ISQ Solutions Review – Is It Good?

ISQ Solutions Review – Is It Good?

Started in 2001, ISQ Solutions is a Canadian web host that has been offering Windows hosting solutions for users in North America. This company has been focusing on Windows hosting only since the inception, and now it offers two shared hosting plans and one reseller hosting plan.

In this ISQ Solutions review, the value of the shared hosting plans is revealed, which you can learn from the detailed pros and cons of using them. And based on the official information, user reviews as well as the monitoring statistics, we have rated ISQ Solutions Windows hosting as below.

ISQ Solutions
ISQ Solutions Review

  • Reputation
    rating 2.5 of 5
  • Price
    rating 1.5 of 5
  • Feature
    rating 2 of 5
  • Performance
    rating 3 of 5
  • Support
    rating 2.5 of 5

Pros of ISQ Solutions Windows Hosting Services

During the process of collecting information and testing the performance, we have found a few pros of using the Windows hosting plans offered by ISQ Solutions. The company has good uptime and an attractive money back guarantee.

30-day money back

ISQ Solutions provides any customer with a 30-day refund guarantee. If you cancel an account within this period by submitting a cancellation request in the account manager located in the web-based control panel, you will be entitled to a full refund of the pre-payments excluding the setup fees and the payments for any add-on like database storage and domain registration.

For this guarantee, there is a concern that it applies to accounts with quarterly or annual billing cycles only, which means you will not receive a refund if you choose to pay the bill monthly when placing the initial order.

Besides, there is no refund in any circumstance for cancellations requested after 30 days.

99.9% uptime

According to our testing, the best part of ISQ Solutions Windows hosting is the good reliability with 99.9% uptime as guaranteed. The company serves all customers from a well-connected data center in Toronto, Canada, and the factors that lead to good uptime include:

  • Dell PowerEdge servers with RAID disk arrays.
  • A UPS power system with standby diesel generators.
  • A Cisco powered multihomed network that guarantees good connectivity for most locations in North America.
  • 24×7 security & network monitoring.

Besides, ISQ Solutions has built up a cloud computing environment in which the web contents are stored on cloud storages. Backed by secondary devices, files stored on the company’s servers should always be accessible even if the original storage fails.

With these facilities and technologies available, ISQ Solutions is able to guarantee 99.9% uptime, and in fact, this company can keep this promise well. However, you must still pay attention that a noticeable downtime would happen every few months.

Below is what we have got from the recent uptime monitoring.

ISQ Solutions Uptime

Cons of ISQ Solutions Windows Hosting Services

From the analyses above, you can see that ISQ Solutions indeed has its own advantages. These pros, however, cannot win the company competitiveness in the fierce competition in the market because there are many more cons.

Expensive prices

ISQ Solutions has been offering two shared hosting plans for Windows hosting users. Named Value Plan and Business Plan respectively, the two plans are priced at $9.95/mo and $19.95/mo for all billing cycles including 1/3/12 month(s). Besides, the company is running a promotion in which those who choose an annual plan can enjoy 3 months for free.

These prices seem acceptable if you don’t have a look at the add-ons and the limitations in the features. However, once you do, you will notice how heavy the burden the plans bring to your budget is. Below is the price information of some add-ons that you may need to purchase.

  • A .com, .net, .info or .org domain name: $19.95/year.
  • One MSSQL or MySQL database with 500 MB storage: $10/mo.
  • Additional 500 MB storage for files or email: $5/mo.
  • Subdomains: $1/mo for 5 subdomains.

Since the Value Plan doesn’t include any MSSQL database, you will have to pay a minimum of $19.95/mo for your hosting plan if you need such a database. However, with many other Windows hosting providers like Host4ASP.NET, at least one MSSQL database is included in any plan by default so you don’t have to spend extra money on it.

Limited resources & outdated Windows technologies

Though priced at an above-average level, ISQ Solutions Windows hosting plans don’t come with abundant features. The amount of disk space, bandwidth, and the number of databases, email accounts and FTP accounts are strictly limited to a below-average level considering the prices.

For example, the Value Plan, which costs $9.95/mo, includes 2000 MB disk space and 1 MySQL database only. No MSSQL database is available for free. Even the much more expensive Business Plan only includes 1 MSSQL database and 1 MySQL database, each with 500 MB storage. If you want additional databases, you have to pay $10/mo for each.

In addition to the limited resources, ISQ Solutions has also been criticized for not supporting the latest Windows Server and SQL Server. As leading web hosts are now offering Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and MSSQL 2012/2014, this company provides Windows Server 2008 R2 and MSSQL 2008/2005 only.

More information about the features is revealed in the table below. And for better understanding, we will make a comparison between the Value Plan and a plan offered by Host4ASP.NET.

Feature ISQ Solutions Host4ASP.NET
Plan Value Plan Basic
Disk Space 2000 MB 10 GB
Bandwidth 100 GB Unlimited
Subdomains 5 Unlimited
Email Accounts 100 10
Windows Server 2008 R2 2012 R2
MySQL Database Yes Yes
MSSQL Database No Yes
ASP.NET 4/4.5 4.5/5
PHP Yes Yes
Trust Level Unspecified Full Trust
Regular Rate $9.95/mo $4.95/mo
Discount N/A 40%
Discounted Price $9.95/mo $2.95/mo
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Limited features in the control panel

ISQ Solutions provides customers with a custom web-based control panel. By trying the demo, you will see that this control panel includes some basic features which help you create databases, change account password, create email accounts, manage database backups, etc.

However, you will also notice the absence of some useful features, such as analytics software, file manager and script installer. Without these tools, you may spend more time setting up a website. Besides, the interface is not designed with aesthetics in mind.

ISQ Solutions Control Panel

Slow speed

Although the data center used by ISQ Solutions is connected to the world through multiple networks, its location in Toronto decides that it cannot guarantee fast speed for most locations in Canada and the west coast of the US.

A good solution for resolving this issue is to adopt a CDN service which distributes customers’ website content to data centers around the world, but ISQ Solutions hasn’t taken this measure.

Monitoring shows that ISQ Solutions hasn’t achieved excellent results in the speed of its shared hosting. Since the server response time of the average web hosts is about 450ms, that for ISQ Solutions is over 800ms.

ISQ Solutions Server Response Time

Inefficient technical support

ISQ Solutions has developed a knowledgebase which includes dozens of FAQs and video tutorials covering some common questions. However, some of the tutorials come with outdated information because they haven’t been updated for years. Besides, the support center looks really unfashionable.

ISQ Solutions Knowledgebase

If you have any problem that is not covered by the knowledgebase, you can seek help from ISQ Solutions support team by submitting a ticket in the help desk. Ticket support is available 24×7, while the waiting time could be long.

If you are lucky, you can get a reply within 6 hours, while sometimes you may need to wait 2 days or longer. Also, it is not rare that the company’s support team closes tickets without resolving them or notifying the user.

ISQ Solutions offers a phone number and a live chat portal. However, the former is for sales support only, and the latter is not usually available. To get access to live chat, you have to wait minutes. It seems that the company lacks employees for providing timely support.

Conclusion – ISQ Solutions Is Not Recommended

Yes, we don’t recommend ISQ Solutions for Windows hosting. The company doesn’t own much competitiveness due to the expensive prices, feature-limited control panel, and insufficient support. There are so many web hosts offering more quality services while charging less.

If you need some recommendations from us, read the reviews of the following Windows hosting providers. There should be one that meets your expectations.

ISQ Solutions ASP.NET Hosting

Plan Value Plan
Regular Price $9.95/mo
Discount N/A
Coupon Code N/A
Effective Price $9.95/mo
Purchase Security
Full Refund Trial 30 Days
Anytime Pro-Rated Money Back No
Credit Card Yes
PayPal Yes
Check No
Basic Features
Free Domain No
Addon Domain Unlimited
Hosting Sites Unlimited
Disk Space 2000 MB
Monthly Bandwidth 100 GB
FTP Account 5
Email 100
Green Powered No
OS Windows Server 2008 R2
IIS 7.5
Trust Level Unspecified
Application Pool Yes
Classic ASP Yes
ASP.NET 4/4.5
Silverlight 5
MSSQL Usage No
Extra Technology
URLRewrite2 Yes
Remote IIS Management Yes
SQL Management Studio Access No
Web Matrix Yes
MS Web Deploy No
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