Linode Review: DIY Cloud Hosting for Linux Geeks

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Our Verdict: #1 for Linux Experts

Linode web hosting provider features plans that give developers access to the Linux command line on VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting plans. They also feature a money-back guarantee for uptime and server locations around the world.

Ready to choose Linode? Click on any of our Linode discount links on this page and get hosting starting at $5 per month!

Pros:

  • Perfect for Linux experts who want SSH and root access
  • Great pricing on VPS and dedicated server plans
  • Get almost unlimited power over your servers

Cons:

  • Managed plans cost extra
  • Fee for automated backups

In reviews from actual users on our site, Linode scores 4.6 stars out of 5, with a perfect 5 for Value.

Is Linode the Perfect Host for Your Website?

Curious about something specific? Jump to our most popular sections:

  • Expert review — Get key facts from our expert, Claire Broadley.
  • Best reviews — Read reviews by Linode customers.
  • Hosting plans — See which plan is best for you.
  • FAQ — Find answers to the most common questions about Linode.

Linode is an American web hosting company that provides cloud hosting via VPS hosting plans that run on Linux-only servers.

With its global datacenters, Linode makes a great hosting choice for clients who want the power and responsibility of running their own virtual web servers hands-on.

In this Linode review, we’ll cover its major offerings and features and discuss how it stacks up against competitors like DigitalOcean.

Linode home page
Linode ‘s home page.

About Linode

The company was founded in 2003 by Christopher Aker and has grown over the years to incorporate cloud hosting options.

Based in Galloway, New Jersey, Linode has customers in 131 countries and focuses solely on Linux hosting.

Where Are Linode’s Datacenters Located?

Users can choose one of six server locations in Tokyo, London, New Jersey, Georgia, Texas or California.

There are 100 MB speed test download files on the site so you can assess the best option, even before you sign up, and Linode also says you’re free to move later.

Linode's global datacenter locations
Locations of Linode datacenters

Linode has published some blog posts about its datacenter facilities, but there’s no definitive guide to the facilities offered by each one.

I did ascertain the following:

  • The UK datacenter is located at Powergate, the newest facility owned by Telecity Group
  • The New Jersey datacenter is run by NAC
  • The datacenter in Fremont, California, is owned by Hurricane Electric.

Quick Overview

No hosting company can be everything to everyone, Linode included. Their ideal customer is someone who’s an expert in administering Linux web servers.

Here’s a way to think about Linode versus its competitors:

Pros

  • Competitive pricing and hardware for VPS and dedicated CPU plans
  • Great for Linux experts who want SSH and root access & nearly unlimited power

Cons

  • Managed plans cost an additional fee
  • Customer support is bare bones
  • Backups require an add-on cost

What Is a Linode?

Linode’s hosting is exclusively provided on Linux, with virtualization at the core of all plans. Each instance of a Linux server is referred to as a Linode.

Linode’s Hosting Plans

Linode has three types of cloud hosting plans :

  • Standard VPS hosting plans
  • Dedicated CPUs
  • High memory plans

There are six VPS options, from 1 GB RAM to 16 GB RAM, which include a sliding scale of storage and transfer.

Linode’s six dedicated CPU plans come with about twice the stats of the VPS plans , plus at least two core processors.

High memory plans come with 24 GB to 300 GB of RAM and are the most expensive subscriptions.

Plan Features

All plans come with Intel E5 processors, Solid State Drives (SSD) for speed, SSH access, a 40Gbps network, and root access.

You also get access to a wealth of StackScripts, technical data, and advanced dashboard and command-line options for Linux enthusiasts and developers.

Popular StackScripts at Linode
Linode offers StackScripts to customize your distros.

What’s Not Included

Backups are offered as an optional extra service which you’ll have to pay for. Likewise, cPanel and WHM licenses aren’t included on any plans.

Linode offers a range of other features, including its NodeBalancer service. NodeBalancers help to intelligently balance demand across several Linodes. Again, this is a paid extra.

Opting For a Managed Plan

If you need help managing your Linodes, you can purchase the “Managed” add-on service they call an “incident response service.” If something goes wrong with your infrastructure, Linode’s team will handle it for you.

As you might imagine, Linode’s Managed plan comes with an additional cost on top of what you’re paying for your VPS plan .



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Linode Uptime/Downtime

Linode offers a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee , as defined in its Terms of Service document.

The company doesn’t appear to publish uptime statistics, although it seems that these can be activated via a customer’s VPS if that’s something you want to monitor.

Invoking the Uptime Guarantee

The company’s credit policy is simple: if your service is down long enough to break the SLA, you simply request a pro-rata credit. There are no complex rules about how much downtime you can claim: it’s a straight swap.

Customer Support

Linode provides a 7-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

Linode is primarily a self-managed hosting company, so don’t expect support to hold your hand. You’ll be on your own with your VPS unless you have purchased the Managed add-on or if you experience a system issue that their technical team need to look into.

Knowledgebase and User Community

Most inquiries will be directed to the Linode Library, a comprehensive and rather technical knowledgebase. You can also participate in Linode’s community forums to get assistance or to help others.

There’s a ticket system for support requests, plus a US telephone number, although customers are asked to use the ticket system first.

As a test, I sent a sales inquiry via email which was answered within a few minutes.

Although Linode has active pages on Twitter and Facebook, it doesn’t respond to customer support requests on social media.

Video: How to get started with Linode [6:17]

Linode Control Panel

Customers use the company’s unique Linode Manager tool to deploy a Linode, choose the Linux distribution they want or change its settings. Linode Manager can be used via the desktop or the company’s own free iPhone app.

Linode dashboard
Example of Linode ‘s Dashboard [Source: Linode.com]

All server administration for Linode’s virtualization is handled solely via this custom control panel. No other control panel software, such as cPanel, is included in its plans unless you pay for the Managed add-on.

Linode Extras & Add-ons

Linode does not offer any extras, such as advertising credits or freebies. However, you can add on services, like backups or managed load balancing for an extra fee.

Linode add-ons
Add-on features like backups, load balancers, and server management must be purchased in addition to your Linode plan .

Money-Back Guarantee

New Linode customers can take advantage of a 7-day money-back guarantee . This is very short in hosting terms, but it’s still good to see a guarantee in place.

If a customer wants to cancel their hosting plan after the first week, they’ll be issued a pro-rata refund minus a $5 fee.

Is DigitalOcean a Good Alternative to Linode?

It’s reasonable to assume that if you’re looking at Linode, you’re curious about how it stacks up against similar hosts. DigitalOcean is another hosting company that, like Linode, specializes in VPS cloud hosting plans for developers.

While Linode calls its servers “linodes,” DigitalOcean calls its servers “droplets.”

At the lowest level, both hosts provide very similar plans for the same cost. However, DigitalOcean provides free daily backups and cloud firewalls with all plans.

How Much Do Linode and DigitalOcean Cost?

Their rates are surprisingly similar. However, there is a difference in the way each company packages its plans. Both companies have a suite of basic VPS plans starting at $5/month .

However, Linode has a suite of plans for “High Memory” usage while DigitalOcean offers a suite with a balance between RAM and CPU power. Both of these suites start at $60/month.

How Linode's monthly billing works
How Linode calculates your monthly bill


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Linode Summary

Linode’s VPS hosting is geared primarily towards people knowledgeable in Linux, and on these types of plans, their pricing and feature set is very competitive.

The biggest downside with Linode compared to competitors is that daily backups are not included for free and must be purchased as an add-on.

Although seasoned developers will relish the chance to purchase a VPS in such an unrestricted way, some business customers will find the learning curve too steep to make it worth the switch, unless they can afford to pay the extra fee for the Managed add-on.

Decided that Linode is perfect for you? Visit Linode.com now and get our discounted rate.


Contributing editor: Natalie Mootz

Linode Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 5 Reviews by Linode Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Tengfei Yu avatar
Tengfei Yu ytf4425.com
Dec 26, 2014

As you see,Linode is one of the best vps in the world,its uptime is the best one in my all vps,and it provides great hardware and control panel. I love it,although it’s a little expensive for me. It’s famous for its great ticket system,however,I think it doesn’t work well.Once I ask a question about IPv6,the Technical Support doesn’t tell me how to solve it, they just let me test again and again.

It’s a big problem. Another problem is the speed of booting vps is too low,I don’t know why, maybe because of xen.

Visit Host Now →

Rofiil Honi avatar
Rofiil Honi pemendek.ml
May 18, 2015

this ssd vps hosting is great, with so many location in US, and other server at Singapore and United Kingdom
Cheap Price for 1gb Ram and 20gb ssd , also with 2 TB Bandwidth /mo so make me easy to make a hosting

and also have many OS, but not have Windows OS, Only Linux

Easy Configuration and not blocking any port,

Visit Host Now →

Shady Sherif avatar
Shady Sherif shadysweb.com
Dec 21, 2014

Linode is on of the best vps hosting providers I have used. because, pretty much all hosting providers revolve around the same feature set as ssh access, 99.99% uptime guarantee, various server locations. But what makes a difference is their support.

Unless your are on a manger plan they won’t help you manage your vps in any way. but, all other questions about billing, account, technical problems. They will answer you in under 3 minutes maximum & and that what really impresses me.

Knowing that someone will answer you immediately when you want help with something. Previously I have been using net firms as a shared hosting provider. Once I wanted to ask a question related to my billing status.

I had to wait for 30 minutes for some to finally talk to me on their live chat system in addition to about a 5 minutes delay with every response. I have been with linode for 6 months now. And their support team astonishes me.

Other than their support they have amazing features like internal network access where you can join multiple lines together. And a system usage statistical app called Longview which is amazing for runtime usage analysis.

Visit Host Now →

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Most Popular Linode Hosting Plans

Linode 1GB
Disk Space 24GB
Bandwidth 2TB
Price $10 / mo
Usual price: Get % off!
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  • What is a “Linode?”

    Linode.com calls its virtual server instances linodes, a portmanteau of “Linux” + “node.” Linodes are virtual web servers running the Linux operating system. You get complete admin control over your linode, including SSH and root access. Linodes run on Intel E5 processors and use SSD drives for speed.

  • What is Linux VPS?

    A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a web hosting server that uses Linux as its operating system. VPS hosting divides collective server space into smaller, self-contained areas. That means, as opposed to shared hosting, you have more control over your server environment and it’s less prone to security risks.

  • How much does Linode cost compared to DigitalOcean?

    The cheapest VPS plans for both Linode and DigitalOcean are the same price and offer similar specs. However, Linode’s dedicated CPU plans start at a significantly cheaper price than DigitalOcean’s lowest price dedicated plan.

Claire Broadley

About Claire Broadley

Claire has been creating websites for over 20 years and has been using WordPress for over ten. She is an expert in web hosting, design, HTML, and more. She lives with her husband and son in the United Kingdom.

Connect with Claire

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