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Network Solutions has been providing domain and web hosting services since the beginning of time (in the internet world). Chances are if you’ve been developing websites you’ve probably at one time heard of their name. But, what are webmasters saying about their experiences with them?
They have promised their clients everything you need to get a website up and running. No matter what you need a website for, you should be able to do it. They offer an absolute “ton” of tools. Obviously, since they have been around for many years, they have grown in this technology era.
When I review a web hosting company, I am looking at many different things. What features do they have to offer? What are their performance and uptime like? How responsive is their customer support? And last but not least, how does their price tag compare to other web hosting providers? I have developed a quick rating system at the top of this page which shows how I rate them on all these key areas. So, in this full Network Solutions review, I am going to give you some reasons on why you should avoid this web hosting company.
Network Solutions Features
Network Solutions is a feature rich web hosting provider that offers either shared hosting or VPS hosting. Not only can you buy web hosting with them you can also get a domain name, email accounts, website builders, web design, SSL, site promotion, and pretty much everything you need to start a website. Since they are owned by the same company as Web.com (acquired in 2011), I was pretty excited to check them out! Now, let’s take a closer look at the plans and features that they offer.
Network Solutions offers five different shared hosting plans. The prices are as follows:
- Web Hosting – $2.99/month.
- Web Hosting & Marketing – $3.99/month.
- Hosting, Marketing, & Store – $4.99/month.
- WordPress Blog Hosting – $3.85/month.
- SharePoint Hosting – $7.74/month.
- Essentials – $40.00/month.
- Professional Hosting – $80.00/month.
For their VPS plans, you can pay monthly, 1-10 years in advance. No that is not a typo, you can pay them $7,200 for ten years of web hosting!
With Network Solutions you can choose from 4 different email hosting plans.
- Personal Email – $1.75/month.
- Business Email – $4.99/month.
- Mobile Email – $1.99/month (ActiveSync) or $9.99/month (BlackBerry) .
- Microsoft Hosted Exchange – $6.99/month or $11.99/month.
I should note those prices are based on a monthly billing period for one inbox. You can purchase up to 50 at a time. You get a discount on cost the more you buy.
A lot of the top web hosting services will use cPanel or Plesk for their control panel. But, Network Solutions doesn’t follow what others are doing. Instead, they use their custom control panel, much like DreamHost. Network Solutions does have a ton of how-tos that show you everything you could want to know when navigating their control panel. Their control panel will allow you to monitor your network resources, billing, scripts, etc. From my test with their control panel, I found it pretty easy to navigate. It’s not what I am used to, but I don’t have any real complaints with it.
Anyone that has ever operated a website knows that security can sometimes be an issue once you start getting more and more traffic. The more successful you are online, the more you are prone to getting your site hacked. Network Solutions does offer a service called SiteLock which will monitor your server for any malware. They will even restore your website to a previous state if your site gets hacked on their server. To use SiteLock’s service is will cost you an extra monthly expense.
Terrible Cancellation Policy
If ever you decide to leave Network Solutions you might not want to go ahead and just cancel your account, because you will have to pay a processing fee. It is all stated in their service agreement page I am cutting and pasting what it says on their fees, payments, and terms of service.
Network Solutions will charge you a processing fee if you terminate or cancel any package prior to the completion of any limited money-back guarantee time period for that package or service (the “Processing Fee”). A Processing Fee of $34.99 will be charged for the cancellation of any one-year annual hosting, ecommerce, or Website design package. The Processing Fees for cancellation of multi-year packages will be: $34.99 per year for two-year packages, $34.99 per year for three-year packages, $22.99 per year for five-year packages and $17.99 per year for ten-year packages.
Network Solutions Performance & Uptime
Network Solutions has a lot of uptime issues. I’m not stating that everyone that host with them has issues, but in the past they have. Ideally, a website should be up 99% of the time. To monitor this, there are some website status monitoring services you can use to show you the amount of uptime you’re getting. Granted there are times when web hosting companies will run routine maintenance, and update their hardware to the latest technology. It wouldn’t be quite so frustrating if they abide by their uptime guarantee (like LiquidWeb and HostingSource). However, the general feedback from Network Solution’s customers seems to point to lots of extended downtimes or none at all. Obviously, it’s very frustrating to work on a site that is down frequently. It wouldn’t be such an issue if you could contact Network Solutions and get your issues resolved, but later on, I will talk about their customer service, which is what breaks this company.
The research I have done on Network Solutions clearly shows that downtime is an issue. There are lots of unhappy webmasters on various websites that are complaining about the downtime.
With the performance, you could run into some issues that seem to happen frequently. A lot of people have reported that their servers are unstable and buggy (much like GoDaddy). It could mean your website will run slowly, you’ll have some server errors (1 past customer complained that they had 503 errors, frequently), and of course you’re going to experience some issues with their email. If an email were the only problem with Network Solutions, it would be easy to just use Gmail, Yahoo, or some other service, but sadly that isn’t the only problem with Network Solutions.
I have tested out their performance with isitdownrightnow.com. Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with the results I found. I like to test the response rate of their servers. Typically, anything under 20 ms is fast. 21-50 ms is average. 51 of over is slow. To my surprise, Network Solutions performance was super slow. Network Solutions clocked in at 128.9 ms. It is far too long!
Better Business Bureau Rating?
One thing that just doesn’t make much sense to me is Network Solutions is accredited with the Better Business Bureau. They have received an A+ rating. They have been accredited since 11/3/2005. I remember about two years ago 60 minutes did a report on the BBB. It stated that anyone that paid could easily go from an F to an A+. That may or may not be true, but with Network Solutions I can tell you that they have 199 complaints.
Many of the problems (100) are with “Problems with Product/Service” or (74) are “Billing/Collection Issues.”
Network Solutions Customer Support
How good is Network Solutions customer support?
On paper Network Solutions looks like they have all the customized support that you will need. They have a toll-free number that you can call 24/7. The there whole thing seems to pay for support that you need. I do like the angle that they take which is one on one support (much like MDDHosting). How this works is you set up a time for a representative to call you. There is a 30-60 minute window in which they call. On their website, it states, “Press 1 for hosting, 2 for sites, 3 for email, 4 for e-commerce, 5 for online marketing, 6 for mobile or 7 for all other MyTime Support requests.” Their whole idea behind support is “personalized support,” but honestly InMotion will give you excellent support and never charge you extra! However, there is a fee for this; it’s “starting at $59.99”. For some of the help with Network Solutions, you can expect to pay $180! Granted not all support is going to cost you money. With basic stuff, you can talk to someone for free. See screenshot below:
But, actually Network Solutions can run up your bill quickly. Being charged for support and only having the option for telephone and email support just doesn’t cut it with me. There is no live chat feature. It is a big issue with me. It’s always my preferred method of getting ahold of customer support. When I have problems with my sites or clients sites I want to talk to someone that knows how to resolve them properly. Sadly, this is not the case with Network Solutions. I have spoken to them many times and while response times were quite high; the worst part is the responses you would get were almost like someone reading off a script. Very frustrating!
One good thing I can say about Network Solutions support is they do have a lot of how-tos (Education Center) which show you how to do a lot of different tasks. It could be anything from using your control panel, changing DNS, marketing, etc.
However, from the research I have done on Network Solutions it looks like you could have some real issues with customer support. They have really gotten a lot of complaints on WhoIsHostingThis.com about their customer support and various other websites.
Network Solutions Hosting Review Summary
Overall, Network Solutions may not be the best option to help you attend to your e-commerce business needs although their services are far better than other options available. Am I stating that Network Solutions is horribly bad? No, but there are much better options out there. Online, there are quite many complaints being posted about the company. For one, some users say that their customer support sometimes doesn’t help them with their problem but only divert them to another option which doesn’t fix the problem. You can pay more, but this runs up your bill quickly. With Network Solutions their servers are quite slow and often buggy.
I would like to hear about your experience working with Network Solutions if you have any experience working with this company. Good or bad and I will be sure to post it. Nevertheless, I recommend that you find another hosting company such as WebHostingHub or InMotion. Please leave your comments down below and share this Network Solution review anywhere you see fit.
Network Solutions Research.
Interviews with Network Solutions customers.