Back in 2016, I moved a couple of websites to the hosting provider FranTech Solutions using the BuyShared brand for their shared hosting services. FranTech Solutions is a Canadian based company also known for its VPS brand BuyVM. Since I have been a customer for more than four years, I decided it was time to share my experiences.

BuyShared offers shared hosting on servers in Europe and the US. In Europe, they are using the Root data center located in Luxembourg, and in the US their servers are in the FiberHub data center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Besides stand-alone shared-hosting BuyShared also offers reseller accounts in case you need to host multiple clients needing access to an individual hosting control panel.

Initially, I ordered a hosting account in Luxembourg and got an additional one at their Las Vegas location a couple of years later. Overall, I have been satisfied with the service. If you are looking for standard shared-hosting, I will recommend that you take a look at their offerings.

Features

The hosting packages offered by BuyShared are quite common and easily comparable to a large majority of other shared hosting providers. They offer three different packages priced at $8, $13, and $18 per year. The packages include:

  • cPanel control panel.
  • 1-20 GB SSD disk space.
  • 100-1000GB of data transfer per month.
  • 5-50 add-on domains.
  • Unlimited databases.
  • Unlimited e-mail accounts.
  • Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.
  • Dedicated IP address.
  • External e-mail relay (MailChannels.)

BuyShared packages include two features that are somewhat unique at this price point. All hosting packages include a dedicated IP address. This is unheard of when it comes to cheap shared web hosting.

Another not too common feature of comparable hosts is that BuyShared routes outgoing mail through the e-mail service MailChannels. Due to advanced and strict spam filters and policies used by as good as all major e-mail providers, sending e-mail directly from a shared web hosting account is no longer a good solution. Sending mail through a specialized mail host such as MailChannels is a neat feature that considerably increases mail deliverability.

BuyShared is not only for web hosting! If you need simple mail hosting for personal or professional purposes, a BuyShared plan will most likely cover your needs. Your e-mail is accessible through a web interface (not the most exciting one), POP3, and IMAP. If you are looking for an external SMTP service for sending a moderate amount of e-mails BuyShared is a cost effective option. Note that you will not be able to use a BuyShared plan for sending volume mail.

Performance and stability

Overall BuyShared has provided a stable service with occasional short outages. A couple of years ago the stability went down the hill. The Luxembourg server was slow and unstable for months. At a point I was seriously considering finding another provider. Fortunately, BuyShared upgraded the servers and network. Since then the service has been stable with only minor occasional hiccups resulting in a few minutes of downtime here and there.

I have used a simple external monitor to keep track of uptime. While this approach is not 100% accurate the results show an uptime of ~99.95% for both the Luxembourg and Las Vegas locations.

When it comes to performance, BuyShared servers are performing as expected and are reachable at decent and acceptable speeds from most parts of the world. My occasionally (unsystematic) performance measuring conducted through uploading and downloading large files have yielded decent but different results. The Las Vegas server is always providing good speeds, but the Luxembourg server can be slow at times, especially when downloading from overseas.

You can test the network speed through FranTechs looking glass at Luxembourg and Las Vegas.

A little tip is that you can increase speed and performance for free by using external providers such as Cloudflare and public CDNs.

Support

I have only contacted support a few times regarding adding an RDNS record to my IP. The requests have been handled within an hour or two which I find to be an excellent response time within this price range.

It should be noted that BuyShared offers unmanaged services. You should only expect support if your request is about a problem with the service or you have a request that needs to be taken care of manually by the support team. For example, how to setup domains or software on your website is not included.

Conclusion

In conclusion, BuyShared offers a competitive and interesting hosting product in the $5-$20 per year hosting provider segment. Especially the inclusion of a dedicated IP and access to an external SMTP relay in this price range is rare. Performance and stability have improved much during the last couple of years. Support is limited, so you should know what you are dealing with, and either know the basics of web hosting or be prepared to learn along the way.

You will be able to host personal websites, fairly popular WordPress blogs, small business websites, and the likes. BuyShared is probably not the place for you if you need hosting of an e-commerce site requiring a lot of server resources and guaranteed uptime.

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