BuyVM – 7 Year Review

I’ve been using BuyVM for seven years this month, so figured it was time to write a review :stuck_out_tongue:

Back in 2010, a post on WebHostingTalk caught my eye. $5.95 per month for a VPS with 512 MB RAM and IPv6 support? Amazing! I was in need of a VPS for my secondary DNS and mail servers, after having issues with another provider. BuyVM was relatively unknown to me and I was a bit scared to try out yet another ‘new’ provider after having so many issues with other providers suddenly disappearing, servers going down for days, etc. However, I kept an eye on them, and BuyVM kept appearing in the LowEndTalk top provider polls, so in March 2012 I signed up.

In terms of hosting providers, I think this is the best decision I ever made. BuyVM was cheaper than other providers I had used, and yet the servers were faster, support was better, and overall it just felt like a better quality service. I liked the service so much that I ended up upgrading to an OpenVZ VPS with 1 GB RAM ($13.95/month at the time, I think) and migrated across from a Hivelocity dedicated server.

I was even happier when “slices” were announced - For basically the same price, I could get 4x the RAM (4 GB) and dedicated CPU on a KVM VPS, and the VPS felt extremely fast and responsive!

@Francisco is absolutely fantastic to deal with. I’ve rarely had to contact support, but when I have, Francisco has always been knowledgeable and willing to help. There used to be a guy named Aldryic on their support team who wasn’t always as friendly, but I think he’s not at the company any more. I never really had any issues with him though.

That’s not to say that they’ve been without issues. They did have one major outage in December 2018 which resulted in corrupt data or even data loss for their block storage product (my slab got totally corrupted somehow, and I had to restore from backup) but they were very open about exactly what happened and the steps they were going to take to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This is a level of open-ness that I haven’t seen from some other providers. They also used to experience minor network issues (sporadic outages), but it’s been pretty solid since 2015 or so and I haven’t seen any other issues in the past few years.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend BuyVM as my #1 pick for a VPS provider. They’ve stood the test of time, and have a number of advantages over many other LowEndBox-style providers. Other providers may have gotten cheaper over the years, but BuyVM easily tops them in terms of overall quality and their commitment to innovation and providing a high-quality service.

Pros

  • BuyVM are very innovative. They have a lot of functionality I have not seen at any other providers:
    • Stallion, their in-house control panel, is great. While not as powerful as some other control panels, it is fast, responsive, and contains all the core functionality you’d expect - VNC (only accessible from Stallion by default, which is a nice security feature), mounting ISOs, reverse DNS of both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
    • Block storage “slabs”, which let you add extra storage to your VPS for $1.25 per 256 GB per month. I have not seen any other providers that offer something similar anywhere near this price point.
    • Free Anycast IP address if you have VPSes in all three locations (Las Vegas, New Jersey, and Luxembourg).
    • Free DirectAdmin with all VPSes.
    • Dedicated CPU for Slice 4096 ($15/month) and higher plans. You can use 100% CPU all the time and it’s totally fine. I don’t totally hammer the CPU, but it’s still very useful when running full-system backups to know that they won’t complain about my CPU usage.
  • All hardware is owned, as is the IP range. The fact that they own their IP range was very useful when moving from San Jose to Las Vegas, as all the IPs remained the same
  • Unmetered traffic @ 1 Gb/s on all VPSes
  • Great support that actually knows what they’re doing
  • Free Windows Server 2008 / 2012 / 2016 licenses

Cons

  • Stock is sometimes hard to come by. Often the most popular plans are out of stock, and you need to wait for them to be restocked. On the other hand, I’m glad they don’t massively oversell their services, and instead actually have limits on number of clients per node.
  • Stallion is still lacking a few features
    • No two-factor authentication
    • No ability to upload custom ISOs - Need to create a support ticket

Specs

  • CPU: Intel E3-1270 v3 @ 3.50GHz
  • Own their own IPs: Yes, AS53667 FranTech Solutions (BuyVM is a trading name of FranTech)
  • Use their own services: Yes, buyvm.net and frantech.ca are hosted on their own servers (some hosts use other hosting providers for their own websites)
  • Sample IP: 209.141.56.135, 2605:6400:0020:0078::1
  • Data center: Fiberhub. Network blend of Hurricane Electric and Cogent, and Voxility for optional DDoS protection

Note: above details are for Las Vegas, as that’s the location I use

Also note: I’m not paid by BuyVM to post this, this is entirely my own opinions :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t even use their affiliate program or anything like that.

12 Likes

Thanks for the review :smiley:

Checks in the mail.

Francisco

14 Likes

Nice review! :slight_smile:

Keep up the great work, @Francisco!

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@Francisco Do you have any plans for enhancements to Stallion, like two-factor auth? That’s pretty much the only major enhancement I’d love to see with BuyVM.

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Absolutely, as well as the ISO uploading.

Francisco

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Also, it’s never too late to rebrand Stallion to PonyPanel. Just sayin’ :wink:

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:musical_note: My Little Panel, My Little Panel :musical_note:

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Heh… I still log in to Stallion using an old “PonyVM…” username, even though the old usernames were supposed to be deprecated a long time ago :thinking:

PonyVM#### Obsolescence: We’ve never much cared for the PonyVM-style logins, but until now there’s never been a good chance to break away from the standard we’ve been using for the past several years. Once Stallion2 goes live, the PonyVM logins will continue to work until we start development on the billing and support modules, but will be disabled permanently no later than January 2014.

It’s still supported, but you can use your email to login.

Francisco