One sweet deal

Free hosts to play with mysql and php .

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swirlee
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One sweet deal

Postby swirlee » Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:17 am

Wow. 1&1, which claims to be the world's biggest and fastest-growing web host, is offering their most expensive hosting package (ordinarily $29/mo.) for 3 years, FREE. You can sign up before January 14 and there's no obligation or commitment, you can cancel any time, and they don't even ask you for a credit card number.

This is one of those "too good to be true" deals, but so far as I can tell there's no catch, and 1&1 is a reputable company. The only thing they're skimping on, apparently, is support, which is limited to e-mail only (whereas paying customers get phone & live chat, as well). Check out the links below for the full package, but here's the highlights:

  • 500MB storage
  • 5,000 MB/month traffic ($.99 per GB for additional traffic)
  • 99.9% Uptime guarantee
  • 5 FTP accounts
  • PHP3 & PHP4 (plus Perl and Python)
  • MySQL
  • Proxy SSL Secure Server
  • Cron Jobs
  • SSH Secure Shell Access
  • 50 subdomains (e.g., shop.yourDomain.com)
  • 50 POP3 e-mail accounts (50 MB each)
  • 1&1 Advanced WebMail


That's all for free, for the next 3 years. And no ads or spam or sales calls, or so they claim. I'm astounded. Okay, so here's the links:

Promotion page:
http://order.1and1.com/xml/static/HostingProfessional

FAQ page:
http://order.1and1.com/xml/static/Faq

Signup page:
https://order.1and1.com/xml/order/EnterAddress

Oh, one problem for some of you: Apparently, you have to be in the U.S. or Canada. Or know someone in the U.S. or Canada willing to fill out the form for you. :wink:

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swirlee
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Postby swirlee » Mon Dec 22, 2003 2:20 am

An update. So I figurd I didn't have anything to lose and filled out the form. Once you've signed up, they send you an e-mail that says you have to provide them with a telephone number, and their automated system will call you within 15 minutes (in my case it was about 5 minutes) to give you a PIN number. Once you do that, they send you another e-mail within a half hour (10 minutes) with your username and password to log into their web-based admin area.

Though a little byte-heavy, the admin is pretty slick. I ran into some trouble off the bat because I couldn't actually see my web site. The Domains management page said that I had only one domain set up, "s92219381.onlinehome.us", but when I typed it into the browser I got a DNS error. The Domains page said that its status was "applying", and I couldn't figure out what that meant (their Help system is very comprehensive in some areas, and hugely lacking in others). I couldn't login to FTP, either. After about an hour I gave up for the night and went to bed, and in the morning it had changed from "applying" to "The domain is now ready." So the domain was up and it had a nice placeholder page like you always get.

I quickly went about trying to put up something in its place, and what self-respecting PHP hacker wouldn't drop in the old standy-by?

Code: Select all

----- index.php -----
<? phpinfo(); ?>


Worked like a charm. Check it out: http://s92219381.onlinehome.us/

Some interesting details: Safe Mode is turned off, file uploads are enabled (20MB), register_globals is on (?!), SMTP is enabled and server's on localhost (I've yet to test this), and all sorts of extensions are compiled, like XSLT, XML, OpenSSL, MySQL, IMAP, GD, FTP, and more.

I've yet to do much playing around beyond this. I've managed to log into FTP as well as SSH (both with PuTTY for shell access and WinSCP for file transfar). Shell access is pretty much what you'd expect, though I haven't tried to run much beyond the usual 'who' and whatnot. I've managed to set up a MySQL database (which you can only log into from behind their firewall, though that's fine by me). I haven't tried setting up a cron job yet, and I don't know if there's a web interface for this or if I have to do it via the terminal (another area where the Help is lacking).

This is fun. I'm on winter break at the moment, so I think I'll make this my personal project for break -- try to figure out what to do will all this space for the next 3 years! If you have any projects you've been dying to host, I highly recommend you sign up for the promotion, assuming you're in the U.S. or Canada or have a friend who's willing to help you set it up.

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Postby swirlee » Mon Dec 22, 2003 2:47 am

By the way, they just sent me a free $25 voucher for Google's AdWords, just for signing up. It looks like I'm not obligated to use it exclusively for the 1&1 site, so if any of you have a site that you want a bit of exposure for, it might be worth signing up for the promotion just for the $25 voucher.

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Postby liquedus » Mon Dec 22, 2003 6:29 am

3 years for free?! that sounds pretty dang good, last time someone offered something for free, one of my body parts withered and fell off :?

Maybe I can finally put up all those pics of my gorgeous body online! :wink:


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