BitLaunch review – PC Authority

Our Verdict

BitLaunch is a Panama-based provider offering cloud VPS servers to customers who value their privacy and anonymity above everything else. Although it provides different-sized plans to meet most needs, BitLaunch is more aimed at somewhat experienced users.

For

  • Both Linux and Windows hosting is available
  • Plenty of crypto payment options
  • Competent prices in comparison to similar providers
  • You can request a free trial
  • They use SSD storage

Against

  • Hourly billing is available
  • There is no shared hosting
  • No money-back guarantee
  • No free domain nor website migration
  • Not enough self-help options

Established in the late 2017, BitLaunch was one of the youngest companies to appear in this business. Based in Panama, it has been providing anonymous cloud VPS servers for developers around the world, using their own servers or services from Digital Ocean, Vultr and Linode. Another advantage of choosing BitLaunch is (as the name already suggests) is ability to pay for their products by many different cryptocurrencies.

If you wonder why you would prefer paying with these, BitLaunch answers that question with a well-written and rather persuasive article on the subject, which is clearly important to them. In short, they believe privacy is a fundamental human right and it should be kept out of the reach of traditional payment services, since they have too much control as it is. According to them, by hosting your website anonymously with VPS servers and paying via cryptocurrencies, you’ll keep your data safe, your privacy intact and support a more open and better internet.

All BitLaunch’s customers have freedom to choose between three data centers depending on their location: Amsterdam (the Netherlands), London (UK) and Los Angeles (USA). However, if you would prefer launching your website with Digital Ocean, Vultr or Linode, more than 40 data centers are available in this case.

BitLaunch’s main website is familiarly blue and purple, simple in its design and pleasant to the eye. It’s also available in three major languages: English, Chinese (Mandarin) and Russian.

There is an official blog and to our surprise it’s well done. Some articles are concerned with internet freedom, while others offer detailed tutorials on a variety of closely-linked subjects. In every article, right next to the date of publication there is information about the average time required to read the article (it’s mostly 3 to 7 minute read), which is a nice touch we rarely get to see.

As for social media, BitLaunch maintains a presence on Twitter, although the account hasn’t been particularly active during this year.

Plans and pricing

To get an overview of BitLaunch’s cloud VPS hosting plans and their pricing you’ll be required to sign up. After this (and verification via e-mail), you’ll be presented with several plans ranging from $10 (with BitLaunch) to a whopping $1,408 (with Linode) per month. Users can choose if they want to be charged hourly or on a monthly basis.

Since BitLaunch doesn’t provide a domain registration service (not to mention a free domain), those who need it will have to find it elsewhere. Also, there is no free SSL certificate nor a money-back guarantee, which has become the standard today. Luckily, there is a free trial provided upon a request (via support chat), which will last for a few hours. 

All prices are presented in USD and users can choose to pay in more than 50 different cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin included.

Ease of use

In the tradition of anonymous hosting, to sign up with BitLaunch users are required to provide their email address and email address only. Right after that, they can expect verification via mail they provided a moment ago. Confirm it by clicking on the link and finalize the whole process of creating your account with BitLaunch.

Now you’ll finally be able to see BitLaunch’s hosting solutions. If you are not certain which plan is best suited to your needs, don’t hesitate to contact BitLaunch’s support team. Those with some technical knowhow shouldn’t have a problem with this, since everything is presented in a clear way.

One thing you have probably noticed by now is that with BitLaunch there is no free domain registration, no free migration, no well-known industry standard cPanel and no website builder, all of which is pretty bad news for less experienced users.  

Plans

Signing up with BitLaunch can be a complicated process due to all of the choices you’ll need to make before you even pick out your web hosting plan (Image credit: BitLaunch)

To purchase a plan, you will be asked to choose among a couple of things. First, you’ll have to decide if you want BitLaunch as your host, or you would rather use a server form one of well-established companies: DigitalOcean, Vultr or Linode. Whichever you choose, the next step will be choosing an operating system and there are a lot to choose from, especially among the Linux-based ones. Then, you’ll choose a data center location, where BitLaunch has three of them available, DigitalOcean eight, Vultr fifteen and Linode nine. Finally, a time has come to decide upon a hosting plan and more than a few are available there.

Some features we should point out are: instant setup, SSD KVM storage, developer API, open-source command-line tools and free inbound usage. All in all, plans certainly seem to be geared towards developers.

Dashboard

You can see how well your website is performing online from BitLaunch’s dashboard (Image credit: BitLaunch)

After this, you’ll set a password or a SSH key (which is recommended) and you’re done. We must add that it is refreshing to finish all of this in a quick-and-easy way, since this process often feels like doing chores. Anyhow, BitLaunch provides users with a command-line tool under the name “blci” which is written in GO programming language and uses GO SDK to interact with their servers. If you would prefer to use cPanel, there is one way to acquire it (except for installing it for yourself) and it requires getting in touch with support and obtaining it through Vultr.

Performance

We used GTmetrix to test the uptime and response time of our BitLaunch site (Image credit: GTmetrix)

Speed and experience

In spite of the fact that BitLaunch makes no promises regarding their speed performance, the results we got were perfect in every aspect. As monitored by GTmetrix test, the speed performance of BitLaunch’s main website was a sound A (100%), which is a rare sight. The time it took to fully load the page was a mere 1.6 seconds, which looks even better in comparison to the average result of 8.1. At the same time, it required the total of 33 requests, which is almost a third of the average of 98. All in all, a superb performance in terms of speed.

BitLaunch offers no guarantee, yet again the uptime we recorded with the help of UptimeRobot showed us a flawless 100% of uptime. To be frank, two weeks of perfect performance are not a full year warranty, but certainly are a good starting point.

Support

BitLaunch has a number of in-depth articles and guides on its website (Image credit: BitLaunch)

Support

Customer support is not BitLaunch’s strongest point, although not the weakest one either. The main website is a bit stingy on information, providing general information such as hosting plans and their pricing only to those who are signed in. There are a few deep how-to guides on their blog, but there is no comprehensive knowledgebase, video center nor a support forum.

However, BitLaunch’s support team is kind, knowledgeable, responsive (we got our reply in less than five minutes) and can be reached via live chat and email. Their website states that their support team is “experienced, dedicated and ready to help”, but they do not specify at what hours they are available, so it’s safe to assume they are “ready to help” at business hours, at least.

All those who need help with choosing the right plan for them or would like to have a go at free trial are welcomed to get in touch with BitLaunch’s support team.

The competition

Both Alibaba Cloud and BitLaunch offer various-sized cloud-related services that can cover an individual blogger and multiple websites of a larger business. Neither is particularly beginner-friendly, but Alibaba Cloud provides more self-help options, including decent knowledgebase, video tutorials and a support forum. On the other hand, you can pay with cryptocurrencies for BitLaunch’s products, which is not the case with Alibaba Cloud.

In comparison to BitLaunch, Hostgator offers more hosting types, options and features, as well as a very newbie-friendly approach. However, if you are determined to stay anonymous on the internet the BitLaunch is the right way to go.

Again, when compared to BitLaunch, as a bigger company, Bluehost simply has more to offer. However, choosing and purchasing a plan is much straightforward with BitLaunch, with no hidden costs nor price hikes. And with a free trial, you can test their services before making a decision.

Still, PowWeb and BitLaunch share a certain originality in their approach to web hosting business. While PowWeb created only one plan to fit all needs, BitLaunch offers several different-sized cloud VPS hosting services that can be purchased via cryptocurrencies and protect the privacy of its customers. Despite all this, if you are a first-time user, PowWeb will supply you with a free domain, easy-to-use website builder and a money-back guarantee, although neither of the providers offers user-friendly cPanel/Plesk, which is a shame. 

Final verdict

BitLaunch is a capable host in its own niche, but the lack of some features we are accustomed to have nowadays makes them hard to recommend to newcomers. However, for developers and business owners, BitLaunch can provide a great value for money and keep their privacy intact throughout the process, which is a rare commodity in this day and age. For those who are new here, Hostgator and Bluehost are definitely worth a look. 

Mirza Bahic is a freelance tech journalist and blogger from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the past four years, Mirza has been ghostwriting for a number of tech start-ups from various industries, including cloud, retail and B2B technology.