When it comes to hosting a website, you need to determine which level of protection you need. Depending on how much heat your website will take from government/corporations, you will need to pick one of the 4 choices below;
Secure Offshore Hosting
If you are hosting content that may anger a large US corporation or could be construed to violate US law (even if you believe you are doing something completely legal, the First Amendment is no protection against lawsuits and DMCA takedowns from a company with far more dollars than sense), you are best served by finding hosting in another country.
Surprisingly, online freedom of speech fares much better in the former Soviet Union and south-east Asia than it does in the good old USA.
We maintain a regularly updated list of the 10 Best Offshore Anonymous Hosting Companies here.
Incidentally, you should verify that any offshore hosting provider you go with is actually offshore, especially if you are seeking offshore hosting to escape censorship (some companies provide offshore hosting, but are in fact incorporated in the US, making them subject to DMCA takedowns and the like).
Best Countries for Anon Hosting
Basic Hosting with Anonymous payment
If having a visible presence on the web is your goal, the easiest and cheapest method is to use a standard web hosting provider, which accepts some form of anonymous payment.
This would mean using some form of temporary pre-paid VISA or Mastercard, which are available online and in stores. To learn more about these, see our article on Anonymous Payment Methods.
One of these, in conjunction with you using anonymous web surfing will allow you to purchase a domain and hosting without showing anything that could reveal your identity.
Free speech webhosting
When choosing a free speech hosting company you should assess the kind of content you host, for example, in the USA although the 1st Amendment protects free speech a powerful multinational can try to get around it by launching a frivolous lawsuit that a small webmaster can’t fight in court due to lack of resources, and in China any pro Tibet website will be taken down by the Government.
You will leave tracks behind when you upload your site and make payments, these companies are not truly anonymous even though some advertise as such, to host controversial content anonymously use an offshore anonymous host.
Free speech hosting Companies
- *PRQ.se: Servers and company located in Sweden, if your content is legal in Sweden they will host it, no questions asked. They maintain minimum information about their customers and very few logs, PRQ used to host Wikileaks and other highly controversial content, support for SQL databases, SSL certificates and DNS.
- *NearlyFreeSpeech: Pay as you go webhost based in the US, you only pay for the amount of bandwidth and storage space that your website uses, it runs its own custom hosting panel. As long as your content is legal in the US, where their servers are based, you will never be asked to take the content down. Ideal shared hosting for small websites.
- *Invisihosting: Shared hosting for small websites, VPS can be arranged if needed. The company claims that as long as the content is legal they will ignore all requests to take it down. Warez and torrent trackers are specifically banned as they infringe copyright laws.
For those who don’t really want a full website, but instead a forum to post information, setting up a blog account is a good alternative. Typically all that is involved is creating an anonymous email address, and then creating an account at a blog provider such as Blogger or LiveJournal.
Blogging in general is seeing increased mixing with social network software. As such, you need to be especially careful about your Social Network and your audience of your blog. If most of the people who end up viewing and posting to your “anonymous” blog are your friends, family and coworkers, you don’t really have any anonymity.