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In all likelihood, my cat would be lovely if it wasn’t for one small caveat: he’s trying to kill me. He claws my eyelids at 4am, bites my feet whenever in range, and he once managed to kick a precariously placed queen-sized mattress into my face.


Worst of all: he’s slowly attempting to drown me in cat fur. It. Gets. Everywhere. Specifically, it sheds all across my house’s carpet, a mess that no vacuum I’ve had before has been able to easily clean.

Enter, the Shark IZ202UK, a flexible cordless vacuum cleaner equipped with anti-hair wrap technology designed to easily remove pet hair from any surface.

Could this device finally end my embarrassing cat hair dilemma? Would it be powerful enough to clean up other kinds of household dirt too? And did it have enough battery power to clean my entire home in one go? I spent four months with the IZ202UK to find out.


At 4.7kg, the Shark IZ202UK is not the lightest cordless vacuum cleaner on the market (for comparison, the Gtech Multi Mk2 comes in at 1.5kg) – I had to use two hands to move it around. But it’s still remarkably easy to use and glides effortlessly even through thick carpets.

The mostly plastic and metal casing feels remarkably sturdy and, as vacuum cleaners go, looks very stylish.

While extending to 180cm, the IZ202UK folds down to a height of 69cm when not in use. For easy storage, the device is self-supporting when folded, meaning it can stand upright without the need to lean on anything else.

The IZ202UK comes with two attachments: the main anti-hair wrap motorised head, and a small non-motorised head for corners and narrow spots.

Battery life

While other cordless vacuums struggle with a short battery life, the IZ202UK went for a maximum of 45 minutes during my tests through a mostly carpeted house.

This gave me more than enough time to clean everything – even with my partner insisting on re-doing some perfectly clean areas just to “make sure” (with tempers subsided on the issue, we’ve since agreed this was a good idea and not a complete and unnecessary waste of time).

Better still, after four months, the battery life has still not waned and I’ve yet had to charge mid-clean. When needed to charge, the process takes three and a half hours, a time comparable to other cordless vacuums with a much smaller battery life.


Despite its weight, the IZ202UK was a brilliantly balanced vacuum that glided across soft and hard floors. And, most importantly, it worked astonishingly well at cleaning up pet hair.

Even when cat fur or dust wasn’t visible on the floor, the IZ202UK was still able to suck up a terrifyingly large amount of dirt and hair even when not using the most powerful setting.

Despite collecting mounds of fur across four months, the device has never clogged up, thanks to the motorised anti-hair head – its soft roller comb cleans itself, catching hairs before they can wrap around the roller.

Best of all, the vacuum comes with a power trigger to give you a boost when getting through hard-to-clean messes. Not only is it incredibly useful, but I’m ashamed to admit how much it made me feel like James Bond as I cleaned up biscuit crumbs pressed into the carpet.

The IZ202UK is also brilliantly flexible. The main shaft or ‘wand’ of the vacuum is foldable, bending enough for me to clean under the sofas without getting on my hands and knees. The bright white LED lights on top of the motorised head also helped illuminate dirt in any dark spots.

Despite performing strongly in almost all areas, this vacuum comes with two key drawbacks. Firstly: the sound. When on carpet mode and with the power trigger on, the IZ202UK makes a heck of a noise (80 decibels, according to Shark), much louder than other cordless and corded cleaners I’ve used in the past. While this was often a plus for me (it kept the cat out of my way), those living with thin walls may risk annoying the neighbours if used often.

The second downside of the IZ202UK is a problem of its own making: thanks to the device’s power, its collection bin fills up too quickly. While I’ve never had to stop mid-clean to charge, I do often have to halt to empty the sizeable 700ml capacity bin due to all the dirt the device is able to pick up.

This does slow down the cleaning process, but ultimately it’s not a terrible drawback. Regularly emptying the device’s bin allowed me to appreciate just how much dirt and hair the device could remove – and how much cleaner my house was becoming. And, at the risk of sounding like I have a very problematic relationship with a vacuum cleaner, I still feel genuinely grateful and shocked every time I empty the IZ202UK.


Calling all pet owners who think their house is reasonably fur-free: the cordless Shark IZ202UK is here to prove just how dirty your home is. With two floor surface settings and a trigger for extra power, this small but impressively potent cleaner can suck up dirt and hair not visible to the human eye. Better still, with its motorised anti-hair roller, this vacuum will stay tangle-free.

Combine that with an impressive 40-minute battery life, a flexible shaft for under-sofa cleaning and an LED light head, this device pulls off a performance to rival most high-powered cordless vacuums.

The IZ202UK is certainly not without negatives. When at full power, it’s one of the nosiest cordless vacuums available to buy – earplugs may be necessary for some. And while its solid performance represents value for money, the IZ202UK’s high price point will make it only affordable for many during sale season.

But its biggest drawback is also its greatest strength: after just one use of this vacuum, you’ll likely be terrified to learn just how much hair is hidden across your carpets.

Alternatives Tower T527000 handheld vacuum cleaner

Small, cheap, nimble, and with powerful suction, the Tower T527000 is a convenient cleaner for small messes, cobwebs and your main vacuum device.

The device comes with two fittings that can be attached to the standard nozzle, including a ‘crevice’ fitting that can help clean those awkward corners.

With a limited battery size (20 minutes total) and small 200ml capacity dust chamber, it won’t be able to clean much more than spot messes – it will need several breaks to get through your entire house. But as a handheld lightweight dust buster with little-to-no set-up required, the Tower does its job well.

Gtech Multi Mk2

Easy to use, the Gtech Multi Mk2 is a lightweight solution for clean-ups and tackling hard-to-reach spots. Despite weighing 1.5kg, this vacuum is still brilliantly portable, capable of tackling hard floors, carpets and car upholstery.

Just don’t expect to get through all that in one go, though: with only 20 minutes of battery life, it’s unlikely to clean your entire home and car without needing to charge (which can take up to four hours).

However, combining power, versatility, and convenience, the Gtech Multi Mk2 makes for a useful a cleaning companion for those in smaller household. A mean, lean cleaning machine if we ever saw one.

Bosch Unlimited 7

Live in a hard floor apartment with plenty of under-furniture areas prone to collecting crumbs and dust? The Bosch Unlimited 7 could make a powerful ally.

While struggling with thick rugs and carpets, this super flexible and portable vacuum contains enough suction to effectively clean wooden or tiled surfaces. And it has the battery power to do it all in one go: set to ‘eco mode’, you’ll get 40 minutes of use (with 12 minutes in turbo mode).

Powerful LED lights on the Unlimited 7’s head also make it easy to see any dirt on the floor, while a hook on the device’s rear makes it easy to store on a shelving unit.

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Xiaomi Robot Vacuum X10+ Review


Automatic hands-free cleaning

2.5l water tanks

Customisable clean-ups


Large charging base

3D mapping limited

Hard to move after set-up

Our Verdict

The Xiaomi X10+ makes automated hands-free cleaning a reality, but you’ll need a tidy and spacious home to make the most of this tech.  

The X10+ is not yet available to buy in the US or the UK – unless you’re able to find a retailer that has imported it. It will become more widely available in the coming months.

Xiaomi may have called the X10+ a robot vacuum, but, in reality, it is more of an automatic, hands-free floor cleaning system.

What does this actually mean?

Once you set up the X10+, all you need to do is periodically refill the clean water tank, empty the dirty water tank, and change the disposable bag. The X10+ does everything else.

There are caveats to this. As with all robot vacuums, particularly those that mop, you need a fair amount of clear floor space to make it worthwhile. If your home is cluttered, it’s not going to work. Likewise, if your ground floor is a carve-up with different flooring heights and a step or two between rooms, you’ll get less from it.

But if you have a neat, orderly, and fairly open-plan home, with a decent amount of hard flooring, the X10+ will take a lot of regular floor maintenance tasks off your hands.     

Let’s see what you get.

What’s in the box?

The first thing you notice is that the box is heavy: over 11kg, or 28lbs, so be prepared for that. Most of this weight, a good 8.3kg of it, is the white plastic Omni station, which is the charging base and holds the two 2.5l water tanks, the 2.5l disposable dust bag, and the cleaning tray.  

There are two buttons on the front: one for power and to start a clean, and another to dock and set the child lock, and an indicator to show charging status, errors, or the Wi-Fi status. Under the cover of the robot, there’s a reset button, dust compartment and Wi-Fi indicator.  


Choose a location before setup

QR code for quick start

3D mapping

However, once you place the Omni station, put the robot in to charge and fill the clean water tank, you can’t move it from this point, and as the mopping facility relies on the robot drawing water from the station tank, you can’t really take the robot to another floor to mop.

So, if you are looking for a mopping robot that you can move between floors of your home, you might want to think about a robot with a clip-in tank. 

Then it’s time to connect to Wi-Fi. Download the Xiaomi app (the QR code is in both the manual and the quick start guide) and set up your profile. Then you add the device and follow the instructions on your phone. We found this process simple and straightforward, although if you are not that tech-savvy, you might need additional help. 

You then get a prompt to create the quick map. This is where the robot vacuum uses its LDS and line laser sensors to generate a map of your floor, which forms the basis for its cleaning manoeuvring. The mapping feature is impressive; it also generates 3D mapping, but our experience was that it didn’t put in obstacles, so it seemed a little pointless. At this point, you can adjust the map, relabel rooms, set virtual walls and restricted areas.      

Alex Greenwood / Foundry

Then it’s time to start cleaning.


4 suction levels (up to 4000Pa)

2.5cm climbing ability but can be hit and miss

Noisy auto-emptying

You get four suction levels with the X10+: silent, standard, strong and turbo, which makes the most of the 4000Pa suction. We did our first test on standard, and felt we needed something stronger for our dust and crumbs. Strong seemed to work for our floor with the majority being hard flooring, both tile and engineered wood, with an additional small, carpeted room. For pet dander on carpet, you’d probably need to rely on turbo, although this still won’t pull out years of vacuuming neglect from your carpet.

You can set the robot to vacuum the whole floor, a particular room or set of rooms or a certain zone within a room. We were puzzled at first as the in-app “pause” button has been mislabelled “paused”, which makes you think the cleaning has stopped when it hasn’t. Cue: repetitive pressing of the pause button, trying to un-pause a non-paused cleaning programme, which confused the robot no end.

The robot appears to vacuum the edges of the room, as far as it is able, and then ladders up and down the centre of the floor. On occasion, it struggled to cross a boundary height change of 2.5cm, but then later managed it with no problem. Nevertheless, the robot consistently covered 47m2 in 59mins, and you can watch the progress on the map in real-time.    

Be warned though: the auto-emptying is loud and sounds a bit like a jet engine. Thankfully, it doesn’t last long.


There are three water settings: low, medium, and high. High is very much a light mop, with medium being more of a damp dust. We couldn’t discern much from the low water level at all, and the medium level didn’t lift significant dirt scuffs from tiles, although the high level did.

Alex Greenwood / Foundry

Like most mopping robot vacuums, the mopping function is really designed for daily maintenance of floors, rather than a weekly deep clean. You will need to use a conventional mop with hot water and soap to shift significant dirt or grime.

You can also set the robot to vacuum and mop at the same time. We found that this setting provoked the robot to return to base for an exchange of water and took approximately one minute per m2.  

Other features

Roughly 2 hours of vacuuming time

Good navigation and obstacle avoidance

Custom cleaning available

Xiaomi states that the X10+ has about two hours of life in its 520mAh battery, and we found this to be accurate. The X10+ also seemed to navigate temporary obstructions quite well, such as a toy left on the floor or the change of the position of a chair. 

You can also set a custom mode for your cleaning sessions, selecting a specific suction, water level, action, and cleaning pattern for each room, and the order in which the robot should tackle each room. There’s also a deep cleaning setting for dirtier floors, where the robot will return to clean the mop pad more frequently to prevent cross-contamination. Again, you can also schedule clean-ups, set Do No Disturb parameters, and connect the robot to Alexa or Google Assistant. 

The X10+ robot vacuum takes automated floor cleaning to the next level.


The X10+ robot vacuum takes automated floor cleaning to the next level, and if you have the right kind of home, it will keep your floors dust- and crumb-free without you having to think about it. That kind of freedom from chores is quite a remarkable liberation. With the X10+, you don’t even have to fill, load and empty a clip-in tank or wash the pad after a mopping session. You simply open the app and press start.

That said, to make the most of the X10+, you are going to need a fairly minimalist interior set-up. The X10+ will give you a perfectly vacuumed expanse of carpet, almost zen in its smoothness, but you are going to need that clear expanse of carpet in the first place, no matter how clever this robot may be in identifying temporary obstacles. 

We, however, liked it. A lot.

For more robot vacuum cleaner options, have a look at our round-up of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested.     

Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case Review: A Great Keyboard Solution For Ipad Pro Owners

The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Pro is a great solution for those of you who are heavy typers.

Because this keyboard case, unlike Apple’s Smart Keyboard, fully surrounds the iPad Pro when closed, it actually saves you money to go with Logitech’s offering over Apple’s Smart Keyboard + Silicone Case combo.

Of course, the protection elements offered by the Logitech Create are mere side points to the main questions: How does this keyboard perform for typers? Can I use the Logitech Create to type long-form content, or is it primarily suited for quick text outbursts? How does it fair when attempting to lap type? These are concerns that anyone who’s interested in doing real work with the iPad Pro will have.

The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case isn’t without a few downsides, but for those of you primarily concerned with having a serviceable keyboard available at all times, it’s a very good option that’s worthy of your consideration.

Heft and looks

Let’s just get my main gripe out of the way. The Logitech Create is a hefty keyboard case that adds some significant weight and thickness to an already heavy and sizable iPad Pro. If you’re looking for the most svelte setup, then you definitely want to stick to Apple’s Smart Keyboard offering, or better yet, become adept to using the excellent software keyboard offered with the Pro.

But the heft does mean that the Logitech Create offers adequate protection from the elements, and at the same time, it functions as a full-fledged typing machine that’s ready to go as long as your iPad has a charge.

I’m not a huge fan of the faux aluminum surface that surrounds the keyboard, and I don’t like the breaks in the material that are nonexistent with Apple’s unibody hardware, but those are just aesthetic complaints that have no real bearing on the keyboard’s functionality when it comes to typing. In this case, it’s definitely substance over style, and although it’s fairly unremarkable with regard to looks, it isn’t exactly ugly.

Unboxing and securing

I have to be honest and say that I went into this review expecting to dislike the Logitech Create. Its looks and its heft gave me immediate doubts right after its unboxing, and placing the iPad Pro into the case itself didn’t exactly instill confidence in me.

Getting the iPad Pro into the Logitech Create requires you to snap the corners of the iPad underneath two tabs that lock it into place. It’s not the prettiest method for securing my $949 tablet, and at first glance, it almost seems like it would be a bit insecure, but it works. At no time did I feel like my iPad Pro might slip out of the case, as the fit is tight, even if it doesn’t seem so at first glance.


Once the iPad Pro is secured into the Logitech Create, it’s just a matter of raising the iPad, and placing it on the magnetic strip that rests right above the keyboard’s iOS-centric shortcut keys. Right in the center of the magnetic strip is a metal connector featuring three dots. These align directly to Apple’s new Smart Connector found on the iPad Pro.

The Smart Connector is the two-way interface that allows the iPad Pro to supply power to the keyboard, and receive input from the keyboard. It means that you no longer have to worry about charging the keyboard itself, and that means no unsightly cables, or dead peripherals at the most inopportune times.

The Smart Connector also means that connections are instant. There’s no cumbersome pairing process—you simply rest the iPad Pro on the magnetic strip, and start typing.

One of the main benefits of this keyboard over other keyboard offerings, is that its keys are backlit. Even Apple’s own Smart Keyboard features non-backlit keys. If you do a lot of typing in dark settings, then this may, by default, stir you in the direction of the Logitech Create.

The keyboard

Ultimately, though, it’s all about typing, and everything else should play second fiddle to that fact. If the typing experience is bad, then the entire effort is essentially worthless.

So, how does the Logitech Create perform when typing?

I’m happy to report that the tying experience is better than average. It’s very MacBook Pro-esque. It features significant key travel for a chiclet keyboard, and it’s not far off from my 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display in this regard. I’d rate the Logitech Create’s key travel somewhere between a MacBook Pro and the recently released Magic Keyboard.

But one of the more unheralded aspects of any typing experience has to do with your palms and where they rest. On a MacBook, you have a significant area to rest your palms, but with a keyboard case, that is obviously less so. Still, I find that the Logitech Create features shallow, but ultimately workable, palm rest areas.

The Logitech Create features a row of iOS-centric hardware shortcuts for adjusting brightness, volume, controlling music, locking the screen, going back to Home, etc. There’s even shortcuts for controlling the keyboard backlight levels, although there are only two levels to speak of, not 16 like on the MacBook Pro.

Lap typing

One of the hardest things to get right when it comes to typing on an iPad, and trying to emulate the feel of a laptop, is lap typing. Many keyboard solutions, including Apple’s own, make it nearly impossible to do proper lap typing. You usually run the risk of your iPad falling over and out of your lap, potentially damaging your device, or it’s just not reasonably comfortable.

I’m happy to report that lap typing is not only doable with the Logitech Create, but it’s actually good. In fact, I wrote this entire review with the iPad Pro sitting in my lap. The keyboard, key travel, palm rest, and viewing angle all contributed in some way to the positive experience.

Speaking of viewing angle, there is only one, which is an obvious downside. I’m fairly sure that Logitech extensively tested the optimal viewing angle, and settled on one that works for the majority of users. Yet, I understand that the viewing angle might not be comfortable for everyone.


The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case is a bit on the bulky side, and the way the iPad Pro fits into the case feels a bit odd, but there’s no denying the value that you get from this product.

Not only does it provide what may arguably be the best external keyboard solution for the iPad Pro, but it fully protects your iPad from the elements. This case doesn’t require batteries or recharging, features great key travel, includes hardware keyboard shortcuts, allows lap typing, and features a serviceable palm rest area.

Yes, it’s bulky and makes a somewhat unwieldy products even more so, but it’s also a great value. At $149, you get a great keyboard and a case that will fully protect your iPad. If you’re a heavy typer who owns an iPad Pro, then you should definitely check out the Logitech Create before settling for any other option.

Dser Robogeek 20T Review: Robot Vacuum With Everything You Need

The first reason robot vacuum cleaners pull on you and force you to consider buying one is the basic thought that it takes one of your chores away. But what makes you give a robot vacuum a second look is when it can give you what you need in a floor cleaner while also cleaning your floors effectively, such as the dser RoboGeek 20T

The RoboGeek includes things not found on other vacuums in its price range, such as an onboard holder for the remote. And still, it goes back to basics and cleans your floors well, and that’s what makes you glad that you gave it more than just two looks.

Introducing the RoboGeek 20T Robot Vacuum Cleaner

If you’re just starting out with robotic vacuums, the dser RoboGeek 20T makes a fantastic choice. It will give you everything you’re looking for in a first robot vacuum. It’s easy to use, will clean independently, and will do a great job.

As with many robot vacuum cleaners, it works on most flooring. That’s always important to me, as most of my flooring is either laminated or tile. I only have carpeting in my bedroom. And at nearly 20 years old, that’s on its way out later this year as well. But the RoboGeek 20T does a great job keeping it clean in the meantime.

Setting Up the dser RoboGeek 20T

Inside the box, it comes with the vacuum itself, a remote, side brushes, the charging dock, a filter, a cleaning brush, and boundary tape. It also comes with cable ties for you to tie up your loose cords and get them out of the way of the vacuum.

To prepare to use the vacuum for the first time, plug the adapter into the charging dock and place it against the wall. You want to have it on a flat surface and against the wall, with at least six feet in front of it and three feet on either side. Just to show dser truly thinks of everything, there is even a spot in the base where you can store the extra length of cord after you plug it into the wall.

You will need to install the side brushes on the bottom of the vacuum. You will only need two. The others are extra. They simply snap onto the bottom. This is standard in most robot vacuum cleaners. While it’s upside down, activate the vacuum by turning the switch on.

To charge the RoboGeek vacuum, place it in the charging dock, making sure the contacts on the dock match up with the ones underneath the vacuum. You will hear a series of tones when it matches up correctly.

The remote fits nicely in the top of the charger while it awaits use. The button will blink orange while it’s charging. Once it’s ready to go, it will turn blue.

Using the dser RoboGeek 20T

Press the power button on the top of the vacuum to wake the vacuum and take it out of standby mode. Press it a second time to start cleaning. Alternatively, you can hit the “AUTO” button on the remote.

Before you start cleaning, you need to make sure everything is off the floor, and this is where the cable ties come in. You need to either put the boundary tape down where you don’t want the vacuum to go or block it off in some way. Personally, I just put physical barriers up after watching a different robot cleaner go down the stairs. They are designed to detect such things and to not do that, but if the contacts get dirty, they can fall.

There are multiple different modes for cleaning, and these are accessible through the remote. In all, when the vacuum reaches carpeting or a hard-to-clean patch of flooring, it will increase its suction. Note that in the picture above, the vacuum has not peeled the paint off the wood flooring. That is really tile that looks like that by design.

Auto cleaning: the vacuum will move independently around your home and clean the entire level it is placed on, switching directions as is warranted.

Spot cleaning: the vacuum will spiral outward in a three-foot diameter circle and then spiral back inward to intensely clean one area.

Edge cleaning: the vacuum will move around the edges of cabinets, furniture, etc., with its right edge and clean very close to the edge and in the corners.

Single room cleaning: the vacuum will intensely clean one room for thirty minutes if you close the door or block it off and place it in this mode.

Max cleaning: the vacuum cleans more deeply in this mode.

Manual cleaning: the vacuum will move about and clean by your direction only by pressing on the arrow keys and play and pause.

You can also set a schedule to have the dser RoboGeek vacuum the floors on its own at a scheduled time.

I found all cleaning modes to work as described and appreciated that there were a few more modes, unlike other robot vacuums I have used, such as max cleaning and single room cleaning. It worked well on my three different types of flooring: carpet, tile, and laminate.

For the Auto cleaning mode, the robot vacuum move in a specific direction until it about to reach the wall, then it turns and move in another direction. Unlike the higher end robot vacuum that maps out your house layout and move in a systematic manner, this vacuum moves in a random way.

Despite that, this dser robot vacuum is still able to pick up nearly everything that was on the floor — dirt, dust, and dog hair. If there was something larger on the floor, such as larger than a quarter, the vacuum would not pick it up, making it the same as other vacuums I have tried.

As promised, the vacuum slowed down when it reached an area that needed a deeper clean. I have either never had that before, or the slowness was never that dramatic of a difference for me to notice. This is a great feature. In fact, I found that it wouldn’t leave an area until it was clean. This is also something I have not found before. I would often grow frustrated waiting for the vacuum to go back to a spot I felt needed more care and would manually move the vacuum back there. But I never had to do that with the RoboGeek.

While the basic cleaning is the same as other robot vacuums in its price range, it’s the extras that make the dser RoboGeek shine. While the basic cleaning is the same, I didn’t have to move the vacuum on my own to cover the spots that needed a deeper clean. I did less work.

When the vacuum is through cleaning, it will return to its charger on its own. If it runs out of battery before it’s done, it will also return to its charger.

If there isn’t a clear path to the charger and it can’t “see” it, it will get confused and won’t be able to return. At that point you have to manually put it back in its charger. Really the only negative for me is that I have a hard time getting it back on the contacts the right way. Not that I struggle a long time with it, but I’m just never sure between the lights and the beeping if it’s on right, and there have been times where it wasn’t fully charged because of that.

Either way, you need to put it in standby mode when it’s done. Do this by holding down the power button until the power indicators turn off.

With the vacuum in standby mode, you’ll want to empty the dust bin. This is another place where the RoboGeek shines. With other vacuums you have to shake them or stick your fingers in them to get all the dirt out. But with the RoboGeek, after you slide the dust bin out, it opens up via a clamshell design to easily dump out the dirt.

There are also other tasks that must be done regularly to clean and maintain the robot vacuum. The filter, extractors, brushes, wheels, and sensors need to be cleaned and maintained.


The dser RoboGeek 20T robot vacuum is currently offered at $199.99, placing it mid-range. It’s a little higher priced than those budget unknown brands, but it’s lower than the cheapest iRobot Roomba.

Final Thoughts

Again, the dser RoboGeek 20T robot vacuum gives you everything you are looking for in a vacuum and does it all well. You will never feel like it has not cleaned your floors adequately. There are so many extras that it provides above other robot vacuums and just has that one nagging difficulty of lining it up on its charger.

For the price point of just under $200, you may be challenged to find a vacuum with so many extras. I was challenged to find an appropriate rating. As far as the basic cleaning function, it’s average, with with the extra modes, features, and accessories, it deserved a higher rating.

Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.

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11 Best Online Whiteboards For Brainstorming (2023 Review)

In the era of remote work and virtual learning, the demand for innovative and interactive online whiteboarding tools has skyrocketed. This article delves into the world of digital whiteboards, showcasing powerful platforms that facilitate planning, brainstorming, and real-time collaboration for students, teachers, and professionals alike.

Online whiteboards have emerged as a crucial resource for educators navigating remote learning environments. These versatile tools offer a digital alternative to the traditional blackboard, with features that enable users to draw, write, and visualize ideas in various colors and line thicknesses. Compatible with an array of devices, including tablets and smartphones, online whiteboards are easily incorporated into video conferences, making them indispensable for virtual classrooms.

In this article, we will explore the top online whiteboarding tools on the market. Our comprehensive analysis will assist you in identifying the ideal solution for your needs, whether you’re an educator, a professional, or simply seeking a dynamic and collaborative platform to bring your ideas to life.

If you’re on the hunt for an effective, user-friendly, and collaborative digital workspace, look no further than Canva’s Whiteboard tool. It’s a versatile platform that offers an expansive range of features and benefits that go beyond the traditional whiteboard. Let’s dive into what makes it stand out:

Unlimited Space: With Canva’s Whiteboard tool, you’re granted infinite space for your ideas to grow and flourish. It is perfect for those grand, ambitious projects where brainstorming plays a key role.

Extensive Content Library: One of the key assets of this tool is its access to Canva’s vast content library. From sticky notes to special whiteboard graphics, this tool provides a plethora of resources to make your sessions interactive and efficient.

Canva’s content library is packed to the brim with templates, example designs and various resources to help you quickly get started with a type of project that best matches your current requirements.

Real-time Collaboration: Canva’s Whiteboard tool brings your team together, wherever they may be in the world. The ability to view everyone’s activity through colorful cursors makes collaboration seamless and transparent.

Save and Share: The tool eliminates the fear of losing your work, as you can save, share, and download your whiteboard in your preferred format. This ensures your hard work and creative ideas are never lost and can be revisited anytime.

Accessible on Any Device: Canva’s Whiteboard tool can be used on any web browser, mobile, or desktop device, so you can work wherever inspiration strikes.

Rich Template Selection: The tool offers a multitude of free, customizable templates to kick-start your sessions, which saves time and provides a solid base to build upon.

To wrap it up, Canva’s Whiteboard tool is a comprehensive, collaborative, and intuitive platform that can cater to all your creative needs, from brainstorming sessions to complex project planning. If you value a visually pleasing, user-friendly, and collaborative tool, then Canva’s Whiteboard tool is definitely worth a try!

Pricing: It’s free! If you decide to sign up for their Premium version in the future, it will give you access to their premium design assets and additional tools.

FigJam is a collaborative whiteboarding tool created by Figma, a popular design platform known for its user-friendly interface and real-time collaboration features. It’s designed to help teams brainstorm, ideate, and collaborate on their projects effectively, whether they’re in the same room or working remotely.

Here’s a breakdown of what makes this tool stand out:

Canvas. The intuitive interface makes drawing, writing, and adding objects easy, fostering a creative environment for brainstorming sessions.

Toolbar. From drawing tools and text options to pre-made components like sticky notes and connectors, FigJam’s toolbar simplifies the creative process.

Collaboration. FigJam excels in real-time collaboration, enabling teams to work together seamlessly, whether they’re in the same room or miles apart.

As a FigJam user – you have access to more than 300 pre-made templates, designed for practically any purpose you can imagine, but specifically with a focus on brainstorming and general project management.

Version History. FigJam’s version history feature is a game-changer for tracking the evolution of ideas. It’s easy to revert to previous versions or compare changes over time, making it the perfect tool for refining and iterating on concepts.

Integration & Sharing. FigJam’s seamless integration with Figma’s design platform is a major selling point. Importing designs or components from Figma projects is a breeze, and the easy-to-use sharing options make it simple to grant view-only or editable access to others.

As a design enthusiast, I’ve had the opportunity to explore various online whiteboarding tools, and FigJam has left a lasting impression on me.

FigJam pricing: The Starter (free) plan includes 3 Figma and 3 FigJam files, unlimited personal files, unlimited collaborators, plugins, templates, mobile app, music player, and ready-made templates. The Pro plan is priced at $3 per editor/month billed annually or $5 month-to-month. This plan offers unlimited FigJam files, open sessions, sharing permissions, team libraries, audio conversations, voting, and is free for students and educators.

Mural is a highly versatile and feature-rich online whiteboarding tool that is perfect for collaborative brainstorming and planning tasks. With hundreds of templates for generating ideas and project planning, Mural is not for minimalists. However, it also offers a simple whiteboard option that can be used for personal tasks, and standard tools such as tables, text, images, shapes, icons, and drawing tools are available.

Here are some of the key features:

Templates. Mural offers hundreds of templates for generating ideas, analyzing problems, and developing projects.

Tools. Mural provides standard tools such as tables, images, shapes, icons, text, and drawing to create content on the board.

Facilitation functions. The facilitator can give rights to other users, set timers, arrange voting, and fix objects on the board.

Mural also features various facilitation superpowers, such as timer, summon participants, super lock, outline, and private mode, that make remote team meetings more engaging and productive.

Canvas options. Mural offers an infinite and resizable canvas with multiple areas for whiteboards, similar to Photoshop whiteboards, that can be rearranged and modified as needed.

Team tool. Mural allows users to create multiple “rooms” for their boards, each with different permissions to restrict access.

Integration: Mural integrates with Zapier, allowing users to create new tasks in their project management tools or create new Mural sticks based on submitted forms.

In summary, Mural is a powerful online whiteboarding tool that offers numerous features and templates to aid collaborative planning and brainstorming. With its team collaboration functionality, it is a perfect tool for remote teams looking to work together on projects and share ideas.

Mural pricing: The free plan includes three murals and unlimited members, all visual collaboration and facilitation features, a full template library, infinite and resizable canvas options, and quick diagramming features. The Team+ plan costs $9.99 per member per month billed annually or $12 per member per month billed monthly. It includes unlimited murals in your workspace and unlimited visitor access (viewing and editing).

Whimsical is another popular visual collaboration tool that offers a range of features for creating flowcharts, wireframes, mind maps, and sticky notes boards.

It is designed to be fast and user-friendly, allowing teams to communicate and collaborate visually with ease.

Some key features of Whimsical include:

Intuitive interface. Whimsical boasts a clean and straightforward interface, making it easy for users to create and edit visual elements without a steep learning curve.

Multiple visual tools. Whimsical supports various visual tools, including flowcharts for mapping out processes, wireframes for designing user interfaces, mind maps for brainstorming and organizing ideas, and sticky notes boards for gathering and clustering feedback.

Just a few of the use cases for Whimsical.

Templates. Whimsical offers a collection of templates to help users get started quickly with different types of visualizations, such as user flow diagrams, product roadmaps, and meeting agendas.

Sharing and exporting. Users can easily share their Whimsical boards with others using shareable links, and they can control access permissions for viewing or editing. Whimsical also supports exporting boards in various formats, such as PNG, JPEG, PDF, and SVG.

Integrations. While Whimsical doesn’t have as many integrations as some other visual collaboration tools, it does integrate with Slack, GitHub, and Notion, and you can even fetch designs from Figma and embed them directly into your Whimsical canvas.

Whimsical is an excellent choice for teams looking for a fast, easy-to-use tool to create and collaborate on a variety of visualizations.

Whimsical pricing: Starter ($0): The free plan offers limited items for getting started, unlimited members, up to 10 guests per file or folder, real-time collaboration, and two-factor authentication. Pro ($10 per editor/month billed annually or $12 billed monthly): This plan includes everything in the Starter plan, plus unlimited items per workspace, 10+ free guests per file or folder, priority support, and unlimited free viewers.

Nodebook is a powerful digital whiteboarding tool that allows you to create beautiful graphs with all your papers, files, notes, and links. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to keep an easy overview of their own thoughts and ideas, and it’s ideal for those who want to collaborate with others in real-time.

As someone who works remotely, I’ve tried many whiteboarding tools, but Nodebook is one of the best I’ve come across.

One of the great things about Nodebook is that it offers both public and private collections. This means that you have complete control over the visibility of your work and can share your collections with guests without them needing to sign up.

You can also discover what others are working on and what’s popular within the community, making it easier to collaborate and build on other people’s ideas.

Live collaboration is another key feature of Nodebook. All changes made to a collection are automatically synced up with the servers and updated live on other people’s screens, making it easy to work together in real-time. You can also manage your profile, work privately or publicly, and contribute to the whole community to build your reputation.

Nodebook pricing: It is completely free to use and you can donate to the project to support its development.

DoodleBoard is an all-in-one whiteboard with a variety of templates to choose from.

Whether you need to create a wireframe kit or a business model canvas, DoodleBoard has got you covered. With basic shapes, figures, and elements, you can transform your complex idea into a visual form of thinking that can be easily understood by others. You can even connect concepts with arrows and links, enriching your thinking even further.

But what makes DoodleBoard stand out from other apps is that it’s tailored specifically for visual thinking. Drawing is a skill that not everyone possesses, and most apps are not equipped to handle this kind of thinking. However, with DoodleBoard, you can take your visual thinking to the next level, even if you’re not an artist.

DoodleBoard also understands the challenges of visual thinking and has developed the app as a solution to these pain points. With its easy-to-use interface and a variety of templates, you can create visual aids for any situation, whether it’s a team decision matrix or an Ishikawa diagram.

DoodleBoard pricing: The project itself is currently in beta testing and is available for free to everyone. They do have plans to introduce a premium model in the future, but for the time being, the creators of this project are mostly looking for feedback.

Excalidraw is an open-source, lightweight, and user-friendly whiteboarding tool that allows users to create hand-drawn-like diagrams, sketches, and illustrations. It is designed to be simple and intuitive, making it easy for users to quickly create and share visual ideas with others.

Some key features of Excalidraw include:

Hand-drawn style. Excalidraw offers a unique hand-drawn appearance for its elements, providing a more informal and personal touch to the visuals, and making brainstorming sessions and collaborative work more engaging.

Easy-to-use interface. The tool features a minimalistic interface allowing users to create shapes, lines, text, and other elements without prior experience or a learning curve.

Collaboration. Excalidraw supports real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to work on the same drawing simultaneously. Users can easily share a link to invite others to join and collaborate on the drawing.

Privacy. Excalidraw places a strong emphasis on privacy. All data and drawings created in the tool are stored locally on the user’s device by default, ensuring that sensitive information remains private.

Export options. Excalidraw allows users to export their drawings in various formats, such as PNG, JPEG, and SVG, making sharing or integrating visuals into other documents or presentations easy.

Open-source. Excalidraw is an open-source project, meaning anyone can access its source code, contribute to its development, or build upon the tool to create customized versions.

Excalidraw is a great choice if you’re looking for a simple and intuitive whiteboarding tool with a hand-drawn feel. Its ease of use, real-time collaboration features, and focus on privacy make it a versatile option for both individuals and teams.

Scribble Together is a real-time collaborative whiteboard app designed for remote teams and individuals to work together on ideas, brainstorm, sketch, and plan projects. It’s available on various platforms, including iOS, Android, and web browsers, making it accessible for a wide range of users and devices.

Some key features of Scribble Together include:

Real-time collaboration. Scribble Together supports real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to collaborate on a whiteboard simultaneously, with changes being synced instantly across devices.

Easy-to-use interface. The tool features a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy for users to draw, write, erase, and add images without a steep learning curve.

Cross-platform compatibility. Scribble Together is available on iOS, Android, and web browsers, which means that users can collaborate using their preferred devices and platforms.

Handwriting recognition. Scribble Together offers handwriting recognition, which can automatically convert handwritten notes into typed text, making it easier to read and share.

Scribble Together is extremely popular among teachers and professors who want to engage with their students in a creative, handwritten style

Infinite canvas. The app provides an infinite canvas, allowing users to expand their workspace as needed for complex projects or brainstorming sessions.

Export options. Users can export their whiteboards as images or PDFs, making sharing or integrating visuals into other documents or presentations easy.

Templates. Scribble Together offers a variety of templates to help users get started with different types of visualizations and brainstorming activities.

Scribble Together is a useful tool for remote teams and individuals looking for an easy-to-use and accessible whiteboarding app to collaborate, brainstorm, and share ideas. Its real-time collaboration features, cross-platform compatibility, and infinite canvas make it an appealing choice for various use cases.

Scribble Together pricing:

Free ($0 per year): This plan includes a personal notebook for iOS (offline only), a solo notebook on iOS, unlimited whiteboards, compatibility with Apple Pencil, PDF support, an infinite canvas, and the ability to join as a guest.

Member ($4.16 per month): This plan includes everything in the Free plan, plus the ability to invite guests to scribble with you (guests can join for free without signing up and with no limit to the number of guests), create boards via the web, access boards across devices, and have a synced, sharable notebook across devices.

OrgPad is a visual collaboration tool that helps users organize and structure their thoughts, ideas, and projects using a unique node-based system. It’s designed to be flexible and user-friendly, allowing users to create interconnected “org charts” or node-based diagrams that can be easily adjusted and restructured.

Some key features of OrgPad include:

Node-based system. OrgPad’s primary feature is its node-based system, which allows users to create visual elements (nodes) and connect them with lines to represent relationships, hierarchies, or workflows.

Flexible organization. Users can easily rearrange nodes, create new connections, or restructure their diagrams, making it simple to adapt and refine ideas as they evolve.

Collaboration. OrgPad supports real-time collaboration, enabling multiple users to collaborate on the same project simultaneously, share their ideas, and provide feedback.

Templates. The tool offers a variety of templates to help users get started with different types of visualizations and brainstorming activities.

Export options. Users can export their OrgPad diagrams in various formats, such as PNG or PDF, making it easy to share their work or integrate visuals into other documents or presentations.

Integration. OrgPad can be integrated with other tools and platforms like Google Drive to streamline the collaborative process and improve productivity.

OrgPad is an excellent choice for individuals and teams looking for a flexible and intuitive visual collaboration tool to organize and structure their thoughts and ideas. Its node-based system, real-time collaboration features, and integration capabilities make it a versatile option for various use cases and industries.

OrgPad pricing: The free plan goes up to 3 documents and 100MB of storage. The Standard ($5.99) plan includes unlimited documents, 5GB of storage, and up to 5 members that you can invite to your team.

Lucidspark is a cloud-based visual collaboration tool developed by Lucid Software, the company behind the popular diagramming tool Lucidchart. Lucidspark provides teams with a flexible, virtual whiteboard that facilitates brainstorming, ideation, and planning in real time, regardless of the team members’ locations.

Some key features of Lucidspark include:

Infinite canvas. The tool offers an infinite canvas, giving users ample space to create, explore, and organize their ideas without running out of room.

Pre-built templates. Lucidspark includes a variety of pre-built templates for different purposes, such as brainstorming, project planning, or meeting agendas, helping users quickly start their whiteboarding sessions.

Lucidspark goes beyond just basic brainstorming and offers features like strategic analysis, project planning, and voting.

Sticky notes and voting. The platform enables users to create sticky notes to capture ideas and allows team members to vote on the most valuable or relevant notes, facilitating decision-making.

Timers and facilitation tools. Lucidspark offers built-in timers and facilitation tools that help keep meetings and workshops on track and focused.

Integrations. The tool integrates with various popular platforms, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Drive, streamlining collaboration and improving productivity.

Export options. Users can export their whiteboards as images or as a Lucidchart diagram, making sharing or incorporating visuals into other documents or presentations easy.

Lucidspark is an excellent option for teams looking for a versatile, user-friendly whiteboarding tool that supports real-time collaboration and ideation.

Lucidspark pricing: Free ($0.00): This plan includes 3 editable Lucidspark boards, unlimited shapes per board, freehand drawing, and emoji reactions. Individual ($7.95 per month): In addition to the Free plan features, this plan offers unlimited editable boards, 1 GB of storage, presentation mode, and the Gather and Sort features.

Miro is a popular online collaborative whiteboard platform designed to help teams work together more effectively. It provides a digital canvas where users can brainstorm, plan, design, and discuss ideas in real-time, regardless of their physical location. Miro is suitable for various use cases, including project management, product development, design thinking, and Agile workflows.

Some key features of Miro include:

Infinite canvas. Miro offers an infinite canvas, giving users the flexibility to create and organize their ideas without running out of space.

Templates and frameworks. The platform includes a variety of pre-built templates and frameworks for different purposes, such as user story mapping, Kanban boards, and mind maps, helping users quickly start their whiteboarding sessions.

As you can see from the example here, Miro is extremely capable when it comes to collaboration and can support dozens of users collaborating on ideas at the same time.

Integrations. Miro integrates with various popular platforms, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello, and Google Drive, streamlining collaboration and improving productivity.

Presentation mode. Users can present their whiteboards to teammates or stakeholders directly within the platform, making sharing ideas and getting feedback easy.

Export options. Miro allows users to export their whiteboards as images, PDFs, or CSV files, making it simple to share or incorporate visuals into other documents or presentations.

In conclusion, Miro stands out as a comprehensive and adaptable whiteboarding tool that fosters collaboration, creativity, and efficient communication among team members. Its extensive array of features, customizable templates, and seamless integration with popular platforms cater to a diverse range of industries and workflows.

Miro pricing:

Free ($0): This plan includes unlimited team members, a single workspace with 3 editable boards, access to 1000+ Miro and community-made templates, and 100+ apps and integrations such as Zoom, Slack, Google Drive, and Sketch. Users can also bring individuals to a specific area of the board or follow what they do.


As you consider these tools, keep in mind the importance of features such as real-time collaboration, infinite canvas, customizable templates, seamless integrations, and export options. By understanding the unique offerings of each tool, you can now confidently choose the solution that best fits your team’s needs and enhances overall productivity and collaboration.

Frequently Asked Questions

When looking for an online whiteboard for brainstorming, consider the tools and features that will facilitate the brainstorming process. This may include free-hand drawing tools, shape tools, sticky notes, text boxes, and color-coding capabilities. Also look for features like real-time collaboration, the ability to save and export work, compatibility with different devices, and user-friendly interface. For remote teams, it’s also helpful if the tool integrates well with video conferencing or team communication tools.

The number of users who can collaborate simultaneously on an online whiteboard varies depending on the specific tool and the plan you are using. Some tools allow unlimited collaborators, while others limit the number of collaborators in their free plans and offer more slots in paid plans. For large teams or big brainstorming sessions, make sure to check the tool’s capacity before starting.

Most online whiteboard tools allow you to save and share the content you’ve created. This is usually done by exporting the board as a PDF or image file. Some tools also allow you to share boards directly with others via a link, or even embed the board on a webpage. Always check the exporting and sharing capabilities of the tool to ensure it meets your needs.

Online whiteboards typically don’t require specific hardware and can be used on any device with an internet connection – including computers, tablets, or smartphones. Some might have apps for different platforms for a better user experience. As for software, most online whiteboards run directly in your web browser, so there’s no need to download or install additional software. However, always check the specific requirements of the tool to ensure it’s compatible with your device and browser.

Hostgator Review: A Solid Choice For Web Hosting


User-friendly control panel and a free website builder

Great uptime

Many feature plans, providing flexibility for various needs

Quick and thorough support


Lack of transparency in pricing, hiding renewal fees until checkout

Confusing features page

Video tutorials haven’t been active for over a year

Our Verdict

HostGator is a reliable web hosting company with competitive pricing and a user-friendly setup process. However, it’s not as transparent as its competitors regarding renewal fees and feature details. It offers a wide range of hosting plans with decent features and a free website builder. Their support is responsive and helpful, and they have a comprehensive knowledge base. Overall, HostGator is a solid choice for hosting your website.

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With over two decades of experience under its belt, HostGator has become a household name in the web hosting industry, especially in the Shared Hosting area. HostGator’s uptime is unmatched, and the service offers decent features at an affordable price across its various plans. However, the company isn’t as transparent about its fees as Bluehost or InMotion Hosting.

HostGator: Pricing

HostGator offers various hosting plans with different features and pricing options to suit various needs and budgets. Like its competitors, it offers a large discount for your first-time payment. 

One of the biggest annoyances about how HostGator handles this compared to Bluehost or InMotion Hosting is that it hides the renewal fee. Where the competition is explicit about their pricing on their respective plan pages, HostGator doesn’t show the renewal fee until you’re at checkout—and it’s in very tiny print.

Regardless of this major flaw, HostGator’s pricing is still competitive. It doesn’t offer discounts for its one-month and six-month offerings for the Shared Hosting plans, but you can get a nice discount ranging from 60 percent to 73 percent for the one-year and three-year offerings.

Here’s a breakdown of HostGator’s pricing and subscription tiers for the Shared Hosting package.

You have to commit to a 12-month or 36-month contract to get an introductory discount on any of HostGator’s three Shared Hosting tiers, but the savings is significant.

Marshall Gunnell / Foundry

HostGator also offers a Dedicated Server package for those running small- to medium-sized business. The prices are much more expensive than the Shared Hosting plans, but the performance makes it worth it. There are also more flexible subscription plans for Dedicated Server subscribers. These prices are just a starting point, but they can change a bit depending on which operating system and hard drive type you select.

Small- to medium -sized businesses will want to consider the Dedicated Server packages.

Marshall Gunnell / Foundry

HostGator’s Shared Hosting prices are pretty standard, while their Dedicated Server packages may be seen as a bit pricier than the competition—though it does offer more subscription plans to meet various needs.

HostGator: Setup

HostGator’s setup process is about as easy as it gets. HostGator offers a user-friendly control panel that makes it easy to manage your website and hosting account.

In the control panel, or cPanel, you’ll find a range of tools and features that you can use to manage your website. These include tools for creating email accounts, installing apps like WordPress, and managing your website’s files and databases.

One of the great things about HostGator is that it offers a free website builder that you can use to create your site without any coding experience. This builder is a drag-and-drop tool that makes it easy to create professional-looking websites with little to no experience.

Customer support is always quick to assist you, whether you call or use the live chat service. If you prefer to figure things out yourself, HostGator has some helpful content on getting started, as well as a complete knowledge base that covers any other issues you may be facing. It also offers a decent library of video tutorials, though that hasn’t been active for over a year.

HostGator: Features

HostGator offers a competitive feature set across even its most basic plans. Regardless of your experience level and needs, HostGator likely has what you need for a reasonable price. Depending on which plan you subscribe to, you can expect things like unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificates, domain transfers, and more.

As with its pricing pages, though, HostGator makes it difficult to understand what you really get. For example, notice how in the “Top features” tab on the plan comparison page, it shows the Hatchling Plan as offering “Chat Only” support.

Marshall Gunnell / Foundry

But if you switch to the “Support” tab on the same page, which gives more details about the support the plans offer, it states that you get 24/7 live chat and phone support across each plan, including the Hatchling Plan.

Marshall Gunnell / Foundry

These conflicts make things a bit confusing for potential customers, and could dissuade them from using the service all together. But, if you’re not deterred by the inconsistencies on the official site, here’s what HostGator claims comes with each plan.

HatchlingBabyBusinessWebsites15UnlimitedParked Domains–UnlimitedUnlimitedSubdomainsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedFTP AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedBandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredDisk space10GB40GBUnlimitedDedicated IP Address––AvailableMySQL Transfer % Script TransferAvailableAvailableAvailableEmail AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedCloudflare CDN––AvailableThese are the features you can expect with each of HostGator’s Shared Hosting plans.

Each plan also comes with a free domain for the first year, but only if you subscribe to 12 months or more. The Baby plan comes with a $500 Google Ad spend match credit and $100 Microsoft Advertising credit, which is a fantastic deal if you’re looking to get the word out about your new site.

Overall, HostGator provides decent features, especially with its Business plan. Hopefully the website will be updated to make things a bit easier to understand what’s offered, and at what price.

HostGator offers a competitive feature set across even its most basic plans. Regardless of your experience level and needs, HostGator likely has what you need for a reasonable price.

HostGator: Backup and security

HostGator offers a few options that ensure the safety of your website and its data. One of the primary backup options they provide is CodeGuard, a cloud-based backup solution that takes daily automatic backups of your website’s data. CodeGuard also offers features like website monitoring, malware detection, and easy restore options. 

This feature is essential for businesses, but it’s not free. You’ll need to fork out between $2.75 to $8.33 per month, depending on which CodeGaurd plan you go with. If this is a bit out of your budget, HostGator also provides weekly backup options for its customers, but this isn’t recommended for businesses. These backups are stored on a separate server, which provides added security to your website’s data, but it only keeps one backup. Once a new backup is made, the old one is deleted.

HostGator also offers SiteLock, a powerful security tool that helps protect your website from malware and other cyber threats. SiteLock performs daily scans of your website and alerts you in case of any security issues. It also provides a firewall and other security features to prevent attacks on your website. Like the backup offerings, SiteLock isn’t free, and you can expect to pay between $5.99 to $24.99 per month, depending on the plan you go with.

HostGator: Reliability

HostGator has multiple data centers located around the U.S., which helps ensure that your website’s data is stored securely and that your website is easily accessible to visitors from different regions.

We ran a website hosted by HostGator for roughly 15 months and experienced no major outages and very little downtime. As you would expect running a website on a shared server, there were moments where the site would run slow when we had large spikes of traffic, but this issue can be fixed by using a dedicated server. Overall, HostGator provided a reliable web hosting service with high uptime.

HostGator: Customer support

HostGator offers customer support through various channels, including phone, email, and live chat. Its customer support team is available 24/7, which means that you can get help with any issues or questions you may have at any time. If you need immediate help, the live chat service is the way to go.

Confusingly, as mentioned above, it was unclear if phone support was available for Hatchling Plan subscribers, as there is conflicting content on the site. We reached out to Support for confirmation, and they confirmed that phone support is available for all plans.

Confirmation that phone support is available at all levels of Shared Hosting.

Marshall Gunnell / Foundry

HostGator also offers a ticketing system where you can submit a support request, and the support team will get back to you within 24 to 48 hours. This ticketing system is helpful for non-urgent issues or if you prefer to communicate via email.

Finally, HostGator provides a fruitful knowledge base with detailed articles and tutorials on various topics related to web hosting. This knowledge base is accessible through the website and can help you troubleshoot common issues or learn more about web hosting.

Overall, HostGator offers comprehensive customer support through various channels, is quick to reply, and is always helpful in providing support, regardless of what you may be struggling with.

Should you use HostGator web hosting?

HostGator is a great choice for hosting your website, offering a range of hosting plans with different pricing options to suit various needs and budgets. 

The pricing is competitive, with discounts available for one-year and three-year offerings. However, one major flaw is that HostGator hides the renewal fee until checkout, unlike its competitors who display it transparently on their pricing pages. 

HostGator’s setup process is user-friendly, with a free website builder, cPanel, and a range of tools and features to manage your website. It offers 24/7 live chat and phone support, with helpful content on getting started and a complete knowledge base that covers any issues you may face. 

HostGator also offers a competitive feature set, but its presentation of features can be confusing for potential customers. Despite this, HostGator remains a solid choice for those looking for reliable web hosting.

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