HostArmada Review: The New Kid Has Moves!

When the HostArmada team first contacted me for a review, I was skeptical. There are too many cookie-cutter web hosts in the market, most of whom offer nothing special. But when I got into the weeds, I was quite surprised. They’ve clearly put a lot of thought into their web hosting packages.

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  • LiteSpeed on “Speed Reaper” Plan
  • Free WAF (Web Application Firewall)
  • 9 Datacenters Across the Globe
  • Free Malware Scanning
  • User Account Isolation
  • Free Private DNS
More Info

HostArmada might be new, but they’ve got some amazing features. In particular, their security systems are top notch – like the free Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Pros

  • The best security package
  • Damn good pricing
  • Feature packed (see below)
  • An experienced team

Cons

  • Relatively new
  • LiteSpeed only for “Speed Reaper” Plan

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HostArmada Reviews

4.7
4.7 rating
4.7 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Excellent67%
Very good33%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible0%

The only host with a Mumbai datacenter

5.0 rating
August 11, 2020

Hard finding a web host with India data centers. HostArmada gave me a data center in Mumbai! So big props to them!

Prateek Shah

Great hosting. Very happy with the price!

5.0 rating
August 4, 2020

Just snagged a good deal on their summer sale. very happy with the features at the given price!

Presley Nolan

Amazing features!

4.0 rating
July 26, 2020

I’ve hosted in so many places before, but I’ve never seen a provider that has so many features! I was able to replace my existing paid firewall service with the built in solution provided by HostArmada. Amazing!

Monika Coombes

Table of Contents

Performance Features

HostArmada uses a number of technologies to improve performance compared to other web hosts.

LiteSpeed on the Speed Reaper Plan

LiteSpeed is an amazing web server that’s leagues faster than either Apache, or NGINX. It derives its speed from an event-driven architecture using a single thread, instead of spawning a new one for each process. This involves significantly fewer resources. I’ve written earlier about what makes LiteSpeed special.

HostArmada offers LiteSpeed hosting only on its most advanced “Speed Reaper” plan. The restriction is unfortunate, but perhaps not surprising. Unlike Apache and NGINX, LiteSpeed is a paid product and it’s unrealistic to expect that kind of technology at such low prices – though some hosts like NameHero offer just that.

Free Backups and Restores

This should honestly be a standard feature on all web hosting packages, but it’s not. So the inclusion of automatic backups on HostArmada is noteworthy. The duration of the backups is as follows:

  • Start Dock Plan: 1 week
  • Web Warp Plan: 2 weeks
  • Speed Reaper Plan: 3 weeks

In addition, you can restore your backups immediately from the dashboard without contacting customer support. This puts HostArmada above many “ordinary” web hosting companies like Bluehost and Hostgator. Though I should mention that it’s best to have an alternative backup solution in case things go wrong. I’ve earlier suggested DropMySite for this purpose.

Cloud Technology = 0 Downtime

HostArmada is powered exclusively by the cloud. What this means is that the underlying resources used by your site are not tied down to any individual machine. This implies two things – greater resiliency in case the system crashes, and that upgrades and maintenance don’t take your site down.

The cloud is a new(ish) technology, so the terminology is still evolving. Many web hosts use the term synonymously with VPS, but in the context of HostArmada, it just means that your resources are “virtual” instead of being attached to a specific piece of hardware.

Memcached + APCu PHP Cache

Naked PHP is quite inefficient. On each pass, the files are compiled into bytecode over and over, even though they may not change for years! To increase the efficiency, we have technologies that cache the bytecode and certain frequently used objects. While PHP 5.5 now has native support for bytecode caching, we still need 3rd party solutions for object caching.

Memcached and APCu are two PHP cache techniques that greatly speed up the backend processing of PHP files. HostArmara has support for both of these. Ordinary web hosts might not enable these modules – or at least you might need to manually ask them to activate it. HostArmada offers these plugins on their Speed Reaper plan.

9 Data Centers

Most web hosting companies have just 2 or 3 data centers. Hostgator for example, doesn’t even bother having data centers outside the US, though it has subsidiary branches in other countries with their own separate data centers. HostArmada however, has 9 locations in all continents except Africa. This allows you to obtain faster response times from your users depending on which country they live in.

Here they are:

  1. Fremont, USA
  2. Dallas, USA
  3. East Newark, US
  4. Toronto, Canada
  5. London, UK
  6. Frankfurt, Germany
  7. Mumbai, India
  8. Singapore
  9. Sydney, Australia

Here’s a screenshot of HostArmada’s data center coverage:

HostArmada Data Center Locations
HostArmada Data Center Locations

That’s very impressive coverage, and much more than any other web hosting provider I’ve seen in a similar category. The data centers in India and Australia provide many more choices for Asia based customers than anything else on the market. It’s pretty amazing.

Perfect for India Based Hosting

There aren’t many global web hosts that have a data center in India. Usually, if at all, websites in India need to use a Singapore data center. HostArmada is the only web host I’m aware of that has a global network like the one shown above, and has a data center in India – located in Mumbai.

Other than HostArmada, Hostgator India is the only other global web host brand with Indian data centers. And between the two, HostArmada has a ton more features.

Free Private DNS Infrastructure

A private DNS is where your nameservers look like this:

ns1.yourwebsite.com
ns2.yourwebsite.com

Instead of like this:

ns1.hostingprovider.com
ns2.hostingprovider.com

For HostArmada to provide these for free, is pretty unusual. But it’s only available on the “Web Warp” and “Speed Reaper” plans. I’m not aware of any other web host that does this. From a practical standpoint however, it’s more of an ego/branding issue than a real performance boost. I don’t believe it improves your performance in any meaningful way. In fact, you should probably be using Cloudflare’s DNS network anyway.

Amazing Security Features

This is more important now than it used to be, and it’s where HostArmada really shines. But people are becoming more and more aware of terms like “WAF”, “DDoS” and “Rate Limiting”. HostArmada has one of the most comprehensive security packages I’ve ever seen.

Free WAF (Web Application Firewall)

HostArmada provides a WAF for free, which is pretty sweet considering that a company like Cloudflare charges you $20/m. A WAF is an advanced firewall that sits between your website and the general Internet. It protects you from a variety of threats, some of which evolve in real time.

Mad props to HostArmada for including this feature for free. And the fact that they offer it on all their plans is pretty damn noteworthy.

Free Rate Limiting

Another premium feature that most web hosts either don’t have, or charge a separate fee for. In fact, on Cloudflare, this is an additional usage based tool that you pay for in increasing amounts depending on the traffic mitigated. It basically ensures that your site can’t be hammered with thousands of requests in a short period of time.

As your site gets bigger and draws more attention, this will become a bigger problem. You should be happy that HostArmada lets you have this for free!

User Account Isolation

On a shared hosting network, there’s always the danger that the various accounts on the server will have a negative impact on the others. Either through excessive resource usage, or other types of bad behavior, your site can suffer as a result of someone else. And that’s not a good thing.

HostArmada uses something called “User Account Isolation” to separate the various users from one another. This ensures that you can’t be harmed by what someone else is doing on their website. It’s an absolutely crucial feature to have, and it’s great that HostArmada implements it.

Free Malware Scanning

HostArmada periodically scans your website for vulnerabilities and automatically patches them. This is a feature that other web hosts like SiteGround offer as a paid service. So once again, it’s impressive that they do this for free.

Differences Between HostArmada Plans

HostArmada has three basic plans:

  1. Start Dock
  2. Web Warp
  3. Speed Reaper
Three HostArmada Plans for Shared Hosting
Three HostArmada Plans for Shared Hosting

Common Features

All three plans come with the following:

  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Free domain name
  • Free website transfer
  • Unlimited databases, e-mail accounts, and subdomains
  • Free site builder

However, there are significant differences between them as shown below.

Differences Between the Three Plans

Here are the base differences between the plans:

Start DockWeb WarpSpeed Reaper
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimited
Storage15 GB30 GB40 GB
CPU Cores246
RAM2 GB4 GB6 GB
Backups71421
Differences Between HostArmada Plans

But in addition to these differences, each plan has additional differences as explained below.

Web Warp + Speed Reaper Special Features

The Web Warp plan allows you to migrate up to 3 websites instead of just the one with the Start Dock plan. It also allows you to use the free private DNS system mentioned earlier.

In addition to the above, the Speed Reaper plan has an account density that’s three times lower than the other two, on top of more resources. This means you get a massive performance boost when you upgrade.

Server Caching for Speed Reaper

As mentioned above, the Speed Reaper plan also implements the LiteSpeed server, which makes a huge difference. But with that, you also get access to the LiteSpeed cache system which stores static copies of your dynamic files and serves them to visitors. This frees you from needing to install your own 3rd party plugin, which will always be slower compared to a native solution.

Here’s a detailed post I wrote earlier about server caching. You can see which hosts offer it, and how it can improve your site speeds.

Who Owns HostArmada

Since HostArmada is a pretty new web hosting company, I reached out to them and asked about their background, who they were, and why they decided to start a new hosting company.

While I’m not at liberty to provide all the details they shared, I gathered that the founding team is comprised of executives from other web hosting companies. They decided to come together to merge the best hosting features of each of their older firms – which would explain the extremely large feature set of HostArmada. They seem to have pulled together functionalities found in many different hosting providers, as you can see above.

Bottom Line: Feature Packed

If you had to take away just one idea from this HostArmada review, it should be the sheer number of features. HostArmada’s security package that they offer for free dwarfs the competition – especially the inclusion of a WAF. Combine that with the LiteSpeed web server for the Speed Reaper plan and other benefits, and you get an idea of just how special it is.

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!