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Hosting lab test: where we compare web hosting services and find the best home for your site

By Jon Smith


Each month Internet Magazine will compare web hosting companies to find the best Web hosting out there. With our compare web hosting results, you can make sure your site's getting the best possible care.

Here are the results of the compare web hosting work: We have a new leader in our table this month -- Entanet. This Telford-based host has been performing consistently for a long period of time, and finally got its break after a slip-up by last month's runaway leader lnweb Networks.

When you compare web hosting services you will find suprises. To compare web hosting companies you first need to know what your site needs.

There were a handful of excellent improvements we found in our compare web hosting search. Here are more results from our compare web hosting efforts: Another host with Telford connections, Wyre Forest Computer Solutions, is up dramatically from 34th to fourth. Christian Technology climbs 22 places from 28th to sixth, Imagine Media is in 12th from 39th 100 Percent IT has improved from 29th to 14th, and NetWeaver is looking good in 18th up from 26th.

 

 


More UK results from our compare web hosting search: Netscalibur won't be happy to have fallen from eighth to 23rd despite being one of only four hosts to post 100 percent availability, and Routo and Harbourweb have fallen out of the top 20, but all in all, this month's table reflects a period of consistency in the UK hosting market.

How it all works

Our top throughput figures can exceed 3,000kbps, yet modems generally manage throughputs of not much more than 5kbps. The principle is that if you get 3,000kbps on Zeus' high bandwidth connection, it's the equivalent of 600 modem connections downloading at 5kbps.

Rankings are based on transfer speeds--how quickly files are downloaded from the host server to the test machines. Zeus uses five test hosts in the UK and five in the US. While every site is tested by both the UK and US test hosts, the US testing generates better results for machines that are located in the US. The test files used are between 4,096 and 6,144 bytes. The only requirement is that they are static files of the right length, so a text file with 5,000 '*'s in it would do. Images are generally used because it makes life easier for the sites being tested to find an image of the right size. Many of the page files we test are the hosts' own home pages. Although not all clients will achieve the same levels of performance, the thinking is that if a host can't get its own pages to download rapidly, it's unlikely to manage any better with customers' pages.

Availability figures are based on availability of the Web server itself, not server uptime. Our systems attempt to contact the host every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day. The tests ran from 26 May to 24 June 2002. For more information, visit Zeus Technology's real-time rolling Web server tests at www.webperf.net.

This month's best-performing hosting companies:

Mxhub
Hostmagix
Lunarpages

 

 
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