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What Makes a Good VPS Review? Your Checklist Please
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What Makes a Good VPS Review? Your Checklist Please

raindog308raindog308 Administrator

I'm thinking of doing a series on LEB where I rent various VMs and review them. This would be "secret shopper" (not getting free trial VMs from hosts).

So if you had a VM for a month, what would be your checklist for a review?

  • YABS? OK, but it has to be more than that.

  • The panel experience...I mean, WHMCS is WHMCS and Solus is Solus but I've found the experience different between providers depending on how they set it up. Obviously a custom panel is different.

  • Support? Not that I want to open fake tickets but it's hard to say a provider's good if you have no experience with support.

  • I could put web and VPN etc. on it to test the network, but I don't have a high-traffic, high-profile web site that gets tons of traffic that I can move around.

Of course, there's uptime monitors and the general experience of using the box (is it slow when logging in, did it come with a pre-blacklisted IP, etc.)

Other thoughts? I'd love to go through and do reviews for a lot of community providers and weird ones I find on the net, but I simply don't need to rent hundreds of VMs per month, so I'm asking "how can I review one thoroughly in a month"?

Thanked by 2Erisa DewlanceVPS

Comments

  • yoursunnyyoursunny Member, IPv6 Advocate
    edited June 13
    • persistent CPU allowance: is there a clear and reasonable percentage stated?
    • custom ISO: no, ticket, automated
    • IPv6 address: none, single addresses, on-link subnet, routed subnet
    • IPv6 peering: is it as good as IPv4 peering?
    • ports: is ingress port 443 blocked?
    • support: is medium priority ticket answered within 12 hours?
    • abuse: does a single unintentional abuse cause service deletion without second chance?
    • stupidity: can the customer be deemed too stupid to operate a virtual service on the platform?
    • review: does posting a negative review publicly void all privacy protection?
    • involucration: are prices too low to cover costs so that the provider may involucrate at any time?
  • HalfEatenPieHalfEatenPie Member
    edited June 13

    A quick caveat is that any VPS review is just a review at that point in time. Staffing, server "neighbors", and many other factors will play into the final "VPS Experience".

    1. Reproducibility is probably important. I'd highly recommend building it into a script or something (or a versioned script/code) and publish the methodology to build trust within the methods involved.

    2. YABS - a YABS only shows the hardware performance at that time with that amount of usage. However, it's still a useful datapoint and multiple data points over time (which will then give us a "general idea" level of service). Maybe have it run YABS like once a day at random times (one maybe early in the morning, another at night, there's going to be seasonality involved). The point is it's not perfect, but it can be used to give a "general guidance" or understanding of an idea.

    3. Onboarding and regular use experience - While the "WHMCS and SolusVM" combo is often overplayed. I do still believe that many people wish to differentiate themselves from their competitors and might have some custom coding or frontend for it. Even then, there's other ways to differentiate yourself by using module garden or other solutions to handle everything within WHMCS. I believe documenting this is important.
    4. While I'd prefer more data samples, I think two scenarios should be good enough to gauge the level of support without being too much of a nuisance. 1 might be a simple question that a "newbie VPS user" (lets be honest, if you're a "pro l33t linux user" then you already know the landscape) might need help on (e.g. "How do I mount network storage?" or "I can't SSH into my VPS!" while you have the live CD menu open on VNC or something). Basically asking a L1 question. The second question would be more focused on... EDIT: well I"ll get back to this as I kind of forgot what I wanted for the second question and yet I hit "submit" apparently without updating it. Once it gets to me I'll edit this. OR maybe it'll never come. Who cares.
    5. Rest of the questions (such as those outlined by @yoursunny) is going to have to be collected by reading their marketing. I mean there's only so much of "real performance" and data collection you can do without breaching any policies.

    At the end of the day. I know what works and I don't use many LET providers anymore (except for a select few). Everything else that's very critical is on Azure, DO, Leaseweb, and Linode.

    Thanked by 2yoursunny letlover
  • szymonpszymonp Member

    Can install windows is also important

  • rcy026rcy026 Member

    My checklist when shopping for VPS:

    • IPv6
    • Latency
    • Reverse DNS
    • Panel experience, as you called it. I do not really care what panel a provider runs, as long as it allows me to do what I need to do.

    I usually try to do some research into the provider with regards to stability, history and finance, so maybe just mentioning how long the provider has been in business would be a nice addition to any review.

  • MumblyMumbly Member
    edited June 13

    Did you have a need to contact host in this first month? Why? What was response time? How they reacted?

    My favourite vpses are those who just work. No downtimes and crap. No need to contact support for years. And so on.
    You obviously won't have yearly experience, but still... Even one month experience matter more to me than some nice yabs numbers.

    @raindog308 said: I'd love to go through and do reviews for a lot of community providers and weird ones I find on the net

    That's exactly what I miss on the LEB.
    Every time I opened LEB decade ago I found introductions of some new low end VPS providers. Now that's site full of useless SEO junk mixed with re-posted LET offers and it serve absolutely no purpose.
    List time I googled I found plenty "low end" foreigner vps offers, something what would be regularly featured, introduced at LEB many moons ago. We don't see this today, so this page have basically no purpse for me as a visitor.
    If you bring this back to the LEB so that we see frontpage full of newly introduced low end (budget) vps offers instead of this junk, LEB may become interesting again.

    As example if I pick some random country when did we last time see budget VPS hosting provider from Greece? Do they exist? Sure!

    https://www.friktoria.com/en/virtual-private-server-vps.html €3.50/month
    https://aweb.gr/server/en/vps-server-greece/ €2.99/month
    https://www.pointer.gr/en/vps 4.9€/month
    ...and so on...

    Why things like that aren't featured at LEB anymore?
    When LEA started this community he didn't rely on hosts to send him offers. He actually explored.
    Explore. Make LEB great again.

    Thanked by 2yoursunny raindog308
  • ralfralf Member

    @Samael said:
    Why things like that aren't featured at LEB anymore?
    When LEA started this community he didn't rely on hosts to send him offers. He actually explored.
    Explore. Make LEB great again.

    If they explored and advertised stuff for free, they wouldn't get those sweet Bilohbucks.

    In the early days of a site like this, the site would have needed the content more than the providers need the audience of the site, so they'd have had to go out looking for it. Once the audience reaches a critical mass, the balance of power suddenly shifts the other way.

    That said, there are a lot of good providers who seemingly only occasionally poke their head up when someone is asking for specific specs. It'd be good to know about those, because their services are probably good and reliable if they're not that desperate for new business.

  • TimboJonesTimboJones Member
    edited June 13

    If contacting Support, mention the issue specifically. Too many reviews say they contacted Support for "a small thing" or something without any details whatsoever and I immediately write off the reviewer as being useless (and they are).

    And also, way too many "reviews" have a fucking diary entry at the start with useless blather. It's irrelevant and boring. When in doubt, just do the opposite of a jsg "review".

  • MumblyMumbly Member
    edited June 14

    @ralf said: In the early days of a site like this, the site would have needed the content more than the providers need the audience of the site, so they'd have had to go out looking for it. Once the audience reaches a critical mass, the balance of power suddenly shifts the other way.

    You have a point, but in this case wasn't exactly like that.
    LEB thrived as long it was community driven. With main focus to find and introduce new budget hosts.
    When ColoCrossing overtook it and start to masively push companies mainly hosted in their own datacenters it started to decline.
    And now there's mixed bag of everything and nothing. Right now this site has absolutely no purpose for us as a readers and it's just remotely connected to the low end boxes.
    Old threads had like 20+ comments. Sometimes more.
    Those new non budget vps related threads have mostly 0 comments.

    Would you open LEB in case you need new VPS? Of course not, because LEB is not about VPSes anymore. You may find some Racknerd and similar repost of old offer from LET, but this is it.
    Blog without purpose and direction with a lot of SEO junk, some VPN offerts, some just_oles brainfarts about his irrelevant server, some lonely copy/paste offer from LET, some interviews with some random people no one apart from their parents don't give a shit about, some 101th tutorials no one need, some commercials and this is it.
    Random SEO junk without focus and target audience.

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    I like @Mumbly's perspective and am planning to do just as he suggests.

    https://lowendbox.com/blog/the-lowendbox-review-project-weve-been-called-out/

  • SpeedTestSpeedTest Member
    edited June 21

    @raindog308 said: YABS? OK, but it has to be more than that.

    https://bench.monster :)

  • JabJabJabJab Member

    @raindog308 said: I like @Mumbly's perspective and am planning to do just as he suggests.

    Personally I would suggest starting this endeavor with fixing mobile view :D
    https://i.imgur.com/K5ZKQhv.png

    Thanked by 1szymonp
  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @JabJab said: Personally I would suggest starting this endeavor with fixing mobile view

    Ugh, our WP template is just...

    The good news is a redesign is being worked on as we speak.

  • @raindog308

    Why don't you ask @poisson to do this instead? He started doing this year's ago but people gave jsg the attention instead, for some ridiculous reason.

    @poisson, what's the url again? (I tried one from your LES Sig but was Cloudflare 404).

  • raviravi Member

    clean IP.. so that outgoing mails are not blocked by gmail and hotmail.

  • szarkaszarka Member
    edited June 22

    Is IPv6 a proper /64? Is it provisioned automagically or do I have to open a ticket to request it?

    Does setting pointer records via the control panel actually work? For both v4 and v6? Or do I have to open a ticket?

    Can I do a new install of an up-to-date Linux distribution (Alma, Rocky, latest Debian, Ubuntu, etc.) or do I have to open a ticket?

  • Alex_LeoAlex_Leo Member, Host Rep

    I would say reliability and configurability are main 2 things. Do I get root access to install anything I want on the VPS. How long does it stay up.
    3rd on list is support, how long does it take to get rDNS set. Response time to a ticket.
    Can the vps be rebooted, started up remotely.
    Anything else is an extra in my opinion.

  • emghemgh Member

    @Alex_Leo said: Do I get root access to install anything I want on the VPS

    What VPS dosen't give you root?

  • Alex_LeoAlex_Leo Member, Host Rep

    @emgh said:

    @Alex_Leo said: Do I get root access to install anything I want on the VPS

    What VPS dosen't give you root?

    A while back there was a vps I tried, don't remember the name, that had no root access. Was really bizarre.

    Thanked by 1emgh
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