On the surface, Kamatera seems to offer an affordable avenue into cloud hosting. But that’s the thing with many of these cloud hosts – the entry-level plans look pretty cheap… at first.
But many basic features, such as backups and security solutions, will incur extra ongoing fees. If you aren’t careful, you can end up paying a lot of money for a basic server with a bunch of add-ons you don’t really need.
My testing found that Kamatera offers some genuinely good deals, especially on entry-level servers. It also gives you a free 30-day trial that gives you plenty of time to try the service for yourself.
If you’re looking for a cheap place to start with cloud hosting, I’d say Kamatera is definitely worth considering. To find all this out, I evaluated multiple server configurations with Kamatera, comparing them to the competition. Read on for all the details.
Short on time? These are Kamatera’s best plans for October 2021:
- 1GB RAM unmanaged: A cheap starting point with access to all of Kamatera’s features
- 4GB RAM unmanaged: The right amount of resources for several busy sites
- 16GB RAM with extended managed service: Enterprise-level server with managed maintenance, configuration, and support
Features and Pricing Overview
Affordable Unmanaged Servers, Expensive Managed Service
Kamatera is kind of unique among cloud hosts, as it allows you to custom-build your server, and then fine-tune it whenever you wish. You can set your RAM, CPU, and storage space to the exact specifications you require.
However, if you’d like to skip the customization process, Kamatera’s Express service offers nine cloud VPS plans with a range of server configurations.
Cloud VPSs are charged by the second, and costs are summarized in a monthly bill. You can pay with any major credit card, but unfortunately, there is no PayPal or cryptocurrency support. Kamatera also offers a 30-day trial, which allows you to test a cloud VPS of up to $100 in monthly value.
Thankfully, there’s little in the way of hidden costs. Any add-on or optional service is clearly priced – the only thing you may need to look out for are the overage fees for exceeding data transfer or storage limits. Account cancellation is also refreshingly simple. You can cancel your account at any time via the server dashboard.
Kamatera is best suited to experienced developers who can take full advantage of an unmanaged cloud server. There aren’t any resources available to help a beginner besides the managed service add-on, which is more expensive than the average.
Self-Managed Cloud VPS
You can configure your unmanaged cloud instance in any way you choose, install whatever third-party software you’d like, and so on. You also get all the benefits of cloud infrastructure, in that all resources are scalable on demand, and can be configured to accommodate big traffic surges.
Also, this includes redundancy – if any server in the network goes down, your site will be served by duplicate files and data on a healthy node, with no downtime.
As you might imagine, managing a cloud server isn’t easy. Unmanaged cloud VPSs are generally best for those who have experience in setting up, optimizing, and maintaining servers.
Kamatera’s cheapest server configuration includes 1GB RAM, 1vCPU, 20GB SSD, and 5TB of outbound data transfer (except for servers in the Hong Kong datacenter, where only 1TB is included). The entry-level server comes with access to every Kamatera feature, such as full scalability and a long list of server images to speed up the setup process.
While this entry-level configuration isn’t very powerful, it’s enough to get a project started – from there, you can easily allocate more resources as you grow.
The servers in these plans use a non-dedicated CPU thread. While this does mean you’ll be sharing processing power with other users, the cloud infrastructure manages traffic throughout the server grid, ensuring enough resources are available for all running processes.
If your project doesn’t require dedicated processing, then this is a fantastic price. Many competitors, such as Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, can’t match the low prices Kamatera lists for entry-level configurations. Kamatera’s add-ons, such as backups and firewalls, are also relatively affordable when attached to a lightweight server.
If your site(s) typically get low traffic with occasional spikes, this configuration may be appropriate. It includes a Burstable CPU, which means that you get one or more dedicated processing threads with reserved resources guaranteed. There is a caveat, however – you’ll be expected to use only 10% or less of the CPU, most of the time.
Then, you’ll pay a nominal hourly fee during periods when your server’s average CPU usage exceeds 10%. This is much cheaper than purchasing a fully-dedicated CPU, as the majority of processing power often goes unused.
That said, Kamatera includes no free bandwidth for servers with burstable CPUs. This means you’ll have to pay an additional small fee for each GB of public traffic, which may add up. This makes this server rather poor value unless you’re supervising it closely – a similar virtual machine with DigitalOcean includes 3TB of bandwidth for only a slight increase in price.
Looking for affordable but dedicated processing power? While the number of vCPU cores remains the same, Kamatera’s general-purpose CPUs grant your server dedicated vCPU threads.
This means that you won’t be receiving the benefits of a full CPU core, just the guaranteed power of a set number of a core’s threads. Still, this offers more reliability and consistency.
Kamatera’s middle-ground general-purpose option offers decent value if it suits your purposes. Google Cloud’s e2-standard-2 virtual machine offers two dedicated vCPUs, double the RAM, and similar SSD space for a slightly higher price, or a lower price if you commit to a year or more. However, Kamatera’s overall per-second customizability might be a better sell, depending on your circumstances.
This server’s higher RAM allocation is well-suited to serving multiple sites. It also offers a decent amount of processing speed thanks to the four dedicated vCPU threads.
Yet it’s here that the General Purpose CPU runs into issues regarding value. DigitalOcean offers a virtual machine with 2 dedicated vCPU cores (4 threads) and 8GB RAM for a far lower price.
It isn’t a simple victory for DigitalOcean though. There’s a lot less SSD space included and slightly less free data transfer. Also, as with many other providers, DigitalOcean’s server plans are much more rigid and difficult to scale. As such, Kamatera may be worth the higher price if you really need flexibility, and this may save you money in the long run.
If you have the need and the budget for a high-end server, Kamatera can certainly provide one. With a generous amount of RAM and 8 fully dedicated vCPU cores, you won’t have a problem running multiple large and popular websites, apps, databases, email servers, or whatever you wish.
What’s even better is that Kamatera continues to allow you to adjust resource levels at any time.
If you’re handling enough online activity to warrant such a server, you may need to keep a close eye on your data transfer limits. Most of Kamatera’s servers include 5TB of data transfer, but are subject to a monthly overage fee of $0.01/GB – a nominal fee for sure, but if you’re serving media to thousands of users (for example), this can add up rapidly.
Add-ons such as the backup solution, the cloud firewall, and load balancing will also increase costs relative to your resources and total traffic.
This server isn’t a great deal when compared to the competition’s offerings. For example, Amazon Web Services provides the same dedicated resources for just half the price with the a2.2xlarge instance. This even comes with some extra benefits, such as 100GB of redundant block storage.
Is Self-Managed Cloud VPS Right For You?
If you’re looking for an affordable way to get started with a cloud VPS, Kamatera is a great choice. Not only is it reasonably priced, but it offers a level of customizability and scalability rarely seen from its competitors.
However, for more powerful unmanaged servers, Kamatera offers lesser value for money. If you’re looking to host multiple resource-intensive sites or apps, and manage them yourself, you may get a better deal elsewhere.
|1GB RAM||2GB RAM||4GB RAM||8GB RAM||16GB RAM|
|Initial term starting price||$0.005 per hour ($4 a month)||$0.018 per hour ($13 a month)||$0.060 per hour ($44 a month)||$0.123 per hour ($90 a month)||$0.425 per hour ($310 a month)|
|Price on renewal||Same||Same||Same||Same||Same|
|Number of websites||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|CPUs||1 non-dedicated thread||2 burstable vCPU threads||2 burstable vCPU threads||4 burstable vCPU threads||8 burstable vCPU threads|
|Storage||20GB SSD||40GB SSD||60GB SSD||80GB SSD||100GB SSD|
|Bandwidth||5TB (1TB in Hong Kong)||None included||5TB (1TB in Hong Kong)||5TB (1TB in Hong Kong)||5TB (1TB in Hong Kong)|
|Automatic SSL installation?||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Backups||Paid add-on||Paid add-on||Paid add-on||Paid add-on||Paid add-on|
|Performance optimizations||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network|
|Server type||Your choice||Your choice||Your choice||Your choice||Your choice|
|Firewalls||Premium cloud firewall available||Premium cloud firewall available||Premium cloud firewall available||Premium cloud firewall available||Premium cloud firewall available|
|Security tools||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network|
|Number of data centers||13||13||13||13||13|
|Data center locations||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia|
|Support availability||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone|
Managed Cloud VPS
While an unmanaged solution can work perfectly well, server setup and maintenance can take up a lot of time and resources. Some individuals and businesses may wish to outsource these tasks so that they can focus on their website content, app development, or business operations in general.
Kamatera offers server management in the form of an add-on. You still get all the benefits of Kamatera’s bespoke server configurations, but Kamatera’s management services aren’t cheap. Still, this will cost less than hiring an in-house system administrator.
If you’re looking to easily and quickly put up a few busy sites, the managed service combined with a smaller server may be all you need. Kamatera’s basic server management covers the initial setup and configuration for your OS and web servers, and also includes automatic backups.
Furthermore, you can request updates for your web servers and OS at any time. Kamatera’s support team will also help you choose a server configuration tailored to your needs, and will assist with the transfer of domains. And you’ll get ongoing technical support that will aim to respond within two hours.
Sadly, at $50/month the Basic service is rather poor value compared to other hosts. Paying for an annual plan with Liquid Web gets you far cheaper managed cloud VPS with dedicated resources, automatic updates, and security patches. And its fully-managed option only incurs an additional $10 per month.
If you require a more powerful solution with some assistance, you may benefit the most from this configuration. The number of resources on offer should be more than adequate for running many busy websites, or even a reseller operation. The Basic service here also includes setup and configuration of load balancing to handle increases in traffic as your online properties grow.
Unfortunately, this managed server again tends to be more expensive than the majority of the competition. Compared once more with Liquid Web, Kamatera offers less extensive management and less processing power for a higher monthly fee.
As with most of Kamatera’s plans, what you’re paying for is a maximum level of flexibility and per-second pricing, and this alone can save you money in the short and long term.
Kamatera’s Extended managed service covers everything in Basic, but also includes a number of additional services. If you’re running multiple critical applications and you don’t want to employ a full-time system administrator, this enterprise-level option is for you.
It’s a long list of extra services, but most notably, you will be getting automatic updates and patches for your web servers and OS. Additionally, the validity of your backups will be manually checked regularly, your server logs will be automatically cleared out each week, and you’ll receive database support on request.
Kamatera’s Extended management offers much more than even Liquid Web’s premium Full Management plan – of course, Kamatera’s Extended service costs a lot more, but it’s still significantly less expensive than hiring dedicated staff.
This top-end server is for enterprise-level operations that require the best in performance and reliability. As you’d expect, this plan costs several hundred dollars a month.
While you can get a cheaper managed cloud plan through a service like Cloudways, you won’t get dedicated Kamatera staff managing servers that belong to Kamatera. Cloudways manages other companies’ servers and support staff don’t have immediate access to data center hardware.
Kamatera is also much faster to respond to reported problems – action will be taken within five minutes. Even if you pay significantly more for the Premium support plan from Cloudways, response times can take up to ten minutes.
Is a Managed Cloud VPS Right for You?
If you’re happy to perform some server administration and maintenance yourself, and you don’t need total flexibility with your server configurations, Liquid Web or Cloudways may save you a lot of money.
However, if you’re looking for complete server management, Kamatera offers a wide range of services with the Extended plan that aren’t available with other popular cloud hosts. This can definitely be worth the added cost, especially with more complex deployments that require constant upkeep.
|2GB RAM (Basic Management)||8GB RAM (Basic Management)||16GB RAM (Extended Management)||32GB RAM (Extended Management)|
|Initial term starting price||$0.082 per hour ($60 a month)||$0.192 per hour ($140 a month)||$0.589 per hour ($430 a month)||$0.998 per hour ($729 a month)|
|Price on renewal||Same||Same||Same||Same|
|Number of websites||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|CPUs||2 burstable vCPU cores||4 dedicated vCPU threads||8 dedicated vCPU threads||16 dedicated vCPU threads|
|Storage||20GB SSD||80GB SSD||100GB SSD||150GB SSD|
|Bandwidth||None included||5TB (1TB in Hong Kong)||5TB (1TB in Hong Kong)||5TB (1TB in Hong Kong)|
|Automatic SSL installation?||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Backups||Included with managed service||Included with managed service||Included with managed service||Included with managed service|
|Performance optimizations||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network||Intel Xeon Platinum processors, 40Gbit/s network|
|Server type||Your choice||Your choice||Your choice||Your choice|
|Firewalls||Premium cloud firewall available||Premium cloud firewall available||Premium cloud firewall available||Premium cloud firewall available|
|Security tools||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network||Highly secure data centers, encrypted cloud network|
|Number of data centers||13||13||13||13|
|Data center locations||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia||3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 3 in Europe, 5 in the Middle East, 1 in Asia|
|Support availability||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone|
Recommended Vendor Alternatives
While there are plenty of reasons to like Kamatera, our other top-rated cloud hosts make great alternatives. Read on to see if any of the below hosts make a better fit for your particular needs.
For basic server management, Liquid Web has Kamatera beat on price – though it’s much cheaper if you commit to an annual plan, and you won’t get the same flexibility. You do get automatic patches and updates, 24/7 monitoring with proactive response to any issues, and a 100% uptime guarantee, which surpasses Kamatera’s 99.9% guarantee.
Liquid Web also features superb technical support with guaranteed minimum response times. However, Kamatera’s extended managed service is more comprehensive than Liquid Web’s, covering database assistance and backup management. It even includes much faster-guaranteed response times from support, and this is normally something upon which Liquid Web prides itself.
Cloudways is a bit of a unique case. It doesn’t actually provide hosting on its own servers – instead, it acts as a management service for other cloud platforms. This includes Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean.
As these providers don’t offer managed services, Cloudways gives you access to these hosts without having to maintain and run a server yourself.
While there are many choices of servers from the various hosts on offer, you won’t get the per-second customizability of Kamatera. Also, while Cloudways offers a comparable premium managed service, it is many times more expensive than Kamatera’s Managed Cloud Extended service.
DigitalOcean offers better pricing than Kamatera on smaller burstable cloud VPSs. As Kamatera offers no included bandwidth with its burstable servers, you could save money with DigitalOcean’s free traffic allowance.
Additionally, it offers a free trial spanning 60 days, which is twice the duration of Kamatera’s trial period. Our tests also showed it to have slightly better performance than Kamatera – most of the time. Unfortunately, DigitalOcean has a history of poor reliability. Many customers cite long periods of downtime with little to no explanation from support.
|Storage (per server, not including extra block storage)||20GB – 16TB||40GB – 200GB||20GB – 4TB||25GB – 7.03TB|
|Bandwidth||5TB (1TB in Hong Kong)||10TB||2GB – 20TB||1TB – 10TB|
|Automatic SSL installation?||✔||✘||✔ (free one-click SSL)||✘|
|Optimized for WordPress?||✘ (one-click install only)||✔ (managed WordPress VPS plans available)||✔||✘ (one-click install only)|
|Backups||Premium add-on, included in managed service||Free account-level backups, full server backups available as a premium add-on||Offsite backups, charged per GB of storage||Premium add-on|
|Customer support||24/7 support via tickets, email, and phone||24/7 support via live chat, phone, tickets, and email, guaranteed response times||24/7 support via live chat and ticket support, phone and Slack channel available in premium support plans||24/7 support via tickets|
Great Value on Entry-Level VPS, But Prices Rise Sharply As You Scale
Kamatera is a great choice if you’re looking for a simple and affordable starting point. Its flexible cloud VPS can grow with your website(s), while providing reliable performance anywhere in the world with an extensive cloud network.
The more powerful unmanaged servers are more expensive than the competition’s, but only Kamatera offers such granular customizability.
If you’re still unsure whether Kamatera is a good fit for you, read below for my personal recommendations.
If you’re just looking for a cheap starting point, Kamatera’s 1GB RAM server with the Availability CPU offers great value. You get access to every Kamatera feature, while enjoying lower prices than most of the competition.
For projects that require a balance between affordability and dedicated processing power, the 4GB RAM with General Purpose CPUs could work. With dedicated processor threads, you’ll get guaranteed resources at lower prices than you’d find elsewhere.
If you’re looking for a lot of power with comprehensive management and support services, I’d choose the 16GB cloud VPS with dedicated vCPUs and the Managed Cloud Extended service add-on. This enterprise-level server boasts multiple fully-dedicated CPU cores alongside a managed service which is a cost-effective substitute for an in-house system administrator.
Which is the cheapest hosting service?Kamatera offers one of the cheapest starting points for cloud VPS hosting. But if you’re primarily looking to save money, you can get shared hosting plans for a lot less if you’re willing to sacrifice performance and customizability. Before you decide on either type of hosting, see the latest discount offers for October 2021 on our coupon page.Is Kamatera’s cloud hosting secure?Yes, the default configuration of any of Kamatera’s servers is secure enough for just about any standard hosting project, and like most other reputable hosting providers, Kamatera’s data centers offer a very high standard of physical security with redundant power sources. If you’re looking for advanced security, you’ll have to pay more, but the configuration of Kamatera’s firewalls and other add-ons are included with its managed service add-ons.What’s the difference between shared hosting and cloud hosting?With shared hosting, you share the resources of a single server with other customers. Cloud hosting uses a cluster of servers that pool their resources, allocating more resources where and when they are needed, duplicating your website’s assets as necessary to ensure smooth delivery to visitors during traffic spikes. Technically, cloud hosting is “shared” to an extent, but you can pay extra for dedicated resources, hence “cloud VPS” services – this is what you get with Kamatera’s plans.Is Kamatera easy to use?Kamatera isn’t an easy host to get started with. While there is an account dashboard to help you manage your servers’ resources, there’s no documentation to cover the basics of running a cloud VPS, and technical support for more than basic issues is locked behind an expensive managed service. If you’re just looking for a beginner-friendly option for hosting one or more websites, one of the hosts in our list of the best web hosting providers for 2021 might prove to be a better choice for you.