Web host that allows SSH tunneling on shared plan
February 20, 2012 7:38 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking for a shared hosting plan from a major/well-established/reputable web host that allows SSH tunneling (SOCKS5), which is cheaper than the $9.95 per month shared DreamHost plan. Note; I am asking about SSH tunneling, not just SSH shell access.

I’m hoping the Ask MetaFilter audience can save me from continuing to have to email this question individually to hosts.

I’ve contacted the following web hosts, and they said they do not allow SSH tunneling (at least not on their cheapest shared plans); GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost, Westhost, Midphase, and Anhosting.

I’m on the DreamHost Standard plan now. My current plan year is about to expire, and I would prefer to move to a cheaper provider. I do need both web hosting and SSH tunneling, so a dedicated SSH Tunnel-only provider would not work.

Thanks for your time.
posted by disguise to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I fear you're going to have to live with this plan, or look into a virtual server plan somewhere. SSH tunneling is far, far out of the realm of what your average hosting client needs, and so, it doesn't make sense to them to support it.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 7:44 AM on February 20, 2012

How much of the time do you actually need to use the SSH tunnel? A "micro" EC2 instance from Amazon is 2 cents/hour or less, and if you haven't signed up with them already, you can get a free instance for the next year.
posted by teraflop at 7:49 AM on February 20, 2012

$10 a month already seems absurdly cheap to me for any kind of hosting.
posted by kindall at 7:50 AM on February 20, 2012

Response by poster: I use the tunnel on average from one to four hours a day. Thanks for the EC2 tip. I wasn't aware of that option.

Another note; I am looking for a host. I'm aware I could tunnel through my home router, but that is not a good solution (i.e. lack of speed/bandwidth).
posted by disguise at 7:56 AM on February 20, 2012

How much hosting do you need hosting for? If you're willing to do a lot of playing around potentially to make stuff work, you can get a cheap VPS for a lot less than $10/mo which might have hardly any space, but you'd hardly need any for this, and a VPS will definitely let you tunnel. And it wouldn't matter if they weren't very reliable, you could just find another if they went down. Or, alternately, a cheap shared host plus a cheap VPS could *still* run you a little less than that, if you can't manage without Cpanel or something.
posted by gracedissolved at 8:10 AM on February 20, 2012

Response by poster: The hosting needs are minimal; mainly just to host a few domains for family blogs and pictures.
posted by disguise at 8:16 AM on February 20, 2012

Pair Networks has a "lite plan" that offers hosting + a standard shell account that supports SSH tunneling; it's $25 for 3 months or $75 for one year, but you have to pay a one-time $25 setup fee.

I'd contact them first to confirm before signing up though - because even though SSH tunneling does work (and I've used it on and off for years), I don't know if it's officially supported.
posted by helios at 8:23 AM on February 20, 2012

gracedissolved has this one, a cheap VPS will give you exactly what you want, though you may need to muck about with unix to get your website(s) set up. If you can find one with cpanel you can probably get by using that. The lowendbox blog linked above is a great place to start.
posted by reptile at 8:53 AM on February 20, 2012

If you are even vaguely geeky, learning how to use the Linux part is a bit of time, but can actually be fun. And hosting family photos and stuff is not going to be very high-traffic, so it should run on one of those boxes just fine. I *have* had to cycle through LEB type hosts about once a year, generally, but if you're not running anything complicated, packing up your files and moving them elsewhere is simple. Which is also the reason I'm not going to just refer you to mine; I got a good plan but it's way too huge for your needs, and I am not so impressed with their customer service as to think they're any better with anybody else, I just needed a much larger amount of RAM than most cheap hosts give you for the price I currently pay.

I think your chances of finding Cpanel on a LEB without an extra charge that will make it not worth it are sadly vanishingly small, I've never seen one so far. (It's $20/mo on my plan for instance if I want that, because on a VPS, they have to give you the version that basically would let you run a whole web host.) BUT you can install things like Webmin that can let you do a lot of the same things, free, and the scripts Cpanel lets you install are usually not that hard to install on your own, etc. The multiple domains thing, sadly, is beyond what I'd know enough to be able to offer to help you set up, but I learned everything I know from Google, so. The great thing is that once you know, you can really do all kinds of things.

But again, for that stuff, you can find a shared plan that's under $3/mo (I don't host with them now but their customer service really was good when I did, but they aren't the only ones at that price point) and $4/mo on a VPS and you're still well under the $10 mark.
posted by gracedissolved at 2:19 PM on February 20, 2012

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