Switch host with least downtime?
May 8, 2011 10:57 AM   Subscribe

DNS with 1and1. Hosting with HostPC. Something weird happened with my hosting account on Friday. I received a spike in traffic that suspended my account. They got it working again, but only partially. Email is still out of service after a few days. They say they're working on it, but I don't know how hard, and I can't risk being without it for much longer, so I'm considering now just switching hosts instead of waiting for HostPC to fix the issue. What host can I switch to that will propagate the fastest and have my email up and working as quickly as possible? 1and1 because I'm also doing DNS with them, or am I better off with someone else? Thanks for any help.

(PS Any thoughts on the cause of my account troubles? The spike in traffic is suspicious as my sites have never been much frequented. And the reason for the continued email troubles appears to be because my email password file is now inaccessible. Is it possible my account was hacked or something?)

Thanks much for any help.
posted by grammalvsu to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
It doesn't matter who your new host is. Having clients notice where your DNS entries now point to will depend on what's called the "time to live" value. That determines how long clients keep the IP address they looked up stored in their local caches. The default TTL for records is 24 hours but yours may be shorter. For example, my domain has TTL values of 10 minutes as a legacy from when I changed hosts years ago and I've never gone back to reset them. (This is not recommended and most DNS hosts won't let you do it, but since I run my own server I can get away with it.)

As for why your account was suspended, there's no way to know for sure, but it's possible you had a script on your site that allowed spam to be sent through it. Older WordPress installs are susceptible to this, as are unsecured Gallery and phpBB installations.
posted by fireoyster at 11:11 AM on May 8, 2011

You will be, under no circumstances, better off with 1&1.

I use BlueHost, and have been quite happy with them. They had me up and ready to go 20 minutes after signing up. DNS propagation will take longer, but is independent of the hosting company.

If you sign up with a year or longer contract with BlueHost, they will also host your domain name for no additional cost. That won't solve your immediate issues, but it should help you get fee of the dreaded 1&1.
posted by curtm at 1:57 PM on May 8, 2011

1and1 is awful. I rid myself of them awhile back. Currently I'm with HostGator, and while no hosting company is perfect, they've given me the least amount of trouble over the years, and they don't outsource their tech support to places where English is learned as a halfhearted second language (yes, I'm one of Those People). I've tried, in the past for both personal and business, 1and1, GoDaddy, Dotster, FuitadNET, iPower, Register.com, and NetworkSolutions, and so far HostGator has worked out the best for me by far in terms of reliability and customer service. YMMV.

Have you looked at your traffic logs regarding the spike? Even if you're not proficient at reading them yourself, a good hosting company should be able to look at them and tell you where it came from and what they were accessing, at least.
posted by Gator at 2:07 PM on May 8, 2011

I use and recommend Pair.com for hosting. They have good rates and amazing customer service. I've never had any problem.
posted by Joleta at 3:48 PM on May 8, 2011

Dood, I hate having my email tied to hosting (I jump hosting companies a lot) so I pointed my MX records to Google Apps and haven't looked back.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 6:55 PM on May 8, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks lots for the input everyone. I went with bluehost, and my domains were propagated within a couple hours, long before the start of the next workday, which is what was key.

And I'll look into using Google Apps for email. That looks like a good solution.
posted by grammalvsu at 9:57 PM on May 8, 2011

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