Review: Secure Dragon

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: Secure Dragon.

Meet Secure Dragon

I have been a customer of Secure Dragon since July 2012. They've been around since October 2010, so I wasn't one of their first customers, but I've used them long enough to give them an honest first-hand review..

Secure Dragon is owned by Joe Dougherty (COO) and Steve Dougherty (Chief Brand Officer). As far as I know, they are still a 2-man team. The culture they want to run their business with is friendly professionalism and excellence in all they do. My experience is that they deliver. Web Hosting is an industry where every company feels the pressure to offer every service. These guys know what they can do well, and do it, and aren't afraid to leave other services to other providers.

What Secure Dragon Offer

In common with most VPS providers, Secure Dragon offer the two main types of virtualisation: OpenVZ and KVM. They also offer "Storage" VPS, which are OpenVZ VPS with much larger disk allocations. They own their own hardware, and lease their own network space directly from ARIN (which gives them some security in these days of IPv4 depletion). Some of their servers are on SSD, others on mechanical drives - it depends on which location you choose.

Speaking of location, they offer a stunning choice of 9 locations for OpenVZ, with KVM available in 4 of those. They are: Tampa FL, Denver CO, Los Angeles CA, Chicago IL, Piscataway NJ, Atlanta GA, Phoenix AZ, Dallas TX, and Portland OR.

Particular Features / Strengths

Now let's talk some specifics.

  • Honesty and transparency. This is a core value for Secure Dragon. Through Twitter, client emails, and several automatically updated status pages, they communicate how things are running. If there are problems, they explain clearly. Tickets are handled with professionalism, giving you a straight answer rather than trying to say what you want to hear.
  • DDOS Protection: Their locations in Dallas, LA and Portland come with DDOS Protection provided at the network level. This is therefore a benefit that comes without additional cost. There is no option to add this at the other locations.
  • Support: Secure Dragon is a two-man operation, which means support is not 24/7. They are transparent about this. Then again, they are an unmanaged provider. Any critical network or hardware issues will see them alerted and handling it promptly. Any other issues you may need help with can probably wait. But if you want a 20 minute response on Christmas Day, then maybe they're not for you.
  • Wyvern. For KVM, Secure Dragon use the industry-wide favourite "SolusVM". This has suffered some bugs and issues in recent years, so for OpenVZ customers they've ditched this in favour of "Wyvern", a home-grown alternative. All the below strenghts of Secure Dragon come directly from their use of Wyvern.
  • Wyvern is fully integrated into their WHMCS billing platform, which is a huge plus - with most providers you have to remember logins to two systems.
  • For OpenVZ, you can move your VPS from one data centre to another. You can do this yourself, and it takes about 15 minutes. All you have to do then is make any adjustments for your new IP address.
  • You can change lock down SSH on your VPS as soon as you've installed it - disabling password login and randomising the SSH port.

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. Note that, with Secure Dragon, you get to choose the location during the order checkout process.

Plan RAM Disk Space Price / Month Price / Quarter Price / year Order
KVM 512MB 10GB $3.99 $11.97 $47.88
KVM 1024MB 20GB $4.99 $14.97 $59.88
KVM 2048MB 40GB $9.99 $29.97 $119.88
KVM 3072MB 60GB $14.99 $44.97 $179.88
KVM 4096MB 80GB $19.99 $59.97 $239.88
KVM 8192MB 160GB $39.99 $119.97 $479.88
KVM 16384MB 320GB $79.99 $239.97 $959.88
KVM Storage 512MB 250GB $5.99 $17.97 $71.88
KVM Storage 1024MB 500GB $7.99 $23.97 $95.88
KVM Storage 2048MB 1000GB $14.99 $44.97 $179.88
KVM Storage 4096MB 2000GB $28.99 $86.97 $347.88
KVM Storage 8192MB 4000GB $56.99 $170.97 $683.88
KVM Storage 12288MB 6000GB $84.99 $254.97 $1019.88
OpenVZ 64MB 3GB $5.97 $11.99
OpenVZ 128MB 10GB $7.47 $14.99
OpenVZ 256MB 15GB $2.99 $8.97 $29.90
OpenVZ 512MB 20GB $4.99 $14.97 $49.90
OpenVZ 1024MB 25GB $6.99 $20.97 $69.99
OpenVZ 2048MB 35GB $19.99 $59.97 $199.90
OpenVZ 4096MB 45GB $34.99 $104.97 $349.90
OpenVZ Storage 256MB 25GB $2.99 $8.97 $29.90
OpenVZ Storage 256MB 50GB $3.99 $11.97 $39.90
OpenVZ Storage 256MB 100GB $4.99 $14.97 $49.90
OpenVZ Storage 256MB 250GB $5.99 $17.97 $71.88
OpenVZ Storage 256MB 500GB $7.99 $23.97 $95.88
Additional Terms