LowEndBoxes Review (LEBRE) side project

This is a side project I have been wanting to get off the ground for a while, and following #lexit's momentum, I decided to put it all together once and for all. Nothing fancy, so keep the expectations low.

My aim was basically to help people make better decisions on what to buy so that they can get the best lowend deal and avoid getting scammed. There is a lot of information on various forums, which can be daunting for newbies, so I thought I would try to package information in an easy-to-understand manner. I have also decided to do a whitelist of providers that I think are definitely reliable based on lurking around various hosting forums, and I think all the honest and reliable providers here in the forum should have been captured. If I missed out anyone, please let me know.

I also wanted to have a quick way to gauge how value-for-money provider deals are based on paper specifications, so I developed a quick and dirty method to evaluate deals. Nothing scientific, but good enough for me, and I hope it is useful to you.

Here's the link if you are interested to take a look: https://lowendboxes.review

Deals and Reviews: LowEndBoxes Review | Avoid dodgy providers with The LEBRE Whitelist | Free hosting (with conditions): Evolution-Host, NanoKVM, FreeMach, ServedEZ | Follow latest deals on Twitter or Telegram

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Comments

  • I appreciate the effort into creating a methodology (at least until jsgguy tears into it)

    Thanked by (3)poisson uptime vyas
  • @vimalware said:
    I appreciate the effort into creating a methodology (at least until jsgguy tears into it)

    Oh, in my profession, we tear into one another's methodology all the time, so you learn to defend your methodology. Anyway, my aim is just to provide an easy-to-understand and reasonably accurate way to determining if you are getting good value for money (defined by getting the best performance for the least money).

    I suspect I will have a very busy Black Friday weekend. I am interested to see how many offers can blow the reference box out of the water. SmartHost came close!

    Thanked by (1)seriesn

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  • Hey @poisson thanks for the initiative! How do you intend to evaluate the boxes regarding the storage type (item 5). Since REBOX1 is NVMe will you setup other refboxes with HDD and SSD?

    BF/CM - Buyer Beware. Conduct your own due diligence on the sustainability of the deals presented here as well as the provider's track record.

  • poissonpoisson OG
    edited November 2019

    @ITLabs said:
    Hey @poisson thanks for the initiative! How do you intend to evaluate the boxes regarding the storage type (item 5). Since REBOX1 is NVMe will you setup other refboxes with HDD and SSD?

    That one was kinda a rough estimate. HDDs are given a score of 1. SSDs are given 3 (generally read writes of SSDs are approximately 3 times that of HDDs from what I see from benches on forums), and Nvmes are given a 6 (read writes typically doubles SSDs, hence a 6). I don't want to go into very specific details of IOPs and stuff because my aim is to capture the relative performance difference sufficiently, so I think the numbers I have chosen are quite accurately reflective of real-world performance.

    Edit: LowEndBoxes Reviews only look at paper specs, so I have to make assumptions. Also, it is a relative benchmark of value, i.e. the numbers are not raw performance but kind of like performance per dollar. I link to real benchmarks for confirmation when I see them because real benchmarks tell another story.

    Thanked by (1)ITLabs

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  • @poisson said:

    @vimalware said:
    I appreciate the effort into creating a methodology (at least until jsgguy tears into it)

    Oh, in my profession, we tear into one another's methodology all the time, so you learn to defend your methodology.

    Curious, what is your profession?

    The all seeing eye sees everything...

  • poissonpoisson OG
    edited November 2019

    @terrorgen said:

    @poisson said:

    @vimalware said:
    I appreciate the effort into creating a methodology (at least until jsgguy tears into it)

    Oh, in my profession, we tear into one another's methodology all the time, so you learn to defend your methodology.

    Curious, what is your profession?

    I am an academic.

    Deals and Reviews: LowEndBoxes Review | Avoid dodgy providers with The LEBRE Whitelist | Free hosting (with conditions): Evolution-Host, NanoKVM, FreeMach, ServedEZ | Follow latest deals on Twitter or Telegram

  • @poisson said:

    @terrorgen said:

    @poisson said:

    @vimalware said:
    I appreciate the effort into creating a methodology (at least until jsgguy tears into it)

    Oh, in my profession, we tear into one another's methodology all the time, so you learn to defend your methodology.

    Curious, what is your profession?

    I am an academic.

    No wonder!

    The all seeing eye sees everything...

  • this seems interesting, it could be an alternative to that scam website, LEB

  • @tgl said:
    this seems interesting, it could be an alternative to that scam website, LEB

    Thats also a strong motivation. LEB is a total scam.

    Deals and Reviews: LowEndBoxes Review | Avoid dodgy providers with The LEBRE Whitelist | Free hosting (with conditions): Evolution-Host, NanoKVM, FreeMach, ServedEZ | Follow latest deals on Twitter or Telegram

  • LEB occasionally posts good providers, much like a broken clock is occasionally correct

    Thanked by (1)uptime
  • @hzr said:
    LEB occasionally posts good providers, much like a broken clock is occasionally correct

    You sure you want to rely on this clock to be at church in time for wedding?

    Thanked by (3)uptime vimalware Ouji

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  • williewillie OG
    edited November 2019

    Ya know there are a bunch of these already but when it comes down to it, I've never found them useful. My main buying criterion is always what do I think of the humans at the other end of the service, and that's not something that can be captured in a database. By comparison, specs mean basically nothing. I'm experienced enough to know what competitive offers are, and don't much care about squeezing out the last 0.0001. So I just go by my own past experience and the believable user reports of other members.

    For a long time (and still to some extent) I obsessively tracked storage offers, but the tracking is in a text file, not a sortable database or anything like that. I just don't see much need for web UI's around things like that.

    Thanked by (3)uptime vimalware mfs
  • vyasvyas OGContent Writer

    The site and the list is developing nicely,

    Byw LEBRE is cool LeBro is cooler. Like French urban subculture thingy.
    What say tou bros, @uptime @ITLabs ?

    Thanked by (1)uptime
  • @vyas said:
    The site and the list is developing nicely,

    Byw LEBRE is cool LeBro is cooler. Like French urban subculture thingy.
    What say tou bros, @uptime @ITLabs ?

    I say LESBRO.

    Thanked by (2)vyas uptime

    BF/CM - Buyer Beware. Conduct your own due diligence on the sustainability of the deals presented here as well as the provider's track record.

  • Very nice project!

    Shared: Smallweb| VPS: NexusBytes, FlowVPS, VirMach, InceptionHosting, Linode
    Gapps legacy 100/200 users cheap 4 sale. PM

  • @willie said:
    Ya know there are a bunch of these already but when it comes down to it, I've never found them useful. My main buying criterion is always what do I think of the humans at the other end of the service, and that's not something that can be captured in a database. By comparison, specs mean basically nothing. I'm experienced enough to know what competitive offers are, and don't much care about squeezing out the last 0.0001. So I just go by my own past experience and the believable user reports of other members.

    For a long time (and still to some extent) I obsessively tracked storage offers, but the tracking is in a text file, not a sortable database or anything like that. I just don't see much need for web UI's around things like that.

    I would say that you are not the target audience of this little project. The target audience is for people who either don't know how to evaluate paper specs, or for people who want a quick and easy way without investing too much time to think. By no means is my evaluation fool-proof but it serves as a useful decision-making aid for the two groups I have mentioned.

    Also, the project only evaluates whitelisted providers to reduce the chances of being scammed by dishonest providers. I also intend to eventually compile a ranking chart of all the paper spec evaluations in terms of value as a centralised reference point. Even if a year or two has passed, you don't have to go and trawl forums for past offers to see whether the current offer is better than old offers, and perhaps providers can use the data to enhance the value of their offerings.

    Thanks for the feedback and I will try to make the platform as useful as possible. It will be better than LEB, I promise.

    Thanked by (2)uptime vimalware

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  • @poisson I was planning until Black Friday for my next VPS deal, but gave @seriesn my $48 after your review.

    You bastard!

    Thanked by (2)vyas poisson

    The all seeing eye sees everything...

  • vyasvyas OGContent Writer
    edited November 2019

    @poisson is not getting much love these days. For the right wrong reasons :-)

  • @terrorgen full disclosure: I also gave @seriesn my Black Friday budget this year..

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  • uptimeuptime OG
    edited November 2019

    @vyas said:
    The site and the list is developing nicely,

    Byw LEBRE is cool LeBro is cooler. Like French urban subculture thingy.
    What say tou bros, @uptime @ITLabs ?

    I say LEBRE is @poisson's brainchild and brand and that's plenty cool enough for me :)

    Le(s)Bro super cool too - maybe they will find some suitable application as well?

    @poisson - I have yet to dig into the details of your methodology but do very much like what I see just in terms of the layout - first impressions and all that. Will certainly be keeping an eye on how it develops. :+1:

    @willie - if you might have any notes on storage deals that are not yet listed in https://lowendstorage.win please let me know. I'm now maintaining the site started by @Mason - not (yet) obsessively though!

    (And I definitely agree about prioritizing long-term reliability etc. when evaluating providers.)

    EDIT: I just remembered that currently there are a lot of links to LET offer threads on https://lowendstorage.win - hopefully those will get switched over to corresponding threads on this forum as time goes on (and those providers show up to make offers here).

    Anyway - back to reviewing LEBRE now!

    EDIT2:

    might also mention one thing about my own (informal) "methodology" - I generally do not let providers know who I am on these forums (with a couple exceptions: InceptionHosting and IntoVPS - when my first order attempts got stuck in maxmind). Two reasons: one is just an instinct to keep my "real life" personal info generally separate from my online presence. And the other is for putting on an informal "reviewer" hat - I think it makes good sense to be a secret shopper rather than get some "I have a very important profile on the forum" treatment.

    Then I mostly idle the service, maybe put in a few tickets only as necessary - and if I find a good use for the system then so much the better. (I often do, eventually.) But I gradually get a decent sense of some baseline - how smoothly the control panel works for me, how the support and necessary communications get handled - and especially how reliable the system is over the period of at least a few months. That's when I start mentioning my experience with the provider as such, whenever it's appropriate to do so.

    Thanked by (2)ITLabs poisson
  • williewillie OG
    edited November 2019

    Certainly I wish @poisson the best with this project, and the whitelist is a good idea. But it's not just that I'm not the target audience for it: I also think the intended audience (inexperienced users) isn't a great target for it either. That type of user is likely to assume all servers with similar specs are equivalent commodities, and pick the cheapest one. Commodity servers are a thing (Digital Ocean etc. sell them at the midrange, or GCP/AWS/etc. further upscale) and that is probably what such a user should buy, even though they are a bit expensive by LES standards.

    LES is partly about working around limitations and flakiness to get stuff done economically, and people who attempt that for anything serious should know what they are doing. Even the whitelisted providers all have such limitations (not many very large vps's, frequent stock shortages, etc). People who just want cheap servers to play around with should have realistic expectations going in. What's left is the thrill of the hunt ;).

    Thanked by (2)mfs ialexpw
  • mikhomikho Hosting ProviderOG

    @ITLabs said:

    @vyas said:
    The site and the list is developing nicely,

    Byw LEBRE is cool LeBro is cooler. Like French urban subculture thingy.
    What say tou bros, @uptime @ITLabs ?

    I say LESBRO.

    The ones who watch and never gets to play with the toys??
    😂

    Thanked by (3)uptime ITLabs vyas

    Get 4 or more NAT servers (mix/match between packages) and get a 20 % recurring discount. https://clients.mrvm.net

  • @mikho said:

    @ITLabs said:

    @vyas said:
    The site and the list is developing nicely,

    Byw LEBRE is cool LeBro is cooler. Like French urban subculture thingy.
    What say tou bros, @uptime @ITLabs ?

    I say LESBRO.

    The ones who watch and never gets to play with the toys??
    😂

    Haha! Touché mon ami!

    BF/CM - Buyer Beware. Conduct your own due diligence on the sustainability of the deals presented here as well as the provider's track record.

  • @willie Great points. I have a consumer guidance section that will be up eventually explaining in newbie terms the various components of a lowend box so that they will know the limitations and can make better judgement. Everyone has their method of evaluating, and my method is just one. I tend to pick those that I think are really good value for money for evaluation, and you can look at my picks as a crude first filter and then use your own methodology to see if you concur. If your personal methodology yields similar conclusions, then just buy it already!

    @uptime It's a crude paper specs methodology, but I think it is mostly accurate mainly in real life because I only feature whitelisted providers, and they manage their servers well so you can expect to get the performance that is advertised. I also hope for LEBRE to be an information repository. I have added a charts section to rank the LEBRE scores historically so that a few years down, you can see how a box then matches up with the boxes a few years ago without having to wade through tens of thousands of forum posts. Providers can also use the information on LEBRE to design their promos: find boxes I have evaluated with high LEBRE scores and make them better!

    Thanked by (1)uptime

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  • seriesnseriesn Hosting ProviderOG
    edited November 2019

    LEBRE, if done right, could easily become the "GeekBench" for providers. Is it for everyone? I doubt. Just like GeekBench. To some it is some cool nice numbers, to others, it gives you in-depth idea of how compatible it is with one's requirements.

    Keep up the good work man :)

  • Decided to give WisHosting some love: https://lowendboxes.review/wishosting-kvm-ssd-nov-2019/

    They actually have very, very good value boxes on a regular basis!

    Thanked by (3)uptime seriesn vimalware

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  • @poisson said:
    Decided to give WisHosting some love: https://lowendboxes.review/wishosting-kvm-ssd-nov-2019/

    They actually have very, very good value boxes on a regular basis!

    Wishosting are extremely excellent potassium and are certified and awarded with the dahartigan seal of potassium quality. One of my first LE* providers and will always hold a special place. Seriously though, his ticket etiquette is an example of excellence. Always professional and polite and seems to enjoy helping people. Go find a legit complaint, I bet you'll come up short :-)

  • @dahartigan said:

    @poisson said:
    Decided to give WisHosting some love: https://lowendboxes.review/wishosting-kvm-ssd-nov-2019/

    They actually have very, very good value boxes on a regular basis!

    Wishosting are extremely excellent potassium and are certified and awarded with the dahartigan seal of potassium quality. One of my first LE* providers and will always hold a special place. Seriously though, his ticket etiquette is an example of excellence. Always professional and polite and seems to enjoy helping people. Go find a legit complaint, I bet you'll come up short :-)

    I like his boxes too. I had one previously and seriously nothing but top-notch quality and service. My only complaint is that he just keeps too low a profile and doesn't advertise himself enough!

    Deals and Reviews: LowEndBoxes Review | Avoid dodgy providers with The LEBRE Whitelist | Free hosting (with conditions): Evolution-Host, NanoKVM, FreeMach, ServedEZ | Follow latest deals on Twitter or Telegram

  • Canvassing some views from the trustworthy LES crowd as I just saw the Hostsailor BF deals. Can anyone vouch for their customer service and product reliability?

    Deals and Reviews: LowEndBoxes Review | Avoid dodgy providers with The LEBRE Whitelist | Free hosting (with conditions): Evolution-Host, NanoKVM, FreeMach, ServedEZ | Follow latest deals on Twitter or Telegram

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