Review: BuyVM

Among the web hosting providers I've used over the years, some are unmanaged VPS providers. Some of these have been awful - cheap price, and for a reason. Others have been quirky, and I'd never recommend them to others. Others I grew out of, and no longer needed what they offered. But there are 3 that I've used for years that are rock solid and I keep on coming back to them. If you're interested, I've written a comparative review of all 3.

Today, I'd like to review one of those providers in more detail: BuyVM.

Meet BuyVM

I have been a customer of BuyVM since April 2011. They've been around since April 2010, so I think that makes me one of their oldest customers and qualified to review them from first-hand experience.

BuyVM is part of Frantech Solutions, owned and founded by Francisco Dias, runs with Aldryic C'boas. Everything is done with good humour and yet professional - if you want some banter, try their IRC channel.

BuyVM was one of the firms that pioneered the "affordable VPS" market. By owning their own servers, learning how to avoid overloading parent nodes, and negotiating their colo deals carefully, they set about to prove that you can rent a VPS suitable to run an active website for under $7 a month.

What BuyVM Offer

BuyVM started out offering the two main types of virtualisation: OpenVZ and KVM. Then, in 2016, they launched what they called "KVM Dedicated Slices". These are KVM servers, with pure SSD arrays, where you buy a slice of the node server. One slice is 1 CPU core, 4 GB of RAM, and 80 GB of SSD storage at $15 per month. These scale in multiples of this amount - up to the largest (32 GB of RAM, 8 cores, and 640 GB of storage). Those with more modest needs can have a 1GB or 2GB slice, but CPU is then a quarter / half CPU core on fair use. Offering many of the benefits of a decdicated server, at a fraction of the cost, these offer excellent value. So much so, that they've now withdrawn all their old OpenVZ and KVM plans (except the 128 MB ones), because the slices give you more resources for a lower price.

These services are offered out of 3 locations: Las Vegas (for those who want fast connections to the US West Coast), New Jersey (on the US East Coast), and Luxembourg (for those in Europe). That means there are good choices for most European / US based websites. If your visitors come from all across Europe / USA … I'll get to that.

They also offer "Storage VPS", which are KVM servers with much larger disk allocations. Unlike some providers, they put no restrictions on what you can use the Storage line for (other than those in their regular TOS).

Particular Features / Strengths

Now let's talk some specifics.

  • Network: For the most part, this is very strong and stable. They've hit their issues over the years, usually with data centre providers letting them down on network stability. Some of the issues probably arise from the need to operate as leanly as possible. All providers get problems from time to time. They've always stayed on top of the issues, get full marks on communicating any problems, and if need be have moved data centre.
  • DDOS Protection: In all 3 locations you can have your traffic filtered at $3 per month per IP. It's optional, but it works if you want it.
  • AnyCast: This is a nice feature that I've not seen anywhere else. If you order services at all 3 locations, they'll give you a free AnyCast DNS setup. In essence this means you can point your domain to a special IP address, and traffic is automatically routed to the server you have that is closest to the visitor's computer. Nice.
  • Stallion. Most cheap VPS providers use a piece of software called SolusVM to let you manage / reinstall / reboot your VPS. Over the years, it's had a few problems, so BuyVM have developed their own product, called Stallion. It's simply an actively developed VPS control panel that works, does all you need it to and then some, then gets out of your way.
  • Storage. I mentioned the Storage plans a moment ago. They're another feature that set BuyVM apart. You get the full flexibility of a root-access VPS, 250GB of disk space (or more), and the security of KVM - all for just $7 per month.
  • Support. BuyVM are an unmanaged provider. On paper, you can only ask for help with network / hardware issues. In practice, they go the extra mile whenever they can, and have a great Wiki to get you started on everything from networking setup to installing a private VPN. They now have additional staff handling the tickets. But they're good. I've watched them work on a server, and these are not poorly trained ticket robots, but knowledgeable Linux guys.
  • Flexibility. Unlike most lower-priced providers, if you cancel midway through the period you've paid for, they'll give you account credit for the unused period. That's handy if your needs change and you need a different type of server or location.
  • Large, fast KVM. BuyVM have recently launched new KVM plans, on E3 processors, pure SSD arrays, from 2 GB right up to 32 GB of storage. Currently on in the Las Vegas location.

Terms and Conditions

As with any provider, do read the Terms before signing up. But let me save you some pain by pointing out a few details: 1. Give your real name and details. 2. One Billing system account per person - don't open a second. 3. Use your domestic IP address to sign up - don't use a VPN or proxy. 4. If you pay by PayPal, make sure your PayPal account name matches the details you've given to BuyVM.

All in all, they're rock solid. They've been in the business of low-priced VPS longer than most, and know how to make it work. I can't recommend them too highly.

Plans and Prices

Below you'll find all their current plans and prices. You can sort and filter the table below if that helps. If you spot any errors, please let me know.

Plan RAM Disk Space Price / Month Price / Quartersort descending Price / year Order
OpenVZ 128MB 15GB $1.99 $5.98 $15.00
E3-SSD KVM 1024MB 20GB $3.50 $10.50 $42.00
KVM 128MB 15GB $3.00 $12.00 $25.00
Storage 256MB 250GB $7.00 $21.00 $70.00
E3-SSD KVM 2048MB 40GB $7.00 $21.00 $84.00
Storage 512MB 500GB $15.00 $45.00 $150.00
E3-SSD KVM 4096MB 80GB $15.00 $45.00 $180.00
Storage 1024MB 1000GB $30.00 $90.00 $300.00
E3-SSD KVM 8192MB 160GB $30.00 $90.00 $360.00
E3-SSD KVM 12288MB 240GB $45.00 $135.00 $540.00
E3-SSD KVM 16384MB 320GB $60.00 $180.00 $720.00
E3-SSD KVM 20480MB 400GB $75.00 $225.00 $900.00
E3-SSD KVM 24576MB 480GB $90.00 $270.00 $1080.00
E3-SSD KVM 28672MB 560GB $105.00 $315.00 $1260.00
E3-SSD KVM 32768MB 640GB $120.00 $360.00 $1440.00
Additional Terms