Looking for remote server
September 11, 2008 6:03 AM   Subscribe

I would like to rent a server in another country. Any suggestions?

I'd like to rent a virtual/real server in another country. It would be for me only, and I'd like it in a country not overly enamoured with internet monitoring. I want to VPN into it, kick off jobs - and scp files to and from my home. Bandwidth reqs - say up to 40/50GB monthly up and down, and can be windows or linux.

I'm concerned about monitoring of my normal web activities. I'm not doing anything bad, I just dont like the idea that my government is rapidly turning into big brother.

Is this breaking (UK) laws? I want to effectively offshore my home computing to another country.

Oh and since you might ask, I'd use an anonymous credit card bought with cash (available in the UK).

Yes its all very suspicious isnt it? But thats not the point. I have nothing to hide but I would like to do this anyway. I bought curtains for my house so people cant see in. Funny how people immediately jump to the "well if you have nothing hide" argument though.I dont trust my ISP or my government. I can change my ISP but not looking to move to another country just yet!

Anyone use such a service and willing to offer advice/recommendations? I imagine such a service would be quite popular. To the point where I would have thought it was a lot easier to find. But mostly my results seem to go US/UK sites. And I was looking more to somewhere in the free world really :)
posted by daveyt to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm quite happy with OVH in France. They're just across the channel and are connected to LINX, so latency is minimal. They even have a website for UK customers. How would this break any UK laws?
posted by stereo at 6:31 AM on September 11, 2008

If you specifically want a high-privacy solution, try googling "offshore dedicated server." But like a lot of services that cater to the potentially sketchy (yes, yes, I know, privacy principles etc, but you will probably be sharing a data center with folks you might consider unsavory), many of the opportunities will be potentially sketchy as well.

The folks at Web Hosting Talk might be able to help you sort out the sketch from the reliable, if you can get past the LULZ DAM CUSTOMER BITHES business.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:38 AM on September 11, 2008

Ianal but encrypted VPNs won't break any UK laws.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:39 AM on September 11, 2008

I'm concerned about monitoring of my normal web activities. I'm not doing anything bad

What about Tor? Your web browsing would be encrypted and routed through a mesh of Tor participants.

As far as getting a remote server, I foresee two potential problems:

- A lot of places that rent servers are fairly strict. I'm renting a server in a US data center for under $100/month with 1,000 GB of transfer. (But I'm using it to host websites.) They disallow BitTorrent and other P2P protocols, as well as IRC. Ultimately, they monitor my usage more closely than on my home cable modem.

- The countries with lax laws tend to have inferior infrastructures, and are thus more expensive to host a server in. For purposes of moving stuff closer to users, I looked into pricing on getting a server in South America. I don't recall specifics, other than to say that it was laughably unfeasible. 40-50GB/month is nothing by American hosting standards (most any dedicated server will give you at least 1,000 GB/month), yet tremendously much in some other countries.

What I'd recommend is a virtual private server (VPS), which will save you money. chesty_a_arthur's recommendation of WebHostingTalk.com is good; you might start by viewing their VPS Hosting Offers forum and going from there. (Definitely investigate any provider further, as there are some that probably aren't worth the money.) For instance, a company in Germany. (Though I've never heard of that company, and find their prices suspiciously low.) I see some Asian countries popping up periodically, too. Oh, and the Netherlands have a lot of bandwidth available, too. Here's a dedicated server in Singapore, though their Singapore datacenter seems to start pricing at $132.45. Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada all have good hosting infrastructures and seem "more free" than the US/UK, though I really don't know what countries you seek.
posted by fogster at 10:40 AM on September 11, 2008

Best answer: You want Easyspeedy, in Denmark. You start with bare dedicated hardware - no other users ever access your server, including their admins - and use their great Web-based admin tool to remotely install the OS from a PXE drive image, setting up your own root password that they never see. Bandwidth is totally unmonitored, and there are no restrictions at all on what software you install. They say they don't allow "adult" content, but they just mean if you're running a porn server and someone complains they can axe you; they aren't monitoring anything.
posted by nicwolff at 1:43 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

This is a bit of an old topic now, but I just recently noticed PRQ, a Swedish hosting facility. Their claim to fame is hosting The Pirate Bay (and Wikileaks), and they say they're big advocates of free speech and don't do much monitoring. Seems like it might be exactly the type of place you want to be hosted.

Here's Google's translation of their site—note that, annoyingly, Google translates "PEK" (their currency) into "USD," without converting the number, so any prices in USD shown in that translation are totally wrong. (1 USD is about 6.50 SEK, ballpark.)

A quick currency conversion makes it look like their OpenVPN/GRE tunnel can be had to 50 SEK ($7.65) a month with a 128 kbps limit, or 100 SEK ($15.30) with no cap. (Plus VAT.) This is sorta neat, as it's basically a VPN, so you don't need an actual server/VPS. (They do offer colocation, where you can ship them a server to be hosted. It seems pretty competitively priced, but you would, of course, have to buy a server to ship them... Though realistically, a really old machine would work fine for what you want, though it needs to be rackmounted for them.)

This isn't an endorsement; I'm not even a client. (Yet?) I just noticed this, thought it was spiffy, and then remembered this thread... Thought I'd throw it onto the list for posterity.
posted by fogster at 12:50 PM on September 23, 2008

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