Please note that Locaweb has been discontinued and is no longer available. You can read our old review of Locaweb below, or check out the rest of the Web Hosting Services we've reviewed.
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Locaweb is not one of the most well-known names in the web hosting industry, and it is easy to see why. With over-priced plans that are only designed to suit a small sector of the market, there is not much here to persuade you to part with your money. Although some customers may be tempted by the promise of 'unlimited' bandwidth and disk space, they can do better by shopping elsewhere.
The first thing you will notice about Locaweb is the cost - compared to most shared plans, the company's four hosting packages are expensive. The 'Premium' plan, for instance, costs almost $90 per month, and offers little more functionality than plans that elsewhere retail for a tenth of the price! Small incentives such as the free domain name for the first year are just that - small - in comparison to the huge sums you could be spending on what is essentially quite unimpressive hosting. For these reasons, Locaweb probably rates as the worst-value host we have come across.
You might think that such heavy prices indicated a high quality of service. However, as you progress through the four plans, there is very little to distinguish between them, and certainly not enough to justify the leap in costs. Given that 'Professional 2' is nearly twice the price of 'Professional 1', it would be reasonable to expect twice as much. However, although you can make use of twice as many email accounts and host twice as many domains, the differences end here. Such differences are also fairly meaningless. Few customers of shared hosting will ever utilize 500 domain names, nor are they ever likely to need 300 email accounts. If your needs ever grow to this level, you are likely to upscale to VPS or dedicated hosting, which Locaweb do not provide, but which elsewhere can retail for similar prices as Locaweb's shared plans. The extra services that the high plans on offer here can provide are therefore effectively useless. Despite this, the company recommends its 'Professional 2' plan, though it is difficult to see why, and it seems to be just another effort to persuade you to pay more than you really need to.
The company's support package is mediocre. Although it offers the complete set of options for direct contact, including email, live chat and telephone, its telephone lines are only staffed during the day, making it difficult for customers to fit in calls between working hours. The online section, whilst present, is also somewhat inadequate. While Locaweb's technical support isn't disastrous, it is certainly less than you would expect at these costs.
It is difficult to see why anybody would be persuaded to hand over their money to Locaweb. Despite quite reasonable specifications and adequate functionality, its sky-high prices make it an unrealistic option for any shared hosting customer on a budget. However, if you like what you see and want to know where to get something similar for a tenth of the cost, check out our Top 10.
Please note that Locaweb has now been discontinued.