Contabo web hosting was founded in the winter of 2013 from the ashes of Giga-International, a company that had been founded a decade before. To be honest, the corporation was capable of running a business on its own, but it was largely focused on the German market. As a result, the company formerly known as Giga-International renamed itself Contabo to signify its transfer from German to international markets (since Giga-International didn’t seem international enough).
Regardless of its name, this organization has progressively developed from a single data center in Germany (Munich, to be exact) to deploying more than 10,000 servers at present time. Contabo opened its second data center in Germany (Nuremberg) in 2014 in response to increased demand for VPS and dedicated servers, and added colocation hosting to their repertoire.
They would open another four years later, this time outside of Europe for the first time. This data center, which is located in the United States (St. Louis), was designed to lure users from the Americas by offering decreased latency, faster than light speeds, and overall superior performance. They now have five data centers: one in the United States, three in Germany, and one in Singapore.
The main website of Contabo web hosting uses an up-to-date, clear-cut style to ensure user-friendliness and easy investigation of the site’s content. It’s available in both German and English, and while the English translation can be shaky at times, it shouldn’t cause more than minor grammatical and stylistic issues. The same could be said for Contabo’s official blog, which, despite its lack of activity, publishes new content at least once a month.
- Wide array of hosting products
- Highly customizable hosting packages
- Round-the-clock support
- Free SSL certificates
- No refund policy
- No monthly billing
- Limited payment options
- Minimalistic and somewhat outdated UI
Easy To Use
Those looking for a beginner-friendly web hosting service who will treat you with all the small extras you may want should keep looking. Contabo isn’t stingy with its money, but it’s also not attempting to be all things to all people. One-click installations, CDNs, and a money-back guarantee are all notable features that one would expect from a well-known host.
On the plus side, anyone can create a Contabo account in as little as five minutes. However, being as basic as possible isn’t always the best option for less tech-savvy consumers, who are more likely to be left in the dark from time to time due to an over-reliance on technical jargon. You can always Google it, thankfully.
After you’ve chosen the best hosting plan for you, you’ll need to choose a domain name (you can register a new one or transfer an existing one), add-ons (for an additional fee), CGI support (activating it will cost you $1.29 per month), and backups (for $2.59 per month). It’s worth noting that domain names are billed on a monthly basis, so don’t be fooled by the order summary’s modest amount.
After that, you’ll be asked to enter a significant quantity of personal information, including your phone number (as explained, for the purpose of password recovery). You may notice that you are not given the option to choose your password immediately away. It will be generated automatically and delivered to your e-mail address (together with all of the information needed to set up your account), but you will have the option to modify it afterwards.
Let’s start with the bad news so we can move on to the positive. Contabo’s user interface might be perplexing at times, so if you aren’t a UI aficionado who has seen it all, you may find yourself baffled from time to time. The good news is that Contabo’s control panel is the industry-standard, Linux-based, and user-friendly cPanel, which is as simple as it gets.Users have the option of using cPanel, Plesk, or Webmin, the latter of which is free.
Contabo’s own easy-to-use website builder, which comes with plenty of mobile-responsive layouts, is also included for free.
Pricing and Plans of Contabo Web Hosting
If you look closely, you’ll note that Contabo’s has a currency preference option where you may choose between EUR and USD, which is wonderful to see because you usually get one of them. Whichever option you select, it will show you the pricing for all of Contabo’s items. If you decide to sign up with them, your account will be locked to the currency you selected when you first signed up.
Contabo offers four shared hosting packages (simply referred to as M, L, XL, and XXL), as well as four VPS (all with SSD), four VDS (virtual dedicated server), four conventional dedicated servers, and three storage-optimized VPS. Given what they provide, the prices of all of these plans are quite fair.
For example, the cheapest web hosting plan, M, is $3.99 a month and includes up to 50GB of storage space, 20 MySQL databases, 1000 e-mail addresses, one domain name (which is free), industry-standard cPanel, and over 300 available apps. However, there is a catch: the shortest billing period available is a whole year.
Contabo does not provide a money-back guarantee or a cancellation period, which is likely to deter some potential customers.
You can pay for Contabo’s services with credit cards or PayPal if you want to pay in USD. However, if you pay in EUR (which is actually suggested), you can also pay by bank transfers or Skrill in addition to the options listed above.
Contabo outperformed the competition in terms of response times. I did testing in five different locations throughout the world, and the results varied from 36ms to 384ms, which are both extremely fast.
The following are the outcomes from Dallas, Seattle, London, Tel Aviv, and Hong Kong:
Dallas had the fastest reaction time, with a time of 36 milliseconds. Meanwhile, Hong Kong came in last, albeit with a time of 384 milliseconds. To be honest, I had anticipated the speed difference owing to location.
My server is in the United States, which explains the outstanding results in Dallas and Seattle. The shorter physical distance, after all, helps to reduce delay. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is on the opposite side of the globe from where my server is located. As a result, the longer physical distance is reflected in the slower response times.
Contabo offers servers in five different regions: New York City, Seattle, St. Louis, Germany, and Singapore. New York and Seattle are the latest additions to the provider’s growing roster of datacenters.
Contabo Web Hosting Security
Contabo does not provide a comprehensive range of security solutions because its servers are unmanaged. However, the steps provided are really useful. Furthermore, the provider’s data center security is good.
Let’s take a closer look at the security features offered by Contabo:
Contabo appears to be concerned about data center security. It provides continuous CCTV surveillance with over 50 observation cameras and video recording, magnetic card entry, an alarm system, various live webcams, and a security service on call 365 days a year. In addition, the supplier safeguards against the elements by installing smoke detectors and fire alarms, as well as water detectors and heat extraction systems. Contabo web hosting has additional safeguards in place in addition to the ones stated above. The supplier, however, stated that it “can’t discuss the details,” but that it is “concerned with security.”
It’s bad we don’t know exactly what those safeguards involve. However, based on the dearth of bad Contabo security evaluations, whatever protections are in place appear to be working. Contabo’s commitment to security is well-rounded and precise, and I’m satisfied with it altogether. However, the provider’s security solutions might use a little more transparency.
To identify yourself, you must provide your email address and phone number. In addition, if your customer account is involved, you must authorize anyone contacting the provider from a new email address.
A DDoS attack occurs when a large number of requests from compromised systems overload a server with the goal of causing it to go down. DDos protection is included in all of Contabo’s packages and is turned on automatically.
Speed of Contabo Web Hosting
Contabo doesn’t forget to highlight that it won the CHIP Hotline Test in the “Speed” category in 2015. However, given it occurred many years ago, we needed to see how they are doing now in terms of speed. We had to say: brilliantly after submitting their main website to the test (through GTmetrix). The time it took for the page to fully load, total page requests, and all other key speed measures were all significantly higher than the industry norm, earning an astounding A (96%) as the final grade.
If you’re wondering how they managed to avoid revealing the badge they received for “Great Uptime” on HostAdvice, you already know the answer. However, if we were in a position to award badges for achieving the same goal, one would undoubtedly go to Contabo, and UptimeRobot (our go-to uptime-testing programme) would completely agree with our pick. We were unable to record a single second of outage when monitoring the uptime of Contabo’s main website for a month, which is commendable.
Knowing how proudly and shamelessly Contabo likes to brag, we weren’t surprised to find tons of claims about their “first-class” customer service, which has been acknowledged “year after year” by the aforementioned CHIP Hotline Test (a name that should inspire confidence, right?). Despite our skepticism, our interaction with Contabo’s support team, as well as the agent we spoke with, was a pleasant surprise: quick to respond, knowledgeable, and kind.
Contabo web hosting will give you with an extensive FAQ area, a knowledge base (named “Tutorials Overview”), and a server status section if you are a do-it-yourself type of person (which contains latest updates about power outages, interruptions and scheduled maintenances of their servers). While the knowledgebase’s aesthetic hasn’t aged well, it is jam-packed with pretty thorough articles (all with photos) covering a wide range of hosting-related concerns, and is likely to be most valuable to most users.
On weekdays, weekends, and holidays, Contabo’s support staff is available via phone (from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CEST) and e-mail (during the same hours).
Bluehost and Contabo web hosting vary in that one is based in the United States (as are its data centers), while the other is situated in Germany (with data centers in Germany, Singapore and the USA). They are similar in terms of hosting kinds and features; however, Bluehost offers a greater range of options at its claimed price, whereas Contabo web hosting tends to charge extra for those.
HostGator, like Bluehost, is a US-based web hosting company that offers a wide selection of hosting options, features, and apps at affordable prices. One element that distinguishes them from Contabo is their refund policy, which differs from Bluehost’s in that HostGator offers a large 45-day money-back guarantee, whilst Bluehost only offers a 30-day one. Contabo, on the other hand, does not offer returns at this time.
Host Europe and Contabo web hosting are both situated in Germany, with Host Europe receiving the most attention. Contabo with its data centers distributed across three continents are likely a better alternative for users coming from the worldwide market, while Host Europe is (unfortunately) more targeted towards Customers who speak German, with data centres in Cologne (Germany) and Strasbourg (France) (France).
A Berlin-based Strato is a good option for anyone looking for a laid-back German host for a personal blog or a modest website. Strato has several amazing features such as multiple-domain web hosting with all plans, free SSL certificate with each plan, one-click downloads for all the popular apps, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, despite its unpolished appearance in comparison to Contabo. However, neither of these hosts is particularly novice-friendly, so think about everything before making a pick.
Final Decision to Buy Contabo Web Hosting
Give Contabo a try if you’re German and want to dispel the misconception about German quality, or if you’re simply seeking for a budget-friendly European host with an amazing price-to-performance ratio and a peculiar lack of interest in some typically observed features (such as a money-back guarantee).
If you’re searching for a German-based host that offers a refund policy, look into 1&1 IONOS or Strato, as both offer a standard 30-day money-back guarantee on all of their plans. Bluehost and HostGator should also be considered if you aren’t exclusively looking for an offshore host.