Now let’s dig into the data to find out what makes Net4 so popular, and to see if bigger really does mean better.
Features and Ease of Use
This full-service host provides every imaginable hosting service. Its popular shared hosting plans, in particular, come with the following core features:
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Backups managed by Net4
- Domain registration available
- Up to ten add-on domains (cPanel plan only)
- SSL certificates available for purchase
- From 250 MB to 5 GB disk space
- Unlimited data transfer
Net4 boasts a solid Indian infrastructure with 15 network Points of Presence (PoPs), seven data centers, and three cloud nodes. The data centers are all ISO-27001 certified to assure an industry-standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. Load balancing ensures you never need to worry about peaks in traffic affecting your website speed.
The four types of shared hosting plan are Small Business Owner, Medium Business Owner, Enterprise, and cPanel Hosting. Although bandwidth is unlimited on all plans, you’ll need to upgrade all the way to pricier Enterprise or cPanel plans if you want more than one domain.
Aside from the number of domains and the disk space allocations, the features are consistent across all shared plans. They include FTP, MySQL, Microsoft SQL, and your choice of Windows 2008/2012 or Red Hat Linux as the operating system.
The Windows plans support ASP and APS.NET whereas the Linux plans support Perl, CGI, cURL, Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, and popular CMS software such as Joomla!, WordPress, and Drupal. Both Windows and Linux come with support for PHP (version 5 rather than the far faster version 7).
A website building tool as available as an optional add-on, but despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get customer services to confirm if there was a one-click installer. However, the CMS support suggests there might be.
Pricing and Support
In the main, the prices are very good, with one major caveat. If you need more than one domain, you’ll need to upgrade to the higher-tier plans that get very pricey. However, unlike many hosting companies, this one doesn’t compromise on features when you pick the lower plans.
You can purchase the plans in one-year increments from one to ten years, and the monthly fee reduces with the length of the term. A bit of misleading marketing displays the ten-year prices initially, even though I’m not convinced many website owners will want to commit for this long. That’s salesmanship, I suppose.
Speaking of sales, you can contact the sales and technical departments by phone or email, and you can even call into the company offices if you happen to find yourself in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, or Pune. There’s also a ticketing system for signed-in users, and live chat on the Net4 website, plus online information resources.
When I initiated a live chat on a weekday afternoon, the operator picked up quickly and helped me in English. Whilst he couldn’t answer all of my questions, he was very polite and helpful.