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A year later..

- Posted in VPS by with comments

It was a year ago when I started my journey into learning about VPS.

It all started when I came across lowendbox.com and found that there are some cheap VPS available. Before that, I knew you could get them from places that would charge an arm and a leg.

I originally had a server running at home, running Proxmox that was used for nextCloud and Plex Media Center and it was costing me around $30/month in electricity (the cost of electricity in Australia is stupid) and I quickly learned that I could offload this to "the cloud" (there really is no cloud, it's just a buzzword for someone else's computer!)

So, looking back at the start of my journey I have learned a lot. I have found the need to upgrade from a VPS to a dedicated server, which I found the amazing deal from SerweryDedyKowane.pl which now handles everything I need.

I still keep a few VPS for playing with, I don't really want everything to be running on my dedicated server for various reasons.

This blog, for instance, started off running on WootHosting's shared hosting for $1/year and now it's running on my dedicated server with absolutely zero downtime (except for when I restarted the server for security patches)

NextCloud and Plex run flawlessly and I'm very happy with the way it's all working.

I could still get away with using VPS instead a dedicated server for these tasks.

If I were to do that, with the hindsight that I now have, I'd recommend to myself to do this:

It's been a pretty fun learning experience, and I have certainly learned a lot by doing this. It's been also really awesome being able to share it with the world through this blog :)

Reviewing a $5/year VPS from AlphaRacks

- Posted in VPS by with comments

Today I was looking for the absolute cheapest VPS that I could possibly find that wasn't a NAT VPS - on other words, one that comes with a dedicated IP as opposed to a shared one.

I found this neat little VPS:

  • 10 GB HDD
  • 1 CPU (Xeon E5620)
  • 1 IPv4
  • 128MB RAM
  • 100mbit
  • 250GB Bandwidth
  • OpenVZ
  • $5/year

$5 per year barely covers the cost of an IP, let alone the rest of the specs you get!

I paid with Bitcoin, and it was set up instantly.

Here are some benchmarks:

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           E5620  @ 2.40GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  2400.119 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 128 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   5 min,       
I/O speed:  33.4 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 10.42s
Download 100MB file: 11.3MB/s

Getting the full speed out of the network, the I/O is what you'd expect for $5/year.

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           E5620  @ 2.40GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  2400.119 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 128 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   18 min,       
I/O speed:  68.5 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 11.15s
Download 100MB file: 11.1MB/s

Looks a little bit better in the IO department this time, network is consistent.

This would be perfect for running an Iodine DNS tunnel! It would also suit running as a VPN, an IRC bouncer, a small web server, even for playing with Linux for the first time.

128MB of RAM is the only real limitation on this VPS, but again, for the price it's hard to beat.

If you want one of these, click here :)

Reviewing Wishosting's "KVM SSD Plus LA" VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

Here we are again, reviewing yet another VPS from Wishosting, this time its their "KVM SSD Plus LA" plan, which has the following specs:

  • 4 vCPU cores Intel Xeon E5-2650
  • Unlimited CPU cores 2.4GHz Turbo
  • 16GB ECC RAM
  • 80GB SSD
  • Linux/Windows OS
  • Bandwidth 250Mbps
  • Traffic 8TB
  • 1 IPv4
  • Private networking
  • Location - Los Angeles
  • Setup time up to 24 hours
  • Price: $15.99/month

What I love about Wishosting's VPS is they come with no limits on the CPU usage. You can run ANYTHING and make 100% usage of the resources advertised. I think other providers should do the same, they could learn something from Wishosting.

Apart from that, they have extremely friendly and helpful support - when I speak with Michael he's so damn professional in his ticket etiquette - again, other providers should take a page out of his book!

They use a system which is called OpenNebula which is a breath of fresh air after seeing so many SolusVM hosts. I really like the fact that you can basically treat a VPS as a resource pool. This one comes with 4 cores and 16GB of RAM plus 80GB SSD. I could split this into 4 VMs if I wanted to. It's nice to know those options exist.

Anyway, let's have a look at the performance of this KVM.

CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  1999.999 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 16051 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   4 min,       
I/O speed:  275 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.55s
Download 100MB file: 95.0MB/s

:) :) That I/O is nice, 6 second bzip is also nice. But 95MB/sec looks a lot like gigabit speeds to me, and it's only advertised as 250mbit!

CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  1999.999 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 16051 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   6 min,       
I/O speed:  506 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 7.79s
Download 100MB file: 103MB/s

Consistent as we can see here, the I/O jumped the second time round which is typical with these benchmarks.

Here's another "benchmark" you may be interested in:

[2018-02-28 12:02:54] speed 2.5s/60s/15m 126.4 133.3 n/a H/s max: 145.8 H/s
[2018-02-28 12:02:59] speed 2.5s/60s/15m 101.0 131.3 n/a H/s max: 145.8 H/s
[2018-02-28 12:03:04] speed 2.5s/60s/15m 89.6 129.4 n/a H/s max: 145.8 H/s
[2018-02-28 12:03:09] speed 2.5s/60s/15m 101.6 127.5 n/a H/s max: 145.8 H/s

I thought I'd run that for a minute to see what it's like, the CPU supports AES-NI and this is on 3 of the 4 cores :)

I've reviewed plenty of servers in the past, and a few from Wishosting, but this is the first Wishosting server I've had which is located in LA, which has great connectivity to Australia. I'm happy with the way this performs, I could probably easily justify keeping this server as a web server with the 80GB SSD it's insanely fast.

If you're looking for a speedy, beefy KVM with some kickass specs for a reasonable price, I'd recommend this package from Wishosting.

Cloud resource pools

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I thought I'd write up on cloud resource pools. Some VPS providers offer a pool of resources which you can use to make up multiple VPS for yourself, or to resell. They vary in shapes and sizes, but they're basically the same principle.

I've found that these are incredibly useful for spinning up a quick VPS for testing or playing around.

I'll be looking at one of the resource pools from WootHosting since they're cheap enough :)

The deal I'm looking at can be found here.

For $50/year you get the following:

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 200 GB RAID-10 Storage
  • 20TB Monthly Bandwidth
  • 1Gbps port
  • 6 IPv4 Addresses
  • 300 IPv6 Addresses
  • Deploy Instances in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Chicago
  • Create up to 6 VPS
  • Each VPS has 4 cores (not mentioned anywhere on their site)

We can create up to 6 VPS with this pool, or combine them into 1 massive VPS. We're given a control panel where we can add "users" and create VPS easily. Keep in mind that these are allowed to be resold too, and the control panel is white labelled, meaning there is no WootHosting branding or anything like that - nobody would know.

Today I'm going to focus only on setting up a single VPS with all of the resources combined, so we'd have a VPS with the following specs:

  • 4 CPU cores (Xeon E5620 @ 2.4ghz)
  • Set up in LA
  • 8GB RAM
  • 20TB Bandwidth (gigabit!)
  • 200GB HDD
  • 6 IPv4 addresses and 50 IPv6 (I'm not even going to use them I don't think, it's just for testing at this stage)

So now that I've built that, I'm going to do a benchmark:

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5620  @ 2.40GHz
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  2127.973 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 8192 MB
System uptime:   26 min,       
I/O speed:  134 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 16.54s
Download 100MB file: 99.55MB/s

We can see that the specs have combined, and it's pretty decent :) When you consider the low price, that's a high end VPS!

Since I now have this for a year, I'm going to try to find something for it to do. My thoughts so far consist of either:

  • Running a nice Plex server (LAX has the best connectivity to Australia)
  • Running a web server with VestaCP and making use of those extra IPs
  • 200GB of backups, but then the CPU and RAM go to waste.
  • I could mine on it until I decide (I like this idea, let's try that now..)

Curious to see what hashrate I get here..

Hmm, the CPU doesn't support AES-NI which means mining is not going to work too well, but I'm getting about 50h/sec.

Curiously, WootHosting have a rather large collection of servers in this pool, and I know from past experience that quite a few of their servers support AES-NI which is great!

That's one of the best things about these pools though, if you happen to get a bad IP or maybe a crowded server (let's face it, at this price it will be oversold and Woot are famous for overselling lol) then you can just destroy and create a new one until you get something awesome.

Anyway, I will play around some more with this and see how I go. In a previous article I wrote up about a MONSTER VPS which costs about $30/month and comes with a crazy amount of features. I'm probably not going to renew that, for that price I could get a dedi ;)

If you want to play around with one of these, the deal is here

If you have one and you have found something cool to do with it, please let me know in the comments below or email me dave at this website dot com :)

List of dirt cheap (<$20/year) VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I have added a new section to this website, which lists dirt cheap VPS which are under $20 per year. All providers on that list I have personally used and tested.

Enjoy! :)

https://dah85.com/dirt-cheap-vps-list

A quick look at Alpharacks reseller hosting

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I'm going to have a quick look at an Alpharacks shared hosting reseller plan, as a follow up to my earlier post about their standard shared hosting for 99 cents per year.

Here's the details of the plan:

Reseller Starter Plan 15 GB Secure Disk Space 600 GB Monthly Bandwidth Shared IP Address Create Unlimited Sub-Accounts Create Shared Hosting Accounts cPanel/WHM Control Panel Softaculous Auto-Installer LiteSpeed Web Server Powered CloudLinux Optimized DDoS Protection Included Reseller Resources Tool Instantly Activated $6 per year ORDER NOW

$6/year is an excellent price, you basically get the same as what you'd get for 99 cents, except you can create cPanel sub-accounts to resell, or even to use for your own domains of course.

Basically I signed up for this just to confirm if it's on a different server to their 99 cent shared hosting, which it is not. It's hosted on the same server - their "latitude" server which I looked at in my last review.

TL;DR: It's great value, network is excellent, but the stats that cPanel report show ~20 load on 8 cores/threads and a 97% full disk. No noticable slowdowns or downtime.

I would recommend this over Woothosting's offers, if you need something semi-reliable. I'm not claiming it's a replacement for a $10+/month service from a bigger company, but for the price there's hardly any reason to complain :)

I recently signed up for a shared hosting package from Alpharacks which has the following specs:

Shared Hosting Special #1: - 15 GB Space - 200 GB Monthly Bandwidth - 1 Hosted Domain - Shared IP address - cPanel Control Panel - Softaculous Auto-Installer - LiteSpeed Web Server Powered - CloudLinux Optimized - DDoS Protection Included - Instantly Activated - $0.99/year (you read it right, 99 cents per year, price never goes up, there is no catch! Perfect plan for those looking to start a website) ORDER NOW

99 cents.. wow!

I'll be honest, my expectations are extremely low at this point. But for less than $1 what the heck, I'll try it out, even if I never use it.

After my experiences with Woothosting's cheap servers, I'm a little skeptical about anything cheap. So, the first thing I did was log into cPanel and look at the server stats.

Here's a screenshot: Vital stats from cPanel

Key points:

  • 21 load on an 8 core/thread server means it's about to go into meltdown.
  • 40% memory usage is actually very reasonable.
  • Swap is 100%... wait.. why are they swapping when there's plenty of RAM available.. hmm..
  • The disk is 97% full (or is that 3% empty?)
  • At least the tmp folders have room to breathe.

Okay, so we could pick on the server due to it's stats, but in practice that's not a reliable indicator of real world performance.

I have performed a few tests to see how it actually handles.

  • I installed Wordpress (which is pretty resource hungry, exactly why I don't use it on this blog) and it actually works great! I have had no issues loading it up by installing themes and plugins galore. I didn't expect that to work as well as it did to be honest!
  • The server seems to be hosted in LAX, which means I should be able to get a decent speed from here in Australia.
  • I'm able to max out my 100mbit NBN connection both uploading AND downloading. Here's the test file I uploaded if you want to check it for yourself.

No complaints really, it actually seems stable!

I'm hosted on their "latitude" server, which seems to be dedicated to this particular cheap offer. I can see the server is well used (and abused) but it's solid. It actually defies logic.

For 99 cents a year it'd be an absolute bargain even at twice the price.

Would I host something critical like a business website? Probably not.. I would definitely recommend this for anyone who is running a small hobby site where potential downtime isn't an issue.

Compared with Woothosting, this is amazing. Check out my review of Woothosting's shared hosting for reference.

If you want to get in on this Alpharacks deal, click here.

Benchmarking the WootHosting MONSTER VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

Today I decided to do some benchmarks of my WooHosting MONSTER VPS!

My MONSTER VPS has 4 cores, 24GB RAM, 980GB RAID 10 HDD space and 20TB bandwidth on a gigabit connection!

Here's some benchmarks:

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  3504.042 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 24576 MB
I/O speed:  142.3 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.92s
Download 100MB file: 72.2MB/s

Nice!

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  3504.042 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 24576 MB
I/O speed:  151.6 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.94s
Download 100MB file: 71.5MB/s

Woot!

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  3504.042 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 24576 MB
I/O speed:  195 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.02s
Download 100MB file: 75.1MB/s

:D

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  3504.042 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 24576 MB
I/O speed:  149.2 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.68s
Download 100MB file: 63.8MB/s

This is awesome!

It gets better actually.. this isn't any normal VPS, it's part of a cloud resource pool which gives you the following:

  • You can create up to 16 VPSs
  • 16 IPv4 addresses
  • 300 IPv6 Addresses
  • 1000GB RAID 10 HDD Storage
  • 32GB RAM
  • 30TB of bandwidth on a GIGABIT connection
  • In Los Angeles (Perfect for me here in Australia!)
  • Each VPS has 4 cores of Xeon E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz

I can still build more VPSs with my pool, after creating this MONSTER VPS I still have the following left over:

  • 15x 4 cores of Xeon E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
  • 15 IPv4 addresses
  • 300 IPv6 Addresses
  • 44GB RAID 10 HDD Storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • 10TB of bandwidth on a GIGABIT connection

I have build the following with the left overs:

15x VPS each with:

  • 4 cores of Xeon E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
  • 1 IPv4 addresses
  • 2GB RAID 10 HDD Storage
  • 512MB RAM
  • 600GB of bandwidth on a GIGABIT connection

All of that costs $32/month - awesome value.

Guess how much I am really paying for it? NOTHING! It's actually making me money.. it makes me over $40 per week so it pays itself off in less than a week each month :D Have a look at this to find out more!

If you want one too, click here for the deal :)

A MONSTER VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I just found something really really cool!

Check this out for $32/month, it beats the pants off a lot of dedicated servers!

32 GB RAM
1 TB RAID-10 Storage
30TB Monthly Bandwidth
1Gbps port
16 IPv4 Addresses
300 IPv6 Addresses

This is a WootHosting Cloud Resource Pool, a massive pool of resources here! You can make up to 16 VPS out of this, or just create one monster VPS out of it..

I doubt there's anywhere on the planet where you can get a dedicated server that gives you 16 IP addresses included for the price.

It's an insane deal! Each VPS you build comes with 4 CPU cores too so it's actually a beast!

If you look at my Dedicated Servers list, you'll see that there is nothing that even comes close to this.

Go get em!

Reviewing a brand new Woothosting VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

WOOT! It's WootHosting again, love 'em or hate 'em, they have some cheap goodies, that's for sure!

Today I received a special offer from WootHosting and I'll share it with you guys.

It's only $9/year - that's not a typo! Nine dollars for a year of this:

Here's the deal:

WootHosting OpenVZ

1 CPU Core Allocation
1024MB Dedicated RAM
1024MB vSwap
40GB Secured Disk Space
3000GB Premium Bandwidth
1 IPv4 Address
100Mbps Port Speed
Instantly Setup
Advanced DDoS Protection Included! NEW FEATURE

Nice! 1GB of RAM and 40GB of HDD for only $9, too good to pass up!

Benchmark time!

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3504.036 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1024 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   0 days, 2:17,       
I/O speed:  54.7 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 4.71s
Download 100MB file: 11MB/s

And another one...

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3504.036 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1024 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   0 days, 3:45,       
I/O speed:  70.2 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 4.41s
Download 100MB file: 11MB/s

And one more...

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1240 v5 @ 3.50GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3504.036 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1024 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   0 days, 4:12,       
I/O speed:  67.9 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 5.22s
Download 100MB file: 11MB/s

This is pretty decent for $9!!

You can get one from here, if you use this link no coupon needed :)

Oh, and as a side note, I am able to get 80 hashes per second on this... which if you mine Electroneum will give you $43 per year.. that pays for itself in 2 months :D