Linode Hosting Review: High Performance for the Tech-Savvy
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Christopher Aker founded Linode in 2003. Fourteen years later, it boasts over 400,000 users in over 130 nations all around the world.
Linode is definitely not your mother’s hosting provider. With this company, you won’t find any entry-level shared hosting plans with bargain-basement price points and one-click WordPress installation scripts.
Instead, Linode aims at a more specialized, and inarguably much smaller, slice of the hosting market: app developers and tech startups. If you need power, cutting-edge technology, and Linux support for your blog, Linode is definitely a provider to consider.
Who Is Linode Suitable For?
By all means, growing bloggers who feel technically knowledgeable enough to take on a Linode plan, the lower priced plans could be worth considering. Alternatively, if you feel a growth spurt is near, scaling with Linode will prove to be seamless.
Linode is a portmanteau of the words “Linux” and “node.” Linode is a company that obviously specializes in Linux, and that experience serves its targeted market well.
Cloud VPS Hosting Plans
Linode only does Cloud VPS Hosting – virtual private servers that run individual copies of the OS (operating system), enabling bloggers to install specific software as needed.
Linode’s servers can be up and running in no time.
Based on virtual machines, as opposed to physically separate machines, VPS hosting plans generally cost less than dedicated physical servers. What does this mean for you, the customer and blogger?
What Are The Benefits of VPS Plans?
You essentially get a nice mix of the advantages of both: most of the benefits of that dedicated machine but without the (sometimes exorbitant) associated cost.
Linode offers a range of VPS hosting options with a wide range of associated transfer rates and storage limits. All Linode plans offer root access and SSH.
You can additionally arrange for regular backups as well as other “extras” for additional fees.
Linode’s 15 Hosting Plans
As it stands, Linode offers 15 straightforward cloud hosting plans. The plans are split into two groups: standard plans and high memory plans. The primary variants between plans are:
- RAM – the computer’s short-term memory. The higher, the faster.
- CPU – computing processing power. The brain of the computer.
- Storage – self-explanatory. Where you store data.
- Data transfer speed – the speed of which data is transferred between devices.
- Network In – how fast data comes to your Linode.
- Network Out – how fast data goes out of your Linode.
Standard Cloud VPS Hosting
There are 10 standard packages on offer, starting at $5.00/month. While Linode requires technical understanding, their plans are incredibly good value for performance.
|RAM||CPU||SSD Storage||Data Transfer||Network In Speed||Network Out Speed||Price|
|Nanode 1GB||1 GB||1 core||25 GB||1 TB||40 GB/s||1000 MB/s||$5.00/mo|
|2 GB||1 core||50 GB||2 TB||40 GB/s||2000 MB/s||$10.00/mo|
|4 GB||2 cores||80 GB||4 TB||40 GB/s||4000 MB/s||$20.00/mo|
|8 GB||4 cores||160 GB||5 TB||40 GB/s||5000 MB/s||$40.00/mo|
|16 GB||6 cores||320 GB||8 TB||40 GB/s||5000 MB/s||$80.00/mo|
|32 GB||8 cores||640 GB||16 TB||40 GB/s||6000 MB/s||$160.00/mo|
|64 GB||16 cores||1280 GB||20 TB||40 GB/s||7000 MB/s||$320.00/mo|
|96 GB||20 cores||1920 GB||20 TB||40 GB/s||9000 MB/s||$480.00/mo|
|128 GB||24 cores||2560 GB||20 TB||40 GB/s||10000 MB/s||$640.00/mo|
|192 GB||32 cores||3840 GB||20 TB||40 GB/s||12000 MB/s||$960.00/mo|
High Memory Cloud VPS Hosting
In addition to the standard plans, Linode offers 5 upper-tier plans. These plans are undoubtedly excessive for a blogger, even one with a growing site. The cheapest plan starts at $60/month.
If you’re not keen on the added technical demands of managing your own Linux VPS machine, you can get Linode’s experts to take care of that for you with its Managed Hosting add-on.
If problems arise, your Managed Hosting team is there to take care of it for you — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Linode describes their managed service as an ‘incident response service’ in aiding business who want to avoid downtime.
Why Managed Hosting?
Managed hosting services generally provide time-saving benefits to busy bloggers, leaving them free to focus on managing and growing their businesses and blogs.
In the case of Linode’s managed hosting services, you’ll also benefit from automatic backups. If you sign up for three months or more, Linode’s experts will also migrate not just one but two existing blogs or sites to your new account, free of charge.
This saves you downtime in the transition between servers.
What Do I Get With Linode’s Managed Add-On?
Handy for those wanting to stay away from unnecessary stress of maintaining their website 24/7, the managed plan has some great perks.
Though expensive at $100/month (likely out of reach for most beginners out there), the plan boasts the following features:
- Emergency incident response
- Cloud server monitoring
- Dashboard metrics
- Access to Longview Pro – advanced system analytics
- Free cPanel
- Free WHM
- Linode backup service and free rollbacks
- Free site migrations
- Further 20% discount on professional services (server installations, deployments, architecture work)
It would be unfair not to mention the full feature set of Linode. With an impressive developer and tech-savvy roaster of features, they selected a not-too-excessive few to be included in all plans:
- Two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Rescue mode – critical error recovery
- Linode CLI (command line interface)
- One-click scalability of plans
- Configuration cloning
- Domain Name Service (DNS) manager
- IPv6 Support
- Free snapshots
- Varied distribution support (15 Linux distributions)
If you don’t understand a single feature we listed, do not worry. Instead, scroll down and take a look at our recommended alternatives for user-friendly, entry-level hosting.
Linode Control Panel
Unless you sign up for managed hosting services, you won’t find cPanel in your Linode interface. Instead, you get Linode’s own control panel, which most will likely find simple enough to learn. Users can change their panel interfaces around to suit their own preferences.
Linode is perhaps not as beginner-friendly as some of those more entry-level hosting providers who do offer cPanel to all users. On the other hand, for the users the company targets, working with the Linode server is easily accomplished, using:
- Advanced API platform
- DNS management tools
- Linode command line interface (CLI)
Linode also offers an iOS app to work with your Linode server, track any submitted ticket requests for customer service, and manage your account.
Are There Any Site Building Tools Available?
Keep in mind that Linode’s focus on developers and Linux means that you won’t find any of the usual site-building tools or script installers that one would expect to see offered through other hosting providers.
So you’ll need to install WordPress or whatever blogging platform you choose yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.
Linode gives you the technical blank-slate studio; you build and deploy your site. To accomplish this goal, Linode has built an API and published a robust online guide to working with that API, including samples of code and other resources to assist you.
Linode supports 15 Linux different distributions for deployment which are frequently updated by their team of technicians.
There are not many extras, but the team offers valuable services as add-ons.
The supported distributions are:
- Arch Linux
- CentOS 7
- CoreOS Container Linux
- Debian 8, 9
- Fedora 27, 28, 29
- openSUSE Leap 15.0, 42.3
- Slackware 14.2
- Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, 18.04 LTS, 18.10
If you run into a problem with your Linode server or blog deployment, the company offers a robust collection of technical how-to guides called the Linode Library.
The library also includes quick-start guides and tutorials, which might be particularly useful to Linux newcomers.
Self-Help Tutorials and Guides
Additionally, if you prefer to error-hunt and solve issues yourself, you will make particularly good use of these guides which includes several help categories. Some useful categories include:
- Linode Platform
- Web Servers
- IPs, Networking and Domains
- Security, Upgrade, and Backups
If that doesn’t help, you can ask for more personalized attention through Linode’s 24/7 ticket system, by telephone, or IRC chat (for simple requests).
Linode has prioritized investing in its infrastructure while keeping that focus on Linux, which has resulted in a speedy network of solid state drive (SSD) servers with impressive enough performance to attract big client sites, including The Onion.
Where Are Linode’s Datacenters Located?
The Linode servers are spread out between nine different datacenters in:
- Tokyo, JP
- Singapore, SG
- Frankfurt, GE
- London, UK
Four of their US further datacenters are located in:
- Atlanta, GA
- Newark, NJ
- Dallas, TX
- Fremont, CA
Latency rate is the period of time that elapses between a user’s input and the server’s response.
The network Linode has put together yields a 99.99% uptime rate.
New customers can select the datacenter they prefer. Generally, the center that’s closest to your users will result in a smoother, better user experience and faster page load time, due to a reduced latency rate.
You can verify which datacenter location is best for your needs with Linode’s speed-testing tool.
Security and Backups
According to Linode, security is their administrators’ highest priority. This shows through the extensive guides and material prepared on firewalls, SSL administration, and SFTP guides.
Backups with Linode are performed by the server manager, so either yourself or whoever you choose to manage the server for you. Linode go as far as recommending appropriate backup utilities, frequencies, and locations.
The cost and access to daily snapshots is unclear as Linode list ‘free snapshots’ under the Managed solution’s perks.
Billing and Cancellation
Linode’s billing is a bit unusual, compared to some of the larger, more commercially popular hosting providers. Basically, you’ll be billed for all Linode products on a monthly basis for the prior month’s usage.
If you did not use the full allotment of resources for that plan during the prior month, you’ll be billed at a specific hourly rate. If you hit the cap for your plan, your bill won’t exceed that plan’s specified payment cap (unless, of course, you go over your allotted bandwidth limit).
For more detailed explanations on Linode’s pricing structure for each of its plans and services, refer to the information on the company’s pricing page.
Money-Back Guarantee and Payments
The company accepts customer payments via all major credit cards as well as PayPal. You will, however, need to set up your Linode account initially using a credit card, although you can later transfer funds into your Linode account using PayPal to advance against ongoing charges.
Linode’s website advises new customers to start off on the smaller end of the available plan sizes if they’re not quite certain which level is right for their blog.
It’s relatively simple to transfer to a bigger plan if you find you need it later on. In this regard, Linode seems to offer a scalability that’s especially beneficial for new startups.
Linode offers a money-back guarantee but it’s not very substantial. At only seven days long, the guarantee period is barely better than no guarantee at all. However, you won’t be committed to a months-long contractual term.
Pros and Cons of Linode
Prior to the summary, take a look at the upsides and downsides of Linode as a hosting provider for bloggers and small businesses.
- Huge variety of hosting plans
- Large library of high-quality tutorials and guides
- Top-grade global datacenters and security
- Easily scalable
- Lack of entry-level hosting plans (no shared hosting plans)
- Managed hosting is costly for beginners and smaller webmasters
- Only a 7-day money-back guarantee
- Site migrations and snapshots are not included in all plans
Alternative Hosting Providers and Plans
If you are a beginner blogger or starting-out webmaster with little technical knowledge, chances are Linode’s services are not a worthy investment of your time.
Hostpapa is a great alternative for those looking for cheap and convenient shared hosting.
Instead, consider the below alternatives, all of which offer competent shared hosting plans with useful freebies and easy set-up options.
|Free Website Builder||Included||Included||Included|
|Disk Space||Unlimited||Unlimited||100 GB|
|Free Backups||Not included||Weekly||Not included|
Frequently Asked Questions
Linode is not the easiest hosting provider to get your head around. Here are a few queries you may find useful knowing the answer to.
Is Linode too complicated for someone with no development experience?
In short, yes. Linode is specifically designed for those with the human resource to run a server themselves, alternatively the skill of their own to do so.
While this is the case, quick and keen learners may find themselves picking up the basics of running a server rather easily.
Is Linode considered an expensive hosting provider?
The cheapest hosting plan is $5.00/month, so the answer is no. Linode is incredibly flexible with it’s pricing, using a WYSIWYG approach. The most expensive plan tops off at $960.00/mo, so there are pricier options.
How do I know if I am ready for a complex host like Linode?
The safest way to go is researching ways to set up, run and manage a server of your own. If you understand the steps, terminology and process, you are likely going to pick it up easier than someone who has never seen a website’s core.
Who Should Choose Linode?
If you’re an app developer or tech startup in need of a top-flight, cutting-edge Linux foundation for your blog, especially considering any possible future site plans, Linode is worth a close look.
But if you’re simply interested in launching a straightforward blog or informational website — something relatively static through which you don’t anticipate collecting or processing lots of client data, for example — Linode’s specialty might be overkill for you.
Do be aware that Linode will require a bit more effort and attention from the user than more traditional, beginner-friendly plans. If that’s not realistic for you, check out Linode’s managed hosting services, or a more entry-level provider instead.
Image Source: Pixabay | jarmoluk