Canaca - 20 GB web space for $7.95 a month
I've hosted 2 sites with Canaca since 8/2005. I was lured in by the huge space (10 GB) for under $10 / month.
I read a few reviews where people say payments are deducted from accounts without notice or asking. I read that people felt that the 99.9% uptime label is not accurate. Unfortunately I have to confirm that there were multiple outages especially in 2004. It seems they got a bit better now in 2005.
They are definitely weak in their customer support meaning they respond slowly, and they do not have the most knowledgable staff. I requested them to add a perl module and I think it took them 2 weeks!
They would try something and ask me if it worked now, I try and it doesn't work. I mail them back 'no', and they try something else, ask me again.. you get the picture. Good intentions but at least in that case they didn't know what they were doing.
For your information, an experienced administrator would've installed that module in 5 minutes! Well we all are learning, so I will not be too harsh, and hopefully they knew from then on for the next customer how to solve that particular issue.
It boils down to how good their staff is, and if you pay only $7.95 / month for web space that would cost $15 or $20 elsewhere, then you cannot expect top-notch people taking care of your issues.
Outages because they upgrade servers are a similar issue. From 8 years of having web sites hosted, I know that all hosting companies from time to time upgrade servers or move accounts from one machine to another machine. The question is how smooth is this transaction? With some hosting companies you will not notice anything is going on. With Canaca, you will notice for sure.
I use a web monitoring company to probe my sites every 60 minutes and they send me an email every time there's a new outage. A friend of mine uses the same service and she had so many outages on her Canaca hosted site that they wanted to close her account. They would not refund until she threatened to post reviews on her experience.
The upside is that they are hopefully learning and keeping their engineering staff (happy, so that they don't switch jobs).
I can definitely recommend Canaca to host personal sites - I use it for a family photo album and it's 10GB space are great.
At this time (06/2005) I would still not recommend Canaca to host a business site. Maybe they are better when you rent a whole server from them. My review is talking about their silver plan which now offers 20 GB web space for $7.95 a month!