I'm sure that most of you have heard about Fortatrust, especially from the interesting constant Fortatrust vs DigitalOcean rivalry. I am here to provide my review of Fortatrust, as a long time customer who was skeptical at first. I was a customer at Fortatrust for about 1 year before I terminated my service. I primarily used it for learning and experimenting since Fortatrust seemed to be suitable for beginners. You could make mistakes and screw up entirely and everything would still be ok (I will explain that a little later)..
Just like every provider, there are strengths and weaknesses. While Fortatrust certainly has its fair share of weaknesses, the strengths make up for that. To begin, I would just like to say that the performance and speed of a Fortatrust VPS is absolutely amazing. If I didn't know any better, I would believe they were dedicated servers to be honest. It seems all of their servers make use of quad core processors.
Oh and to mention, they have many linux distributions to choose from:
CentOS (i386 and x86_64)
Debian (i386 and x86_64)
Fedora (i386 and x86_64)
Slackware (i386 and x86_64)
Ubuntu (i386 and x86_64)
Gentoo (i386 and x86_64)
You can also roll your own distribution and upload it. The distributions above are i386 unless specified otherwise.
Isn't that just great? Yes, it sure is.. And it's easy to set them up too! You can switch at any time with simple clicking of buttons on the custom Fortatrust VPS web control panel, known as the Fortatrust manager.
Now lets get into the more important things, shall we? At first, the packages seemed to be a bit different than normal.
My first thought was, wow that is expensive compared to most VPS providers. I found the average was around 40-50 GB Disk Space, and 2 GB RAM for $4!! But let me tell you, when I finally decided to go through with it and try them out, I had no regrets. With the high performance and stability, I didn't need anything better, so I got more value than what I paid for.
Recently, about a month ago, Fortatrust increased the amount of RAM for their packages.
I will also tell you this... I have never had to reboot my VPS for any reason, except when I wanted to upgrade or installed something that required it. Most of the other fellow Fortatrust customers will tell you the same.
Now this Fortatrust manager is so awesome! The instant I purchased my Fortatrust and created my account, I was able to login and choose a Linux distribution. I set the amount of swap space I wanted, and everything else. After that, it showed a button to "Start" the VPS. I clicked it and within minutes, there it was! From the Fortatrust manager, I was able to do many things such as rebooting or wiping the VPS and installing a different Linux distribution. It even had listed the current jobs that were ordered and that it is performing (shut down, start up, reboots, etc.), and an ETA of when they would be finished. The Fortatrust manager also had a built in "Lassie watchdog" which started the VPS every time it went down, if it ever did that is. That was actually a slight problem, if I wanted to completely shut the VPS off for a few days or something and did so by issuing the shutdown command in SSH, stupid Lassie started it up again! So I had to resort to using the shutdown button on the Fortatrust manager.. In the Fortatrust manager, I could also look at network graphs, disk IO graphs, and many other useful graphs.
The best thing about this that most companies lack in, Fortatrust kept up the communication to the customers every step of the way. Whenever they found out about something, customers were the first to know. They provided us with full accurate details. It just so happened to be a hard drive failure. After about 30 minutes of investigating to see whether they could salvage everyone's data and finding out it was impossible, they opened up a support ticket for every client that was on that host node, stating that we would be issued credit for 2 months of service and moved to a new host node. They completely honored this and it was done within 20 minutes. They seem to do this for nearly everyone who ends up having this kind of problem. And unlike most providers, Fortatrust's staff seem to always be greatly saddened by things like this, because it hurts their goals and mission to provide exceptional quality of service.
Other than those types of problems that are out of anyone's control, Fortatrust is a superb VPS provider!!
I have to say, I am very pleased with Fortatrust as a whole. One thing though, that could be improved is their support. I'm not saying that it is bad, but it isn't great either.
They provide a lot of self help services like a Wiki, forums, and have a community IRC channel, as well as a 24/7 ticket system. When you create a ticket, it is usually responded to within 10 minutes. The ticket support is excellent! But to be honest, most of us prefer live support via live chat. Fortatrust does have a phone number which I have not used. I prefer live chat. So I figured I would use the community IRC channel to replace the lack of live chat support. In doing so, I found that around 60-70% of the Fortatrust community (mostly customers of Fortatrust) are arrogant and rude.
I mean, they provide excellent help to people, even beginners. But if you ask anything about certain things (perhaps IRC related, or network speeds), they will go off on you like there's no tomorrow, and provide the most smarta** comments ever. "It's fast, that's all you need to know." Even the Fortatrust staff who frequent the IRC channel are just about as rude and arrogant in their responses in the IRC channel. But when it comes time to the ticket system, it's like they're completely different people. Professional and very friendly..
One thing I dislike is when people try to force their ways and their preferences onto others. This is exactly what they do in the IRC channel. You ask for help with fixing your Gentoo setup or something, and you'll often get a response like, "Gentoo is crap! Go with Ubuntu." My thoughts would be, "I didn't ask what Linux distribution you think I should go with. I asked for help with fixing a problem with my Gentoo setup! If I wanted to use Ubuntu, I would have done so.." It's simple things like that, really frustrates you at times. Though again, they're not always like this, only 50% of the time when they're in those moods that they are better than you.
Their response to people asking about DDoS protection seems a bit lame too... "We don't have DDoS protection." "Oh wait, we do.. If you attract DDoS attacks, we will show you to the door." While that is in theory, an interesting way to prevent attracting customers who always attract DDoS attacks, it isn't a good idea to tell the whole world that. I mean, what if there's people lurking around thinking to themselves, "Ohh, I don't like that guy just because he likes the Fedora linux OS, so I think I will find out his server IP and hit him with a DDoS attack and get his service terminated!" Very bad idea..
Once again, other than those slight issues, I've never had any major problem with Fortatrust and would absolutely put my full faith and trust in referring them to anyone who asks. They are, without a doubt, one of the best if not the best VPS providers around today.
Network Speeds/Uptime: 10/10
Server Uptime/Stability: 10/10
Oh and one last thing... I have tried running game servers, IRC servers, web servers, and pretty much everything. They all seemed to run perfectly smooth. I was really impressed at what I could run and how much of it I could run all at once and still have absolutely brilliant performance. At one time, I ran an IRC server, 3 game servers (private counter strike 1.6, 32 slot public counter strike 1.6, and a 32 slot public counter strike source). Even with them all being used, the performance was still superb. It ran circles around dedicated services I've used.
Lastly, allow me to apologize for making this review so long. There was just a lot that I wanted to cover in order to give you folks a good insight of what to expect of Fortatrust..