Ninjahawk was been sold to TMZHosting / tmzVPS in December 2013. Nahian (SeriesN) is no longer operating NinjaHawk Hosting Solutions. Therefore this review is no longer considered accurate. As would be expected, quite a few things changed under the new ownership. A new review for TMZ Hosting will have to be created, and will start over fresh. (However TMZ does a good reputation online, so we're expecting a good review for them as well. We'll see!)
This is a pre-review of Ninja Hawk hosting.
A final version will be found on The Digital FAQ, in the reviews section, after all testing has been completed, and we've had time to monitor the server. This post is considered to be a "brain dump" and or "notes for later" regarding the host.
Sign Up Process
As always, we monitor a sign-up process for upsells, hidden gotchas, errors, etc.
Aside from a slight annoyance with the page resetting your choice 2-3 times -- which we've discussed with the host, and should be fixed soon --
all was okay. (i.e. The homepage redirects to a VPS page, ignoring your initial plan selection. Then the VPS page goes to WHMCS, with slider that again makes you select the package. I'll remove this from the pre-review when it's fixed, and it should be long gone by the final review.)
Once inside WHMCS, it was an easy process as normal. Pick what you want, pay, the end. As it should be.
You have a few options in WHMCS at NinjaHawk that may be of interest...
Shopping Cart - Ninja Hawk Solutions Inc.jpg
(1) For only $15 they'll set up the VPS, which even an experienced admin will think is worth it. (At least I do, and I've doing this for 15 years! That's like 100 in dog years aka tech year!) While something like cPanel is nearly dummy friendly to set up, a free panel like ISPConfig or Virtualmin take a bit more work. Even paid panels like Plesk and DirectAdmin can be a handful. So for only $15, I'd think about this one.
While I didn't take this service, I discussed ISPConfig 3 and Virtualmin at length with the owner. He knows his stuff, so I have little doubt that he could get this up and running in a few hours. And again, $15 is a bargain. Even I'd want $65 minimum. (He's a big ISPConfig fan, FYI.)
(2) For only $25 monthly, you'll get managed cPanel support, including a free cPanel license. Again, that's a bargain, as half of that goes towards the cPanel license itself, at $10-15. For few extra bucks each month, they harden it -- probably just initially, and upon request after that --
and they claim to give support from the major CMS, including WordPress and Joomla.
While I think CMS support is a bit much to promise, and site developers need to take responsibilty for that (and not bother hosts with it), we'll see. Honestly I think that should be "best effort" support, and clients need to realize that. But that is nice they're willing to help. And that $25 is probably worth it, even with CMS support.
(3) If you just want the panel, and plan to treat the VPS like it's unmanaged (self-managed), then you can get it for $10. Pick cPanelor DirectAdmin (tip: pick cPanel). You'll get initial help with server hardening, security, migration, and be on you way.
All in all, some good options and prices.
About the Company
As you'll find out reading anything I've written, I'm not a fan of "cheap" kiddies, foreigners, fly-by-nights, one-man operations, etc. I don't care if it's free; if it's not reliable, it's not worth using. Ninja Hawk is a registered company with at least two employees, so you're dealing with a legitimate small business. In fact, because it's a small business, they're usually going to try harder! (And with 2+ employees, they have enough to do it with.)
Their website is rough, but the tradeoff is honesty. For example, they've put up a roadmap of services to be offered in the future. (Noting that they missed a deadline, and haven't fixed that on the site. From our conversations, that process was delayed some.) The blog is a crappy template, but they plan to eventually integrate and expand it when the roadmap is done. You can only do so much as a small business, and I understand that.
Again, this is a pre-review. As time goes on, I expect this will all be fixed before a final review is made.
Server Speed / Uptime / Notes
I used the NinjaHawk VPS now for several days straight, and never noticed a lag of any kind. I've had several Putty, RDP, and browser sessions open at various hosts across that same time period, and I cannot say the same for them!
The ping speeds have been excellent, though noting that ping speed is not a test of speed. And I'm in Texas, and the server is in Dallas, so that's to be expected (50-60ms
). But it's worth mentioning. It means the routes are excellent. (Usually Dallas routes are crappy, and tend to go in loops. I've seen Dallas>Dallas traffic that was 100ms+! I have never, ever understood why Dallas is "special" like this.)
1 1 ms 1 ms <1 ms 192.168.xxx
2 42 ms 43 ms 43 ms tx-xxx
3 45 ms 43 ms 45 ms tx-xxx
4 56 ms 55 ms 55 ms 184.108.40.206
5 55 ms 55 ms 55 ms bb-dllstx37-jx9-02-ae0.core.centurytel.net [220.127.116.11]
6 55 ms 55 ms 55 ms dal-edge-18.inet.qwest.net [18.104.22.168]
7 55 ms 56 ms 55 ms dap-brdr-03.inet.qwest.net [22.214.171.124]
8 61 ms 57 ms 58 ms 126.96.36.199
9 58 ms 57 ms 59 ms cr1.dlstx.ip.att.net [188.8.131.52]
10 60 ms 59 ms 59 ms cr83.dlstx.ip.att.net [184.108.40.206]
11 56 ms 55 ms 55 ms gar3.dlrtx.ip.att.net [220.127.116.11]
12 57 ms 55 ms 57 ms 18.104.22.168
13 59 ms 57 ms 57 ms clients.ninjahawk.net [22.214.171.124]
14 * 57 ms 56 ms clients.ninjahawk.net [126.96.36.199]
I've been very pleased with the 512MB package thus far.
The thing I like is that they're using OpenVZ vswap, which means CentOS kernel 6, and not the outdated "burst" (UBC) method on kernel 5. So my VPS always shows an accurate usage of RAM, not the "guestimate" that is burst. (Burst RAM is not extra RAM, contrary to popular believe by non-techies and even techies alike. That's not what UBC is. If you follow my writings, you've surely seen my eggs analogy.)
So they're offering newer technology, not something old, outdated, and undesirable. It's a standard SolusVM user:
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I've entered the server in the monitoring system, and uptime has so far been 100%. We'll monitor that over the next year (12 months!) and make notes and replies to this thread, and the final review, as needed.
At Ninja Hawk, I've set myself up on the ISPConfig 3 free control panel, Roundcube 0.8.5 webmail, and setup the DKIM records (domain keys identified mail). Usually I don't commit a domain to a server on a mere review host -- I use subdomains instead --
but I wanted to test out that DKIM. And Ninja Hawk seemed reliable enough that I didn't mind.
It been a good experience, and the host has passed my "smell test". It's worth trying. Ultimately, it's probably worth using.
You can visit them at ninjahawk.net