Hostwinds vs. DreamHost (2018)

Laura Bernheim Laura Bernheim Hosting Expert
“We tested Hostwinds & DreamHost — The winner is Hostwinds!”

Hark — a rare battle between two VPS specialists! To be fair, Hostwinds and DreamHost both offer the full range of shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated services, but these premium providers truly excel at the higher levels of hosting. Hostwinds gives customers managed or unmanaged options of both Linux and Windows virtual servers, while DreamHost maintains a laser-like focus on premium managed WordPress hosting through its DreamPress platform. Both offer above-average uptime guarantees, with Hostwinds promising a 99.999% SLA and DreamHost holding a slight edge at 100%. With such razor-thin margins, take a look at our reviews below to see why we chose our winner.

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Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Hostwinds »
Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit DreamHost »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

Promising enterprise-grade hosting solutions for prices that appeal to small and medium businesses, Hostwinds delivers the full range of operating systems and server configurations to help customers build... read more +

Promising enterprise-grade hosting solutions for prices that appeal to small and medium businesses, Hostwinds delivers the full range of operating systems and server configurations to help customers build and grow an online presence. With hosting plans covering niches like vBulletin and Minecraft, Hostwinds attracts a customer base as mixed as the server configurations.

After frustrating web hosting experiences of his own, CEO Peter Holden set out to prove that providers didn't need to choose among powerful infrastructure, responsive support, and cost-effective prices. As a 20-year-old, he launched Hostwinds in 2010 to accomplish all three objectives. Now, the fast-growing company offers the full range of services while guaranteeing complete satisfaction.

We'll put the magnifying glass to the company's shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated server options later, but we wanted to give a quick shoutout to Hostwinds for its top-notch reseller and white label plans. The traditional reseller route operates as you'd expect, with the added perks of being able to set your own prices and capitalizing on Hostwinds's robust product line.

For the less tech-savvy reseller or those wanting to offer multiple hosting options to clients, Hostwinds makes its full spectrum of services available under your branding. The company streamlines deployment and sets up WHMCS for billing management and payment processing. We already appreciate the company's high-powered hardware, so we're naturally supportive of easy-to-configure plans that help customers spread the love.

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  • 400% faster speeds via SSDs
  • Litespeed web server performance
  • FREE dedicated IP address
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee
  • Datacenters in Dallas and Seattle
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
$14.84

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A top-notch host for those who know what they're looking for, DreamHost offers nuanced and performant hosting perfect for scaling websites and applications through the ranks of shared, VPS, cloud, and... read more +

A top-notch host for those who know what they're looking for, DreamHost offers nuanced and performant hosting perfect for scaling websites and applications through the ranks of shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting.

We love their features but realize that beginners or hobbyist developers might not want to fork over the extra cash to capitalize on the performance, optimization, and managed services that DreamHost offers.

If, however, your site is growing and gathering more and more traffic, few hosts will take care of you as well as DreamHost. Managed services include infrastructure management, automatic backups and updates, malware scans, and DDoS protection.

We appreciate how the independently owned company was built on a passion for open-source technologies. DreamHost developers routinely contribute code back to communities, such as WordPress and OpenStack, and the company has used their brainpower and experience to create the open-source storage system Ceph and OpenStack cloud network virtualization tool Akanda.

As such, DreamHost support agents know what they're talking about. Available all day, every day, the in-house support team provides help worthy of DreamHost's speedy SSD-based architecture, hand-crafted control panel, WordPress-tailored solutions, and reliable managed services.

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  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • In-house, 24/7 customer support
  • FREE SSL/TLS certificates
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Supercharged SSDs on all plans
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A recurring theme in the Hostwinds product lineup, the company offers multiple configurations to ensure every customer's needs are perfectly met. The standard shared hosting services compete with the likes... read more +

A recurring theme in the Hostwinds product lineup, the company offers multiple configurations to ensure every customer's needs are perfectly met. The standard shared hosting services compete with the likes of InMotion Hosting, SiteGround, and A2 Hosting. Modern solid-state drives place Hostwinds and the others in a somewhat more expensive hosting bracket, but savvy customers will notice the value.

Between the SSDs and Litespeed web servers, Hostwinds ekes out 400% faster performance compared with typical shared hosting plans. Combined with the bevy of unlimited features (bandwidth, disk space, subdomains, email accounts, databases, and FTP accounts), we love how Hostwinds matches superior services with affordability.

For hosting customers looking to take a small step up without committing to the management requirements and time investment of a virtual private server, Hostwinds offers business hosting plans with an even more souped-up approach to performance. Instead of placing 200 clients on the typical shared server, Hostwinds gives business hosting customers a larger piece of the shared server pie. Business hosting servers top out at 50 customers per machine, and CPU limits are lifted. Virus and malware scans are upped to once per week, instead of monthly for regular shared hosting.

Our one gripe about Hostwinds is how the company doesn't include a free domain registration, which is commonly tacked on to what seems like every other shared hosting plan on the market. This obviously doesn't affect Hostwinds's impeccable performance or customer experience, but it could be a damaging tie-breaker against Hostwinds in the ultra-competitive shared hosting market.

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  • Shared hosting plans offer the ultimate affordability
  • Upgraded business plans give users more control and room to grow
  • Softaculous auto-installation scripts
  • Unlimited bandwidth and subdomains
  • FREE website transfers
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
$14.84

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

While their price might be a little steep compared to other high-value hosting providers, DreamHost gives customers ample time and reasons to get hooked and stick around. The company, which started in the... read more +

While their price might be a little steep compared to other high-value hosting providers, DreamHost gives customers ample time and reasons to get hooked and stick around. The company, which started in the founders' dorm room in 1997, offers an industry-leading 97-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, DreamHost guarantees 100% uptime and will reimburse customers the cost of a whole day of hosting for each hour of downtime outside of scheduled maintenance.

We love that DreamHost seems to be genuinely built with their customers' experience and success in mind. Beyond unlimited storage and bandwidth, their luxurious shared hosting package boasts high-performance SSDs that make your websites perform at least 20 times faster. Customers can also enjoy unlimited domain hosting, free domain privacy on sites registered through DreamHost, and unlimited email accounts.

We found that DreamHost's hand-crafted control panel gives easy access to all the tools beginners need to start and grow their sites: 1-click installers of top content management systems and eCommerce tools, SSL/TLS certificates from Let's Encrypt, and automated malware scans.

Their award-winning support and service teams are staffed by self-described tech veterans, geeks, and nerds who are trained to Tier II to provide the most knowledgeable and experienced assistance. If the extensive knowledgebase and user forums don't solve your problems, you can reach the in-house support team around the clock through phone callbacks, email tickets, Twitter, and live chat.

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  • Automated malware scans
  • Unlimited domain hosting
  • Unlimited email accounts with POP/IMAP/SMTP
  • FREE eCommerce store tools and PCI compliance
  • Streamlined proprietary control panel
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

At the highest end of the hosting spectrum, it can sometimes be challenging to discern which servers reign supreme. Providers naturally put their finest hardware and most luxurious features at the... read more +

At the highest end of the hosting spectrum, it can sometimes be challenging to discern which servers reign supreme. Providers naturally put their finest hardware and most luxurious features at the forefront when it comes to attracting customers for high-price dedicated hosting. Hostwinds, however, somehow manages to eke out ahead of the rest on the strength of the company's incredible range of configurations.

For starters, customers can choose among 15 Windows or Linux operating system and equip servers with up to 3TB of hard-disk drive storage per bay (the maximum number of drives is four). Alternatively, servers can be equipped with up to 1TB of solid-state drives per hard drive bay. RAM scales from 8GB to 128GB, outpacing even the most luxury hosts at seemingly every turn.

From there, users can select to use up to 32 IP addresses. Although inbound bandwidth is free and unlimited, outbound transfers can scale between 10TB to 200TB and more. Depending how many hard drives you opt to deploy, you can configure five different RAID backup options for free.

All told, customers can easily configure servers that cost upward of $1,000 per month — but the performance will undoubtedly be worthwhile. Hostwinds servers somehow always seem to ring up a few dollars per month cheaper than competitors and come with a superb 99.999% uptime guarantee.

Our only tentative reservation is trusting a smaller, newer company with such a business-critical task at such a large scale. We have absolutely zero evidence to support our fears, just feel the need to mention the company doesn't have the tried-and-true legacy of some other well-known brands. If the premium hardware and slight savings are worth the tiny gamble, however, we expect large companies will enjoy the payoff.

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  • Choice between Windows or Linux
  • Fully managed support 24/7/365
  • SAS Type II and Tier 4 datacenters
  • Automatic DDoS attack detection
  • 1-hour hardware replacement
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
120 GB SSD - 12 TB HDD
Domain Name
$14.84

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

When your high-traffic site outgrows VPS, turn to DreamHost for premium dedicated hosting at a reasonable rate. The 20-year-old hosting provider offers servers with three times more cores and four times... read more +

When your high-traffic site outgrows VPS, turn to DreamHost for premium dedicated hosting at a reasonable rate. The 20-year-old hosting provider offers servers with three times more cores and four times more RAM compared to well-known competitors. What's more, DreamHost includes up to 2TB of SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and a 100% uptime guarantee.

All dedicated servers come with full root and shell access, along with DDoS protection, RAID 1 storage, and unlimited MySQL databases. With DreamHost's custom control panel, customers can quickly add, remove, or reboot servers with just a few clicks.

We appreciate that DreamHost prides themselves on providing open-source solutions, contributing to and supporting developer communities, and maintaining expert-level support teams. In addition to running Ubuntu Long Term support, DreamHost supports PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby.

DreamHost has datacenters on both coasts and offers integration with the Cloudflare content delivery network, making sure your content loads quickly, no matter where your traffic comes from.

DreamHost's newest facility, dubbed "Data Center Alley," includes 2N+2 power redundancy and dual water lines for redundant cooling. Around-the-clock staffing, a 1GBps internet connection, and emergency generators can give dedicated hosting customers peace of mind that their sites will stay online for the long haul.

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  • Up to 12 cores available
  • Full root and shell access
  • DDoS protection and 24/7 server monitoring
  • Fully managed and customizable hardware options
  • RAID 1 HDD or SSD storage
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
240 GB SSD - 2 TB HDD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#4 out of 8 in VPS Hosting reviews

Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds? The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Hostwinds provides 10... read more +

Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds? The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Hostwinds provides 10 additional plans each for managed Windows VPS and unmanaged varieties of both operating systems.

Virtual servers range from 1 CPU core, 512MB of RAM, and 20GB of storage all the way to 16 cores, 64GB of RAM, and 500GB of storage. Customers can pay less than $5 per month — or more than $630. Around-the-clock monitoring of the company's network and devices ensure reliability, but Hostwinds promises a five-minute response to incidents and hardware replacements within an hour.

For those wanting even more flexibility and scalability, Hostwinds offers cloud hosting billed by the hour or month. Create an instance, select your operating system and infrastructure, and enjoy the company's fully managed support. Customers can deploy block or object storage volumes and rely on the company's strict firewall to protect it all.

Add in the company's stellar 99.999% uptime guarantee, high-powered solid-state drives, and the guaranteed 1Gbps port, and customers will be hard-pressed to find a more flexible, performant, and affordable VPS or cloud service.

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  • Managed or unmanaged virtual servers available in Windows or Linux
  • Cloud hosting instances with hourly or monthly billing
  • Instant upgrades without downtime
  • FREE around-the-clock monitoring
  • Automatic nightly backups available
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
20 GB - 500 GB
Domain Name
$14.84

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

With scalable RAM and SSD storage, DreamHost's VPS plans give customers a powerful, speedy, and stable environment ripe for growth. RAM ranges from 1GB to 8GB, while storage varies between 30GB and 240GB. ... read more +

With scalable RAM and SSD storage, DreamHost's VPS plans give customers a powerful, speedy, and stable environment ripe for growth. RAM ranges from 1GB to 8GB, while storage varies between 30GB and 240GB.

While DreamHost's VPS storage space and RAM options are in line with the industry average, DreamHost layers on a bevy of additional perks that turns their already competitive prices into big bargains.

Starting with all-SSD infrastructure, which boosts your website or application's speed by 20 times compared to standard SATA disk drives, DreamHost also includes a dedicated IP address and free SSL/TLS certificates, as well as unlimited bandwidth, domain hosting, and email accounts.

You can manage your virtual servers through DreamHost's custom control panel, which has been developed for more than 15 years. Although we originally missed the familiarity of cPanel or Plesk, we quickly adapted to DreamHost's sleek, modern panel. Easily scale your virtual servers up or down based on your expected needs.

For an added performance boost, DreamHost offers an add-on MySQL VPS service that puts your website's database on its own isolated server. Linux-VServers dedicate an initial 2300MB of RAM to your site, giving customers a sneak peek at what DreamHost's dedicated hosting looks like.

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  • Custom web-based control panel
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Easily scalable RAM
  • High-performance SSD drives
  • 5 years of security updates with Ubuntu Long Term Support
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

N/A

Hostwinds does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

One of only four hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. Their platform is optimized for the... read more +

One of only four hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. Their platform is optimized for the incredibly popular content management system, and plans include easy setup, automated updates and backups, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 specialized support.

DreamHost does an admirable job tailoring their shared hosting service around WordPress, but we're most impressed with their fully managed WordPress solution, DreamPress. Launched in 2013, DreamPress offers enhanced speed, scaling, and security by configuring various settings and plugins that streamline WordPress installation, databases, and server operations.

DreamPress adds multiple caching layers and isolates server resources to perform more than five times faster than shared hosting. We love that DreamHost allocates two VPS servers for each DreamPress customer: one optimized for the frontend and the other for MySQL. You'll get the same SSD storage found elsewhere in DreamHost plans, but DreamPress dynamically auto-scales memory to grow with your traffic.

Support and security are further tailored to WordPress with automatic updates and a firewall that blocks known WordPress vulnerabilities and offers protection from brute-force attacks. DreamPress uses NGINX, HTTP2, and Let's Encrypt SSL/TLS certificates to balance performance and privacy.

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  • Preconfigured and fully managed option available with DreamPress
  • Multiple caching layers with Varnish, Memcached, and OPcache
  • 1-click install and automatic updates
  • WP-specific firewall for security
  • Pre-installed SSL/TLS certificate
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

N/A

Hostwinds does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

For a while, the only knock on DreamHost was the lack of a website builder for beginner customers unfamiliar with web design. With the recent beta debut of Remixer, however, DreamHost has come up with yet... read more +

For a while, the only knock on DreamHost was the lack of a website builder for beginner customers unfamiliar with web design. With the recent beta debut of Remixer, however, DreamHost has come up with yet another way to appeal to site owners.

Hosting providers creating their own site builders can be a risky venture — why devote resources to trying something new when there's a tried-and-true outside option such as Weebly? DreamHost, however, seems to have hit a home run with Remixer. We love how the clean and modern interface directs users straight to whatever tools they need.

Remixer offers only about a dozen templates so far, but we know it's too early to fault them on that. The themes currently available, however, appeal to a surprisingly wide range of uses: small businesses, professionals, travelers, creatives, music, events, and even documentation. Remixer lets you preview each theme in desktop, tablet, and mobile (portrait AND landscape) views before getting to work.

The builder interface itself is equally impressive, giving users the options to customize, move, and add content based on row-based layouts. More experienced site owners will appreciate access to HTML code and the ability to use Markdown to format text.

Remixer is only available to current customers during the beta test and hasn't been released publicly. If you're looking for a sleek, refreshing site builder, sign up for a shared hosting plan with DreamHost to access Remixer.

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  • Beta of Remixer site builder available to current customers
  • Preview themes for desktop, tablet, and mobile (portrait and landscape)
  • Responsive, professional themes
  • Royalty-free images from Pixabay
  • HTML access for fine-grained control
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Hostwinds vs. DreamHost - Our Conclusion

Laura Bernheim Laura Bernheim Hosting Expert
“We tested Hostwinds & DreamHost — The winner is Hostwinds!”

With such similar services and ratings, Hostwinds and DreamHost is an impressive hosting matchup. The former is a plucky upstart that launched in 2010, while a handful of college buddies started DreamHost in a dorm room in 1997. Regardless of industry tenure, you can see how each company’s attention to high-quality infrastructure and attentive customer service has led to positive outcomes and scores of happy customers.

Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Hostwinds »
Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit DreamHost »