Hetzner Introduction

Hetzner is a German hosting company, incorporated in Gunzenhausen, Bavaria. The host offers shared webhosting, dedicated servers, virtual private servers (VPS), colocation, as well as managed servers and other services.

Hetzner started off as a family-owned business. It’’s now a corporation with around 200 full-time employees, but it is still chaired by its founder, Martin Hetzner. The company started operations in 1997 and currently operates two data center parks in Falkenstein, Vogtland, and Nuremberg. The head office is Gunzenhausen, Bavaria.

As of mid-2015, Hetzner’s global market share is 1.28, putting it behind Amazon Web Services, but ahead of SoftLayer.

Services & Specializations

Shared

Hetzner offers four different shared hosting plans, starting with a single-domain plan with 2GB of storage. The next three plans offer 5, 10 and 20 domains each, with 10GB, 25GB and 50GB of storage respectively. These plans also come with unlimited bandwidth. The company does not offer completely “unlimited” plans – all of its shared plans come with clear storage limitations.

Dedicated

One of Hetzner’s specialties are dedicated servers, and offer more than a dozen different plans to choose from. The entry level plan comes with a single iPV4 address and an IPv6 subnet, along with 960Gbps of theoretical bandwidth.

The servers appear to be based solely on Intel processors, but entry-level packages rely on Intel Core-series desktop processors rather than Xeon chips. At the other side of the spectrum, Hetzner offers a number of Dell PowerEdge servers, based on six-core and octa-core Xeon processors, with up to 128GB of DDR4 memory.

Hetzner also offers three virtual private server plans, starting with an affordable single-core offering with 1GB of memory and 25GB of hard drive storage. The company also offers six managed servers based on Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors. Solid state storage is available on managed servers, which is not the case on virtual servers.

Colocation

In addition to traditional hosting, Hetzner also offers colocation services. You can choose from three different tiers (1/3 rack through full rack with advanced power supply cooling). Hetzner also provides domain registration services and sells SSL and certificates (Thawte and RapidSSL).

Hetzner Infrastructure

In addition to its European datacenters, located in in Falkenstein and Nuremberg, Germany, Hetzner also operates data centers in Midrand and Cape Town, South Africa. These facilities are operated by its South African subsidiary.

Most of Hetzner’s datacenters are designed and operated in-house. Their facilities use multiple redundant uplinks, including fiber optic links to Nuremberg and Frankfurt. Hetzner’s European datacenters are also connected to the Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX) via 200Gbps links.

The company is committed to using renewable energy sources, and relies on hydroelectric power to supply its datacenters.

Billing, Support and Customer Service

Although Hetzner is located in Germany, they offer support and technical documentation in both German and English.

Hetzner relies on multiple forms of support. Email support is available via an automated support robot, or via konsoleH. Traditional email support is also available. As for phone support, the company lists more than ten different numbers, all in Germany. They can be used to directly contact certain departments, such as accounting, domain registrar, managed server office, or dedicated servers in different data centers.

While the decision to list a lot of different numbers and allow users to get in touch with various departments is certainly a good idea, you should have in mind that the numbers are not toll-free and that most of them are only available during office hours in Germany. Datacenters are the only exception, they can be reached around the clock, seven days a week.

Numerous payment options and billing cycles are available. You do not have to commit to a lengthy plan even if you want to get a dedicated server.

Security & Server Monitoring

Hetzner does not offer a traditional uptime guarantee, but according to independent sources, the company’s overall uptime over the past five years has been 99.99%.

Summary

While Hetzner offers several different services, most of its focus is on offering dedicated servers. While it’’s considered a budget dedicated server provider, Hetzner offers a number of attractive plans, especially if you are in the market for an affordable and small server.

It is also worth noting that Hetzner uses relatively fresh hardware across most of its plans. SSD storage is an option on all dedicated servers. This is perhaps Hetzner’s biggest selling point; you don’t need to spend a fortune to get the latest tech, because they offer the latest hardware across all plans.