I just purchased 2 .DE domains a few days ago. The German Domain Registry DENIC requires the DNS servers to be on 2 different IP subnets for redundancy – a requirement you cannot achieve by default with a normal cPanel hosting account as DNS is usually hosted on 2 IP addresses that reside on the same IP subnet. In addition (for SEO purposes) I wanted these 2 domains hosted as close to the customer base (Germany) as possible. I spent about 2 hours researching possible web hosts and apparently cPanel hosting is not very popular in Germany. 🙁
Most German web hosts do not take credit cards (WTF) or require a 12 month contract (WTF) or require you to have a bank account in Germany where they deduct the money from the account (WTF). So, after looking around I found a web hosting company not located in Germany, but with servers in a data center in Munich, Germany. This web host is Copa Host (not an affiliate link) out of Brazil. I contact them with a few questions and man, these guys responded fast. If support is that fast in case I really need technical support, this would be awesome. After 2 emails with my questions answered I decicded to sign up.
The sign up process was very easy and streamlined (WHMCS). My account was setup instantly (nice) and I was up and running in no time (well, almost). The only problem was with the DNS propagation. Not only are the domain name registration requirements very complicated for .DE domains, their DNS propagation and updates at the domain registry level are horribly slow as well. This is definitely the sucky part about dealing with .DE domains.
Anyway – I did a few speed tests against the site via IP address and the performance even from the Western part of the United States is very good. I am impressed. So, right now I am hoping those Germans are waking up to get the DNS changes registered and going. Unfortunately the web host (Copa Host) has no influence on this as they are only providing the infrastructure. If you need cPanel hosting in Western Europe I highly recommend Copa Host. The prices are low (in Euro though) and at least so far the service has been excellent.
Disclosure: My project did not take off and so I canceled my account with Copa Host. This is not due to Copa Host or, but do to my project not working out the way I wanted it. If you need a cheap web host in the US, please look at Just Host or IX Web Hosting.