Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in July 2013

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.003 0.134 0.076 0.152 0.209
2 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.003 0.096 0.078 0.158 0.158
3 iWeb Linux 0:00:00 0.003 0.146 0.083 0.166 0.166
4 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.006 0.267 0.083 0.166 0.168
5 XILO Communications Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.230 0.094 0.399 0.561
6 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.012 0.136 0.065 0.132 0.132
7 Virtual Internet Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.164 0.089 0.383 0.594
8 Datapipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.018 0.089 0.031 0.062 0.095
9 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.018 0.142 0.079 0.159 0.491
10 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.018 0.293 0.084 0.174 0.321

See full table

Swishmail had the most reliable hosting company site in July 2013. The New York based company failed to respond to only one of Netcraft's requests during the whole month, and had an average connection time of 0.076s. Swishmail primarily operates as an email hosting provider and uses three different data centers, run by Savvis, Level3 and Globix in New York City. Upstream connectivity is provided by Level3, Savvis, Cogent, AboveNet and Globix.

In second and third place, both also with only one failed request, were ServerStack and iWeb. ServerStack had the most reliable hosting company site during the previous month, and has data centers in New Jersey, San Jose and Amsterdam. iWeb's data centers in Montreal have a total dedicated server capacity of nearly 35,000.

For the second month in a row, none of July's top ten hosting companies were running on Windows operating systems. The most reliable hosting company site, Swishmail, was running on FreeBSD, as were two others sites within the top ten; the remaining seven were running on Linux. In terms of web server software, Apache was used by seven of the top ten sites, while nginx was used by three sites, including Swishmail's.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in June 2013

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.007 0.089 0.073 0.146 0.146
2 Codero Linux 0:00:00 0.010 0.234 0.084 0.266 0.528
3 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.014 0.133 0.070 0.137 0.184
4 Virtual Internet Linux 0:00:00 0.014 0.162 0.074 0.329 0.502
5 Datapipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.017 0.083 0.018 0.037 0.057
6 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.289 0.072 0.147 0.228
7 Midphase Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.246 0.111 0.225 0.380
8 www.cwcs.co.uk Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.209 0.129 0.214 0.517
9 Memset Linux 0:00:00 0.021 0.111 0.074 0.146 0.291
10 Iomart Linux 0:00:00 0.021 0.115 0.088 0.181 0.339

See full table

ServerStack had the most reliable hosting company site in June, with only two failed requests. ServerStack provides managed dedicated hosting from data centres in New Jersey, San Jose, and Amsterdam, and counts amongst its clients high-traffic sites such as MTV and academic publisher Elsevier. Over the eight months Netcraft has been monitoring ServerStack's performance, it has appeared in the top 10 five times and been the most reliable hosting company site twice.

Codero and Swishmail took second and third place respectively. Both companies had 100% uptime and just two failed requests separate the top three companies. Both Codero and Swishmail are based in the United States: Codero has a presence in Virginia, Illinois and Arizona, whilst Swishmail operates out of three New York data centres.

Bigstep, which focuses on providing hosting infrastructure for big data companies, started being monitored three months ago and has maintained a 100% uptime record thus far.

For the first time since May 2012, none of the companies in the top 10 Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites were running a version of Windows Server. ServerStack runs Linux, as do seven other hosting companies in the top 10. FreeBSD is used by the remaining two: Datapipe and Swishmail.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in May 2013

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.006 0.099 0.045 0.091 0.091
2 Datapipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.009 0.073 0.016 0.033 0.051
3 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.077 0.066 0.134 0.134
4 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.269 0.071 0.143 0.143
5 iWeb Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.121 0.073 0.144 0.144
6 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.012 0.178 0.098 0.198 0.198
7 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.218 0.076 0.361 0.517
8 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.018 0.110 0.062 0.124 0.226
9 INetU Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.018 0.130 0.072 0.236 0.456
10 Virtual Internet Linux 0:00:00 0.018 0.165 0.074 0.324 0.453

See full table

Qube Managed Services had the most reliable hosting company site in May, with only 2 failed requests. Qube specialises in providing managed hosting from three data centres in London, New York and Zurich. Qube was founded in 2001 and provides services to a number of notable clients, including Betfair (a large betting exchange) and blinkbox (a video streaming service from Tesco in the UK). Qube has appeared in the top 10 over twenty times since Netcraft began monitoring it in March 2010 and has now ranked in 1st place four times.

Datapipe and ServerStack placed 2nd and 3rd, both narrowly missing the top spot by a single failed request. Datapipe had the lowest average connection time out of all the top 10 sites, which breaks the tie with ServerStack in its favour. Datapipe has continued to maintain its 100% uptime record having recently passed the 100% uptime over 7 years milestone despite some of its nine data centres being in the path of hurricanes, typhoons, and a snowstorm. Serverstack has now been monitored by Netcraft for seven months and has already appeared in the top 10 four times. The company's 100% uptime SLA offers 5% credit for every half hour of sustained unscheduled downtime.

All but three of May's top 10 most reliable hosting companies hosted their own sites on Linux, including Qube in 1st place, ServerStack in 3rd place and Bigstep in 4th place, which made its debut entry in the table last month. FreeBSD is used by 2nd place Datapipe and last month's winner Swishmail (this month in 8th place). INetU was the only hosting company in the top 10 to host its site on Windows Server 2008.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

OCSP Server Performance in April 2013

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 ocsp.starfieldtech.com Linux  0:00:00  0.013  0.111 0.023 0.043 0.043
2 ocsp.trendmicro.com/tmca Citrix Netscaler  0:00:00  0.019  0.043 0.099 0.200 0.200
3 ocsp.entrust.net Linux  0:00:00  0.022  0.251 0.014 0.249 0.249
4 ocsp.godaddy.com Linux  0:00:00  0.022  0.164 0.021 0.041 0.041
5 ocsp.digicert.com Linux  0:00:00  0.022  0.027 0.026 0.051 0.051
6 ocsp.quovadisglobal.com Windows Server 2003  0:00:00  0.032  0.021 0.116 0.222 0.222
7 ocsp.verisign.com Citrix Netscaler  0:00:00  0.038  0.050 0.084 0.168 0.168
8 evsecure-ocsp.verisign.com Citrix Netscaler  0:00:00  0.041  0.239 0.085 0.168 0.168
9 ocsp.thawte.com Citrix Netscaler  0:00:00  0.044  0.041 0.083 0.165 0.165
10 ocsp.startssl.com/sub/class4/server/ca Linux  0:00:00  0.047  0.086 0.011 0.041 0.041

See full table

Starfield Technologies had the most reliable OCSP responder during April, failing to respond to only 4 of Netcraft's OCSP requests. Starfield also had the most reliable responder in March, but showed a slight improvement to its average connection times in April. Starfield was founded as the technology and research branch of Go Daddy in 2003, and Go Daddy customers can choose to have their SSL certificates issued by either Starfield or Go Daddy.

Trend Micro had the second most reliable OCSP responder, which failed to respond to only 6 requests. However, this could be one of the survey's least busy responders: Netcraft's April 2013 SSL Survey discovered only 113 valid SSL certificates issued by Trend Micro, all of which are organisation validated. 29 of these certificates are used by a single organisation, Florida Hospital.

StartCom (which operates StartSSL) once again exhibited the fastest connection times, taking only a hundredth of a second to establish a TCP connection for one of its OCSP URLs.  However, its reliability was only just good enough to make it into the top ten — in total, 15 requests to http://ocsp.startssl.com/sub/class4/server/ca failed during April.

Linux is the most popular choice of operating system on which to run an OCSP responder, and it certainly seems to perform well with regard to connection times: all of the top 25 fastest OCSP responders used Linux in April. In terms of failed requests, though, the distribution of Citrix Netscaler appliances is skewed towards the more reliable end of the spectrum — of the five responders that were using Netscaler, four of them feature in the top ten. QuoVadis's OCSP responder, which was sixth most reliable in April, is one of only two responders that ran on Windows.

On April 24, nginx 1.4.0 stable was released, incorporating several new features that had previously only been released in development branches of the web server. One of the most important performance features is that nginx now support OCSP stapling. This feature is designed to improve performance by allowing secure websites to "staple" a cached OCSP response to the TLS handshake, removing the need for the client browser to make a second, separate connection to the certificate authority's OCSP responder.

The Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) is an alternative method to Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs) for obtaining the revocation status of an individual SSL certificate. Fast and reliable OCSP responders are essential for both Certificate Authorities (CAs) and their customers — a slow OCSP response will introduce an additional delay before many browsers can start sending and receiving encrypted traffic over an HTTPS connection.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in April 2013

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage hh:mm:ss Failed Req% DNS Connect First byte Total
1 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.000 0.106 0.062 0.124 0.267
2 INetU Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.000 0.125 0.073 0.236 0.454
3 iWeb Linux 0:00:00 0.003 0.127 0.071 0.142 0.142
4 Server Intellect Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.003 0.074 0.092 0.185 0.464
5 Midphase Linux 0:00:00 0.003 0.215 0.109 0.222 0.338
6 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.006 0.100 0.046 0.093 0.093
7 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.006 0.266 0.071 0.143 0.143
8 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.006 0.252 0.074 0.145 0.151
9 Datapipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.009 0.068 0.016 0.032 0.049
10 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.016 0.231 0.077 0.157 0.486
See full table

Swishmail had the most reliable hosting company site in April 2013, with no failed requests. Swishmail has a presence in three New York data centres which proved to be resilient when Swishmail stayed online in October whilst being hit by Hurricane Sandy, despite New York being in the centre of much of the damage. Swishmail offers a variety of managed web hosting plans in addition to its core service of enterprise-grade email hosting. Swishmail has been monitored by Netcraft since April 2007.

In second place is INetU which also had no failed requests, but it missed the top spot by just 11ms due to using the average connect time as the tie-breaker. INetU offers dedicated managed hosting services and cloud hosting services from ten data centres in the US and Europe including a new data centre in Seattle. Netcraft has been monitoring INetU since June 2003.

iWeb is in third place again following last month's success, it narrowly missed second place by having a single failed request. iWeb is based in Montréal where it has four data centres.

Newcomers Bigstep and Midphase have made their debut top 10 entries, after being monitored for one month and six months respectively. Hyve placed 8th this month, its third appearance since Netcraft began monitoring it in November having maintained 100% uptime over 5 months.

Swishmail, April's most reliable hosting company, runs its site on FreeBSD. Two other sites in this month's top ten are running FreeBSD – Datapipe, which was top last month and has an impressive 100% uptime over 7 years, and Pair Networks. Both INetU in second place, and Server Intellect in fourth place, are running Windows Server 2008. The remaining five – including iWeb in third place – use Linux.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

OCSP Server Performance in March 2013

Rank Company site OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 ocsp.starfieldtech.com Linux 0:00:00 0.003 0.076 0.024 0.043 0.043
2 ocsp.verisign.com Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.006 0.051 0.081 0.162 0.162
3 ocsp.thawte.com Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.006 0.041 0.083 0.164 0.164
4 ocsp.godaddy.com Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.161 0.025 0.044 0.044
5 ocsp.startssl.com/sub/class4/server/ca Linux 0:00:00 0.018 0.068 0.011 0.056 0.056
6 evsecure-ocsp.verisign.com Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.018 0.228 0.082 0.163 0.163
7 ocsp.trendmicro.com/tmca Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.018 0.050 0.099 0.200 0.201
8 evintl-ocsp.verisign.com Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.024 0.261 0.082 0.162 0.162
9 ocsp.startssl.com/sub/class2/server/ca Linux 0:00:00 0.027 0.049 0.011 0.057 0.057
10 ocsp.xi.tcclass2-ii.trustcenter.de Linux 0:00:00 0.027 0.199 0.090 0.197 0.197

See full table

The Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) is an alternative method to Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs) for obtaining the revocation status of an individual SSL certificate. Fast and reliable OCSP responders are essential for both Certificate Authorities (CAs) and their customers — a slow OCSP response will introduce an additional delay before many browsers can start sending and receiving encrypted traffic over an HTTPS connection.

Starfield Technologies, a Go Daddy brand, had the most reliable OCSP responder last month with only a single failed request and an average connection time of 24ms. Starfield Technologies was founded in 2003 as the technology research branch of Go Daddy. Go Daddy customers have the option to choose which issuing organization to use when buying an SSL certificate. Although both Go Daddy and Starfield appear to share the same OCSP responder infrastructure, ocsp.godaddy.com had five failed requests, however this was still fewer than StartCom, Symantec, and Trend Micro. Both Go Daddy and Starfield issue certificates in all three certificate assurance categories: Domain Validation (DV), Organisation Validation (OV), and Extended Validation (EV). Starfield is most prominent in the EV sector — more than 15% of all EV certificates issued within the group are issued by Starfield — but it remains only a small part of Go Daddy's SSL certificate business: Starfield accounts for just 10% of certificates issued.

StartCom had the shortest average connect time (11ms) of all monitored CAs last month after having moved its OCSP infrastructure at the end of February. StartCom, as well as Entrust, now delivers its OCSP responses via the Akamai CDN (Content Delivery Network), reducing the OCSP connection overhead to a minimum by serving content from as topologically close as possible to the client. GlobalSign is a CloudFlare evangelist, using CloudFlare's CDN platform for its OCSP and CRL infrastructure as well as their own corporate website.

Many of the monitored OCSP responders are served by Citrix Netscaler devices. Citrix Netscaler is a hardware appliance that provides, amongst other features, load balancing and firewall functions. The use of such load balancing technology is no surprise — a single certificate on a popular site that does not use OCSP stapling could generate a significant number of OCSP requests, causing a CA's responder to experience high volumes of traffic.

In many circumstances each connection to an HTTPS site could trigger multiple OCSP requests: a request for the server's certificate and one for each intermediate certificate. OCSP responses are typically valid for a week, so some caching is possible. Caching can reduce both the burden on OCSP responders and increase the perceived performance of HTTPS websites to users, but is limited to repeat visits. OCSP Stapling is designed to improve performance by allowing the web site's server to “staple” the OCSP response to the TLS handshake, removing the need for the client to connect to the CA's OCSP responder.

Netcraft measures and makes available the OCSP and CRL end point response times of all the major Certificate Authorities (CAs). The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.