DreamHost VS 1and1 on Shared Hosting

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DreamHost and 1and1 are both among the largest web hosting providers, but they are very different in the services they offer, such as the pricing, control panel, and technical support.

DreamHost, hosting more than 1.5 million domains since 1997, has put much emphasis on the stability of their web hosting services. And 1and1, with 26 years’ history, has been highlighting the low prices of their web hosting plans. This company is managing over 19 million domains worldwide.

Should their scale of business convince you that both of them are good enough to meet your hosting demands? Not really. Well-known as they are, there are still many complaints about their services. From the comparison below, you will see the details which can help you make the decision.

Now let’s begin with the two web hosts’ ratings.

Rating DreamHost 1and1
Pricing 3.5 4
Feature 3 2.5
Reliability 4 3.5
Speed 3 2.5
Support 3 2
Read Review DreamHost Review 1and1 Review

The Hosting Cost & Refund Guarantee

Prices and discounts

DreamHost has always been supplying a single web hosting plan, and it seems that the company updated the pricing recently. The price of the plan is $10.95/mo for monthly billing, and some discounts are available if you choose 1-year or 3-year billing cycles. The prices for these two terms are $9.95/mo and $7.95/mo. No additional discount is available for bringing a further reduction of the hosting fees.

1and1 offers 3 web hosting plans called Unlimited, Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Pro respectively. The Unlimited plan is really cheap now because it is available at $0.99/mo only for the first year. However, the renewal requires $6.99/mo. Besides, for the 1-month term, Unlimited is priced at $7.99/mo.

The prices of the other two plans are $4.99/mo and $9.99/mo for the first year and then $9.99/mo and $14.99/mo.

To be honest, 1and1 provides more choices, and it is cheaper for beginners to get started with hosting.

Extras

Both web hosts offer a number of freebies in their web hosting plans to draw more attention. You can see what are included in below.

  • DreamHost: A free .net, .com, .org or .info domain for the first year, $100 ads credits, free domain privacy, and free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate.
  • 1and1: A free .com, .org, .net, .biz, .me, .info, .club or .website domain for the first year, SiteLock Basic (Unlimited Plus), and SSL certificate (Unlimited Pro).

Refund guarantee

DreamHost promises refunds within the first 97 days of the terms longer than one year. The refund is valid for hosting fees paid through credit cards only. Any add-on services and the payments processed via PayPal are nonrefundable.

Compared with the refund guarantee of DreamHost, the promise offered by 1and1 is much less favorable. 1and1 only guarantees refunds within the first 30 days, and if you exceed the bandwidth included in your plan, you will be required to pay an additional fee when asking for a refund.

However, there is still one common point between the two companies’ refund policies: they do not offer any pro-rated refund for accounts cancelled after the refund period defined by them.

Web Hosting Features

Control panel

Neither of DreamHost and 1and1 adopts cPanel or any other third-party control panel. Instead, they both have developed their own custom control panel. As is tested, the custom control panels are built with the basic hosting features such as a file manager, domain manager, database management options and some security options. Besides, you can access and update your billing information easily.

However, these custom control panels are still inferior to cPanel because there are many negative user reviews. Below are some of the common complaints about DreamHost control panel.

  • The control panel is integrated with few features for developers and advanced users.
  • The navigation needs improvement. Sometimes it is hard to find the feature you want. The menu from which you can create cron jobs and .htaccess file is called “Goodies” which is not easy to understand.
  • The outdated UI delivers a bad user experience.

Also, you can easily find the following complaints about 1and1 control panel.

  • The interface is quite slow. Setting up a domain and the DNS settings may take days.
  • There are few tutorials in the support center, making it frustrating to getting started with the control panel.

Another important thing you have to pay attention is that neither web host provides a demo for the custom control panel, so there is no way to test the features and user-friendliness before the purchase is completed.

Other hosting features

DreamHost and 1and1 provide unlimited disk storage and bandwidth in their web hosting plans, and they allow unlimited websites on one account no matter which plan you host your domains on. However, they both lack some certain features which you can see in the table below. If you will need any of the features, you should be careful.

To show clearly what the two web hosts support and do not support, we have not only compared DreamHost plan with 1and1 Unlimited plan, but also compared both plans with Launch, a fully featured plan offered by InMotion, a leading web host.

Feature DreamHost 1and1 InMotion
Plan Happy Hosting Unlimited Launch
Disk Storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Free Domain Yes Yes Yes
Control Panel Custom Custom cPanel
1-Click Installer Yes Yes Yes
Free SSDs Yes No Yes
PHP, Perl, Ruby Yes Yes Yes
PostgreSQL No No Yes
SSH Yes Yes Yes
Daily Backups No Yes Yes
Regular Price $7.95/mo $6.99/mo $6.99/mo
Discount 86% 50%
Current Price $7.95/mo $0.99/mo $3.49/mo
How to Claim Link Activation Link Activation

Web Hosting Performance

Uptime

Both of DreamHost and 1and1 have been doing well in uptime. Although downtimes are unavoidable for shared hosting, they have brought the downtime percentage to the minimum.

DreamHost uses Alchemy data centers featuring redundant power solutions and network connectivity. Located in Los Angeles and Irvine, CA, the data centers are well maintained and upgraded. Guaranteeing 100% uptime, DreamHost has not reached this figure, but it can deliver 99.9% uptime indeed.

1and1 has built up 7 data centers in the US and Europe. The company not only equips each of the data centers with power and network redundancy, but also has established redundant connections between the data centers to guarantee a high level of reliability. Backed by these things, 1and1 can also guarantee 99.9% uptime in most times.

Speed

DreamHost has done much to ensure fast speed for their shared hosting services. For example, they use SSDs on all servers, and provide both free and paid CDN services. These are important reasons why DreamHost performs much better than 1and1 in our server response testing. But in fact, neither of them is good enough to be ranked into the fastest web hosts. The recent monitoring results are as follows.

Technical Support

Both of DreamHost and 1and1 provide free technical support through their ticket system. In terms of the instant communication methods, DreamHost offers live chat and 1and1 offers a toll-free phone number.

If you want phone support from DreamHost, it is possible, but you will have to pay $14.95/mo. In most cases, DreamHost replies support tickets in a quick manner, but the case is different for 1and1.

According to our reviews, 1and1 technical support is one of the worst parts of the company’s web hosting services. The following complaints are common to see.

  • The tutorials in the help center are outdated, and some even include wrong information. Many articles are rated less than 2 out of 5 stars by 1and1 customers.
  • The responses to tickets are slow, taking 12-24 hours normally. Sometimes the waiting time could be a few days.
  • The support staff does not care about what customers want. The answers are not often related to the question.

Are They Top Choices for Shared Hosting?

We don’t think so. They are good in uptime and hosting resources, but there are so many drawbacks. For example, DreamHost is expensive, and 1and1 is slow. The technical support is also a common demerit of both web hosts.

If you want some better choices with good performance, affordable price and responsive technical support, you can learn some details about the web hosting plans offered by the following companies.