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Recently, I found myself in need of a privacy focused VPS provider. Specifically, one that would allow anonymous signups, payment using Monero (or other cryptocurrency) and a heavy emphasis on free speech. Mind you, I didn't really have anything super controversial that I intended on posting, but knowing content far worse than I'd ever be willing to host is allowed, provides me a certain level of ease. It's like when your neighbors blatantly break the rules of your apartment complex, yet never manage to get in trouble for it. It sort of makes you feel better about your position there, since your neighbors make you look like an angel in comparison to them.
Not to mention, with this type of service, you are putting in a lot more risk. Paying with cryptocurrency means that if I pay and the service doesn't like me, they can just take down my site and refuse to refund me, or if I don't like the service they can refuse to refund me.
After literal weeks of searching, looking through list after list of "The Top X Anonymous VPS Providers" usually filled with outdated information from companies which have since gone out of business or were clearly paid promotion, I decided I needed a new approach.
I needed a template that I could send to providers that would give me an idea on their policies and also give me plausible deniability as not a shitty person. 8chan was my answer.
I formed a little template basically saying that I intended on hosting a site much like 8chan where there would be extremely light moderation and ideally people would be allowed to post whatever they wanted, even opinions that I disagreed with.
I gave a list of things that I could perceive a user posting, which got gradually worse (in my opinion) with each question.
The list contained 4 things in this order:
My logic here was if they allow this type of content, they'll certainly allow anything; however, I later realized there might be some bias and I did my best to remedy this by creating a second list which mentioned things like
Though these seem to be generally more accepted opinions, I felt they were worth putting in there to try and detect any biases. I sent this secondary list using a different alias, email, IP and with a different story to go along with it.
I created a disposable anonymous email and went to work filing support tickets and sending emails to see how various Anonymous/Free Speech VPS providers would respond to me.
Furthermore, I have put together a nice little table showing
the results, with further details explained a little further
Clicking the name of the provider on the table will send you to their section for more information.
View the desktop version of the site to see the table. Or try landscape mode.
|Email or XMPP||Full Name, Email, Address.
Not checked on crypto payments
||XMR, BTC, LTC, DOGE
||XMR, BTC & More||XMR, BTC, LTC, DASH, BCH, ZCash & More
||XMR, BTC, LTC, ETH||XMR, BTC, DOGE, LTC & More||BTC, Maybe More||BTC, Maybe More
|Free Speech used as
a selling point?
"Freedom of Expression" & "Freedom of the Press"
||Less than 24 hours
||Over a week
||Less than 48 hours||Less than 24 hours||Did not need to be contacted||No Response
||Less than 24 hours|
||Did not need to be contacted
|Allows Pornography?||Sweden & Netherlands locations only||yes
||according to laws of server location||?||yes||no
|Allows Loli/Shota/Cub?||Sweden & Netherlands locations only||no
||according to laws of server location||?||U.S locations only||no
|Allows Hateful Speech?||Sweden & Netherlands locations only||no
||according to laws of server location||no||yes||according to Icelandic law
|Allows Hateful Imagery?||Sweden & Netherlands locations only||no
||according to laws of server location||no||yes||according to Icelandic law
|Allows Promotion of
Gun Control, Abortion, Communism, etc...
||according to laws of server location
||according to Icelandic law
I will now go into further detail about each company's placement on the above table. The following is not a full review of the services in question and is simply a look at their content policies. If the service did not respond to my emails for whatever reason, I will give further evidence as to the methodology used to come to the conclusions in the table above
Terms Of Service
https://1984.hosting | Terms Of Service
1984 as a company and its officers will always go the extra mile to protect our customers' civil rights, including the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press, the right to anonymity and privacy.
The 1984 Hosting website leaves a lot to be desired, Their website has 3 places to find information, about page, ToS page and an FAQ page. The FAQ page focusing more on very basic general VPS questions and less so about questions regarding the service itself.
Their Terms Of Service have a section regarding what you are not allowed to host. The following is subsection 2 of their prohibited use of hosting section.
2. Offering, selling or showing, or providing links to other websites offering, selling or showing the following is prohibited: (a) habit-forming or narcotic substances or related services; (b) weapons; (c) copyrighted materials that the Subscriber is not entitled to offer or sell; (d) information used to violate the copyrights or trademarks of others; (e) information used to manufacture, make or provide illegal goods or weapons; (f) pornography or sexual products; (g) file sharing; (h) pharmaceuticals; (i) any materials or information that are, in the opinion of 1984 ehf., illegal, harmful or ethically objectionable.
any materials or information that are, in the opinion of 1984 ehf., illegal, harmful or ethically objectionable.
This means that 1984 Hosting can shut down your service for any reason whatsoever. So much for going the extra mile for Freedom of Expression. Most services will usually have something saying that they will be able to suspend your service for any reason, however 1984 phrases it in a way which implies that they will suspend you if they disagree with what you are saying.
Now that we've looked through the information available on the 1984 Hosting website related to what they allow on their servers, it's time to contact them and see how/if they respond.
The reply from 1984 hosting was professional and clear. Here are the takeaways from our first interaction.
They do not allow Pornography on their service due to Pornography being illegal in Iceland, the location in which their servers are located. Loli/Shota/Cup, Hateful Speech & Nazi Symbolism will all get you banned from their service. While they rejected everything we proposed on hosting, they did list each thing individually and were very respectful throughout our interaction.
However, the story changed when we contacted them again from a different email claiming to be part of the International Communism Movement and asked if we could host a public user forum and news site promoting the following
They replied shortly afterwards saying simply "You can host with us".
So, if you don't intend to host any porn and the content you intend on hosting is aligned more so with these ideals and if you're okay with the fact that 1984 can take down your service over any disagreement/squabble, 1984 Hosting might be suitable for your needs.
Though I wouldn't exactly call 1984 a "Free Speech VPS Provider" by any means, they remained professional and respectful in their replies to us, which is more than I can say, for another provider we contacted.
Njalla, a service founded by one of the original founders of The Pirate Bay, was very popular when it first came out offering anonymous Domain Registration, garnering a fairly positive reputation. Njalla is a service focused on privacy over free speech, never even mentioning any form of free speech on their official site. Since their original creation, the service has expanded, now offering VPS servers (located in Sweden) and a VPN.
Lately, Njalla has managed to garner its own share of controversy, allegedly they do not hesitate in taking people's domains from them without any warning or compensation, the once great reputation of this service seems to be on a steep decline due to this.
The Njalla website is quite bare when it comes to getting a good grasp on the type of content they will allow you to host. The best thing they have is this small section on their about page.
We've had elections, cat pictures,
revolutions and leak sites running on our machines. Things
The idea behind Njalla is to make sure that your visibility to the public is minimised if you need it to be. We're not going to give your customer data out easily. However, we will help if there are legal merits to any formal government requests to our system. If you use our service in a way that affects anyones health or safety, we reserve the right to suspend your service.
We contacted Njalla with the usual email asking if they would allow Pornography, Loli/Shota/Cub, Hateful Speech and/or Offensive Imagery.
Njalla's response took roughly 24 hours, their response is listed below.
Yeah you should probably find somewhere else. We don't want racist shit on our services.
Now we go and see how they replied to our other email to get their thoughts.
As of the time of writing, Njalla has not responded to our second email.
Acceptable Use Policy
https://flokinet.is | Acceptable Use Policy
Flokinet is a VPS provider based in Iceland with servers located in Romania, Iceland, Finland and recently added Netherlands to their roster. They offer anonymous signups as well as anonymous domain name registration.
At first glance, Flokinet appears to be a perfect solution for controversial content.
They offer fully anonymous signups, domain registration and Freedom Of Speech is one of their biggest selling points.
They even seem to have decent terms looking at their Acceptable Use Policy, which is pretty standard, no copyrighted material, no spam/scam sites, no selling illegal substances, etc...
Pornography is not allowed in their Iceland location, but that's reasonable since pornography is illegal in Iceland.
The only thing of concern looking at their acceptable use policy is that they do not allow "COVID-19 Misinformation", but even this is more so a restriction of the UN, which all their locations follow. Great shouldn't be a problem, right? Well, not quite.
While Flokinet seems like a great solution for controversial content if we just follow what is on their website, their actions and statements offsite tell a different story. Let's start with their stance on Loli/Shota/Cub content. According to their Acceptable Use Policy, the only thing they ban is "childporn" which would lead you to believe that the final ruling on whether they allowed Loli/Shota/Cub content or not would be dependent on the laws of the server location you went with. Loli/Shota/Cub are illegal in Iceland and Romania, but are legal in Finland and the Netherlands. So, this would lead the reasonable minded of us to assume that Loli/Shota/Cub content would be allowed, provided you kept it on their Finland and/or Netherlands locations.
To get an official answer to this, one needs to go no further than their official Mastodon account @firstname.lastname@example.org, where they were caught in a lie regarding this specific topic.
Flokinet conceded that their Acceptable Use Policy was inconsistent with their enforcement, and said they might offer an exemption if the content was only hosted in a location where it was legal. Their AUP has not been updated in the months since this interaction…
Inconsistencies like this make it difficult to judge whether the information presented on the website can be trusted and considering Flokinet does not offer refunds, only offering reimbursements in site credit, makes this service even harder to recommend, especially if you want to host controversial content.
As of the time of writing, Flokinet has not responded to our attempts to contact them.
EDIT: After checking the email again, Flokinet did reply two days after this article was posted. It took them a whole 9 days to reply. Here is their reply in full.
Hello, you are free to host any legal content with us. However after EU law and our TOS and AUP you are obligated to moderate and remove content within 24 hour after a valid complaint. CSAM related content within 8 hours. Failure of such makes you liable and we will close your server in case of repeated failures otherwise we would be liable as well. Please keep in mind that 8chan is illegal on all locations we operate in (for hosting csam, hatespeech, nazi content etc) so if you will run a similar service content wise we will have shutdown your server. We have been hosting 8chan before for a few hours till we removed them from our network. We have ZERO tolerance for CSAM, nazi related content. In such cases we close the server immidiate. If you fail to moderate such content we will close your server. If we recive larger amounts of valid abuse emails we will have to charge you for it so we suggest to operate a proper abuse / takedown service as you are also obligated by law.
Once again, Flokinet mentions things in here which are not anywhere to be found in their ToS or AUP. Nowhere on their website do they mention Hateful Speech/Imagery being disallowed, but here they go acting as if they specifically mention that they do not allow that sort of thing.
They are also accusing 8chan of hosting CSAM, which is once again them equating legal fictional depictions such as loli/shota/cub with CSAM, which it would not be classified as in 2 of their 4 locations (and is not classified as such in the U.S where 8chan is hosted).
They even outright state that they might charge you extra if they get complaints for content, which once again is mentioned nowhere on their site.
Flokinet seems like an absolute mess with unclear, inconsistent rulings as to their content policies and no real refund system in place. I highly recommend keeping your distance from this provider.
Terms of Service
https://orangewebsite.com | Terms of Service
Orange website is hugely popular when it comes to privacy focused VPS providers. Almost every list out there will include OrangeWebsite somewhere. They offer anonymous domain name registration as well as VPS servers (located in Iceland). OrangeWebsite only requires an email address to sign up.
Taking a look at their ToS seems to indicate OrangeWebsite is fairly lenient when it comes to the content hosted on their services.
Sites hosted on OrangeWebsite.com's service(s) are regulated only by Icelandic Law. OrangeWebsite.com is not in a position to investigate and validate or invalidate the veracity of individual defamation claims, which is why we rely on the legal system and courts to determine whether or not material is indeed considered defamatory, infringing, false or it's legality. In any case in which an Icelandic court order indicates material is defamatory, libelous, or slanderous in nature; we will comply and remove or disable access to the material in question.
This is great news and means that OrangeWebsite does not impose any real restrictions on the content you host and will only take you down if you violate Icelandic law. Making it the most reasonable provider we have talked about thus far.
As of the time of writing, OrangeWebsite has not responded to our attempts to contact them.
Terms of Service
Acceptable Use Policy
https://buyvm.net | Terms of Service |Acceptable Use Policy
BuyVM offers cheap VPS servers with locations in Las Vegas, New York, Luxembourg & Miami.
BuyVM in no stranger to controversial content, so much so that they didn't even need to be contacted. They have multiple living breathing examples of controversial content actively hosting Loli/Shota/Cub as well as various speech & imagery that many would find offensive.
Notably AllTheFallen, Baest and even NAMBLA
BuyVM also has exceptionally reasonable terms, the very first thing listed in their ToS is this:
1,1 - Frantech does its best to take a Law of the Land stance when it comes to content hosted on its services. Content must abide by the laws of the country the services is hosted within, as well as not break any other points documented in these Terms of Service or our Acceptable Usage Policy. If you feel a service is in violation of a residing countries laws, please file a Police Report with your local police department.
This is fantastic when it comes to the sort of service we are looking for, unlike other services BuyVM essentially allows anything, so long as it is legal in the location your server is located, aside from some very basic things such as resource abuse. So, that's it, BuyVM is perfect...well, not exactly.
1,2 - In order to use our services, you are required to provide current and accurate identification, contact information, and other details as part of the registration process. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and accuracy of your account information, and you are responsible for all activities that occur under your account. You are solely responsible for all content on your account. You agree to immediately notify Frantech of any unauthorized use of your account or any other breach of security. Frantech will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to provide us with accurate information or to keep your account secure.
If being allowed to host controversial content without getting yoinked is your primary concern and privacy is more of a bonus, BuyVM is a genuinely great option, but if being able to sign up anonymously is just as important as the content you are allowed to host, BuyVM might not be the best choice for you.
EDIT: BuyVM Only requires information to be accurate if you pay with, credit card or PayPal, it does not require accurate or correct information if paying with crypto. Further info on the policy can be found on the company's official Discord server.
So, if you want to go with BuyVM and stay anonymous, pay with crypto and give fake information. They do not do any verification when paying with Crypto
Terms of Service
https://nicevps.net | Terms of Service
NiceVPS is a provider of anonymous domains, Web Hosting, VPS Hosting & Dedicated servers. With locations in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Free Speech is scattered all throughout the NiceVPS website, They seem dedicated to keeping your service online, their terms basically say that unless you are outright hosting Child Pornography or Terroristic content that they will not suspend your service.
NiceVPS defends the freedom of speech but illegal activities are not tolerated. In some cases, NiceVPS may temporarily null-route Customer services from the public Internet until the abuse is resolved but never suspend said services. Hosting child pornography, terrorist propaganda, but not limited to, is COMPLETELY forbidden and any client found to be doing so will be cancelled immediately upon discovery.
One of the first things on their website outright states that they will allow you to host any legal content.
Can I host X service with you?
Yes, our policy is to not censor nor to judge anything you host. You are always notified of any abuse and only suspend service with a valid court order, however we don't tolerate any criminal activities.
We still got in contact with NiceVPS just to be sure, and they replied to our emails with the following.
Yes, we have no issue with it. You are welcome, but please just make sure you moderate it according to law. We will always protect and defend freedom of speech.
NiceVPS is more expensive than some other options on our list like BuyVM, but the extra privacy might make the extra cost worth it to you
Privex is a provider offering various anonymous services including Domains (on request) as well as VPS Servers & Dedicated Servers
As far as content policy goes, Privex seems to be the most lenient of them all with prices to boot. Price wise, Privex sits comfortably between BuyVM and NiceVPS.
Privex only has a small handful of rules as far as content hosting is concerned, when ordering a server you have to agree to the following:
By using our services, you agree not to use them for inciting violence, storing or distributing illegal content, abusing the network, or (in the case of a VPS) abusing the disk/CPU.
All the other issues revolve around their non-autonomous regions. Privex has 2 autonomous regions where they basically control all the infrastructure, these are the Sweden and Netherlands locations.
For non-autonomous locations Privex does not allow Pornography of any kind, they also do not allow IPFS nodes (except on Sweden or USA locations)
In autonomous locations, Privex is exceptionally lenient about what can be hosted on their services, and they are not afraid to answer questions about it.
We had Privex reply to all of our questions quicker than any other provider. They told us that everything in our first list (Porn, Loli/Shota/Cub, Hateful/Offensive Speech & Imagery) would be cool, so long as we kept it in their autonomous locations (currently Sweden & Netherlands), while our second list (Promotion of Gun Control, Abortion, Communism) would be fine in any of their server locations.
While it looks like there are indeed some VPS providers who make arbitrary rules that restrict speech for no good reason beyond their own personal hang-ups, there are still a decent number of choices for those wanting to host controversial content.
If you intend to host controversial, or user-generated content. Privex, BuyVM and NiceVPS seem to be the best options available at the moment.
As for me, I decided to host with Privex, they offer everything I wanted and more.
I hope this article helped someone find a VPS provider to suite their needs. I know I sure could have used something like this when I was looking.
Due to the nature of this article, no affiliate links were used for any provider. Instead, if you really want to support me, you can shoot some Monero my way at the following XMR Address:
Now I'll answer some questions I am positive some people will be wondering about, so might as well answer them now.
Why didn't you just tell the companies you were making an article.
I wanted to get the type of answers these companies would give potential customers. Even though this is literally the first article I'm making, they still would be more likely to be on their best behavior than if I posed as a customer.
Do you really think these individuals deserve a platform?
Controversial take, but yes, I do. The more we try and shun certain individuals for their beliefs or in some cases edgy humor, we are directly contributing to radicalizing them and increasing the likelihood that they might do something harmful in real life.
I'm also just as much giving people a list of providers to avoid if they do not want to support providers that allow this kind of content, the way I see it, I'm doing everyone a favor.
Can I see the emails you sent?
Yes, you can.
Click here to see the first email template (8-chan experiment) | click here to see the second email template (communist content experiment)
Why didn't you ask the companies if they allowed X?
More topics would have added too many variables and could have lead to less satisfying results.