Where’s My Server? There it is!

If you enjoyed my review of some of the hosting providers I have used over the past few years, you may be interested in Michael Wheeler’s review of Where’s My Server?, a New Zealand-based VPS provider.

One of the most interesting things about WMS, and certainly the thing that caught my eye, was the on-demand pricing they have available, making it very much like cloud computing (as far as the user is concerned, anyway). It’s an interesting concept, and certainly a move that I support (I hardly ever use 100% of my servers’ resources, let alone 100% all month). The only problem is that it makes comparisons with traditional VPS providers who charge a fixed price per month a bit of a pain, and I haven’t quite figured out how to do it exactly.

The other issue I notice is that bandwidth out of New Zealand is very expensive, but this being a function of New Zealand and not Where’s My Server, I don’t think that’s cause for complaint.

Quick Hosting Reviews

Over the last few years I’ve used quite a few different hosting providers, so I thought I would give a few quick reviews of them all, so I can share my experience with them.

Silentflame Web Hosting

During the time I was with Silentflame during 2007-2008, I was very happy. Although the service was a bit slow for me, I suspect that this was purely because I was on the other side of the world. The novel thing about this service is the fact that it gives away all it’s profits to charity. It’s a great idea, and one that I think we should see in more businesses (perhaps a tithe would be better though). No native IPv6 on their services yet, unfortunately.

DirectSpace Networks

I only had a VPS with DirectSpace for about a month or two, before I switched to a different provider. I was fairly happy with these guys, never had any issues that weren’t resolved promptly. The biggest criticism I had with my service was that the CPU allocation was too low. I had severe speed issues from the lack of time my processes had to run. No native IPv6 either.


I had a dedicated server with ServerPronto for around six months this year, and although I no longer have it, this server performed very well for me over the time I was with them. They do have a somewhat convoluted exit process (it involves filling out a paper form and sending it to them snail mail along with a copy of some ID) but this is no problem to navigate, and unlike what others are saying on the Internet, does not result in your identity being stolen and your credit card being abused. The main selling point of ServerPronto is the price, they are extremely cheap dedicated servers. That said, quality does not appear to be an issue. No unexpected restarts, hardware never failed, and the network is very fast. No native IPv6 here either.

The only reason I got rid of this server was that it was costing more than an equivalent VPS and I wasn’t really using it. I’ve since turned the money over to other VPS services, increasing the number of services I can test.

Nullshells Networks

I’ve used Nullshells Networks’ web hosting for a few years now, and I am extremely happy with the service. All the services I had with them (web and email hosting) have always worked flawlessly, and if I’ve had any queries, the owner of the business has been more than happy to help out. I have only two nitpicks; one is the lack of IPv6, and the other is the fact they use a self-signed SSL certificate. While the lack of signing of an SSL certificate is no technical problem, and while I’m savvy enough to check the certificate and add an exception, it is a bit unprofessional. I’m still using Nullshells for my web and email hosting.

For my full review of Nullshells from around a year ago, click here.

Mammoth VPS

Overall I’ve been very pleased with Mammoth VPS, which is an Australian-owned company with servers located in Sydney’s CBD. While they are more expensive than other offerings, this is simply because the bandwidth in Australia is much more expensive than it is in Europe or the USA, so this is no fault of Mammoth. I have had a few issues with unexpected reboots, but apart from messing with my uptime statistics, this is no real problem. It’s always nice to support local businesses, too. No native IPv6 yet, but almost nowhere does.


I’ve only had a BuildYourVPS (actually TOCICI) VPS for a couple of days now, but I wouldn’t recommend them, based on what I’ve experienced so far. When I first signed up, it took 4 rebuilds of the VPS before I could even log in via SSH. I’m assured this is not a regular thing, but I’d take care. After it was set up, the VPS did work very well. No CPU cloggage issues like on most other VPS providers. The network was extremely fast (as you’d expect from having the servers located in a US west-coast Internet exchange). One thing I did notice is that the server is behind a NAT. Fine, I guess, except that it makes some network configuration tasks a bit more confusing, and that the gateway IP they use is actually a special-use IP reserved for testing. Ouch! Zero marks for that one. On the up side, they do support native IPv6, albeit on request.

Edit 8/10/2010: After playing around a bit more with BuildYourVPS services, I’m happy to report that the issue with server builds has been fixed. All my other complaints were simply OpenVZ issues. Pending a few more weeks with the server, I’d be happy to give them a thumbs-up.