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Hostinger vs 1&1 IONOS – Who is Better Value for Money in [2019]?

Ari Esmond
Ari Esmond
22
November 20, 2019

Hostinger is one of the biggest names out there, and with good reason, it tops our list of the best web hosting services in 2019 after all, but 1&1 IONOS still ranks highly when you consider that there are thousands, yes thousands, of web hosting providers to choose from. This battle comes down to your personal needs. Are you looking for the web host that’s best for your business, with top quality performance and security? Or are you more interested in more storage space and a free domain name?

Before we get started, I want you to know that from the outset, I’d opt for Hostinger over 1&1 IONOS. It’s a close battle so what is it that makes Hostinger the better choice? Keep reading to find out how what happened when I tested them both out.

In this expert review I’ve put 1&1 IONOS vs Hostinger in five head-to-head rounds, looking at:

Round 1: Loading Speeds

1&1 IONOS’ Downtime Is Double Hostinger’s

Hostinger uses SSD drives on its servers – which instantly boost speeds. It also has a cache manager that improves page loading speeds when handling static content and full support for a Cloudflare CDN (content delivery network). A CDN improves page loading speeds by storing a copy of your website on servers around the world. So when someone visits your website, your website pages are loaded using the server that is closest to them.

1&1 IONOS also uses SDD drives, but there’s no built-in cache manager, and a CDN is only available on the (most expensive) Expert plan.

1&1 IONOS has different performance levels that affect the speed of your website depending on your hosting plan – but that’s not even an option with 1&1 IONOS’ basic plan. The Business plan starts at performance level 1, for up to 2.5 GB RAM, while the Expert plan’s performance level 3 gives you up to 9 GB RAM. You are able to upgrade to level 5 at any time, for an additional cost, which gives you up to 19 GB RAM.

Hostinger also has different levels of processing power – but these are 1x, 2x, and 4x, depending on the plan. However, Hostinger’s RAM allocations are much smaller than 1&1 IONOS’. The basic level (1) offers 256MB RAM, with 2x equating to 512MB and so on.

Then there’s the server response time. In tests, Hostinger’s server response time is almost twice as fast as 1&1 IONOS, as the screenshots below demonstrate.

Chart of Hostinger’s server response times by month

Chart of 1&1 IONOS server response times by month

Over eight months, Hostinger’s server response time averaged 359 ms, compared to 1&1 IONOS’ server response time average of 525 ms. Hostinger’s servers are around 68% faster than 1&1 IONOS.

Another good way to measure a host’s performance is its uptime. Hostinger’s uptime scores leave 1&1 IONOS behind. Hostinger’s average uptime was 99.95% during an eight-month span – well within its 99.9% uptime guarantee. 1&1 IONOS, however, had an average uptime for that period of 99.90%.

While only a 0.05 percentage difference, over the course of a month, this equates to a big difference in downtime. For Hostinger, it’s an average of 22 minutes, while 1&1 IONOS’ servers are down for an average of 43 minutes.

When I tested both 1&1 IONOS and Hostinger, I noticed a distinct difference in page loading times. While 1&1 IONOS doesn’t allow you to choose your own data center, Hostinger does, meaning you can choose the data center closest to your target audience for improved speeds.

And the winner is: Hostinger. Better server response times and a better uptime record make Hostinger the obvious choice if the performance of your website is important to you. 1&1 IONOS’ performance isn’t terrible, however, so if performance isn’t a deal-breaker for you, it may still be the right web host for you.

Round 2: Pricing

Hostinger’s Prices Are Low – But 1&1 IONOS Doesn’t Make You Pay for a Long Contract

Hostinger’s prices for a single website are hard to beat – but the advertised prices require you pay upfront for two years. While this is a common tactic among web hosting companies, 1&1 IONOS offers contract-free hosting plans that run month to month with no massive up-front costs.

You can pay monthly with Hostinger, too, but it will cost you up to 8x more overall than paying upfront for two years. Consider investing for longer and you’ll get better value for money.

Sure, 1&1 IONOS’ offers you some great features like a free domain name for one year and a free wildcard SSL certificate, but that doesn’t make it the outright winner. In fact, Hostinger now includes a free “lifetime” SSL with its cheap hosting plan.

Order summary page for 1&1 IONOS hosting
Hostinger’s cheap web hosting plan now offers a free SSL certificate

However, in some areas, Hostinger offers value-added features that 1&1 IONOS doesn’t provide. For example, Hostinger includes its own free website builder with its web hosting, whereas you’ll have to pay extra for one with 1&1 IONOS.

Both Hostinger and 1&1 IONOS have a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, 1&1 IONOS’ cancellation process is not easy. To cancel with 1&1 IONOS, you must submit a written cancellation request at least three working days before your renewal date. Your cancellation will not go into effect until it has been confirmed in writing. In some cases, users have waited months for cancellation requests to be confirmed.

And the winner is: 1&1 IONOS. With the inclusion of a free domain name, wildcard SSL, and contract-free pricing, 1&1 IONOS has a slight edge over Hostinger in this round. However, if you already have your own domain name – or you want to use a website builder with your web hosting – then Hostinger is still a good choice.

Round 3: Security

Hostinger Gives You Added Security – 1&1 IONOS Charges for It

Having protection against malware, hacking attempts, and other kinds of vulnerabilities is a must when you have a website.

Hostinger’s shared hosting packages use BitNinja security, which gives your website protection against DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks and also protects you from:

  • Malware
  • Hacking attempts
  • Botnets
  • Brute force attacks
  • Script injection

Hostinger is also equipped with support for the latest PHP versions and allows you to change your PHP version easily. You can see the PHP configuration options on the ‘Advanced’ tab (below). New accounts are automatically set up on PHP 7.2 but also support PHP 7.3 for better levels of security.

Screenshot of PHP configuration on Hostinger
PHP configuration options with Hostinger

With 1&1 IONOS, security features are provided by SiteLock – but you only get malware protection on the Expert plan and above. The lack of built-in security means that to fully protect your web hosting space, you need to purchase an add-on like SiteLock Premium – which you can try free for 30 days but will then incur an additional monthly fee.

1&1 IONOS offers server-level DDoS protection and also supports PHP 7.2 and 7.3. However, if you want to change your PHP version, you will have to contact customer support, as 1&1 IONOS only allows you to change the PHP version yourself on domain names that aren’t connected to a website.

Screenshot of PHP support on 1&1 IONOS hosting
PHP configuration panel with 1&1 IONOS

And the winner is: Hostinger. With BitNinja security automatically enabled on all plans, Hostinger doesn’t expect you to pay extra to keep your website safe and secure. It also gives you full control over the PHP version of your website.

Round 4: Features

Hostinger Will Migrate Your Website for Free — 1&1 IONOS Charges for Migrations 

Below, I’ve set up a table that directly compares Hostinger vs 1&1 IONOS on the most common web hosting features.

FeatureHostinger1&1 IONOS
Bandwidth100 GB on Single website plan, unlimited on all other plansUnlimited on all plans
Data Storage10 GB to 30 GB, depending on your plan10 GB to 500 GB, depending on your plan
DomainsFree for one year on Premium plan and aboveFree for one year on all plans
cPanelYes – Hostinger uses cPanel, with a custom theme to make navigation simpleA custom control panel that’s complex and difficult to navigate
MigrationsFree – the customer support team will help you migrate your website from another hostNot included
BackupsWeekly on all plans except Expert, which offers daily backupsDaily, but these are only available for a maximum of six days
Other Included FeaturesUnlimited email addresses on Premium plan and above
GIT access
1-click install of apps
Cache manager
Zyro website builder
Easy PHP configuration
Between 10 and 500 email addresses depending on the plan
GIT access
1-click install of apps

And the winner is: Hostinger. Although 1&1 IONOS gives you more storage space (on most plans) and unlimited bandwidth on all plans, Hostinger has a slight edge due to its free migrations, easier-to-use control panel, unlimited email addresses, cache manager, and included website builder. Unless you want to host a lot of multimedia files, Hostinger’s included storage space is more than enough for most websites.

Round 5: Support

Hostinger Offers Live Chat Support, While 1&1 IONOS Uses Phone Support

Both Hostinger and 1&1 IONOS have 24/7 customer support, but you’ll have very different experiences with each of them.

Since 1&1 merged with IONOS, the company has been offering a “personal consultant” service, which is designed to ensure you get personalized one-on-one customer support when you need it. In my experience, despite this, the customer support is still the same, and there’s still no live chat support option.

You’re only able to get support via phone with 1&1 IONOS – either by calling directly or requesting a callback. There isn’t even an option to submit a support ticket.

By contrast, Hostinger provides support only via live chat. There’s no phone or ticket support, but you do get really fast responses when you start a live chat, and issues are resolved quickly. It’s also possible to purchase priority support as an add-on, and if you need support in a different language, they’ll do their best to accommodate you too.

Hostinger's customer support
Quick responses from Hostinger’s customer support

Both 1&1 IONOS and Hostinger have excellent knowledge base articles, but Hostinger has the edge with a large range of tutorials that walk you through all kinds of technical issues, including WordPress, SSL, DNS (Domain Name Systems), and more.

And the winner is: It’s a tie. Who wins for customer service in this round largely depends on whether you prefer phone support or live chat!

Hostinger Is the Top Choice in Most Areas

Hostinger takes three out of the five rounds, making it our clear winner.

Our Recommendations

  • If you’re running a business and need top-class performance and security, then Hostinger is most definitely for you. If you want to find out more about Hostinger, why not check out our Hostinger review?
  • If storage space is vital for you – for example, if you’re putting a lot of large video files online – then 1&1 IONOS will work better for you. For a more in-depth exploration, head over to our expert 1&1 IONOS review.
RoundHostinger1&1 IONOS
PerformanceServer response time up to 68% faster than 1&1 IONOSAverage uptime of 99.90%. You’ll experience twice as much downtime as you would with Hostinger
Value for the MoneyFree website builder included in all plansFree domain name for one year and wildcard SSL certificate included with all plans
SecurityBitNinja security includes protection against spam, hacking, botnets, brute force attacks, malware, and script injectionSiteLock malware protection with the Expert plan and above
FeaturesMore overall features, like cache manager and unlimited email addressesMore storage space, but control panel is disappointing
Customer SupportSupport only available via live chat, but lots of knowledge base tutorialsSupport only available via phone, even though you get your own personal consultant
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