NetworkSolutions.com Rating and Web Hosting Review
Established in 1979, Network Solutions was one of the first companies to launch in the DNS registry business. Though it started out as a technology consulting company focused primarily on systems programming services, the company quickly grew and expanded into other areas, IPO-ing in 1997. Over the years, this Washington, D.C. metro area organization has withstood numerous acquisitions, including the most recent acquisition in 2011 by Web.com, a takeover that cost $405 million and 18 million shares.
If you’re shopping around to find the best company to serve up your website, NetworkSolutions.com hosting plans might be an attractive option. It has been around since 1979, when the Internet was still very much in its infancy, and Network Solutions’ advertised rates are among the lowest in the industry. But is there more than meets the eye with this inveterate host?
But, as ever, my main interest lies in the provider’s hosting capabilities. Upon landing on Network Solutions’ webpage, I am immediately greeted by a clean interface with easy to understand pricing with easy to read solutions comparisons. I see three hosting options: Web hosting, a web hosting and marketing package, and a web hosting, marketing, and store package. Not as noticeable are the “advanced hosting” and “VPS hosting” options which are, of course, what we’re really interested in.
The “advanced hosting” is available in three different levels: Essential, Professional, or Premium.
Essential hosting starts at just $2.99 per month and includes 300 GB of disk space with unlimited data transfers. It includes 25 FTP accounts, 1,000 email boxes with 1 GB storage and three aliases per box, and statistics software.
Professional pricing starts at $3.99 per month and includes 500 GB of disk space with unlimited data transfers. It also provides 50 FTP accounts and 2,500 email boxes with 1 GB storage and three aliases per box – plus the statistics software.
Premium starts at $36.99 per month and includes unlimited disk space, unlimited data transfers, unlimited email boxes (same parameters as the other service levels), and unlimited FTP accounts.
All service levels include a free domain and 100 domain pointers.
As far as what the actual service provides, Network Solutions boasts a 99.9% Unix® uptime with automatic backups. It also provides a 24/7 phone and email support service, easy FTP access, the website builder tool, programming language support, one-click WordPress installation, and the ability to use your own domain name.
The VPS hosting starts at $40 per month for the Essential package or $80 per month for Professional and guarantees full root-level control in addition to supporting most any application, 512 MB guaranteed RAM, 24/7 real person support, 10 GB or 50 GB disk space, and 500 GB or 20,000 GB transfers.
Network Solutions has a robust selection of hosting plans, with options for nearly any current or aspiring webmaster. You can buy a domain, build a blog or e-commerce site, and host it on their servers. Individuals and business owners with basic needs will find plans perfectly suited for them, and those seeking more advanced technology will also discover just what they’re looking for. That’s not to say you won’t encounter some common Network Solutions hosting problems too, especially if you install WordPress.
Many Network Solutions WordPress hosting reviews call out the company for its suspicious pricing practices and dismal customer support. Unfortunately, these complaints extend to Network Solutions Windows hosting and beyond. So while this company may have a long history and a lot to offer, it’s worth digging into the customer reviews to find out if this is the platform for you.
Features and Extras
There are many facets to this company’s offerings, and even the most enterprising entrepreneur will find plans to fit her needs. Network Solutions ASP.NET hosting is available for fans of Microsoft’s open-source framework, while Network Solutions’ hosted exchange plans provide excellent options for customers with email needs. There are many other packages offered as well, including virtual private servers and an assortment of marketing tools. If you’re not sure which type of package you should choose, Network Solutions Essential Web Hosting for Unix is a safe bet for most users.
Network Solutions provides hosting technology that works with the latest and most popular operating systems and software packages. This company’s servers provide stability, performance, and security for your website, and offer the ability to scale with your business. No matter what your business needs are now, or where you expect them to be in the coming years, in the technology arena, Network Solutions has you covered.
Ease of Use
Concerning usability, Network Solutions’ interface took a bit of getting used to before I felt like I knew my way around. There is a lot of upselling across this platform, which was a bit of a turn-off, but it didn’t take long for me to tune that stuff out. Otherwise, the user experience was mostly straightforward, but still far less intuitive than the interfaces on some more recently launched website hosts.
Website Builder Features
Similar to many other long-standing website hosts, including the other Web.com properties, Network Solutions gives users the ability to build their own websites by using a helpful website builder that’s included with all hosting plans. The builder is a solid little tool, though it’s not quite as full-featured as competing website builders offered by more modern companies. Check out the below video for an overview of how Network Solutions’ website builder works.
Customer support continues to be an area of frustration for many of this company’s users. Live chat isn’t an option with Network Solutions, and email support can be pretty spotty. Telephone support is available around the clock, but that doesn’t mean the department you call will be available to help you.
One of the trickiest things to do with Network Solutions is cancel hosting. This company doesn’t like to lose its users, and that’s very apparent when it comes to their cancellation practices. In order to cancel any services with the company, you need to call them and navigate their automated phone system to reach a support representative. In my experience, while attempting to cancel a product, I was immediately disconnected after stating the reason for my call. I ultimately had to connect to a sales agent in order to be transferred to the correct department.
Though Network Solutions is most known for its domain registration services, the organization also provides a myriad of web solutions, including email solutions, website development, online marketing services, and hosting services. Although Network Solutions has been on the market far longer than most of its rivals, the company’s practices actually seem to have suffered over time. Yes, Network Solutions’ options are full-featured and their technology is reliable, but unfortunately, their unclear pricing practices and questionable methods of customer support aren’t doing the company any favors. Unless you have a penchant for overpaying, you might be better off exploring your other hosting options before committing to this particular platform.
- Nearly 20 years in the hosting market
- Marketing services and website-building tools
- Customizable packages for hosting needs
- Technical support is available around the clock
- Website-building software and access to other marketing tools
- A bit unclear pricing practices
- Slightly questionable methods of customer support