Full-service web hosting, free for 3 years

1 & 1 Internet, Inc. is offering 3 years of premium web hosting for free. With no commitments. And no contracts. You can cancel at any time. Weird, huh? Internet bubble thinking isn’t it? I’ve seen their ads in several places, most recently in PC World. So, I signed up. They say you don’t need a credit card, and you don’t. They say all they need from you is your mailing address but that’s not true — they also need a phone number they can call to “activate” your account. I haven’t been through this stage yet but supposedly they have an automated system call you to verify your phone number (within 30 minutes of your clicking on an “OK to call me now” button) and then call you again to give you your PIN so that you can activate your account. Hmmm….

What do you get for free?

* No banner ads
* No pop-ups
* No sales calls
* 500MB web space
* 5GB/month traffic
* Backups
* Firewall protection
* SSH access (shell account?)
* Cron jobs
* PHP3 and 4
* 5 FTP accounts
* 50 subdomains
* 50 POP3 email accounts each with a 50MB mailbox
* Free full version of Fusion 7

That’s a partial, but fairly complete, list. This will supposedly cost about $30/month after the promotion ends which, I think, is in mid-January, 2004. If you sign up before then you supposedly get the entire 3 years free. Now, no doubt this is intended to lock you in to using their service so you’ll continue after the 3 years is up but it seems they’re incurring a significant amount of risk. I’ve looked through their TOS and don’t see anything unusual — they’re allowed to shut you down if you’re taking excessive resources and you promise not to create code or pages that are intended to take too much resource but that’s about it.

No endorsement from me (yet) — I’m just passing this along. If/when I have some experiences with them, I’ll post them.

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