The other day while looking over Flippa, I found a recommendation for Brainhost.com. I wrote the name down but I can’t say I remember where I saw it on flippa.com. It was a host I had not seen before, so I figured I would look at it when I had the chance. Keep in mind this was not for a blog article, but I wanted a secondary host to fall back on should I become unhappy with Rackspace.com. After all I figured that Flippa.com would only recommend hosts that are on par with Rackspace.com or better, right? Wrong! I can say that just off the first page of brainhost.com that I am not interested in service with brainhost.com. I just can’t take any host seriously that has an unlimited package. Plus the lack of Dedicated and VPS services leaves me disappointed in brainhost.com.
Just to be clear, there is no such thing as an unlimited space or bandwidth package. Unlimited is nothing more than a marketing gimmick hosts slap on a package to entice buyers . At best it could be called a package that is no more than what you will ever need, and we are not going to tell you the numbers for what a person will need. When it comes to unlimited bandwidth, well that’s an easy one to do, just put a bottleneck on how much bandwidth can be used. After all think about it, your internet connection speed is generally limited by what package you purchase with a provider.
What I found interesting is that Flippa.com’s landing page on Brainhost.com has a $4.95 a month; whereas the main page for brainhost.com has it at $7.95. Normally a price that has a mark over it should imply as much value as possible; at least that’s what someone in sales would say. I figured I would look at Brainhost.com’s webhosting packages. All three plus the Flippa.com package are unlimited packages, which have the same 8 features, at $6.95, $7.95, and $9.95. No $4.95 package unless you came through flippa.com (or perhaps another “partner”). There is nothing there to explain the difference between the 4.
So why is Flippa.com “partnered” with Brainhost.com?
First before I go into why I am looking at Brainhost.com, I think it important to examining the relationship between Flippa.com and Brainhost.com. Flippa.com calls Brainhost.com a Trusted Partner. Despite having Brainhost.com shows up on https://flippa.com/deals. A page that shows deals is not exactly some place I would put my trusted partners. The relationship is not clear; in perhaps the only thing that can link them is a possible free hosting deal.
Flippa.com like Brainhost.com is online for one very good reason, and that is to make money. In an attempt to not have to explain myself again, I am not against anyone making money. I do however have a problem when the method to obtain money is not done in an ethical manner. With that said I find it hard to believe that Flippa.com is directing anyone to Brainhost.com without some form of compensation.
Let’s take for example the free Google Adwords that a lot of hosts offer to their clients. For any host that offers it, it is an incentive for a customer to sign up. For Google.com it’s the chance to get new Adwords customers. Its pretty clear why both host and Google have what I call a win/win situation. Both parties benefit from this form of a partnership.
So what does Flippa.com get out of this partnership with Brainhost.com? Hosting perhaps?
I have to ask where is Flippa.com hosted?
Since they are an Australian company, I would at first assume they are hosted in Australia. But Alexa tells me that the U.S. is on top of their traffic. Plus from the whois information for Brainhost.com I can see the owner is in the U.S. The network whois for Flippa.com tells me:
Address: Amazon Web Services, Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2
Now you can see why I was under the impression that brainhost.com was somehow as good as Rackspace.com based on a recommendation from Flippa.com. Never mind I have avoided Amazon.com as an option because of fear of disappointment in on a website I spend a lot of money on through digital content and that stuff that comes via Fedex, UPS, and USPS. Though that could change.
So is Brainhost.com with Amazon.com as well?
The short of that is no, a network look up shows that they are with singlehop.com.
So why am I interested in Brainhost.com?
I have yet to see this host on any review site but I think that’s going to change with time. Go to their affiliate page and you can see very clearly why I think that:
At $175 or more per sign up that is easily a bigger payout then what Hostgator.com pays out. So how can Flippa.com get a payout when people are getting charge nothing for the first year?
Flippa.com/Brainhost.com free hosting account:
As with any service you apply for it is important to read the terms of service. Terms of Service will tell you all the loop holes a hosting company will use to get out of giving you what you thought you were going to get.
Free hosting accounts may not include the same standard features and options as paid accounts. For information on what is included in free vs. paid accounts, visit http://www.brainhost.com/help/billing-questions/hostingplans/. Free hosting clients can upgrade to a paid account at any time by contacting client services or logging into their account at http://www.brainhost.com/login/ and selecting the upgrade option.
As for that link to http://www.brainhost.com/help/billing-questions/hostingplans/ to tell you what the differences are between free and paid brainhosting.com accounts is:
As you can see they have not even put the page up for that yet. Honestly there seems to be a lot of incomplete work to be a “Trusted Partner”. I can tell you that they require a credit card for verification purposes. Plus there are other things to charge you for like Domain Name Privacy, which is preselected for you regardless if you tell them you will change the dns yourself (meaning that you wisely choose to not have your domain name with your hosting provider). I was hoping there were would be an individual terns of service for free accounts. Granted this is just speculation, but I suspect that this limited account is truly $4.95 a month billed under annual terms after the 365 days. There is nothing to state exactly how much you will be billed and when. Keep in mind the furthest I went in the order process was up to the point where I would have to enter my billing and contact information. If the details for how much you will be billed for the future and when is in the next step, that is one step too far for notification.
Brainhost.com does however have a FTC discloser in their affiliate terms of service:
Brain Host expressly requires you to disclose that there is a “material connection” between you and Brain Host any time you offer an endorsement or testimonial on our services, in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidance as outlined at http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus71-ftcs-revised-endorsement-guideswhat-people-are-asking.pdf. Such disclosure should be clear and prominent, meaning close to the endorsement or testimonial.