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Frequently Asked Questions

  GENERAL QUESTIONS


  DEDICATED / MANAGED SERVER QUESTIONS
  SHARED / VIRTUAL HOSTING QUESTIONS

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Is there a money-back guarantee or a trial period?
We do not offer a trial period or money back guarantee. Some individuals might try to use our high bandwidth service, then cancel to avoid the bill. Money Back Guarantees may be available with a Dedicated Server. Please contact us for more information.

What is Cpanel™ 9? Do you have a Demo of CPanel?
CPanel™ is a control panel that enables our clients to make changes to their hosting and/or email configurations. A demo of the control panel is available here.

How long have you been in business?
VI-, Inc. has been in business since 1988. The company started as a service bureau, then branched out as a multimedia / webdesign firm in the mid 1990's. Visual Images entered the web hosting industry in May 2001, when we found other companies were unable to provide the level of service our clients required.

Do you monitor the hosting Service?
VI-Solutions.com uses several monitoring systems, checking for uptime, services, software features, and intrusion attempts. VI-Solutions.com staff are notified immediately if a problem occurs.

What is your uptime?
VI-Solutions.com strives to maintain a 99.5% network and server uptime service level. This uptime percentage is a monthly figure, and does not include any scheduled hardware/software upgrades, nor "Acts of God". Our definition of "Act of God" includes; fire, flood, tornado, earthquake, telco fiber issues (ie...Verizon™ cutting a fiber line somewhere), backbone peering point issues (ie...Sprint™ having a router go down in Virginia that wipes out internet service for the entire East Coast), hard drive failure (faulty hardware is rare, but cannot be predicted nor avoided), as well as network floods, hacks, and attacks.

Are there any hidden costs I should be aware of?
No. If your Disk or Bandwidth usage exceeds that included with your hosting plan, or you use a feature not included in your hosting plan, you will be charged our ala carte fees for the additional services you use. All costs are stated plainly on our website. We do not hide fees in fineprint, or in our terms of service pages. The only costs that are commonly found to occur beyond your expected flat monthly rates per service, are those due to increased disk space or bandwidth usage. VI-Solutions.com very often will allow you to upgrade your packages to the next size up, should you see an increase in disk space levels or bandwidth usage for the current month, and not want to pay for such additional usage. Your CPanel provides Disk space usage and availablility, as well as estimated bandwidth usage, if you think you will be close to the capacity of your hosting plan. Our clients rarely exceed the bounds of their hosting plans.

What are some of the sites you host?
VI-Solutions.com makes a sample client page available to the public on it's website. This page has examples of Basic, Standard, Professional, and reseller clients.

Do you have generators and battery backups?
Our Network Operations Center is backed up and protected by UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems. In a very rare case of utility outages, our auto-start generators start automatically, taking over for the UPS system and supplying all necessary power for our Network Operations Center.

How secure is VI-Solutions' Data Center?
VI-Solutions.com servers are housed in a high security facility. Interior gating and double metal security doors, protect the main entrance to the window-less facility. Advanced security, fire, temperature, and flood alarms are directly piped into a Security Monitoring Company via phone, cellular, and internet connections. A Police Station is less than two blocks away, and a Fire Station less than six blocks. Both the interior and exterior of the Data Center are monitored by a 16-camera digital video system. This video system is monitored internally at the facility and externally. The video data is recorded live both on and off site, and stored for several months ahead. Visitors are only allowed into the faclity with an employee escort. Giant metal doors separate the server area from the visitors area. Metal sheeting and bulletproof glass walls are also used. Armed guards are planned for the future, but not currently a necessity.

Is adult content allowed on my website?
VI-Solutions.com does not allow adult content on the VI-Solutions.com network.

What are your Terms Of Service?
The VI-Solutions.com Terms of Service (TOS) for the VI-Solutions.com service, including policy and service guidelines, are available online at: http://www.VI-Solutions.com/policy.html.

What happens if my site breaks your "acceptable usage policy" rules?
The first violation may cause a user's site or other services to be suspended, pending resolution of the violation. Additional violations may cause the site to be cancelled. Each occurance is dealt with on a case by case basis, and we try to work things out with every client. Notifications will be sent, if VI-Solutions.com takes any action on your account.

Do you have a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
The VI-Solutions.com Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the VI-Solutions.com service, is available online at: http://www.VI-Solutions.com/policy.html.

What is your connectivity to the Internet?
VI-Solutions.com transit is provided via Gigabit Ethernet (1000mbps) from Level3™ (http://www.level3.com), XO™ Communications (http://www.xo.com), BTN Access™ (http://www.btnaccess.com), Cogent™ (http://www.cogentco.com), & Global Crossing™ (http://www.glbx.com) (pending). The network is connected via Gigabit/OC12 (1000/622 mbps) fiber connections to Verizon™, XO™ Communications (pending), Commonwealth Telephone™ (CTSI™). PPL Telcom™ fiber is also available in the facility. If one backbone goes down or becomes congested, our BGP4 (border gateway routing protocol) balances the load among the others. This gives us excellent edundancy, speed and uptime. Other major backbone providers may also open POPs in the VI-Solutions.com facility.

How is extra bandwidth billed?
VI-Solutions.com maintains software on every server and on the switches to monitor individual website usage and server-wide usage. Bandwidth is billed per Gigabyte (GB) over your monthly allocation, rounded up to the nearest Gigabyte. Allocations are currently calculated based on the total of inbound (downstream) AND outbound (upstream) bandwidth combined. This calculation method is subject to change with 30 days notice to clients. Utilization is based upon MRTG stats taken directly from the managed switch port a server is plugged into. Usually between the 3rd and 5th of the month you will receive your bandwidth overage billing, if applicable, for the preceding month's usage. If bandwidth overage billing occurs more than 30 days past the end of the period being billed for, client is permitted the same amount of time to pay the bill.

How will you bill me?
VI-Solutions.com can invoice you via email, USPS or provide recurring billing to a credit card. Payment may be completed with company check, cash, Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

Does the hosting fee include any assistance with my website?
VI-Solutions.com will assist you with all support for services provided directly thru support@VI-Solutions.com. VI-Solutions.com will help you with basic settings for your email software and ftp client, as well as assist you with using the web browser control panel. VI-Solutions.com is not responsible for teaching you how to use another company's products. Example: VI-Solutions.com will assist you with the settings for using Macromedia Dreamweaver™, but we will not teach you how to actually use the product itself. You need to contact the software maker in such a situation, who provides tech support for how to use their product. VI-Solutions.com cannot even attempt to support all the thousands of software products on the market. VI-Solutions.com will attempt to provide some tech support for the most popular programs our clients use. VI-Solutions.com is not responsible for assisting with your own programs and cgi scripts. If you choose to install your own programs and cgi scripts on your site, you are responsible fully for installing them. VI-Solutions.com will provide support for any program or cgi script that we provide pre-installed with your web hosting package. VI-Solutions.com will happily assist you with designing and developing, your website for additional fees. VI-Solutions.com will attempt to give a quick look at your design / development problem, and offer a suggestion if it is a small issue.

How soon can my service order be set up?
Virtual hosting account orders placed during normal business day hours may be processed in 1-8 hours. If placed in the middle of a night, setup may not occur until the following day. VI-Solutions.com dedicated servers currently on average take 24-72 hours to set up. This timeframe fluctuates based on current hardware stock and demand. Some servers may be available for instant/same-day set up as advertised. If you ordered a VI-Solutions.com reseller account or dedicated server, you will have the ability to instantly setup accounts by yourself, after the initial setup by VI-Solutions.com.

Do I get a control panel to make basic site configuration changes?
Every VI-Solutions.com web hosting package comes with a web browser based control panel. The control panel can include many features: email configuration, chat rooms, mailing lists, pre-installed cgi scripts, databases, chat rooms, and much, much, more... A demo of the control panel can be found here.

How do I request support? What is your Average Response Time?
VI-Solutions.com offers support via email or phone, depending upon your hosting package. We strive for response times of no more than a few hours. Response times of just a few minutes are quite common during normal business hours. We strive to provide the most courteous and helpful service. Phone support is only offered only with the Professional Hosting Package, except for emergencies and reboots, in order to keep the costs down. Support via email is provided for assistance with other hosting packages.

Can I have a discount if I pre-pay for service?
VI-Solutions.com does not currently offer advance payment discounts on most of the VI-Solutions.com product line. There are yearly payment discounts on some of the virtual hosting plans; please contact us for details.

What about security patches and software upgrades for the server?
VI-Solutions.com handles all software upgrades/patches on all servers. We fully follow all trends in the industry, and monitor all support/bug announcement groups. If a new bug or security vulnerability is found, VI-Solutions.com immediately upgrades our systems. VI-Solutions.com auto-updates the Linux systems every night from security patch websites. As new software is released, including new versions of operating systems, VI-Solutions.com evaluates the new software. If the software's new version does not have any security issues, or bug problems, the upgrade is implemented.

Do your plans include their own IP address, or are they shared?
This depends on the type of package that you order. Traditionally all VI-Solutions.com hosting packages are budget minded, and use shared IPs. VI-Solutions.com dedicated servers & reseller accounts have the ability to utilize IP based, or IPless, hosting configurations. Charges may apply to purchase additional IPs for usage beyond your initial service allocation.

What happens if there is a hardware failure?
A full inventory of parts is maintained at the Data Center. Hardware failures are uncommon, but they do happen, and are a part of the hosting business. VI-Solutions.com repairs all failed hardware promptly, to minimize any downtime caused by such. VI-Solutions.com replaces all failed hardware on virtual hosting and dedicated machines at no cost to the clientele. For details on such issues, please review the documents in our policy and service guidelines section.

What are the setup fees and monthly costs?
There are many different services offered in the VI-Solutions.com product line, and several packages available within each service. Please check the pages of this website for pricing details on each specific service and package.

What are the hardware specs of VI-Solutions.com servers?
Every server at VI-Solutions.com has different specifications. Dedicated servers are built to ordering specification. Shared servers are kept well below their capacity for maximum speed and availability.

What happens if I decide to leave VI-Solutions.com Hosting?
In most cases, You are free to leave at any time. VI-Solutions.com services are normally provided on a month to month basis, without any required contract term. All advance payments will be refunded if you decide to leave. In some cases VI-Solutions.com may require a signed contract for larger deals/purchases, in which case such takes precedence over the default month to month agreement.

What if the server my website is on gets hacked or attacked?
Individually hacked websites are rare. If such occurs, usually they are a target for a reason; hate sites, pirated software, etc... VI-Solutions.com does not host such websites. If such materal is found on a VI-Solutions.com server, it is deleted immediately and the user's account cancelled. Usually the target is the whole server itself. Hackers usually go after a server just to say that "they did", or to use the server to bounce off of to hack something more important. Rarely are any users' files on the server damaged, erased, or modified. For this reason, once a hacker is detected, a server can usually be cleaned up and the hacker locked back out within a matter of hours. At that time the server is restored to full security levels, as if the hack has never occurred. Most hackers get into a system thru valid user accounts. We recommend you use complicated passwords for your account. VI-Solutions.com strictly reviews all orders for new clients, to make sure they are legitimate. Unfortunately, some fake orders do get thru the system, and that is one way a hacker can gain initial access. VI-Solutions.com runs security checks on the servers daily, so even if a hacker does get in, they are found and dealt with quickly. Most hackers are not malicious, they are just playing or testing their abilities. If an individual attacks the whole VI-Solutions.com Data Center, measures are in place to cut off such floods and attacks automatically at the backbone level and the router level. VI-Solutions.com also uses firewall technology to fend off most common methods of flooding and attacks to the network.

What if I want to upgrade my service?
You may upgrade or downgrade your VI-Solutions.com service plan at any time, if you are on a month to month default agreement. You will be required to pay the difference in the setup fee for your current plan, and the plan you are upgrading to, should you decide to choose a larger plan. You will then pay the new monthly fee for the new service plan that you select. Changing dedicated server plans may require system administration fees and/or hardware modifications.

Why should I choose VI-Solutions.com as my webhost?
Simple. VI-Solutions.com offers superior service and support for our hosting clients. VI-Solutions.com offers Cpanel™ & WebHostManager™ on it's packages, the premier software in the business.

How do I get started?
Simple! Just fill out the online form for the service you wish to order! You will receive details shortly afterwards about how to proceed with your new VI-Solutions.com service plan!



MANAGED DEDICATED SERVER QUESTIONS

How many domains can I host on my server?
VI-Solutions.com does not put a numerical limit on the quantity of websites/clients you can host on your VI-Solutions.com dedicated server. Such numbers are only limited by the amount of bandwidth you utilize and the hardware specifications of your server. You can host hundreds of small websites on your server, or just a single large site, that is strictly up to you. We do advise never putting more than 1000 virtual hosts on a single server, due to limitations within the operating systems and web server software.



VIRTUAL HOSTING QUESTIONS

How do I set up email?
VI-Solutions.com web hosting clients can set up POP Accounts, Forwarders/Aliases, & Auto-Responders in the Web Browser Control Panel that comes with every VI-Solutions.com web hosting package. This can be done by yourself, and without any assistance from the VI-Solutions.com staff.

How do I upload files?
All VI-Solutions.com web hosting packages allow the usage of FTP, SSH, File Manager, MS FrontPage™, and other web development publishing programs, to upload files to your website.

How do I transfer my domain name?
VI-Solutions.com will attempt to file the necessary electronic forms for your domain name transfer with InterNIC. If VI-Solutions.com is unable to file such with your specific domain name registrar, VI-Solutions.com will send you instructions on how to do such yourself, including all necessary technical details. Clients may opt to not have VI-Solutions.com handle the domain name transfer, or to delay doing such, as an option on the web hosting order form required for signup.

What is included in my website package?
VI-Solutions.com provides full hardware, software, support, and system administration for your VI-Solutions.com shared hosting solution. The software provided includes the operating system, ftp & email software, web server software, and a control panel. VI-Solutions.com even includes free e-commerce shopping cart software. Everything you need to conduct business on the Internet, or maintain a personal website, can be included in your VI-Solutions.com hosting solution. VI-Solutions.com will provide basic support on services/software that we provide you with your account. VI-Solutions.com will happily develop your website for you, for additional fees. We also provide fee-based tech support on how to use software products. And we are always more than willing to help you if we can though with external issues, time permitting...

How many sites are currently running per server?
VI-Solutions.com does not have a set quantity of domains running on each machine. We find that sometimes ten domains can utilize more resources than 200 others. VI-Solutions.com monitors each server's performance levels and attempts to maintain a low server load average and high cpu availability. As needed, VI-Solutions.com will upgrade the hardware, to increase server performance. Individual domains that become to much for the server to handle, and utilize too much server resources, are moved to servers set up specifically for such resource intensive accounts.

Can I host more than one domain name per account?
VI-Solutions.com charges additional fees for every extra domain name you point to your account. For a domain name that is parked on top of your main domain name, the cost is a $25 one time setup fee. You may use an index.cgi script, to redirect from that domain name to a sub-directory at no additional charge. VI-Solutions.com charges a $25 setup fee, and $5.00 monthly for every additional domain name parked to a sub-directory. Each additional domain name parked on top, or to a sub-directory, receives one catch-all email POP account or forwarder for all mail to that domain name. Parked domain names do not receive a control panel of their own. VI-Solutions.com usually recommends the very inexpensive "Basic" accounts ($19.95 monthly) instead, due to the fact that they come with their own control panel functionality.

What if I want to upgrade to a dedicated server in the future?
Not a problem. VI-Solutions.com will assist you in setting up the site(s) on your dedicated server, and help you transfer all the files over as well. It can be a very simple procedure, with minimal downtime. VI-Solutions.com will leave the shared server accounts active while the transfer is occuring, until dns properly clears up, and you are satisfied that your site(s) are functioning perfectly on the new dedicated server.

 

 
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