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Beware of Some Hosting Scams

by Jimmy Choo

At this day and age almost everyone has a website. Many hosts offer great deals with reasonable prices, but if they offer exceptional deals with extremely cheap prices, beware before you become a victim. Web host scams are plenteous, so take caution.

You should research the host before anything. Go to forums and look for ratings and reviews before you commit. Search for the host name on a search engine and find out as much as you can about them. Examine their site carefully, and get to know who they are. There should always be a section that says "contact us" or an "about us" that has some kind of contact information. If you have no way to reach them, how can they be held accountable for things that may go wrong, or even help you with a problem? That's a major red flag.

Always read the terms of service before signing up. Do a close reading and be sure that you understand payment terms, what you are required to do, and what they promise to offer. You should not have to keep track of and report down time. If the host is shady about uptime, don't sign up. Make sure the domain name is registered to you and not to the hosting company. It's not a real sale and you don't own it if they keep the registration. This is also away of avoiding legal tracking. They can deny the sale if you don't hold registration rights. You should have the option of paying monthly, not just annually. Although there is nothing wrong with an annual payment, be sure that you have options so that you can be sure the host won't take the money and run. You should also be able to get a refund of the first 30 days of the membership. If you are not satisfied, you should be able to cancel and get your money back. Non-refundable deals are usually poor deals.

There is no such thing as unlimted bandwidth or data transfer. Check the terms and conditions for the actual limits. Data transfer costs webhosts money, so there is no way that they can successfully run business and make a profit at all with extremely low income. If they promise you limitless space, it's technically impossible. It is a certain con for your money.

You should try to find a web host located near you. It will speed up the download of your site for viewers, give greater access to technical support, and assistance with service complaints. Extravagant offers for extremely low prices are a pretty obvious sign that the website is a scam. If you feel that you have been scammed, you should contact your local district attorney. Otherwise, research the site and don't give your information until you have taken the precautions described above. Have a good time, but play it safe.

Monday, Sep 11th, 2006