If you own a website that is primarily focused on the land down under, have the majority of your visitors come from there, or are physically located in the outback, then you may want to look for hosting in Australia. Australia has many datacenter locations for you to choose from and there are many companies that offer servers that are based in these datacenters. In this article we will look at some of the reasons that you should consider Australian hosting and take a look at many companies that offer Australian based hosting.
When you first go seek hosting in the land down under, you need to make sure that your server will indeed be located in Australia. There are several companies that are based out of Australia but actually use servers that are located within the United States. Going with one of these hosts is no different than going with a US based host, except that you are closer to their headquarters(if you happen to live in Australia) and that the technical support staff will be Australian.
After you have made sure that the servers themselves are actually going to be in Australia, you need to examine the reason why you need Australian hosting. For some things such as gaming servers and 3d chat servers where the majority of your visitors are from Australia, the answer is obvious – lower ping times which leads to less lag. If you are hosting anything that is dependent on server refresh rates and is real-time interactive, then you will need hosting that is physically within proximity of either you or the majority of your visitors. That way thebandwidth will have to travel through less hops and your visitors will experience less lag between the time they actually perform an action and the time when the action actually happens. This is especially important if you are hosting something like a counter-strike server where fractions of a second can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
However, if you are not hosting anything that depends on server refresh rates or real-time interactivity, then the benefits of getting host in the land down under become harder to define. There are two reasons that you could want to do this however, being that you could possibly drive down to the datacenter and work on the server yourself or you can go down to the hosting company’s office and have a face-to-face chat with support staff if you are extremely impatient for an answer. While for most customers these advantages are not really worth considering, for technical experts or really large customers who are hosting with clusters of servers, this may actually be a fairly large advantage to have.
In terms of cost for Australian hosting compared to USA hosting, the two are pretty similar. There are more options if you are looking for US hosting as more companies rely on US datacenters than Australian datacenters so you may find more budget solution in the USA. However, the cost of Aussie hosting is not high and is very affordable(if you look around). Remember that if you are purchasing with dollars that the foreign exchange rate will effect the actual cost of your hosting.
Now that we have looked at the different factors when considering an Australian host, lets look at some hosts that offer Australian-based hosting services:
1. Solid Internet– Solid internet is based out of Australia and offers hosting with servers in Australia, the United States, and Great Britian. Costs are the same for all three locations and the general service from these guys is pretty good. Personal hosting plans start at $3.95(USD) a month and come with 1GB space and 10GB bandwidth. Solid internet offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, instant account activation, and a 99.99% uptime guarantee. The hosting comes packed with features such as PHP,MYSQL, Premium support, Cpanel, a sitebuilder and more. This company claims to have cut management layers to provide quality hosting at the lowest possible cost. Reviews online are generally pretty positive about this company as most all customers have been happy with the service they have received.
2. Valuehosting– Value hosting is a more expensive host that is based out of Melbourne Australia. Plans start at $12.95/month and only includes 15MB space and 1GB bandwidth. The more sensible standard plan starts at $19.95/month and comes with 250mb space and 4GB bandwidth. All plans support PHP,PERL,PYTHON, Java applets, C, C++, and comes with MYSQL databases for developers. Daily backups are provided along with 24/7/365 monitoring of servers. There is a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their service and technical support that is available for 365/days per year. Although uptime seems to be excellent on this host and customer support seems to be good, I can’t quite recommend this company because of the high prices they charge for hosting. In my opinion, you can find similar service for lower prices if you are willing to shop around a bit.
3. Conexim– Conexim is an Australian-based hosting service that has been operating since 1993 and provides many customers with Australian-based hosting services. These guys offer basic hosting, virtual servers, dedicated server, and even server clusters should you need more hosting. Their basic plan starts at $16.50/month and includes 100mb of space and 2GB of traffic. PHP is supported but you have to go with the $33/month plan or higher to get a MYSQL database with your hosting package. There are nightly backups, free scripts, and free search engine submissions that come with every plan. This company’s uptime and service seems to be good but like the last host mentioned, the price is much too high for what you get bringing the overall value down to just average. While this would not be a bad company to consider, you can find better deals on quality hosting out there.
4. Net Registry– Net registry is a large Australian hosting company with over 100,000 Australian customers. They offer domain registrations, email, web hosting, e-commerce hosting, and dedicated servers. Hosting from these guys starts at $15.95 per month and comes with 100mb space and 5GB transfer. Accounts are hosted on load-balanced server clusters which ensures a certain level of stability. However, development tools such as PHP,MYSQL,PERL, JSP,PYTHON, and others are only available on the $29.99/month or higher plans. Along with MYSQL, Post SQL is offered on the $29.99/month plans or higher and there is an option add-on option for MSSQL databases at an additional cost. There is an online control panel with Urchin web statistics and optional add-ons for E-commerce SSL extensions. Support is tricky as unlimited email and phone support is available but if you want 24/7/365 email and phone support, you will have to purchase the $49.95/month and above plans. Uptime on this host is rated at an excellent 99.98% and customer service is decent overall. The pricing is high but when broken down is somewhat better than the previous two hosts mentioned. If you are searching for a stable Aussie provider, you may want to give this company some thought.
5. Quadra Hosting– Quadra hosting provides quality Australian hosting at a cheaper price than many of its competitors. These guys provide hosting on both Linux and Windows platforms with Linux packages starting at 9.95(AUD) per month and comes with 500mb disk space, 3GB bandwidth, PHP, MYSQL, PERL, and many other features. Windows plans start at 14.95(AUD) per month and include 500mb space and 3GB transfer and include ASP and MYSQL and Post SQL databases. ASP.NET is only offered on the 24.95(AUD)/month plans and up and MSSQL is an additional $22/month if you want to add one on. This company provides customers options to host in the United States as well and bandwidth from US servers is much cheaper from Quadra hosting. Support is mainly handled through a customer help desk and there are customer forums for added technical questions and bug reporting. General reviews of this company have been positive as they have been up and running for several years. Their pricing structure is more favorable than most other Australian hosts so if cost is an issue, you might want to give these guys some extra consideration.
These are five known Australian hosts that provide good quality hosting. Some are more expensive than others as bandwidth and server costs in Australia are higher than they are in the states. If you must have Aussie hosting, I would suggest you try Solid Internet first, although the other companies are worth looking at. Remember to talk to the pre-sales team before buying and negotiate what you need before you buy as it may be able to land you a better overall deal.