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SSDNodes - Scam Host?

So... I found something the other day.  It's a host called SSDnodes. At first, they seem too good to be true, but upon some quick research, there are some major red flags here. These guys claim they don't oversell, but I'm not so sure when I look at their prices. They are very seriously misleading the market.

$110/year for 32GB of RAM and 8 CPU core access on KVM? Huh What?

Hold up here. KVM doesn't let you oversell RAM and disk easily. Almost no provider ever tries it. It's definitely possible, but there are performance problems when you do, and it's a very bad idea to even try it. 

CPU? That's another story. Most hosts do oversell the CPU, but for good reason (and it'd be unrealistic not to). This is because most VPSs aren't going to be using even 1/10 of their CPU most of the time, so they generally put more VPSs on the server to avoid pricing themselves into oblivion. (This can be avoided with "dedicated VPSs" - but they are generally pretty pricey).

But there is no such thing as 32GB of RAM for less than $10/month. It doesn't exist. No other provider even comes close. It's literally, quite literally, not even financially feasible, especially when you aren't supposed to oversell these things. 

So that means they are probably overselling RAM and disk anyway (fishy) or are doing something else. 

I dug up some reviews and I noticed two things:

I smell fake reviews when I see them. And trust me, they are obvious here. Almost all of the reviews are either an unequivocal stay away or a poorly written 5-star review, but the real kicker here is that the 5-star reviews were all written in a two day time span. And there are a ton of them. 

Take a look at the reviews for Ramnode (the host that we use here at Makestation):

Ramnode is a real, well-acclaimed provider. They are reputable and have a reliable track record, so let's compare for a second. They've been around since 2012, have hundreds of nodes and five data centers, and generally have a pretty stellar track record among the webmaster community.

Let's compare their reviews. A quick look, and the reviews here are quite a bit different than the reviews you see for SSDnodes. They are spaced out. They have good reviews and the owner interacts with their customers. They don't have 80+ 5-star reviews over a span of 1-2 days. Overall, it seems much more legit (and it is).

So we've seen the reviews for a legit provider. Let's compare their actual VPSs and price points and add up the numbers.

Firstly, Ramnode doesn't even offer 32GB VPSs (this would be incredibly infeasable given the general size of most host nodes). Actually, they technically do as VDS servers, but those run you about $160/month and they give you TOTAL dedicated access to the entire server, usually powered by an E3 processor and 32GB of RAM. 

To do the math, an E3 server with 32GB of RAM generally runs $2K to $3K. Colocation costs are about $50/month/server. A server of this type would likely remain deployed for about 3-5 years or so. At $160/month, that's $1920/year * 3 years = $5760, minus ~$1800 in colocation costs, and that equals out to about $4,000 in total revenue, and approximately $1-2K in profit over a three year period (plus further use across other services after this period). This is enough to afford to pay for the server and to have enough profit margin in order to make their business sustainable. 

That's Ramnode. That's a real provider that is in the market of affordable, reliable VPSs. That's a real price point. 

So when SSDnodes is offering this for less than $10/month? I don't buy it. It's literally impossible for them not to lose MASSIVE amounts of money, especially when they talk about using "Xeon Gold CPUs" and (supposedly) offering dedicated, guaranteed, pre-allocated RAM and disk. It's simply not possible. Not anywhere close. The math doesn't add up. 

Then again, they claim they don't oversell CPUs. That's also a lie, because almost every VPS provider does, including DigitalOcean, Linode, and AWS. Sure, your CPU load is "low" when the reviews show that you suspend any VPS as soon as they start using CPU power. They seem to do this after the 14 day refund period is up, and since they require 3-year contracts, they've basically gotten your money and provided no services in return. That would do it. Finna

So I did some more digging into the reviews. (with benchmarks) 

And they promise "10x page load speeds" when you switch to their NVME over their SSD ones. News flash: Web files are cached in RAM. Only a very small percentage of page loads go to the hard drive on the vast majority of websites. No NVME is going to increase page load performance by a noticeable factor if you have sufficient RAM. Huh

Safe to say, I think something is fishy about this. KVM can't be oversold (in terms of RAM or disk) unless they ghetto-rig it to do so. No reputable provider ever does this, and if they do, there are usually some severe performance consequences. They aren't offering 32GB of RAM without something fishy going on. It is one of the most eerie web hosts I have ever seen, and believe me, I have seen plenty.

But now I'm curious. I will probably buy a VPS sometime later this year just to bench it. And I'm fairly certain that after the 14 day refund is up, they'll throttle the h*** out of it, because there's no other way they can afford to do this. Finna

Actually, benching it is gonna be a little more tricky than I anticipated. Just found out they autocharge you for renewals without your permission and bury it within the TOS, and they don't allow you to delete your payment info within WHCMS despite the software itself supporting this. Oh and they charge you $150 if you try to do a charge back on their fraudulent billing... Time to get a prepaid card I suppose. Finna Tongue

That pattern or reviews... definitely screams paid-for reviews. After the paid-for reviews, a 50-50 rate for good/bad... yeah, its a scam.
for a second I thought you were talking about a host that hosts scammer websites lol.

still pretty bad though.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
I agree. Definitely fake reviews.

services such as these are misleading. You'll look at their website and think that you're getting 6 cores for $110/year (even though this is financially not feasible), but in reality, they can do this because they are counting on nobody actually using those cores.

If anyone got even close to using those cores for a busy project, they would suspend you. They are also definitely overselling RAM and Disk, but that does not so much matter as long as you have access to it when you need it (although it usually brings performance problems on KVM). But in reality, the "six core VPS" is actually a 1 core VPS with a lot of burst room, where you'll get suspended for using more. And by the time you're suspended, you've already paid three years up front and they have your money.

That more or less seems to be their strategy. I can see how it would work. Everyone on their host nodes is barely using resources, so they they can sell misleading products and bury the details in the TOS. You can never really use said resources because if you do, you're suspended.

I have a feeling that a representative will try to chime in over here at some point (this has happened at various other places and they monitor them apparently). It will be very interesting to see what people have to say. Finna


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