Searching for Hosting Providers


Check the Acceptable Use Policy:

  1. Does this provider censor political or religious speech? How does it define offensive content?
  2. If censorship is required by law, find a provider that insists upon a legal court order before it censors.
  3. What is the provider's abuse policy? Do they notify us first to give us time to respond, before shutting off our services?
  4. Does the provider have any restrictions on: IRC, email, game servers, VPNs, DNS servers, legal torrents and filesharing

Other Important Criteria:

  1. Does the provider support OpenBSD or other alternative operating systems?
  2. Does the provider offer DDoS filtering? IPv6? What size of an IPv6 subnet do we get? Does it support rDNS delegation?
  3. Do they offer VPSes, colocation, or dedicated servers?
  4. Where are the data centers located?
  5. In which legal jurisdiction is the provider operating in?
  6. How long has this provider been operating?
  7. Does it have a good reputation and strong user community?
  8. Can you easily reach customer support? Test their customer support first before purchase.
  9. What payment options do they accept? Cryptocoins, bank transfers, and mail-in cash payments are often important

Send an email to customer support and ask them a few of these questions. If the customer support is friendly and helpful, you can continue researching. If they ignore your questions or are unhelpful, you should find another provider. If they aren't helpful before the purchase, you can be certain they will be unhelpful afterwards when they already have your money.

Especially useful are providers in your team's country of residence. IRCNow also needs servers in Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore), Australia, Africa, and South America.

Avoid Silicon Valley

Avoid large corporate providers such as OVH, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. These providers will not respect user freedom. They often do not respect user privacy, censor political and religious speech, and do not support software freedom.