Contabo Review Visit Contabo »

OVERALL RATING 4.6 / 5.0
★★★★★
Features 4.5 / 5.0
Ease of Use 4.5 / 5.0
Pricing 4.6 / 5.0
Reliability & Support 4.2 / 5.0
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Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim,

Hosting Expert:

A knowledgeable and personable hosting provider, Contabo combines technical expertise with customer-focused service in its shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting plans. The German company offers a wide range of flexibility at an affordable rate, making Contabo a solid choice when looking for scalable space in which to grow your website.

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Best Overall Rating

4.6
★★★★★

Price:

Setup Time:

Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com):

“After nearly 15 years in business, German hosting provider Contabo has grown from a small office and a single server to multiple datacenters and more than 5,000 machines. Michael Herpich and Michael Bolke founded the company in 2003 based on three principles: discount prices, instant service, and top-notch customer support — and, for the most part, the company successfully delivers on all three.

Shared hosting plans, which Contabo has dubbed Webspace Packages, tout affordability, security, and one-click installations of hundreds of popular programs. In addition to including free SSL certificates and domain registrations, the company does not restrict the amount of traffic that can flow to a website. Contabo might see some negative effects from not offering an unlimited storage option like most competitors, but customers should have ample room to house and grow their websites.

The company's best-selling product, however, offers an impressive price-to-performance ratio. Two series of VPS plans introduce varying levels of souped-up solid-state hard drives, giving customers a high-performing scalable environment. A hybrid infrastructure combines the massive storage of hard-disk drive with the fast read-write speed of SSDs, which act as a data cache. The all-SSD configuration sacrifices a few hundred gigabytes but adds more CPU cores.

As with Contabo's VPS plans, dedicated server customers can choose among a wide variety of operating systems and control panels for a slight upcharge. Although we bristle slightly at the piecemeal approach to hosting, Contabo's business model places flexibility and custom solutions at the forefront. The bare-metal servers are an affordable blank slate for customers to configure and manage as they see fit, or they can ask the Contabo team for dedicated technical assistance as part of the managed services upgrade.”

  • Default RAID storage array
  • Automated backups available
  • FREE cPanel and account management portal
  • Easy domain registration, transfers, and DNS management
  • Year-round phone and email support
  • Get started on Contabo now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
50 GB - 500 GB
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)
Hosting Plans

Cheap Rating

4.4
★★★★

Price:

Setup Time:

Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com):

“Given Contabo's prowess at the VPS and dedicated levels of hosting, we're a little surprised at how the company structures its shared hosting plans, called Webspace Packages. We certainly appreciate the affordability and impressive perks, including free SSL certificates and DDoS protection, but the lack of other common shared hosting components leaves us scratching our heads a bit.

Webspace Packages start at less than $5 per month and range from 50GB to 500GB of storage, procured from an interesting mix of hard-disk drives and speedy solid-state drives. Although that should be ample space for most customers, many of our recommended providers remove storage capacit restrictions. Otherwise, shared hosting with Contabo comes with a solid number of features, including PHP support, MySQL databases, a free domain registration, email tools, and one-click installations of popular applications.

Where things start to fall apart for us, however, is the absence of a few seemingly standard hosting components. Just about every mainstream provider offers 24/7 support through various channels, but Contabo assistance is limited to an international phone number and email system that is staffed from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. We appreciate the effort to cover US business hours, but developers working on side projects in the evenings might have a harder time getting immediate help unless they pay for the emergency support upgrade.

Also of note is that Contabo does not offer a money-back guarantee. This might not be an issue for an experienced site owner who understands what they're getting into, but a refund policy or free trial exudes a company's confidence in their services. That, coupled with a below-standard 95% network uptime guarantee, can give the impression of substandard service instead of lean and streamlined business practices. Marketing Manager Markus Heimerl promised us that Contabo actually delivers the expected rate of 99.9% uptime but puts the lower figure in the Terms of Service agreement.

However, while these omissions are enough to raise your eyebrows, they don't have to be deal breakers. All in all, a confident and knowledgeable hosting customer can find quite a bit of success with Contabo's affordable Webspace Packages.”

  • 1-click installations of 300+ apps
  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
  • FREE DDoS and virus protection
  • FREE SSL certificates for all domains
  • POP3 and IMAP email support
  • Get started on Contabo now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
50 GB - 500 GB
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)
Hosting Plans

Dedicated Rating

4.5
★★★★★

Price:

Setup Time:

Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com):

“At Contabo, servers are stripped down to pure performance and name-brand hardware that customers can configure as they see fit. The company doesn't bog down site administrators with bulky security systems or proprietary management software, instead giving them a blank slate on which to create and grow.

We are suckers for hosting companies who own and operate their own datacenters, and Contabo runs two of them. Located in Munich and Nuremberg, Germany, the company has room for up to 15,000 servers and staffs the datacenters every day of the year.

Even though servers start as low as roughly $60 per month, Contabo does not scrimp on computing power. The company's starter server comes with a four-processor CPU with 8GB of RAM and 800GB of storage, and the Intel infrastructure can be customized with SSDs, additional RAM, and a 1Gbit/s uplink.

Customers have their choice of Linux or Windows operating system and have unrestricted root access. Operating installations, along with hard or soft reboots, can be performed seamlessly through the account management interface, or site administrators can opt to set up a control panel for other services.

While we appreciate the hands-free hosting experience, we're also pleased to see that Contabo offers a managed services upgrade to boost security and support. The company's team of well-trained technicians are at your beck and call for two hours every month to carry out tasks such as system or hardware optimization, security patches, operating system updates, or configuring backups.”

  • Full root or admin access
  • Choice of cPanel, Plesk, or Webmin
  • Windows or Linux (CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE)
  • Optional managed services, monitoring, and notifications
  • 10Gbit/s connections available
  • Get started on Contabo now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
800 GB - Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
New or Transfer
Hosting Plans

VPS Rating

4.6
★★★★★

Price:

Setup Time:

Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com):

“Our favorite Contabo hosting service, the company's VPS plans are a cost-efficient solution that combines the best features of both dedicated and shared servers — and adds solid-state drives for even more performance.

Customers can choose to either combine HDDs and SSDs to balance copious amounts of storage with super fast read-write speed or opt for 100% SSD-powered environments. The SSD series of hosting plans supports snapshots, allowing for risk-free software installations or updates. Site administrators can also choose to add automated backups or managed services to handle website continuity precautions.

Contabo's Intel processors range from two to 10 cores, with ample memory and Contabo's signature promise of unlimited traffic. Virtualization is based on KVM, and site administrators can enjoy root access and a web interface for operating system management, reboots, and DNS oversight.

Servers are pooled to share bandwidth resources, and we appreciate that Contabo doesn't oversell its infrastructure. As such, the full port speed — either 100 Mbit/s or 1 Gbit/s — is provided to all customers, at all times.

VPS plans can be further customized with the addition of a Plesk or cPanel/WHM license, solution for backups, or around-the-clock monitoring services. As always, Contabo plans include virus scanning and DDoS protection, which recognizes 99% of all attacks.”

  • Multiple SSD configurations
  • Intel hardware and KVM virtualization
  • Web interface for managing FREE hard or soft reboots
  • Choice of operating system and control panel
  • 1-click snapshots available
  • Get started on Contabo now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
500 GB - 1200 GB SSD
Domain Name
New or Transfer
Hosting Plans
Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): This rating is not available yet. We haven't evaluated Contabo for the "WordPress" option yet as they do not currently offer this type of hosting service. We're always working to keep our reviews up-to-date so check back later!

Does Contabo already offer the "WordPress" option? Let us know.

Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): This rating is not available yet. We haven't evaluated Contabo for the "Website Builder" option yet as they do not currently offer this type of hosting service. We're always working to keep our reviews up-to-date so check back later!

Does Contabo already offer the "Website Builder" option? Let us know.

Features

(4.5 / 5.0)

Dual Datacenters Offer Room for 14K Servers

  • Contabo's Munich datacenter was built in 2009 as an ultra-modern, energy efficient space to house 4,000 servers and company headquarters. Contabo later opened a larger, award-winning datacenter in Nuremburg in 2014.
  • Continually investing in state-of-the-art technologies and hardware, Contabo offers 10 Gbit/s connections to customers with Dual Xeon and 10-Core dedicated servers.
  • Every server is assembled by Contabo employees, who can be found in either datacenter every day of the year. Servers are powered by name-brand hardware from the likes of Intel, Kingston, and Samsung.

Deep Domain Registration Options

  • Contabo's domain portfolio gives customers access to more than 300 domain extensions, from generic top-level domains to country code extensions and new domains such as .online, .cloud, or .email.
  • Shared hosting customers enjoy at least one free domain included in their plan, with Webspace XXL users receiving three registrations.
  • Customers who opt to keep domains with third-party providers can register an unlimited number of DNS entries on Contabo nameservers for free. Alternatively, the company makes transfers remarkably simple through each user's account management portal.

Support Mantra: The Customer is King

  • Support agents can be reached every day of the year by phone or email. We wish they offered 24-hour help and the ability to chat, but the German company's phone support hours should adequately cover US-based customers' needs.
  • Managed services are available as an upgrade and include security patches and operating system updates. Customers receive two hours of technical support each month for optimizations, configuration, and emergency support.
  • Contabo provides real-time server status updates on service interruptions and maintenance, in addition to FAQs and helpful tutorials that instruct users how to configure and customize various aspects of their hosting plans.

Numerous Upgrades and Add-On Services

  • Automatic daily, weekly, and monthly backups cover databases, configuration settings, and more. Files are stored on Contabo's exclusive backup server, which features several hard disks and a RAID-6 array.
  • Servers can be expanded to include additional storage space, RAM, and bandwidth, and customers with a VPS or dedicated plan can choose among three control panel options. Monitoring, managed services, and emergency support options are available, as well.
  • Dedicated server customers can purchase an instant setup option for a 12-hour deployment, as opposed to the standard configuration that typically takes between one and three days.

Ease of Use

(4.5 / 5.0)
Account Management Portal
Contabo Review
DNS Zone Management Tools
Contabo Review
Familiar cPanel Interface
Contabo Review

The Contabo account management interface looks rather dated, but the portal provides a lot of useful features in a concise and efficient package. Customers can view their services, as well as contact and payment information. Dedicated servers can be rebooted remotely, and VPS administrators can easily stop, start, restart, or take a snapshot of their machine. In addition to 90-minute operating system reinstallations, the Contabo customer control panel enables users to register and manage domain names and their DNS settings.

We'd like to see a more integrated support system, rather than the pop-up modal with the company's phone number and email address, but that's certainly not a deal breaker. The interface also provides easy-to-find links to tutorials and FAQs.

Pricing

(4.6 / 5.0)

Webspace M

Webspace L

Webspace XL

At first glance, Contabo is priced extraordinarily competitively, especially at the VPS and dedicated server levels. Hosting plans do not scrimp on storage, though the company might see a boost from adding an unlimited storage option to compete with other mainstream shared hosts. Contabo pools servers to share bandwidth, enabling the company to support websites with unlimited traffic.

However, customers will have to pay extra for managed services, automatic backups, emergency support, or the ability to add a control panel to VPS or dedicated plans — features that are commonly included for free elsewhere. All in all, we appreciate the supreme flexibility and customizable options that Contabo offers, all with an emphasis on affordability.

Reliability & Support

(4.2 / 5.0)

Contabo's highly qualified support staff can be contacted 365 days a year by phone or email. US-based customers, however, face some added challenges when reaching out to the Germany-based company: Contabo does not have a toll-free number or 24-hour support, meaning technicians are available by phone from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST (8 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Germany).

Our biggest gripe, however, centers on the company's 95% network uptime guarantee. That mark falls well below the industry standard of 99.9% uptime and allows for more than eight hours of downtime per week. Marketing Manager Markus Heimerl confirmed our suspicions that that company actually performs much higher, saying, "In reality, our uptime is much better than what we guarantee. Just like any other serious hosting provider, we offer you an uptime of 99.9% at Contabo."

We tend to roll our eyes at paid support upgrades, but we appreciate the emphasis Contabo places on customer service. Those who purchase the emergency support upgrade will get priority treatment and a response in 60 minutes or less for up to five servers. Although Contabo says every customer is king, the support upgrade turns customers into emperors.

Contabo Includes

Year-Round Support Via Phone and Email, 95% Network Uptime Guarantee, FAQs, and Tutorials

Does Not Include

Money-Back Guarantee, 24-Hour Support, Live Chat, Toll-Free Phone Line

The Rundown

Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim

Hosting Expert:

To recap, here's a rundown of what Contabo has to offer

Best suited for developers or website administrators with a decent amount of technical experience, Contabo gives customers ample room to customize and scale their hosting environments. The lack of 24/7 support or a money-back guarantee keeps us from recommending Contabo to first-time or inexperienced site owners, but we always appreciate affordable name-brand hardware in datacenters owned and operated by the hosting provider.

Contabo review

Overall Rating

4.6 / 5.0
★★★★★