UMaxHosting is closing down
Yesterday (Dec 7) I received this email from my VPS Provider:
Over the past few months we have been met with many challenges within the hosting business. Some that have not been overcome.
As result of this we will be closing our doors. We will be shutting down this Monday 12/9/2019. We are taking this time to let our customers know so that they may backup and retrieve all of their data before then.
We deeply apologize for this inconvenience.
Hosting Performance Maximized.
At first, I thought this was a spoofed email (sent by others, but masked themselves as UMaxHosting). Then I checked the email’s headers, it seems the email is genuine.
ARC-Authentication-Results: i=1; mx.google.com; dkim=fail firstname.lastname@example.org header.s=default header.b=QehnZqY1; spf=pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com designates 188.8.131.52 as permitted sender) firstname.lastname@example.org Return-Path: <email@example.com> Received: from 151.128-184.108.40.206.in-addr.arpa ([220.127.116.11]) by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id i124si3472412oif.214.2019.12.06.16.44.21 for <firstname.lastname@example.org> (version=TLS1_2 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 bits=128/128); Fri, 06 Dec 2019 16:44:21 -0800 (PST) Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com designates 18.104.22.168 as permitted sender) client-ip=22.214.171.124; Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; dkim=fail firstname.lastname@example.org header.s=default header.b=QehnZqY1; spf=pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com designates 126.96.36.199 as permitted sender) firstname.lastname@example.org Received: from umaxhosting by server1.umaxhosting.com with local (Exim 4.92) (envelope-from <email@example.com>) id 1idOCq-0002CC-Ab for firstname.lastname@example.org; Fri, 06 Dec 2019 16:44:20 -0800
Still not convinced, I dropped a support ticket with just a question ‘Closing down?’ in the title. And today (8 Dec), I received their reply:
It is true, we are sorry for this.
UMax Hosting, UMax Hosting Management
Ticket ID: #981038
Subject: Closing down?
Ticket URL: https://www.umaxhosting.com/manage/viewticket.php?tid=981038&c=8Jsj77g9
Other hosts are closing down too
Since it’s clear that UMax is really closing down, I decided that I want to move to other VPS provider. For that, I visited lowendbox.com (my go to place for cheap VPS). At the front page I saw few interesting offers, but I decided to go to its forum to found out what’s going with UMaxHosting. To my surprise, the most popular thread was about a number of VPS providers closing down. Many people are having the same awful experience that I have!!
Two comments that stand out in my view:
The likely explanation is that a malicious person/group apparently operates a number of VPS providers. These VPS providers then offered a ridiculously cheap offers at lowendbox.com on October and November. Then on December, they all suddenly sent the same-message email announcing that they are shutting down. I am not sure if those people that bought the offers on October and November are receiving refunds offer.
It seems we are being reminded again with that wise adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, probably it is”.
After reading so many comments, I found out that there is a carefully-vetted list of VPS providers. By using VPS providers listed there, we will have a higher confidence that the selected VPS provider will not just collect our money then disappears within months.
There are many lowend VPS and hosting providers online. Some are professional outfits, while others are summer hosts or fly-by-night operations out to make quick profits from unsuspecting customers. It is far too easy for an individual with some technical know-how to rent a dedicated machine for a year, buy a cheap domain name, oversell hundreds of lowend boxes at incredibly cheap prices and then disappear, only to repeat the same tactic under another name later.
Maintaining a blacklist of hosting providers is thus an unproductive endeavor. Therefore, LowEndBoxes Review has decided to maintain a whitelist of reliable lowend hosting providers. This list is curated at our discretion by analyzing different online sources and represents our professional opinion that these providers are extremely unlikely to be scammers or unreliable hosting providers.
After comparing offers from providers listed there, I chose Alpha VPS (the cheapest VPS with 2 vCPU, 1 GB RAM and SSD disk).