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2003-05-28: I've suffered BargainHost long enough...

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Categories: All Tech

...it's time to move. If you're thinking of hosting with BargainHost, you might like to read the list of problems announced recently (this is a screenshot of their support area):

BargainHost support area screenshot

Those of a particularly sympathetic mind will say that some of that trouble isn't the fault of BargainHost. They may even be correct; server software is never 100% reliable and bulletproof. However, I'd like to know why they have such trouble finding a technician over a weekend (and why they appear to have no plan of action for Bank Holidays)...

Author: admin
Time: 27-5-2003-11:03

Subject: Update: Network Outage

Announcement: Please accept our apologies for the recent network problems, there is still a problem with server one and server three.

While we were attempting kernel upgrades on these servers we discovered that hackers had internally vandalised most of the linux operating system on these two servers, we had to completely re-install Linux on server one and server three.

The two servers were victims of a publicised hack attack a few weeks ago, there were vulnerabilities in the software that allowed users access to root. We have updated all security patches on these servers to prevent a repeat attack from hackers, we have denied all users from Telnet/SSH privelages. We have also recently installed a new Cisco firewall to increase security, we will also be increasing security further over the next few days.

Unfortunately this network problem had to arise on bank holiday weekend and we could not locate an available technical engineer to complete this work in time, we have someone working on the servers today and estimate that servers will be operating sometime this evening.

Once again we apologise for the problems and the downtime caused. We are also sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Best regards,
IT Manager: James Innes

...for more about that attack, see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2967749.stm

BargainHost's story seems to be one of overly rapid growth, insufficient technical support and poor communication. I could understand this better when they were charging low prices such as £12.99 per annum with a free domain name, but not now that the lowest rate they offer is £49 a year. I suppose (or hope) that those customers aren't hosted on http://one.bargainhosts.co.uk, which seems to accrue most problems.

From now on, I'll be hosting with PlugSocket, who host www.inaudible.co.uk and have a commitment to uptime. This should leave me with an empty 50Mb of storage over at http://one.bargainhosts.co.uk/~virtuald for a year, so suggestions on a postcard as to what purpose I might usefully put this... assuming it ever comes back online, that is.

Those with no interest in the mechanics of web site construction, please skip backwards to my more normal blog entries! I promise I don't just publicise complaints about BargainHost! Although, if anyone has any particular grievances to air, let me know... I'm very much inclined to make the facts widely known, if only to forewarn others. :)


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