AN Host – Unusual Name and Package, But That Can Be a Good Thing
The entire concept of unlimited everything plans has taken the web by storm, but not all unlimited bandwidth/unlimited storage plans are truly as unlimited as they might seem. This makes companies like AN Host interesting, as AN Host’s sole web hosting plan consists of a 625 GB storage/6250 GB of monthly bandwidth plan. While providing any numbers to compared with unlimited plans offered by AN Host’s rivals makes those numbers seem ridiculous or meaningless by comparison, the fact of the matter is that these numbers serve as reasonable safety nets. Some might feel more comfortable with the word unlimited, but others might realize that not all unlimited accounts are created equal and few are truly as unlimited as they seem. This is especially true for bargain basement hosting plans that cost less than $10 per month.
The AN Host Package
Other than the 625 GB of storage and 6250 GB of monthly bandwidth, there are a few other numbers worth mentioning in association with the AN Host plan. The first is a figure that seems strangely low: 20, as in the number of domains that can be hosted on a single account. This seems like a stunningly low number on the surface, as that would mean that each site could host an average of 31.25 GB of data. That is a lot of data, even by the standards of media-rich web sites. It would be nice if AN Host would increase or even completely eliminate this figure, but the price is the other figure that might make such limits worthwhile: $5.21 per month.
In addition to numbers, AN Host comes complete with a full cPanel suite that includes easy access to e-mail, account preferences, web based file managers, logs, domain control, security, and additional software and services. Another omission here that is worth mentioning is that of Fantastico, which might be one of the greatest tools for those who cannot be bothered to install many popular modules. While everything else seems in place, and nothing else seems notably absent, the omission of Fantastico might be a turn off for some.
On the upside, the backup options included with AN Host accounts are extremely useful, as is the ability to download raw web statistics. There is nothing wrong with the included Webalizer, but there are many log parsers that are more capable than either of the Webalizer options. Knowing where traffic is coming from is very important these days, so even if one is not at the point where they have a favorite log parser yet, they can rest assured that such a day is coming and that they can rest easy knowing that AN Host’s raw logs will give them all the data that they need. Add in support for MySQL 5, PHP5, Ruby on Rails, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and it is hard to ignore the price of $5.21 per month and somewhat easy to overlook the 20 domain limit in most cases.
AN Host Has Your Back
AN Host backs up all of their packages with an excellent support package. Four calls were placed at roughly 6-hour intervals to gauge the waiting times, and luckily there were none to report. Additional attempts to contact AN Host support and sales staff via e-mail were similarly met with swift and accurate responses, which is exactly what anyone wants when things start going wrong or they need to sign up for a new account in a hurry. On the subject of things going wrong, it is worth noting that the aforementioned 99.9% uptime guarantee seems to be quite literal, much like the storage and bandwidth caps. Some providers spout great uptime numbers but then blame network outages and power failures, but AN Host backs up their promise of uptime with a money back guarantee.
With a money back guarantee (minus the domain registration fee of $21.95 for the first year) and a lot to offer, it is hard to go wrong with AN Host unless a VPS or dedicated server is needed. It would be nice to have seen Fantastico, but those running multiple domains probably know how to handle everything via FTP anyhow. All that being said, it is hard not to give AN Host two thumbs up for their great price and straight shooting statistics. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense shared web host that does what they say, give AN Host a call.