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IPOWER Hosting Review

IPOWER Scorecard
Category Score
Core Features 7/10
Email Features 8/10
Support & Security Features 9/10
Website Statistics 10/10
Administration & Software 10/10
Multimedia Support 10/10
Included Scripts 9/10
E-Commerce 9/10
Overall Score 72/80
Rank #4
Rating 3.5 Star
IPOWER
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Pros: Unlimited domains, subdomains, parked domains, storage space, bandwidth, email accounts, forwards and autoresponders; 24/7/365 live phone or chat support; 30 day money back guarantee; $50 Google Adwords advertising credit; $25 Yahoo! Advertising Credit, 500+ page free marketing guide, Integrated Google Webmaster Tools and Google custom Search.

Cons: Limited to 25 MySQL databases and 2500 email accounts, No PostgreSQL support, No dedicated IP, Private SSL Certificate not included in plan, No anonymous FTP support.

Overview: IPOWER hosting uses the vDeck hosting control panel. They are owned by the same company that owns StartLogic. There are only 3 differences between StartLogic and IPOWER (all other features and support standards are the same) – IPOWER limits the number of email accounts to 2500, they have clearer Ruby on Rails support and all of their offices and data centers are powered by 100% renewable wind energy. So if you are looking for Internet marketing extras and are environmentally conscious, IPOWER could be the host for you.

In addition to Linux shared hosting, IPOWER also offers a decent Windows hosting package with a good feature set and support for ASP.NET, MSSQL and other Windows Server-specific languages. IPOWER offers 2 levels of Linux VPS hosting plans as well. We found these plans to be adequate. However those on a budget would be better served by StartLogic due to their almost identical VPS plans and lower prices.


IPOWER Review – Core Features: 7/10

Our IPOWER review found that their core feature offering was decent, but could be better. The basics are covered, such as unlimited storage space, bandwidth, domains, sub-domains, parked domains and FTP accounts. IPOWER hosting provides .htaccess editing capability (to manage access to your pages and folders) and custom error pages (so you can keep visitors on your site even when a page doesn’t load). They also support international domain names. Anonymous FTP and SSH shell access are not enabled and there is no PostgreSQL database capability.

While MySQL databases are part of their plans, the quantity of databases is limited to 25. You may not use 25 databases if your site is relatively small (a few blogs, a few landing pages, personal pages, etc.), however most of the more robust and popular PHP applications (blogs, forums, photo galleries, mailing lists, content management systems (CMS) like Joomla and Drupal, etc.) all use MySQL databases. Query limit is the maximum number of database actions performed in one hour by a specific user. Note that a user can have multiple concurrent MySQL connections, in which case the sum of all database actions for all connections cannot exceed the given limit. The maximum number of concurrent MySQL connections per user is 10. The maximum number of database queries per user is 75,000/hr.

A dedicated IP address is also not included. IPOWER does include a free lifetime domain name with their account. This means you can register a domain name with them for free when you open your hosting account and keep it, for free, as long as you use IPOWER as your web host.

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IPOWER Review – Email Features: 8/10

The email features included in all of the hosts we reviewed are essentially the same. IPOWER provides unlimited autoresponders and unlimited mail forwarding/aliases, but limits the number of available POP3/IMAP email accounts to 2500. It is doubtful you will use that many email accounts, but we don’t like to see arbitrary limits – especially when their smaller sister company doesn’t have them. One very important feature to note is that each separate domain in your account can have its own email addresses. You also have control over catch-all emails. SPAM filtering is also included, which gives you custom filtering and black/white lists. Webmail is included and is compatible with personal email programs (Outlook, etc.).

IPOWER does allow mailing lists, however their email policy is more restrictive than the other web hosts reviewed thus far. Their email policy, taken directly from their knowledgebase, is

In order to maintain tight spam control, we allow customers to send out:
– no more than 200 emails per hour or 600 emails a day, if your mailbox was created in the last 24 hours
– no more than 200 emails per hour or 2000 email a day
If you go over this limit, we will shut off your outgoing mail services. We highly recommend that you restrict the size of your mailing list to less than 200 email addresses.

As you grow your mailing lists, we highly recommend AWeber as your mailing list provider. They offer affordable, fully featured service that includes double opt-in, autoresponders, signup form templates, unlimited email campaigns/newsletters, email analytics, easy shopping cart integration and expert customer support. If you reach the point where you need a dedicated list provider, or you intend to rapidly grow a large mailing list (1000+ goal), using a mailing list host like AWeber is a wise investment.

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IPOWER Review – Support & Security Features: 9/10

IPOWER offers a good support package that includes a 30-day money back guarantee, 24/7 telephone, chat and trouble ticket support and 99.9% uptime. During our comprehensive IPOWER review we did find some issues with their customer support beneath the surface. Setup is free and your hosting account is ready to go within an hour. After that, support ticket response time can be somewhat slow in comparison with other hosts in this class, clocking in at a few hours.

Their tech support, while friendly, often seems as though they are “reading the manual” while delivering your support. Average hold time averages around a minute or two during normal business hours. During off hours, it may take longer. Though you may find IPOWER reviews that are overly negative, this is one of the largest web hosting companies in business (they host over 700,000 websites). According to our research, the negative comments represent less than 1% of users. IPOWER has a good knowledgebase and has video tutorials available.

Another quirk we discovered was in their 30-day “no questions asked” money back guarantee policy. According to their site, the exceptions to the guarantee are: “…the domain name fee is non-refundable. It is registered for the time requested when you ordered. However, should you decide to discontinue your service, your domain name will remain registered to you and we’ll be more than happy to assist you in transferring it if you choose.” and “Disclaimer: Our guarantee does not apply to any of the following: setup fees, domain name fees, reseller accounts, virtual accounts, dedicated servers, overages or professional services.” So basically what this means is you only get back what you paid for the hosting service, less a fee for your free domain name (which is no longer free after you cancel) currently set at $9.99.

IPOWER and StartLogic are “sister companies” owned by Endurance International Group and share the same headquarters and Boston, MA data centers. These data centers have redundant power and 24/7 security. Their secure network infrastructure is comprised of a pooled server environment, which gives virtually any server on their network the ability to access files when a request occurs. This means that the first machine available will serve a customer’s web pages, providing faster load times and fewer service interruptions than traditional hosting infrastructures. Network attached storage is used to redundantly store all data. The facilities have multiple gigabit and fiber optic connections on diverse backbones. In addition, their data center is powered by 100% renewable wind energy.

IPOWER also provides data backups, hotlink/leeching protection (to prevent others from displaying your content on their sites using your bandwidth to do it), and password protected directories.

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IPOWER Review – Website Statistics: 10/10

IPOWER hosting provides all of the standard website statistics for tracking and monitoring your sites. These include raw access logs, error logs, referrer logs, bandwidth usage monitoring and sub-domain statistics. They also include Webalizer and AWStats programs within cPanel to see a detailed graphical representation of all your traffic data.

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IPOWER Review – Administration & Software Support: 10/10

IPOWER is one of 2 providers in our web host reviews that uses the new vDeck control panel. For those of you who are new to web hosting, the learning curve is not steep; vDeck is just as easy to learn as the industry-standard cPanel. vDeck allows you to control everything from script installation and domain modifications to email and FTP in your hosting account. For those of you coming from a cPanel account, vDeck’s slightly different interface might take some getting used to, but the overall transition should be smooth. Both control panels provide the same level of account control and website management.

IPOWER supports the latest versions of most current web application software, including Apache, PHP, Perl, Python and Ruby / Ruby on Rails (RoR). (At the time of our IPOWER review, it was not apparent why they differed from their sister hosting company, but we are glad they support this increasingly popular framework.) Each account has CGI-BIN and SSI capability as well as support for JavaScript and DHTML. IPOWER allows custom PHP.ini files and has phpMyAdmin for MySQL database management. They have Microsoft FrontPage extensions available and allow uploading sites from Dreamweaver. They are also WordPress ready.

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IPOWER Review – Multimedia Support: 10/10

IPOWER supports streaming audio and video (Real Player and Windows Media Player) along with Real Audio, Real Video, MIDI, Flash (user must have the free Flash plug-in installed in their browser), Shockwave (user must have the free Shockwave plug-in installed in their browser) and custom MIME types.

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IPOWER Review – Included Scripts: 9/10

Scripts that come with your IPOWER hosting account include forums & message boards, form-mail scripts, image galleries, blogs, site builders, content management systems & portals, project management, polls & surveys, FAQs, customer support & ticket generation, shopping cart & e-commerce scripts, chat, search and a CGI script library. They have also integrated Google Webmaster Tools as part of their hosting plan. This enables you to create a site search using Google as well as analyze visitor search and Google crawling data from within your account. Some of the other popular free scripts include popular applications such as WordPress, Moodle, Mambo, Joomla, Drupal, PHP-Nuke, PHPbb, Coppermine, Gallery 2, Gregarious RSS, X7 Chat, osCommerce, Agora Cart, Zen-Cart and many more.

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IPOWER Review – E-Commerce Features:
9/10

IPOWER offers some interesting e-commerce extras. In addition to integrated Google Webmaster Tools and Google custom Search, you also get marketing guides (500+ Page Manual), RatePoint Customer Feedback Platform free trial, a keyword generator, a ShopSite Starter package and a free Yellow Pages listing at YP.com (the new yellowpages.com). A $50 Google Adwords credit, $25 Yahoo! Advertising credit, a $50 Facebook ads credit and hundreds of free professional-quality website templates round out their respectable e-commerce offerings.

The one missing piece is a dedicated IP address. Without that, you can’t have a private SSL certificate. If you have your own web store and merchant account (as opposed to accepting payments through PayPal or Clickbank where they process the transaction and therefore handle the security), and are using shared SSL, your checkout and account information pages would appear in your customer’s browser address bar as: “https://secure.ipower.com/~YourUserName”. A professional web store has their own SSL certificate, which would appear in the customer’s web browser address bar as: “https://www.yoursite.com/checkoutpage”.

IPOWER hosting also includes a 1 year free membership with Carbonite. Carbonite is a file storage / backup company that provides space in their secure storage environment so you can back up your files without the need for an external hard drive or constant burning of CD or DVD backup disks (neither of which can protect you against fire or theft). The free year entitles you to 2 GB of storage, which is not enough to back up your whole hard drive but is enough to back up your websites, databases and critical personal and business data.

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3.5 StarIPOWER Review – Overall Score: 72/80

IPOWER does the basics right. Unlimited domains, storage, bandwidth and email combined with quick setup allows you to get up and running quickly. Their e-commerce extras are very good and the Carbonite backup trial is a nice addition to the package. For the environmentally conscious, IPOWER's hosting is 100% wind powered. Given the database limitations and slight support issues, this host is not for everyone. We would recommend IPOWER to moderately tech-savvy people or those who don’t foresee a need for many special modifications to their hosting accounts. The plan with its included features and extras is good for individuals with personal web pages and blogs, beginning Internet marketers who are on a budget and smaller organizations (churches, nonprofits and small companies doing sales through a third party payment processor like PayPal or Clickbank). It is a good alternative to StartLogic if you need Ruby on Rails support or you want to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions and a healthier environment.

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