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 Post subject: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:05 am 
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Hey guys.

I'm thinking about purchasing a ServerPronto hosting package and I am wondering if anyone here has used them before and if so what was your experience?

Online research turns up both negative and positive reviews.

One of the main concerns I have is wrongful over billing for false or fraudulent excess bandwidth usage. According to some past customers they've been over billed when they didn't exceed their bandwidth but ServerPronto claimed they did. In some cases ServerPronto admitted they were wrong then finally refunded the money. In other cases it seems they never refunded the money.

I've contacted ServerPronto about this and other issues and how to prevent excess bandwidth usage on their servers and they didn't have any solution. They themselves do not provide any way for the customer to stop going over the allocated bandwidth and their support team had no information for customer based solutions to prevent this.

This means if ServerPronto is dishonest they could easily rack up excess bandwidth on their customer servers then over bill them.

It seems misleading and dishonest to me for a hosting company to not have a way to prevent their customers from going over their purchased bandwidth agreement and then to charge them excessively compared to their initial hosting fee. I'm not sure if this information is clearly disclosed at signup either.

Other hosting companies often will shut down the server or contact the customer letting them know they're about to go over their allocation and give the customer the options of paying more money for the excess bandwidth or throttling down / shutting down the server. They don't surprise you with a bill 10 times your normal monthly fee like SP does.

I did more research and found that allegedly their owner was recently (this month) arrested for DUI drunk driving in Florida which doesn't give me much confidence in them.

A few years ago ServerPronto said they were partner's with a horrible company called Fortatrust and SP claims this was the source of all the problems but they are no longer associated with Fortatrust.com. I actually contacted Fortatrust.com and their customer support were complete unprofessional morons. I guess the kid working in customer support doesn't like his job. Server Pronto's online support is more professionally behaved but also doesn't know much information.

I have several questions here :

1. Do you or anyone you know have any experience using ServerPronto in the last two years and if you do, what was their experience?

2. Do you know of a way to absolutely stop / limit Ubuntu 12 LTS server bandwidth usage?

Accurately monitoring then manually stopping would be acceptable but not desirable. I'd like to automate both the monitoring of used bandwidth and then the stopping of bandwidth before going over the allocated amount. I would think this is doable but I've never done it before and I don't have time to figure it out before SP's May special goes away.

3. Do you know of a reliable way for an app to monitor an Ubuntu server 12 LTS bandwidth usage?

If yes then I could create an application to shut down things

I've heard of SNMP but have never used it.

I asked about controlling bandwidth here but still have not had time to try to implement it. :
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=47983


http://www.serverpronto.com/
Thanks for your feedback guys.


Last edited by J.Sh3ppard on Wed May 29, 2013 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:49 pm 
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There are literally hundreds of good host providers out there. Given your serious concerns about this company, I can't understand why you are spending any more time on this company and not moving on.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:33 pm 
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classone wrote:
There are literally hundreds of good host providers out there. Given your serious concerns about this company, I can't understand why you are spending any more time on this company and not moving on.


Hi.

They have a very attractive cloud hosting plan, on sale right now :

$15/month : 2 CPU cores with 3Gigs ram, 50gig HD, and 5TB transfer a month.

If you know of or can find a matching or better hosting plan for the same or less money please share it with us here.


Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:32 am
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Location: Arkansas - USA
It sounded like a good deal so I signed up for an account to try it out. My account was setup quickly and there is a nice control panel for managing your servers. I installed Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit for the OS and installed Apache/MariaDB and installed the 32 bit library's so I could test out a WE app. I upload a WE chat app for testing and it ran with no issues.

I looked in the control panel at the bandwidth usage and it showed I had used 16 GB of bandwidth in about 12 hours. I emailed support to see if this was the usage my account would be billed against and they said yes. In just 5 more hours (while I was sleeping) the server showed another 5GB of bandwidth used for a total of almost 22 GB. I emailed support again to see how this was possible when the server is basically just sitting there. Still waiting for their reply.

With my current VPS at http://www.interserver.net I looked at the bandwidth usage and it shows 74 GB of bandwidth usage for the whole month of May. My VPS has two websites running/database servers that clients use/Mercurial Server for my version control/I am constantly uploading to test WE apps and the bandwidth usage is WAY lower. I have two live cameras that I stream most of the time 24/7 to a Red-5 media server and even then the bandwidth usage is way lower on the Interserver VPS.

I doubt I will be ServerPronto customer for long. I will probably email sales support in regards to their 7 day money back guarantee in a few days.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:41 am 
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Quote:
. I will probably email sales support in regards to their 7 day money back guarantee in a few days

Given what else you have written about this company, good luck with that.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 8:24 am 
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Yeah... TY.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:46 am 
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That isn't good news.

Please keep us posted of what their reply is.


Does it seem like they have a dishonest bandwidth multiplier in place?

Something like for every 1 MB you use it's calculating up +X MB?

Maybe you should completely shut down your server so nothing happens for a significant amount of time to see if bandwidth is still being used?

Then start using it moderately like upload a 1MB file 10 times then check your bandwidth again to see if it's similar or way out of line.


Please report back here, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Jharris, any reply from serverpronto about the excessive bandwidth?


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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Hey... they replied that the usage I was looking at is the correct usage and it would apply to the 5TB monthly bandwidth limit. They didn't give me an explanation why the data usage was so high. I was looking at the usage earlier and and data sent was less that 2.5 GB and the data received was over 30GB. The data received seems to grow about 1.+ GB per hour. Maybe this is normal with cloud servers... I'm not really sure as this is the first one I've tried. They do have lots of nice options for creating and managing your servers. Also I've submitted 3 support tickets today that were immediately answered, so their support seems to be decent. I did ask for a refund on the account since the bandwidth usage was so excessive and they said that was no problem. I have to fill out a PDF form and email it to them.

I took a few minutes today and watched what was going in and out with tcpdump. There were lots of references to amazon.aws and some type of server monitoring bot. I can't remember the name of it. There were even some to pandora.com???? I didn't have much time to look at it today since I was at work, so I never could pinpoint what was causing such high data received numbers. I did shutdown the server for a few hours and the bandwidth usage didn't grow.

I've been looking around for a VPS, Cloud or Dedicated server for a project I have going at work. I'll probably get another VPS at interserver.net. I've had really good luck with them. Their VPS servers start at $6.00 a month and you can pay by the month or year.

As far as ServerPronto goes... I would recommend http://www.interserver.net over them. Sorry I didn't get back sooner, but had a lot to do after work and just go back in front of a computer. I'll post again later to let you know if I actually get the refund.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 11:23 pm 
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Hey jharris.

Thanks for replying back.

Could you give us some tips about using Ubuntu server, monitoring bandwidth usage and doing the various installs?

If we get a plan with them we really need to monitor their bandwidth chart.

jharris wrote:
The data received seems to grow about 1.+ GB per hour. Maybe this is normal with cloud servers...


My understanding is if it wasn't you using it then no, it's not supposed to grow.

jharris wrote:

I took a few minutes today and watched what was going in and out with tcpdump.


Can you show the rest of us how you did that?

This might be a good thread to also show how to setup the Ubuntu server, install the 32 bit libs, etc.

jharris wrote:

There were lots of references to amazon.aws and some type of server monitoring bot. I can't remember the name of it. There were even some to pandora.com????


Did you mention this to them? we would like to know what they said.

jharris wrote:
I did shutdown the server for a few hours and the bandwidth usage didn't grow.


That's good news, how did you shut down the server?

jharris wrote:

I've been looking around for a VPS, Cloud or Dedicated server for a project I have going at work. I'll probably get another VPS at interserver.net. I've had really good luck with them. Their VPS servers start at $6.00 a month and you can pay by the month or year.


Thanks for sharing this. I took a quick peek at that plan and it's speed is very slow! Even increasing their plans the speed is slow. Much slower than 100mbps. Do you notice sluggish performance? How many users are you serving at the same time? Are you using it for WE apps?


jharris wrote:

I'll post again later to let you know if I actually get the refund.


Please do, that would be great.


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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:44 am 
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J.Sh3ppard wrote:
$15/month : 2 CPU cores with 3Gigs ram, 50gig HD, and 5TB transfer a month.

That's not even a realistic price for the plan - is that for "first couple of months" or what?

Bandwidth is generally in the region of 0.02p per GB with a decent host which would far exceed the price of the entire plan. Of course, excessive bandwidth to attract customers isn't new but 5TB is the equivalent of a 15Mbit metered line.

Excessive overselling usually means poor performance. I'd rather buy a server with no "bandwidth" and have 0.02p per GB and pay only what I use than 5TB that I hardly ever use, but when I do need to use it it's 1Mbit a sec because they've oversold like whores.

Quote:
one of the main concerns I have is wrongful over billing for false or fraudulent excess bandwidth usage
Lol, why would you even consider them then? Their not a particularly big contender in terms of hosting names (i've never heard of them at least) and they've renamed from "infolink" and as with most companies, renaming generally isn't a good sign, as it's a sign of a failing business at least in hosting where it's easy to accumulate a lot of bad reviews.

Quote:
Other hosting companies often will shut down the server or contact the customer letting them know they're about to go over their allocation
Very few do, it's just not practical. Shared hosting plans suspend your account, dedicated servers dont (it's the difference between having access to a software based admin tool and not being allowed to touch a customers' box)

With cloud hosting though, most are now on a "prepaid" platform where you must keep your account topped up or be cut off. If bandwidth concerns you find a host with a metered line, it's impossible to go over your allocation with that.

Ovh are about the only host I know of capable of providing relatively cheap servers with pretty much metered connections as standard (they literally throw 100mb lines at everyone) although they're moving away from that now IIRC. Although I should point out they have their own peering network in the EU (so bandwidth costs them almost nothing) and they are popping up data centers as fast as they can but as with all hosts they have their problems - 100Mbit line was cool but even when i had a server with them running several game servers on one box it was perfect, but when i stopped hosting game servers and just had a single GB file for download the speed was stuck on ridiculous 1kb for excessive amounts of time.

That said the next time I buy hosting will likely be from serverlove.com

Quote:
Given what else you have written about this company, good luck with that.
Doesnt matter, if they refuse either contact the merchant account or reverse the charge. Merchant accounts are pretty decent at sorting payment issues out and it goes on record too :)

Quote:
Maybe this is normal with cloud servers... I'm not really sure as this is the first one I've tried
It should be near impossible to get GB's without a running service and I'm pretty sure a DDoS would be detected by your ISP and most likely affecting other users if that was a source.

I would just ask for an audit of connections, their routers should have logs.


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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:44 am 
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Location: Arkansas - USA
Hi J.Sh3ppard,

If you search around with Google you can find loads of very good step by step tutorials for anything you want to do with Linux. Just searching for Network Bandwidth usage I found several tutorials for Ubuntu. I'm not any kind of a Linux or networking guru so I'll leave the tutorial writing to others.

On my Interserver VPS I have 2 WE apps running and they run very well. I was really disappointed in the performance of the WE apps until I started listening to what others here on the forum suggested and compiling for standalone instead of .cgi. I don't have 1,000's of users connected to the VPS. On most days there are probably 50 concurrent users using the WE apps. I have 2 websites on the server and one gets about 500 hits a day. But with the WE apps and the web server I also have Red-5 server running which uses lots of resources and the performance is still good on the VPS.

I started with the $6.00 plan and it was sluggish, but that's what I expected for the price and I only used it for testing. I pay $36 a month for my VPS now and I'm very happy with it. Interserver may not have the great plans of the other companies but I've been using them for 2 years and have no complaints.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:40 pm 
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New Update:

I installed vnstat to help monitor the bandwidth usage.

I set the firewall rules to deny all incoming and outgoing traffic. (Which I should have done to begin with)

I opened ports 21,22,80.

So far it seems to have taken care of the high band usage and everything is working good.

In a few hours I will compare the bandwidth usage from vnstat to what the the ServerPronot control panel bandwidth usage shows and
report back.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Well that seems to work. Data usage since my last post has been almost nil. Started with vnstat showing 151.52 Mib used for the day and now it shows 151.90 used for the day. vnstat and the ServerPronto bandwidth usage are almost the same. Before changing the firewall configuration usage was a 1GB per hour.

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 Post subject: Re: ServerPronto hosting experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:39 pm 
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lukus001 wrote:
That's not even a realistic price for the plan - is that for "first couple of months" or what?


No, it's for the life of the contract. It was an aggressive May special serverpronto was having and it's over now so it seems you missed it.

I wouldn't say it's not a realistic price for the plan. It's a very good price for the plan.
From what I've been told from many different VPS/cloud hosting companies is that almost all customers never use anywhere near their bandwidth allocation when purchasing TB's. Because of that the plans make the companies money and make up for the few times some customers may use a lot of bandwidth.

For example on shared hosting many plans allocated 'unlimited' or many TB's but in reality you can probably never use many TB's because your shared hosting resource limit will be hit and they will shut down your site or contact you for more money or want you to do an upgrade. Many of the shared hosting plans I've come across allow you to have around 1,000 hits a day before you start getting into trouble.

lukus001 do you not know for <=$50.00 a month you can host your own server and get unlimited bandwidth?


Hey Jharris.

Glad to hear the problem is solved!

I hope you keep an eye on your bandwidth.
Maybe you should write an RS application to constantly monitor it and compare it with the serverpronto bandwidth reading.

If you do, please share it here, thanks.

jharris wrote:
Hi J.Sh3ppard,

If you search around with Google you can find loads of very good step by step tutorials for anything you want to do with Linux. Just searching for Network Bandwidth usage I found several tutorials for Ubuntu.


Yes googling around is good but I was wondering specifically which steps/tuts you've used because often times they can be out of date or not working correctly for different versions of the OS (in this case). I plan on running the same version of Linux as you, Ubuntu server 12.04 LTS 64bit.


If you could please post some links to the ones you used. I'm sure myself and others will appreciate that.

How is the performance of WE apps on that serverpronto plan?


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