Smarthost is a web hosting company that was started in 2014 is ran by the old owner of (which no longer exists but was around for a very long time and some might remember their cheap vpses back in the day). They offer a range of VPS hosting products including NVMe SSD KVM VPSes, OpenVZ VPSes, and Windows Server VPSes, and also dedicated servers. They have a nice amount of locations in the United States and 2 locations in Europe as of this review (and they apparently have more locations in the works!).

I came across them recently while browsing for new Offers on LowEndTalk and initially I was going to just pass by their offer but then I saw that their owner was the owner of the old web hosting company and I figured I would give them a try (especially with their starting base KVM VPS price being so cheap). Let’s just get on with the review and performance though!

Since I hadn’t of used Smarthost before and I couldn’t really find any reliable reviews or benchmarks via Google I decided on just starting with their base starter NVMe SSD KVM VPS package which is only $2.95/month and gets you the following specs:

Smarthost NVMe SSD KVM VPS in Virginia

  • 1 CPU Core
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 10 GB NVMe SSD Disk
  • 1TB Bandwidth @ 1Gbps Port
  • 1 IPv4 and 1 IPv6 (Can ask for a /64)
  • DDoS Protection (some of Smarthost’s locations come with this)

Note: I upgraded the ram from 1GB to 2GB and disk from 10GB to 20GB not long after purchasing because I was so happy with the performance.

I chose their Virginia location because that’s my home state and there’s not to many cheap VPS hosts that offer a Virginia location. They’re using Psychz’s Ashburn, VA datacenter and the network is really great.

Here are the locations they have to choose from as of this review:

  • Nevada
  • California
  • Texas
  • New Jersey
  • Virginia
  • New York
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • London, UK
  • Amsterdam, NL

After paying via Paypal my VPS was activated instantly and they use SolusVM for their backend which I logged into to start setting up my new Smarthost VPS. NVMe SSD KVM VPS ordering page which allows you to build and customize your VPS
Smarthost’s NVMe SSD KVM VPS ordering page
The SolusVM panel for my Smarthost NVMe SSD KVM VPS
Logged into SolusVM to setup my new Smarthost NVMe SSD KVM VPS

They have a pretty wide range of ISOs available for you to chose from and here’s the list as of this review (also they do allow you to request custom ISOs):

  • Arch Linux 64-bit
  • CentOS 6 64-bit Net Install
  • CentOS 7 64-bit Net Install
  • Cloud Linux 6 64-bit Full Install
  • Cloud Linux 7 64-bit Full Install
  • CoreOS 64-bit Net Install
  • Debian 8 32-bit Net Install
  • Debian 8 64-bit Net Install
  • Debian 9 64-bit Net Install
  • Fedora 29 64-bit Net Install
  • FreeBSD 11 64-bit Full Install
  • FreeBSD 12 64-bit Full Install
  • FreeNAS 11 64-bit Full Install
  • GParted 0.33 64-bit Live CD
  • Linux Mint 19 64-bit
  • Mikrotik RouterOS 6.4
  • Scientific Linux 7 64-bit Net Install
  • SmartOS 64-bit
  • System Rescue CD
  • Turnkey Linux Core 64-bit Net Install
  • Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop 64-bit Full Install
  • Ubuntu 16.04 Server 64-bit Full Install
  • Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop 64-bit Full Install
  • Ubuntu 18.04 Server 64-bit Full Install
  • VMware ESXi 6.7 64-bit
  • Vyatta 6.6 64-bit
  • NTPasswd Windows Password Recovery Tool
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition Trial 64-bit
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition Trial 64-bit
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition Trial 64-bit
  • Windows Server 2019 Stanadard Edition Trial 64-bit

I mounted their Debian 9 ISO, rebooted, and opened up their VNC console to install Debian. Once I was up and running with the VPS I was really impressed with the performance along with the network in their Virginia location. Everything just feels fast and cpu-passthrough was enabled so features like aes and vmx were available.

When I tried testing out IPv6 I noticed it wasn’t working so I opened a low priority support ticket and I was amazed that they responded and fixed the problem in 1 hour and 3 minutes which I thought was fantastic for a low priority support ticket. Their support responses were also very friendly.

After messing around with my new Smarthost VPS for a week or so I decided I wanted to upgrade it a little bit so I went to their Upgrade/Downgrade page and selected the upgrades I wanted, paid the invoice, and received my upgrades instantly which was great.

Smarthost's upgrade/downgrade ordering page
Here’s the upgrade/downgrade ordering page for Smarthost’s NVMe SSD KVM VPSes

So far I’ve been extremely impressed with Smarthost and I’m glad that I decided to try them out instead of just passing them by. I really love the locations they have, the performance of their NVMe VPS line, how easy the upgrade process is and how you can customize/build your VPS. Their support was really great when I had that IPv6 issue I needed fixed. I would certainly recommend them to anyone looking to try out a new VPS host and especially if you’re looking for a Virginia or East Coast VPS! I’ll update this review in the future if I have anything to note or encounter any issues.

Here’s some benchmarks I ran on my Smarthost NVMe SSD KVM VPS:


Geekbench4 Benchmark Results:

Serverscope Benchmark Results:

Benchmark started on Tue Jun  4 07:50:20 EDT 2019
Full benchmark log: /home/nick/bench.log

System Info
Processor : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2670 0 @ 2.60GHz
CPU Cores : 1
Frequency : 2599.998 MHz
Memory : 1995 MB
Swap :  MB
Uptime : 11 min,

OS : Debian GNU/Linux 9
Arch : x86_64 (64 Bit)
Kernel : 4.19.0-0.bpo.5-amd64
Hostname : linuxandcaffeine

Speedtest (IPv4 only)
Your public IPv4 is x.x.x.x

Location Provider Speed
CDN Cachefly 110MB/s

Atlanta, GA, US Coloat 69.9MB/s 
Dallas, TX, US Softlayer 44.0MB/s 
Seattle, WA, US Softlayer 23.3MB/s 
San Jose, CA, US Softlayer 26.9MB/s 
Washington, DC, US Softlayer  52.0MB/s 

Tokyo, Japan Linode 12.8MB/s 
Singapore  Softlayer 8.07MB/s 

Rotterdam, Netherlands 8.51MB/s
Haarlem, Netherlands Leaseweb 99.1MB/s 

Disk Speed
I/O (1st run) : 812 MB/s
I/O (2nd run) : 886 MB/s
I/O (3rd run) : 904 MB/s
Average I/O : 867.333 MB/s

Running speedtest-cli:

nick@linuxandcaffeine:~$ speedtest-cli
Retrieving configuration...
Testing from Psychz Networks (x.x.x.x)...
Retrieving server list...
Selecting best server based on ping...
Hosted by Frontier (Ashburn, VA) [6.10 km]: 9.394 ms
Testing download speed................................................................................
Download: 917.90 Mbit/s
Testing upload speed....................................................................................................
Upload: 738.87 Mbit/s

The CPU on my Smarthost Virginia VPS:

nick@linuxandcaffeine:~$ sudo cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 45
model name : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2670 0 @ 2.60GHz
stepping : 7
microcode : 0x1
cpu MHz : 2599.998
cache size : 16384 KB
physical id : 0
siblings : 1
core id : 0
cpu cores : 1
apicid : 0
initial apicid : 0
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 13
wp : yes
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon rep_good nopl xtopology cpuid tsc_known_freq pni pclmulqdq vmx ssse3 cx16 pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx hypervisor lahf_lm pti ssbd ibrs ibpb stibp tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid tsc_adjust xsaveopt arat
bugs : cpu_meltdown spectre_v1 spectre_v2 spec_store_bypass l1tf mds
bogomips : 5199.99
clflush size : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes : 46 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

hdparm Disk Reads:

nick@linuxandcaffeine:~$ sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/vda1
[sudo] password for nick:

Timing cached reads: 18106 MB in 1.99 seconds = 9084.34 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 1232 MB in 3.00 seconds = 410.37 MB/sec

An assortment of IOPing tests:

nick@linuxandcaffeine:~$ ioping . -c 10
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=1 time=243.4 us (warmup)
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=2 time=488.1 us
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=3 time=413.4 us
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=4 time=454.2 us
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=5 time=400.3 us
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=6 time=471.6 us
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=7 time=423.4 us
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=8 time=463.6 us
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=9 time=364.1 us (fast)
4 KiB <<< . (ext4 /dev/vda1): request=10 time=483.9 us (slow)

--- . (ext4 /dev/vda1) ioping statistics ---
9 requests completed in 3.96 ms, 36 KiB read, 2.27 k iops, 8.87 MiB/s
generated 10 requests in 9.00 s, 40 KiB, 1 iops, 4.44 KiB/s
min/avg/max/mdev = 364.1 us / 440.3 us / 488.1 us / 39.9 us
nick@linuxandcaffeine:~$ sudo ioping -RL /dev/vda

--- /dev/vda (block device 21 GiB) ioping statistics ---
7.07 k requests completed in 2.97 s, 1.73 GiB read, 2.38 k iops, 595.4 MiB/s
generated 7.07 k requests in 3.00 s, 1.73 GiB, 2.36 k iops, 589.0 MiB/s
min/avg/max/mdev = 258.5 us / 419.9 us / 5.74 ms / 216.8 us
nick@linuxandcaffeine:~$ sudo ioping -R /dev/vda

--- /dev/vda (block device 21 GiB) ioping statistics ---
17.0 k requests completed in 2.95 s, 66.3 MiB read, 5.75 k iops, 22.5 MiB/s
generated 17.0 k requests in 3.00 s, 66.3 MiB, 5.66 k iops, 22.1 MiB/s
min/avg/max/mdev = 122.5 us / 173.9 us / 4.03 ms / 114.7 us

Thank you for checking out my review of Smarthost’s NVMe SSD KVM VPS! If you’re interested in purchasing a VPS from Smarthost and if this review helped you out, please consider using my affiliate link for Smarthost by clicking here.

Do you have a certain benchmark or test you want me to try on a Smarthost NVMe SSD KVM VPS? Then please leave me a comment below and I’ll see what I can do!

Image Credit: The featured image used for this Smarthost review was photographed by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

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