Let’s begin with a mea culpa. We’ve been wrong on a few all-you-can-eat deals over the years including the CloudAtCost switcheroo, the Google Voice fiasco, and a few other cloud provider implosions. But our overall track record has been pretty good over the past decade, and today we have some fresh deals that are worth a careful look. We, of course, would encourage everyone to perform their own due diligence and at least acknowledge the cautionary note: "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Having said that, these are all deals that we continue to use and to rely upon as this is written.
Free Oracle Cloud Hosting for Life
We’ve previously written about the free Oracle Cloud hosting deal so we won’t dwell on it here other than to provide a link that will show you how to sign up and use the Oracle Cloud to host your Incredible PBX servers for life at no cost, up to four of them. Here’s the link.
Domain Names at Cost
There are lots of sources to acquire domain names whether you need one or dozens. But nobody comes close to matching Spaceship pricing across the board. Here are some examples: .com for $8.80/year, .org and .net for $9.80, .us for $6.48, and .uk for $5.23.
VPN Unlimited for Life
Whether you use a VPN for anonymous protection while surfing the web or for access to premium movie services while visiting countries that block some services, a lifetime VPN subscription is a worthy investment. In this case, waiting for the deal to come along is worth a little patience. Our favorite lifetime service is VPN Unlimited which, as recently as November 2021 was selling for $18. Today it’s $199.99. Two weeks ago it was $99. There are numerous VPN for Life services but, if you stray from VPN Unlimited, we would encourage you to sign up for a one month plan to be sure it meets your needs in terms of performance and reliability with services such as Netflix. In the alternative, make frequent visits to LowEndTalk, LowEndSpirit, and StackSocial and await the next deal. It won’t be very long.
Unlimited Music Streaming Services
Perhaps the greatest blessing for parents was the arrival of unlimited streaming music services which all but eliminated the risk of being sued or prosecuted for music piracy. If you have a kid in college, the best deal on the planet is Spotify’s 4-year, $4.99 a month plan which provides access to their entire music catalog as well as a Hulu subscription. While you only get one stream at a time, lucky parents will soon discover that their listening hours rarely conflict with the waking hours of college students.
For Amazon Prime subscribers, Amazon has recently sweetened their music deal with Amazon Music Prime which provides free streaming access to 100 million songs. You can build playlists and so long as you stream them in Shuffle mode, Amazon will play all of your playlist selections before injecting any other content. Quite a deal.
Unlimited Home Internet Service
If you’ve grown weary of Comcast, Spectrum, and WOW regularly moving their pricing goalposts, you’ll be pleased to learn that both T-Mobile and Verizon now offer Home Internet Service with no data caps. We actually use T-Mobile’s offering in two locations so the first costs $30 a month with a Magenta Max cell plan and the second costs $50 a month, still a deal compared to the cable companies. Even in remote areas, we’ve found the download speeds to be quite reasonable at 200+ Mbps. And, with T-Mobile, the price is guaranteed for life. With Verizon and a qualifying cell plan, the monthly cost is $25 a month with a 2-year price guarantee. Both will partially cover early termination fees from your previous cable provider.
Lifetime Cloud Storage Services
We would be the first to warn you that lifetime cloud offerings can be a slippery slope simply because the provider’s monthly costs never go down. So long as their subscription model provides more revenue than their cost of doing business, they will probably stay around. Once the math changes, your investment AND your data goes down the toilet along with the provider. Having said that, we’ve signed up with pCloud which has been in business for a decade and boasts a subscriber base of 16 million users. Their lifetime 2TB Individual Plan provides 2TB of storage and 2TB of monthly download bandwidth for $399. Their 500GB Individual Plan provides 500GB of storage with 500GB of monthly download bandwidth for $199. Both plans include a PUBLIC folder (ours is here) in which you can store files with download links that are accessible anonymously using web browsers, wget, and curl. All of their monthly and lifetime plans include a 10-day money-back guarantee. Rave reviews are available from numerous sources using a Google search for pcloud reviews.
On the other end of the usability spectrum is the first provider we tried, Internxt. We bought their 1TB lifetime offering for €99.00, and it’s no longer available. Instead, they now offer a 2TB lifetime plan for $299 or a 5TB plan for $499. The gotcha with Internxt is their crippled download service. It only supports downloads using a web browser. Wget and curl downloads all fail with their support staff professing surprise or ignoring support requests. Steer clear!
Lifetime Email Hosting for BYO Domains
Email hosting is something that most of us take for granted, either because we have a free service from Google or Microsoft or because our Internet provider provides "free" email accounts. The old adage that you’re being penny-wise and pound-foolish seems particularly appropriate here. Your email service is a key critical component particularly if you’re in business. Our solution and the one we recommend is the MXroute Lifetime Plan for $199. With it, you can host unlimited domains and unlimited email accounts with a storage limit of 10GB and 300 outbound emails per hour. They have awesome tutorials to help you get started.
Originally published: Tuesday, May 23, 2023
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Special Thanks to Vitelity. Vitelity is now Voyant Communications and has halted new registrations for the time being. Our special thanks to Vitelity for their unwavering financial support over many years and to the many Nerd Vittles readers who continue to enjoy the benefits of their service offerings. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.