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FastComet’s hosting plans include all the important features and are backed by some of the best support agents in the industry. Still, the greatest thing about FastComet is the number of data centers it maintains, many of them in hard-to-reach locations such as India, East Asia, and Oceania. This global deployment means that no matter your visitors are, your website will be readily available.
But is FastComet a good choice even if your target audience is in America or Europe? I tested it over a period of three months to find out.
Is FastComet Really the Premium Hosting Service It Claims to Be?
When I was asked to review FastComet, I was intrigued. You see, I used to work as a web developer, but FastComet was one of the very few hosts I never actually got to try and play around with.
True, I could’ve probably lived a full life without knowing how good FastComet really is, but when the stars align so nicely, how can you say no? I proceeded to sign up as a fresh user and to test each and every aspect of FastComet’s services.
These services, by the way, include the classic trio of shared, VPS (virtual private servers), and dedicated hosting. They’re hosted in data centers sprinkled all over the world, and FastComet boasts that their performance will “exceed your expectations.” It also says that you’re about to fall in love with the features, but that probably says more about the current state of love than it does about the features themselves.
Anyways, my expectations are not easily exceeded. I’m still looking for a powerful service that’s honest, reliable, fast, and fairly priced. I can tell you right now that some parts of FastComet’s service did impress me, which is how the host landed a spot on my list of the best hosting companies available today.
Read on for the full lowdown and see if FastComet is the right host for you.
I wouldn’t describe FastComet’s shared hosting plans as “jam-packed with features,” but we’re certainly looking at some generous offerings. No mission-critical feature is locked behind a paywall, and the basic plan will suit a single website just fine.
This basic plan, FastCloud, is also the one I signed up to. I am going to fault FastComet for making it seem like you’ll be getting cloud-based hosting, because that is not the case. We’re talking standard shared server infrastructure, not the flexible cloud environments of tomorrow.
But that’s really alright, especially when you consider what the plans include. The basic plan comes with 15GB of SSD storage space and 30GB of bandwidth, which is more than what a lot of other hosts currently offer.
All plans are based on the tried-and-true cPanel control panel, which lets you quickly and efficiently manage your hosting and website. WordPress, Joomla, and hundreds of other CMS (content management systems) can all be easily installed with the one-click Softaculous auto-installer tool.
Free migrations from other hosts to FastComet are also included, and so is a smart integration with Cloudflare CDN, a global delivery network that assists in quick delivery of content to your visitors.
Wondering what the two advanced plans are for? Well, if you contract hosting-mania, the insatiable need to host more than one website takes over. While the basic plan is limited to one website, the two advanced plans are unlimited, with adequate resources to boot.
Fancy yourself an avid emailer? I’m happy to report that all three plans come with unlimited email inboxes. That means that everyone, from your significant other to virtual assistants and your mother-in-law, can get an account.
What about that lovely, stress-relieving padlock that everybody wants to see in their browser’s address bar? That’s an SSL certificate, which you’ll also be getting with any FastComet plan. It’s easy to install, and will do all kinds of wonders for you – from boosting your SEO ranking over SSL-less competitors, to letting you conduct ecommerce transactions.
FastComet also advertises that a website builder by the name of FastComet SiteBuilder is available for use. It wasn’t actually developed by FastComet, and you can find it on other services, but it is a pretty useful tool for getting a basic website up in mere seconds.
Before jumping into the really interesting stuff, let me just complain for a bit. Everything we covered so far is good, but where FastComet lags behind is in the web server department. By using the classic Apache technology instead of the more advanced Nginx and LiteSpeed, FastComet can’t offer the powerful caching tools that make hosts like Hostinger such performance beasts.
Alright, on to the special treats.
Useful Tools and an Excellent Global Presence
Ever heard that hosting nursery rhyme, “All the king’s bandwidth and all the king’s CDN couldn’t reach Humpty Dumpty and come back again”? There’s truth to that. You can play around with your server as much as you want, but to provide effective service to your visitors, you need to be near them. Trying to serve an Australian visitor from an LA-based data center will most likely result in excruciatingly slow speeds, if not in a service timeout.
Most hosting services let you choose between two to three locations, usually located in the US east coast and in the Netherlands. Some also have a presence in Singapore. Enter FastComet, which operates a whopping 11data centers around the world.
That’s three in the US and one in each of the following places: Canada, UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, India, Singapore, and Australia. Basically, you will have a location close to your target audience, and they will always be able to load your website.
The ModSecurity Firewall
Without going into too much technical detail, a firewall is a software application that keeps the bad guys out while still letting your prized visitors browse your website freely. FastComet has your back with the ever-popular ModSecurity, and all necessary configurations have already been done for you.
Remember to log into your cPanel and make sure it’s enabled for all domains!
Managed VPS Service
If you’re just starting out with a simple blog or a basic business page, a VPS is simply more than you require. These virtualized machines offer dedicated resources that enable you to run advanced and complex processes, like an e-commerce store with many simultaneous visitors.
That’s great, but it usually comes with a lot of responsibility on your part. You’ll need to manage this baby, maintain it, and constantly update and patch configurations. Oh, and it only talks command-line Linux.
FastComet’s managed VPS truly saves the day in this regard, being one of the most professional and hands-on managed services available on the market. You really won’t have to worry about anything – just specify what you need and you can make the transition to VPS as easy as pie.
The Designer Was Excellent, the UX Guy Got a Bit Lost
While a sleek, eye-catching design is key to an easy hosting experience, the logic behind this design also has to be sound. Good UX (User Experience) means that everything behaves in a way that complements your intuition, instead of working against it. FastComet developed its very own custom account area and hosting portal, but UX-wise, it doesn’t always deliver.
Creating an Account with FastComet
Let’s start with the signup process. Plan features are clearly laid out, and it’s not going to take you more than a minute of browsing to identify which plan is right for you. You might get confused by the many available types of hosting (Web, WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, and more), but let me make it easy for you – it’s all the exact same plan. Just choose whichever.
After choosing my plan and completing a generic signup process, it seemed as if my hosting was active. But then again, not really. I had access to the account area, but my invoice was unpaid.
What did I need to do to really activate my account? It didn’t say, so I contacted support. An agent explained to me that my payment was actually declined for some reason, and proceeded to accept it and activate my account. He then wanted to have a phone conversation with me, and asked that I send a screenshot of my credit card charge through email.
This is mildly annoying, but it all goes to verify that I’m a real person, so I can’t really complain. What I can complain about is that this entire process depended on me understanding what was going on, and actively working to solve it. A great platform at least guides you in some way.
Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress
After successfully getting verified and officially activated, it was time to connect my domain, which was registered with Namecheap – a great bargain-priced domain registrar. To do that, I needed to know FastComet’s nameservers. Searching for them proved much harder than I was expecting.
They’re usually listed in your main account area, making it so that copy-pasting them to the domain management panel takes about four seconds. But alas, not with FastComet. I clicked Products, checked the details of my hosting plan, went through all the pages and all the information available there, and still couldn’t find the slightest mention of nameservers.
A normal person probably would’ve contacted support by now, but I was determined to figure it out myself. Almost an hour later, I found them, and boy was I shocked.
Get this. FastComet’s Home tab and Products tab both list your hosting plan, and the design is identical. The kicker is that clicking View Details in the Products tab leads to your plan page, but in the Home tab, the exact same button opens up a top-secret pop-up! And finally, in that pop-up, my nameservers were listed.
You now know how to avoid this problem yourself, but this lack of forethought is a recurring theme. Trying to open your cPanel from some pages will prompt you to reenter your account password, even if you already did just a second before that. Opening it from other pages works, no questions asked. This constant having to remember what happens where is tiring, and at the end of the day – costs you time.
Luckily, I also have some good things to say about the experience. You won’t actually have to open cPanel for the most common and useful features, like installing WordPress or activating your SSL certificate – they can be accessed directly from your plan page. There’s also a nifty resource usage tab that enables you to know exactly how you’re doing resource-wise, with colorful graphs and charts to boot.
All in all? The FastComet interface is pretty to look at, generally works alright, and sometimes drives you crazy. Funnily enough, that still makes it easier to use than many other services, some which take a week to activate and others that are a real pain to use.
As Long as Your Visitors Are Close By, It’s Pretty Fast
Not to brag, but the intense performance tests that we run here at Website Planet are probably the most in-depth tests done today. I’m going to put on my geek helmet and explain exactly what I tested, how I did it, and what were the results, but let me sum it up for you real quick if you’re in a hurry.
Average loading times close to the data center, which in my case was in the US, were good-to-medium – 1.85s. Not the best I’ve seen; not the worst. Global loading times farther away are significantly slower, even with a CDN active. Uptime tracked over a period of two months is 99.882%, less than the guaranteed 99.9%.
That all goes to show that FastComet isn’t a monster-performer. Nor is it a bad one. Given that it’s basically the only budget host with locations in India, Oceania, and East Asia, I’d say it’s still your best bet for these locations. For the US and Europe, you’d probably be better off with Hostinger or InterServer.
I hosted my test website on FastComet’s Dallas, TX data center. It’s a landing page, complete with HD images, text, a contact form, and some animations, very much like what your website might look like. You can visit it at the following URL and rerun any of these tests yourself – please share any interesting results that you find!
Like always, I contacted FastComet’s support before starting my tests and asked for some help with optimizations. The agent updated my PHP, optimized the database, and installed some performance plugins.
After he finished tweaking my website, I tested it using three tools: GTmetrix PRO, the Sucuri Load Time Tester, and Uptime Robot’s Pro plan. I chose the closest GTmetrix testing server, also located in Dallas, TX, to measure speed and optimization scores in the US. I used Sucuri to draw global performance insights, and UptimeRobot for tracking my website’s uptime.
After a few months of running multiple GTmetrix tests and aggregating the results, I calculated three figures: the slowest, the fastest, and the average loading time.
The average loading time was 1.85s. It’s not the fastest average time I saw in my tests (that honor belongs to Kinsta’s 1.2s), but it’s definitely what I’d call “in the green”. Even the slowest time measured, 2.8s, is fast enough that you won’t have to worry about visitors bouncing elsewhere. The best recorded time, 1.1s, is simply excellent.
Here’s one of these GTmetrix tests results in action, so feast your eyes:
The double Bs go to show that indeed, FastComet’s support agent optimized my website nicely. The only way to do better is to optimize and update the images I hid in the backend.
Sucuri Load Time Tester
Sucuri’s many global testing servers work in unison to give us an idea of a website’s performance worldwide. I ran it multiple times, just like GTmetrix, and calculated three more figures. This time, all three are averages. An average of the fastest location (in the US, close to my data center), the slowest (far away in Singapore), and the global average provided with each test.
I ended up with an average fastest speed of 0.339s, and average slowest speed of 2.259s, and a global average of 0.88s.
Pretty good stuff. Again, not the fastest, but still pretty good. The lack of an effective caching tool makes the idea of long-distance relationships a bit unrealistic, but all you need to do is choose the correct data center for your target audience. God knows FastComet gives you enough options, so just choose wisely.
Here’s one of my Sucuri tests:
Speeds are nice, but to even talk about speeds, we need our website to be available. That’s uptime, measured in percentage. I’m still tracking my FastComet website, but after more than two months, I’m stuck with a slightly disappointing 99.882%. It’s less than the 99.9% that the host guarantees, and is less than what I expect from a top host.
Do understand that my demands are very high, and what this figure means is that in two months, the website was unavailable for around 100 minutes. Around 5 minutes of unavailability every day or two. If you can live with that, don’t let it stop you from using FastComet.
Well, I can’t say that FastComet’s performance blew me away. It was alright. Still, the many hosting locations still make it a very viable option – as you’ll get good performance in places where most hosts barely load in.
In the next section we’ll cover how FastComet is not the cheapest, but for now, let’s focus on one of the main things you’ll be paying for: the rocking support service. It’s available 24/7/365, for real, and can be reached through live chat, tickets, phone, and email. There’s also a substantial knowledge base and quite a few step-by-step tutorials that even a complete beginner can follow and go from zero to hero.
Wondering why I said “for real”? Because while many hosts advertise 24/7 support, surprises often await their gullible users. After signing up, it’s not uncommon to get a message saying something along the lines of “Yeah, we’re always available! Just, you know, not now.” Whether that “now” is one hour, five, or basically all the time, depends on your luck.
With FastComet, I’ve always managed to talk with a real agent within a minute. Always. Even before signing up, the team was ready to answer all my questions. Not only that, but they did so with a level of honesty and truthfulness that I didn’t expect to see:
It’s really great that these guys aren’t the usual scamming kind, but trained experts who really know their stuff. After signing up, I contacted support again to see if they can help a new user like you with connecting a domain registered elsewhere.
Yep, they sure can. Not only did the agent immediately run all necessary tests to understand my current situation, he also went ahead and sent me a guide that specifically fit my registrar.That felt nice, as again, I’m used to hearing “That’s not part of our service and not our problem”.
I only encountered a problem when asking for help with my fresh WordPress installation. I asked to add the timeless “www.” prefix to my website, which is a super simple thing to do – you just need to add it in the WordPress settings. The agent got lost and confused, crashed my website, and only after pointing him in the right direction did he manage to find out the solution.
Apparently, that took all that he had to give, because when I asked for help changing my website title, he simply refused to help any further. Even after I explained that the pre-sales agent assured me they would help me with setting up my website, he insisted that it’s beyond the scope of FastComet’s support.
Thing is, I ask the most annoying questions and push these guys to the limit because I want you to know who you can really trust. And trust depends on knowing the agents can go the extra mile. This one couldn’t.
Things got better when I opened a support ticket, asking for help with optimizing my website. Not only did the agent respond quickly, but he did much more than I expected, updating all dependencies and installing important performance-boosting plugins for WordPress.
Except for that one time, I ended up being very happy with the support I received from FastComet, which is why I awarded it the second-highest support score of all the global hosts I tested. The top honors, if you’re wondering, go to GreenGeeks.
Is FastComet a service worth paying for? Definitely. And how do prices compare to the other options on the market? Quite nicely, I must say.
FastComet isn’t the cheapest option available, but then again, no cheap service comes with the excellent support that this host provides. You can sign up for 1, 12, 24, or 36 months, with prices getting better as your level of commitment rises. The longest contract will net you an excellent monthly price of $3.48 a month.
Remember that if it’s the data center locations that interest you, FastComet might be the only host that makes financial sense. Local hosts in India, East Asia, and Oceania might be on par price-wise, but you may have to deal with language barriers. The fact that most of these services offer far less than what FastComet offers is only more incentive to choose it.
There are various add-ons available for purchase when signing up, but none of them are essential, and there are no sneaky cases of pre-checked extras or hidden upsells. You don’t get a new domain for free with FastComet – but what it does offer is free domain transfer, with an extra year added to your domain registration (for free) when you transfer.
The really cool part about FastComet’s pricing is that these guys are crazy about promotions. They usually run amazing discounts for whatever is currently happening, be it the winter solstice or the coronavirus pandemic. When that happens, you might be able to get the kind of deal that makes you feel like an extremely shrewd businessman.
The payment itself is done through either credit card or PayPal, and I was very happy to see that all purchases are backed by a 45-day money-back guarantee, 50% longer than the industry average of one month.
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June 04, 2020
Very bad customer support
They are lazy in responding to your tickets. Please do not go with. They may lure you in pricing. They are offering very cheap rates for shared hosting. They are worst in supporting customers. They have a very bad response time. A slow website, and less business!
Dear Shabina Thasariya,
We were sorry to hear you were not happy with our services. We take seriously feedback from clients who were not satisfied with our services and we review each case thoroughly. We have reviewed your case thoroughly (including your complete ticket history), and we would like to address your concerns accordingly.
It seems that the reason for your frustration is that we have been forced to stop global access to your website as we have received an official complaint from our Upstream Provider. The official complaint was on behalf of RiskIQ (representative of Facebook Inc.) about digital threat incident impacting Facebook, its employees, management and/or Board of Directors, specifically concerning personal data and/or personally-identifying information (PII) belonging to one or more Facebook individuals that constitutes a privacy interference at the Internet Presence Location(s).
We are not in the position to interpret the law and we were legally obliged to place the restriction of your website until the issue was resolved in order to avoid any global restrictions from being placed on the server.
We are sorry to hear that you are not satisfied with our approach to resolving this sensitive matter. Our team is available for you at any time and will be happy to resolve any issue you might face or question you might have. Our main priority and mission are to provide our clients with a smooth and satisfying customer experience both with our support and our services.
We remain at your disposal to help with any further requests or questions.
FastComet is a generally great host, but if you’re still unsure, let me make it simple for you.
If you want to host in India, Japan, Australia, or Singapore, and are either not a resident or not a native speaker, don’t pick a local hosting company (Australian hosts aren’t going to let you sign up anyways). You have two main options – FastComet, which offers budget prices, or Kinsta, a premium host that sells for about 10 times more.
Understand how much you’re willing to pay, and use that to make a decision. FastComet’s great support, decent features, and mostly adequate performance are sure to serve you right.
Is FastComet easy to use?FastComet’s interface is generally easy to navigate, though it does have some annoying issues here and there. However, its responsive customer support is fantastic. For that reason, I’d say FastComet makes a good choice for beginners.Which is the cheapest hosting service? While you can get a good deal with FastComet, it isn’t the cheapest host out there. Hostinger manages to be cheaper while still providing high-quality performance and features. If you’re looking to save some cash, check out our coupon page for the latest offers.Is shared hosting from FastComet good for e-commerce?FastComet’s good loading speeds are well-suited to e-commerce sites. However, our tests recorded worrying instances of downtime. I’d recommend looking at our ultimate guide of the best web hosting providers in 2021 to find more options. Many of them provide superior uptime, along with nice features for e-commerce.Can you cancel FastComet and get a refund?All plans are eligible for FastComet’s money-back guarantee. You will receive a full refund if you cancel your hosting within 45 days, but cancellations outside of this period are not eligible for a refund.
Ben is an avid web developer who really loves to tinker with code, whether in the back-end or in the front-end. He’s searching for the world’s best website host, but also tries to find time for his other interests – comics, traveling, and home cooking.