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Linode is cheaper than most other cloud services, and provides enterprise-level performance with its Shared CPU plans. That said, it has problems maintaining uptime, and it lacks responsive technical support options.
But if you’re a developer on a budget willing to work with some uptime issues, you could still get some good value out of Linode.
Is Linode Really as Cheap and Powerful as They Say?
Linode is based in the US and offers a number of advanced hosting solutions, including dedicated CPU, Kubernetes, and Bare Metal options, which can serve anything from a small static site to a machine-learning AI.
As you can expect from its plans and developer tools, Linode isn’t for beginners – every feature is designed with a developer in mind. That said, if you’re a developer, there’s a lot to look forward to.
For one, Linode is constantly expanding its network reach. It currently has 11 server locations in 5 regions (North America, Europe, Asia, South Asia, and Oceania) – which is certainly impressive – and it should further improve website performance based on your audience’s location.
All in all, Linode positions itself as a host that is just as powerful as the biggest boys on the block, like Google Cloud and Microsoft AWS, but for much cheaper prices. To me, it sounded a bit too good to be true, which is why I decided to put it through some serious tests.
Versatile, Secure, and Developer-Friendly
Because Linode targets developers who need a wide array of cloud hosting solutions, you shouldn’t expect to see too many features specifically for web hosting. Still, all services come with hosting security protocols, including advanced DDoS protection, for free.
You can also get access to a Cloud Firewall and VLAN service for free – but there are restrictions. This rollout is fairly new and not available for all server locations. Thankfully, the rest of Linode’s features are fully accessible.
Server Programming with Powerful API
If you like to work directly through the command line, Linode also features a robust command line interface written in Python. It’s simple to install and allows you to automate common processes, deploy servers, and pretty much anything else you’d need it to.
What’s unique about Linode’s cloud storage plans is just how cheap they are – you’ll be saving plenty of money per GB compared to AWS and the Google Cloud Platform, and you won’t have to pay a dime for inbound data transfer.
If you need more space, Linode has block storage available for your cloud VPS, along with S3-compatible object storage, which is replicated across a cluster of cloud servers. Both options are easy to scale as needed.
Flat-Fee Backup Service
There’s no free automatic backup service, but you do have the option of purchasing it as an addon. With the Linode Backup Service, your VPS will be automatically backed up daily, weekly, and bi-weekly.
Unlike other Cloud backup solutions, you aren’t charged for the amount of storage your backups use. Instead, you pay a flat monthly fee based on your VPS configuration. Backups are only stored locally, however, so I’d recommend downloading them for an extra level of redundancy.
Linode at a Glance
Free domain name
Managed hosting features
Number/location of data centers
5 in North America, 2 in Europe, 1 in India, 3 in Asia and Australia
Ease of use
A Great Control Panel, but Disappointing Almost Everywhere Else
Linode does seem to take usability seriously and there is a clear focus on functionality when it comes to most features. After all, the last thing you want as a developer are barriers to the services and functions you need. Unfortunately, Linode doesn’t always hit the mark when it comes to usability.
Simple User Interface
Once you’ve created your account, which takes almost no time and is pretty straightforward, you’ll be taken to the Cloud Manager. This is where you’ll be managing all your Cloud servers and services, along with billing and account information.
I really liked it – everything was easy to find, responsive, and intuitive. I created a few VPSs and attached a load balancer, and the entire process took just a few clicks.
Linode also features an app marketplace, which allows you to easily deploy a variety of CMSs, control panels, stacks, and development tools. What’s especially nice is that you’re able to easily configure these apps during the creation process, changing the maximum amount of allowed resources, metadata, and so on.
That said, Linode’s app marketplace is quite barren. With only 66 total apps available, it doesn’t come close to other popular app installers like Softaculous.
Managed Service, but Not Like You’d Expect
First things first: This isn’t actual management of your VPS – it’s basically around-the-clock dedicated website monitoring with a few extra features.
For a very expensive fee, Linode will actively monitor the uptime and responsiveness of your VPS, along with providing cPanel and WHM, site migrations, and the Linode Backup Service for free.
If problems are detected, Linode will do its best to get you back online as soon as possible. This is helpful, but I would’ve preferred actual managed service, especially for the price.
Fantastic Speeds… When It Works
Let’s start with the good news. Linode’s servers use AMD EPYC processors, which are some of the best available in the business today. This is the same technology that AWS and Google Cloud use – but at a fraction of the price.
The App Marketplace also includes some speed-enhancing apps for free. OpenLiteSpeed WordPress is available, which gives you everything you need to have a blazingly fast WordPress-based website with LSCache. Alternatively, you could deploy a LEMP stack if you’d prefer to work with Nginx.
All of this gives Linode plenty of potential to perform at the enterprise-level you’d expect to see from AWS and Google Cloud. And indeed, its servers are speedy enough. Sadly, Linode’s reliability is its Achilles’ heel. While it does guarantee 99.99% uptime, fulfilling that promise seems to be another matter.
A worrying number of users have reported regular downtime, which is usually explained away as “emergency maintenance.” This is covered by the service level agreement, meaning that you’d be compensated for the downtime with service credits. Still, it’s disappointing to see such performance go to waste thanks to poor reliability.
Slow Ticketing Support with Limited Scope
Cloud computing services like Linode tend to target developers, so they don’t usually offer much technical support. If they do, it usually costs a ridiculous amount of money to gain access to it. However, Linode doesn’t feature multiple support levels – everyone has access to the same support experience regardless of what they spend.
But is that support experience a good one? Well, not particularly. Linode delivers all of its technical support through a ticketing system. There is no live chat – I mean, technically there is a chat function, but it’s run by a bot that tends to not help at all.
My further interactions with the bot didn’t get much better, so I decided to try out the ticket support instead. I asked a similar question, but this time I decided to test the scope of Linode’s support by asking if they’d be able to help me optimize WordPress.
Five hours later, I got my response – and it was just about what I expected. They politely linked me to a guide on installing WordPress but said that optimization is a matter they cannot help with, instead pointing me to the community forums.
The thing about community forums is that there’s never a guarantee you’ll be receiving particularly good or even correct information. Fortunately, Linode does feature a good knowledge base – the guides are simple to follow and will help you get the basics done.
Overall, it’s nothing great but it’s nothing horrible either. It would’ve been nice to have a premium option for extended technical support or managed service, but this hands-off approach will be satisfactory for most experienced developers
Overall, Linode offers high-performance VPS at low prices. However, to save money, you may be sacrificing reliability. DigitalOcean, Kamatera, and many other cloud computing services offer much more reliable servers. They’re more expensive, sure, but at least your site will be available almost all of the time.
However, Linode does have a great API along with a smart control panel. If you’re a developer on a budget willing to work with some uptime issues, you could still get some good value out of Linode.
Is Linode’s cloud hosting secure?
All of Linode’s services include advanced DDoS protection. You can also use their Linux-based Secure Your Server app, which helps to secure your server from unauthorized access.
Another free feature is the wholly customizable Cloud Firewall service. You can create custom rule sets based on IP addresses, and ports. You can have secure hosting with Linode, but you may need to put the work in yourself.
What’s the difference between shared hosting and cloud hosting?
With shared hosting, you’re sharing a physical server (and its space) with other users. On the other hand, a website with cloud hosting will have its resources split between multiple servers.
Shared hosting is slower and less reliable, but it’s much cheaper and best suited for beginners. It may also be a better option for basic sites – see our list of the best web hosting providers in 2023 for our recommendations.
Is Linode good value for money?
In comparison to other high-end cloud computing services, Linode will allow you to save a lot of money. You can purchase a powerful VPS configuration for a much lower price than what many competitors can offer. The majority of Linode’s add-ons are also reasonably priced.
And if you’re looking to cut costs even further, you can always check out our coupon page.
Does Kamatera offer free trials?
Kamatera offers a generous free trial that gives you $100 credit to try out one of its Cloud VPS plans for a 30-day period. You have full freedom to customize your VPS’s resources and add-ons, as long as you stay within a $100 value.
During these 30 days, you’ll also get a designated account manager to help with any questions you may have (see our expert Kamatera review for more info).
Ryan is an expert freelance writer who spends much of his spare time tinkering with his site, ensuring that everything is up to his high standard. He loves to test new hosting services and website builders to help users get the best value for their money. When he isn’t writing, you can usually find him playing video games, unless his cat is lying on the keyboard, which is sadly a very common occurrence.