- 100% Wind Powered
- 2 Data Center Locations
- 24x7 Network Monitoring
- Unlimited Space & Bandwith
- Free Domain
The company was founded in 2001 and currently has more than 700,000 customers. CEO Thomas Gorny was born in Poland and also runs a private investment company. As of 2007, iPower has been controlled through the Endurance International Group after a 2011 valuation of a reported $1 billion. In an unusual move for an EIG host, Gorny’s picture and name still appear prominently on the site.
According to the company’s Jobs pages, it has four US offices spanning four US states.
iPower Hosting Plans
For the purposes of easy comparison, I’ve split iPower’s plans into three sections.
Shared hosting comes in the form of three plans: Starter, Pro and Pro Plus. All three appear to be Linux-based, although it’s not specifically mentioned. Starter is a limited plan with no free domain name. Pro and Pro Plus include one and three dree domains respectively, unlimited domain hosting, 25 databases and different ShopSite capabilities, depending on the plan you choose. Across the board, Pro is more restricted than Pro Plus and that is also reflected in the pricing. The monthly cost drops slightly over longer contract terms of 24 months or 36 months.
Windows users can choose Windows Pro Hosting, a low-cost hosting plan with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Generally, any limits that are set are high enough not to inconvenience a small business user. There’s a small price advantage when signing up for 24 months rather than 12 months.
Finally, iPower offers two VPS plans, 20 GB and 60 GB. Data transfer and memory are higher on the 60 GB plan, as you’d expect. Again, the price drops if you choose to take out a longer contract.
No claims are made about uptime on the iPower website, so it’s difficult to say whether they offer an uptime guarantee. If they do, it’s not obvious. Customers can choose to use SubmitNet’s Uptime Monitoring tool to check that their site is online.
Its data centres are equipped with 24/7 security monitoring tools, CCTV, secure entry systems and more. Customers are provided with daily NetApp Snapshot backups, and backup power is provided via UPS and diesel generators. This information appears to have be unchanged since the merger/ acquisition by EIG. There’s no indication of where the data centres are located.
The company’s plan pages do specify that the company offsets its data centre power consumption through wind power credits.
On the iPower website, users are provided with a knowledgebase, user guide, tutorials and support channels. Most of the documentation is geared towards beginners and people who are new to site building and hosting.
Support is provided via an online ticketing system, live chat and email forms, plus US-only telephone numbers. Although these numbers are toll-free, there’s no international alternative offered. The support department is open round-the-clock on a daily basis, but it’s not clear where their support teams are based.
iPower in the News
While looking for press on iPower, I didn’t find anything significant that would suggest a high-profile problem with the service, such as downtime or hacking.
iPower Control Panel
The control panel iPower uses is vDeck. It’s a custom control panel which will take some getting used to if you’ve previously been provided with Cpanel. The interface is functional but reasonably basic; unfortunately there’s no demo that you can try out before you buy.
New iPower customers receive a mixture of free gifts, including a drag and drop site builder tool, $50 in Facebook ad credits, $25 for Yahoo!/Bing advertising and $100 in Google ad credits. It’s also possible to sign up for a free listing on YP.com and claim a toll-free number via Nextiva.
In addition, there’s a Marketplace where customers can buy top-up services to enhance their plans, such as SSL certificates, SEO services and online backup tools. In terms of scripts, only one is offered: EmailBrain, a mailing list application.
New customers also receive one free domain name on some plans. This is topped up to three domain names on the more expensive plans.
iPower Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
There’s no money back guarantee with iPower. If you want to cancel the service, you’ll need to give one month’s notice and pay a $35 minimum cancellation fee. If you do happen to sign up for a plan with a 30-day money back guarantee, the cancellation fee won’t be applied, but you’ll need to pay your subscription via credit card to be eligible.
Any costs associated with free domain names will be applied and/or deducted from the refund, unless you want to surrender the name, in which case iPower won’t charge you for it. This is an unusual clause which is worth noting.
As with many Endurance International Group hosting providers, it’s difficult to find a distinction between iPower and other shared hosting providers. The custom control panel will be a downside for many people, and the lack of international phone numbers could also be a concern for customers outside the US. Pricing is competitive, particularly over longer terms, but the cancellation fee for early termination could make any savings negligible. However, iPower is backed by an enormous hosting provider, so the chance of having a truly serious issue is likely to be slim, and 24/7 live chat support is definitely a good option to have if things do go wrong.
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