What do you look for in a provider?


Just a dude
vpsBoard Founder
As the title suggests, curious what everyone here looks for in a provider.

When you find a provider that has caught your eye, what are things you do before you proceed with ordering?

Personally, I find most offers and companies I do business with via forums. I see how they represent themselves publicly. I search for reviews, and actually read them until a resolution has been made in the event it was a negative review. I rarely send a pre-sales ticket unless I need to know something specific, as that isn't going to reflect the response time or quality of an average support ticket. I'll also look to see how old the domain is, try to get an idea of how long they've been in business, etc.

What about you guys?


Dedi Addict
1st - Support quality

2nd - Bandwidth/Port Speed and then a speed test on that.

3rd - review of overall service

4th - Uptime

All those must be good.


Content Contributer
Search path:

  1. Select location
  2. Select type of product
  3. Search and update my list of reliable providers for 1) and 2)
  4. Search for recent reviews
  5. Test support with dump question
  6. Test support with a tech question
  7. Search twitter
  8. Look to there uptime page


New Member
In no specific order: Support, website, decent benchmarks (I/O, Network, etc.), uptime.

The website will be my initial entry to your services. If I cannot find what I am looking for, I will take my business elsewhere, or have a hard time navigating around your website I will go elsewhere. While I don't always make it a deciding factor whether I sign up with a host or not, how the website looks.


100% Tier-1 Gogent
1. Location, find someone when and where I need service.

2. Reputation.  I look in the typical locations to see how much their company reps chat on forums or don't.  If someone is a pitbull attacking competitors (CVPS) I avoid (well after establishing that is an ongoing many target thing).

3. Privacy.  Been burnt at least once too many by providers who just don't care about user details, their database, privacy in general.

4. Cost = can this company realistically deliver what I need and remain as a viable business long term (I hate doing installs and moving things around --- waste of life).

5. SLA / uptime guarantees and history (many people say blah blah blah, but when they fail, they say waa waa waa and require hurdles to get any credits for hassles).

Frankly, these days I stick with proven companies and try new companies that appear innovative, different and new in thinking.
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Active Member
what everyone here looks for in a provider.
  1. Reasonable spec & pricing (5GB RAM, 100GB Raid10 SSD, for $7/mo only good for marketing).
  2. Location
  3. Network (I can't do unlimited traffic capped at 2MB) 
  4. See the KnowledgeBase if any
  5. See the About US (I like CatalystHost's about us page)
  6. See SLA (in case of managed server)
  7. Test Support (in case of managed server) just like @wlanboy
  8. ToS & AUP (we may terminate the service at our own discretion makes me reluctant to order)
  9. Way to pay (my payment option is limited to Google CheckOut & Moneybookers. I only use my CC to the one I really trust like BuyVM cause they never give any MaxMind error)

When you find a provider that has caught your eye, what are things you do before you proceed with ordering?
  1. Search forums for reputation (The old LEB was my best resource as LEA tried very hard to filter the providers he would post and thanks to you, vpsBoard do the same by having providers verified)
  2. Ask other known users


Active Member
Verified Provider
For something personal (as in not to do with MyRSK) I like to do the following ..

1. search, search, search

2. verify .. make sure the company you settled on is legit etc.

3. never take a yearly plan (unless they have been around for longer)


I look for 

1. support, round the clock

2. uptime

3. quality


DigitialOcean? lel
If they have their own ASN and IPs it's fine with me. That limits my choice to providers that have invested further into themselves.

As for location, I look for something on the east coast (mostly Atlanta).
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Not to be taken seriously, ever!
Location first, be it in EU or US.

Then I decide on what specs I need for the VPS and what current offers is out there that would fit my need.

From the list of providers there are some that I probably never will get something from, so those go off the list.

Time to lookup the providers, how they are on forums/irc/different public places.

Usually there's only 1-2 left and if the price/location/specs/provider is "acceptable" in my eyes... money will exchange hands.

I do not have that many VPS left, but then sometimes there will be the occasional buy it for testing... those moments I really don't care of the provider. Unless it's bought just because it is that provider.


VPS Peddler
Verified Provider
Upstream Providers - Reverse lookups, IP Registration, Pings

Pricing - Promotions

Support with fairly quick response

ToS fine print... some providers want to be dictators.

Decent reviews

No drama linked with the company. (Ex. CVPS)

See how active their social networks are to make sure its not a summer host or deadpool.

And as P0rnW0rm (did I get that right ;) ) says, Transparency.
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VPS Peddler
Verified Provider
What sort of transparency

That's what im thinking. When I think of transparency in a hosting company backblaze comes to mine because of how open they are with the community on how they get the job done.

The complete opposite would be someone like go-daddy or some of the freaking large companies that try to hide nearly every aspect of business that would be misconstrued as undesirable to a normal consumer.


New Member
Price is very inportant to me as one us dollar is two bb dollars so I look for a person who has a low price allowing me to get into the market. After that I don't want much as I just want to get what he is offering and move on.


Active Member
1. General sense of host's cluefulness in interaction/discussion forum.

2. General sense that provider has been around for a while and other users are happy with them.

3. Nothing too obnoxious in TOS

4. I have to admit liking cheap hardware resources (mostly in dedicated servers, given how the more fanciful VPS offers reflect massive overselling) and I have trouble resisting ultra lowend VPS offers. 

5. Payment with as few intermediaries as possible, e.g. Stripe (no account signup needed) is preferable to Paypal.  A falllback option of being able to pay by check would be very desirable, since stuff goes wrong with online payment systems all the time.  (I can understand if a $1/mo VPS host doesn't want to deal with checks--it would again be mostly for higher-ticket products like dedis or larger VPS annual plans).

6. Novel or interesting technical features can sometimes get my attention
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Content Contributer
1. Upstream Providers
Something I check now too.

What sort of transparency? Like, publicly made stats about nodes and business practices?
Well some providers do not include simple information like the location of the vps. Or just say "New York" - not stating if they mean the state or the city. Or they just say UK or NL.

3. Nothing too obnoxious in TOS
You are right. Sometimes IRC clients or bouncers are not allowed. I do understand that some providers do not like IRC servers ... but clients?


VPS Peddler
Verified Provider
Well some providers do not include simple information like the location of the vps. Or just say "New York"

Ive actually seen so far as hosts stating "North America" then when asked where its hosted, they would leave the live-chat. I soon found out that it was hosted at OVH in canada.

Often stretching the truth or just outright lying about certain things are quite annoying.

Another example, I've seen a Minecraft host that did dedi rental at PhoenixNAP that claims that they have 50GBPS connections for all their customers.

I doubt that someone is going to install 5x10gbps lines.

Edit: Oh yeah, and when companies put stock images of "their datacenters" that is what makes me run the other direction ;)

If they cant be honest that they are hosted with another provider, than I don't even want to bother.
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