier-three data center sounds impressive. However, these web servers are some of the most commonly used data centers.
Hostens Uptime Guarantee Compared
Hostens Security Features
Hostens doesn’t have extreme security features. However, they do offer a few nice options.
Free SSL Certificate With All Plans
All Hostens shared hosting plans come with one free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. Let’s Encrypt is one of the most common nonprofit certificate authorities.
SSL certificates provide a secure client-server connection between the data server and the user. If you are willing to pay, Here is what you can expect from paid certificates:
- Domain Validated – $10 thousand warranty at $14.99 per year.
- Organization Validated – $1,250,000 warranty at $149.99 per year.
- Extended Validation – $1,500,000 warranty at $199.99 per year.
SpamExperts Spam Filter for Email
Hostens offers spam filtering for the additional charge of $0.60 per month. This feature comes with a reasonably low cost and includes these:
- Spam protection
- Anti-virus protection (for your email)
- Quarantine protection (in the case of an infection)
- Support for one domain
- Support for unlimited email addresses
If you manage multiple domains, you’ll find that the cost of this service can add up.
Hostens Secure VPN Service
Hostens offers privacy-based protection through the support of a VPN service. Unlike VPS services (which we will discuss later), VPN services are better for personal browsing safety.
They use advanced AES-256 encryption to fool ISPs and unwanted data hijackers from accessing your data. Hostens is one of the few hosting providers that have this because it is a less popular offering.
However, people rarely understand the exposure they take on when creating a public website. VPNs are handy but don’t add too much to the overall hosting packages.
Optional Daily and Weekly Backups
The addition of daily and weekly backups can get from Hostens for an additional $1 per month. This addition is available at all hosting service levels with an additional payment.
The addition of backups provides you with additional protection against those who would take down your website. So even if there were to be a data center leak, you can get your website back using backups.
Does Hostens Have Good Customer Support?
Hostens offers three different forms of contact: 24/7 live chat, email, and an online contact form. However, my initial attempt told me that I would have to contact them tomorrow.
Still, I decided to put down a message to see if I got any response. Despite initial woes, I got through almost immediately:
Hostens reminds me that WordPress does not run every website in the world. So those who are looking for something a bit more beginner-friendly might want to look elsewhere.
Being told that the support staff isn’t available and getting a response anyway is a bit jarring. However, it’s still a great result to see the 24/7 claim true.
But what do other customers say about Hostens?
Trustpilot (Hostens User Reviews)
Trustpilot has incredibly high marks for Hostens, giving them a 4.8 out of 5 from fellow users. Almost 80% of those reviews are positive, with 6% being negative.
Here’s what they had to say:
This guy was really pleased with the customer support..
New user Nord was very pleased with the initial setup, pricing and has enjoyed the initial experience. Always a good sign when things flow well right from the start.
This customer was highly unsatisfied with the customer support and didn’t seem to get the resolution they would have liked. Apparently there was a timeout error and they were given the runaround.
Ease of Use
The Hostens dashboard and application installation system are all relatively simple stuff. However, you do need some level of technical knowledge to use some features.
Thankfully, Hostens’s customer support team is pretty solid. So while it may have a higher than the average learning curve, you will have good support to back you up.
Last year, Hostens introduced a free website builder that was entirely custom. This means no relying on third-party sites like Weebly or SiteGrid to get your stuff done.
Using The Free Website Builder
The Hostens website builder is new but has many robust features you would expect among more advanced website builders. First, you can start your initial design by choosing one of over 200 website themes.
Themes are broken down by industry, but you aren’t limited to using them per industry. The builder is good at helping you visualize what your ideal website should look like.
The navigation bar of your builder is along the top. It allows you to switch between some common presets.
The builder also enables you to set up detail-based edits on the right. The amount of control this builder gives you is pretty astounding. You don’t have to be a design expert to know how to use it.
The website builder is pretty awesome, and you can play with it by checking out the demo software. It is one of the best hosting industry site builders I have seen.
Hostens Web Hosting Plans and Prices
Much like our recent review of Hawk Host, Hostens has no dedicated hosting plans available. Instead, they offer shared hosting and different forms of unmanaged VPS hosting. There are no managed VPS plans.
Shared Hosting Plans
Shared hosting plans come in three forms:
- S10 – $0.90 per month with three years upfront (renews at $3 per month)
- S20 – $1.90 per month with three years upfront (renews at $6 per month)
- S40 – $3.60 per month with three years upfront (renews at $12 per month)
Renewal pricing also matches monthly pricing.
Disk space varies from 10 to 40 GB with 1 to 4 TB of bandwidth. The number of websites and databases also varies from 10 to 40. You also get between 100 and 400 email addresses, a far cry from the unlimited levels.
All shared plans include support for cPanel, PHP, Ruby, and Python. Due to site size limitations, you also do not have an extra charge for backups under the shared hosting plan.
Unmanaged Linux VPS Hosting
Hostens has no creative names for the three available Linux hosting plans:
- Small – $1.80 per month for three years upfront (renews at $6)
- Medium – $3.60 per month for three years upfront (renews at $12)
- Large – $7.20 per month for three years upfront (renews at $24)
Sizes vary from 20 to 80 GB of disk space with 4 to 16 TB of bandwidth. You also receive between 2 to 8 GB of RAM with one or two CPU cores.
Daily and weekly backups cost an extra $1 per month, while access to cPanel, Plesk, or DirectAdmin is about $9.99 per month.
Unmanaged Windows VPS Hosting
Further creative naming lacks with Hostens’s Windows VPS plans:
- Small – $4.50 per month for three years upfront (renews at $15)
- Medium – $7.50 per month for three years upfront (renews at $25)
- Large – $12 per month for three years upfront (renews at $40)
Disk space starts at 40 and goes to 80 under Windows plans. All other aspects remain the same except for your control panel access coming from Plesk, which costs $9.99 per month.
Unmanaged Container & Storage VPS Hosting
Hostens also offers unmanaged storage and container VPS services:
- Small – $1.20 per month for three years upfront (renews at $4)
- Medium – $2.40 per month for three years upfront (renews at $8)
- Large – $4.80 per month for three years upfront (renews at $16)
Container VPS is similar to Linux VPS but lacks support for alternative Linux operating systems (like Fedora and CloudLinux). Container VPS only has support for Ubuntu, Debian, and CentOS (major Linux operating systems).
Storage VPS is necessary if you have huge disk space needs. The three tiers are 256, 512, and 1024 GBs of disk space. Given the size of these sites, there is no support for daily or weekly data backups.
Other Web Hosts (Hostens Alternatives)
Given Hostens has some unusual choices among features, you might not find yourself enjoying all of them. Below, we will go through three alternative hosting options:
• HostWinds has more scalability due to their offering of dedicated servers. HostWinds also offers unlimited bandwidth, which is something Hostens doesn’t have under shared plans.
HostWinds also happens to start at nearly triple the price of Hostens bottom offering. So Hostens wins on price and is comparable regarding customer support.
• BlueHost is one of the most popular hosts in the world because of its simplicity. Where Hostens offers support for WordPress, Bluehost specializes in providing WordPress solutions.
BlueHost also offers dedicated hosting but does so at a much higher cost compared to Hostens. Hostens also offers Windows where the prior two companies do not.
• Hostinger‘s cheaper site options are comparable to Hosten’s offerings. However, Hosten’s offers more benefits at its lower site level, where Hostinger starts with a single website.
Both seem to shy away from dedicated hosting, but Hostinger does not step away from offering unlimited features.
Final Thoughts – Can I Recommend Hostens?
Adorable hamsters aside, Hostens is a decent web host provider. Hostens has one of the largest data centers in Europe, hosting up to 120 racks. As a result, there is some power in that tier III data center they keep bragging about.
You can see this quality in their website speed tests and the 99.95% uptime guarantee. For a company that has its own data center, that’s a pretty solid deal.
To say that Hostens is without fault would be wrong, as their plans have numerous data limitations. While 1 TB of bandwidth is pretty solid for a shared website, you’ll find yourself running out of space pretty fast if you plan on any level of growth.
If Hostens could provide unlimited space and more server options, they would be worth a lot more. However, as it stands currently, Hostens has a lot to work on if they want to stand next to more giant web hosting companies.
Yes, Hostens is a legitimate company that offers a safe product. There are other providers with more security options, but Hostens is not unsafe.
Hostens supports both Windows and Linux operating systems. The complete list includes the following:
- CentOS 7 and 8
- Debian 8 through 11
- Ubuntu 14.04 to 20.04
- Windows Server 2012, 2016, and 2019
Hostens accepts these payment methods:
- American Express
- Bitcoin Cash