Here are the best VPS providers based on factors like user reviews, support, and privacy practices.
If you're planning to get a VPS and are new to VPS hosting, you should read these three posts that compare different virtualization types, since there is a significant difference. A TL;DR of those articles: If you're looking for preformance, stay away from OpenVZ since it is very easy for VPS providers to oversell OpenVZ VPS'. OpenVZ is also worse security-wise and privacy-wise due to lack of separation between the OpenVZ containers.
High preformance Linux VPS' today are generally powered by KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), which are much harder to oversell and VPS providers usually avoid doing that. Xen is also used for high preformance VPS' on rare occasions, but KVM will give you better preformance. Be also aware that almost all VPS hosts on this list and in general are unmanaged, meaning that the VPS host's main resposibility is keeping the VPS online and the amount of handholding with installation and configuration of software is close to none, so you're more or less on your own.
Please be aware that the web hosting industry is plagued with shills since the affiliate programmes are very lucrative, so be skeptical of any hosting reviews that contain affiliate links and try to verify their claims via independent sources.
FastComet is currently ranked #1 out of 4091 hosting providers - rated 9.7/10 by 485 user reviews - on HostAdvice.
4.86/5 rating on HostAdvisor based on 258 user reviews.
4.68/5 on Web Hosting Geeks based on 41 user reviews
5/5 on WhoIsHostingThis? by 35 user reviews.
The user reviews on Hostjury, where FastComet is currently one of the best rated hosting providers, are usually between 4.5 to 5 out of 5 stars with only one user review going below four stars.
According to WebHostingStuff, FastComet has had two downtimes - 27 minutes in April of 2016 and nine minutes in December of 2015 - since WebHostingStuff started monitoring uptime for FastComet back in September of 2014. This puts FastComet's average uptime at 99.99%, which is quite impressive.
This is the only hosting provider on this list that I have personal experience with. I recommended them to my cousin for her photography website, and directly after she had placed the order, she got a call from San Fransisco from FastComet support who wondered what site she was making and if she wanted any help. They can transfer websites from other hosts, install and configure software, optimize websites, configure DNS settings and do pretty much anything you ask them for free if you file a ticket. The majority of tickets we filed - even the low priority ones - were answered within 10 minutes, which lines up with their claim that 93% of all support requests - in sample size of 10 000 support requests - were resolved in less than 10 minutes. Daily, weekly, and monthly backups are provided for free.
FastComet is based in the United States and has data centers in Dallas, Texas, United States; Chicago, Illinois, United States; Newark, New Jersey, United States; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Frankfurt, Germany; London, United Kingdom; Tokyo, Japan; and Singapore.
SiteGround is probably the most well-reviewed web host on the Internet:
4.9/5 on Shopper Approved based on 2984 user reviews
5/5 on HostSearch based on 1806 user reviews
5/5 on WhoIsHostingThis? based on 1559 user reviews
9.6/10 on TrustPilot based on 1231 user reviews
9.7/10 on HostAdvice based on 1147 user reviews
9.7/10 on The Webmaster based on 1059 user reviews
5/5 on WebHostingStuff based on 760 user reviews
9.8/10 on top5hosting based on 755 users
4.58/5 on Web Hosting Geeks based on 673 user reviews
10/10 on Web Hosting Hero based on 378 user reviews
8.5/10 on HostingFacts based on 213 user reviews
4.73/5 on HostAdvisor based on 100 user reviews
The vast majority of the 1267 user reviews of SiteGround on WPBeginner are very positive.
On Hostjury, the vast majority of the many user reviews rate SiteGround between 4 - 5 out of 5 stars, making them one of the top rated web hosts on Hostjury.
SiteGround holds an A rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau).
According to WebHostingStuff, SiteGround has had 28 outages of a total of 388 minutes of downtime since WebHostingStuff started monitoring uptime for SiteGround back in September of 2005 with the single longest downtime being 77 minutes long. This puts SiteGround's average uptime at 99.99%, which is quite impressive. According to Inline Host Blogger's uptime tracking tool for the last 90 days (January 16th, 2017 to April 15th, 2018), the combine uptime of their seven SiteGround sites were 99.98% with 23 outages. This is largely thanks to special server monitoring and troubleshooting software.
An hourly updated speed test for SiteGround can be found on HostingReviews.Website.
SiteGround was a firm opponent of the SOPA and PIPA legislations back 2012, launching a Stop Censorship campaign against the controversial bills.
SiteGround guarantees that support tickets will be answered within 10 minutes. Daily backups are provided for free. SiteGround are very quick to patch vulnerabilities (such as WordPress and WordPress plugins) when they are announced by security researchers and their response to the global WordPress brute force attack in 2013 was quite amazing. They offer free site migrations, but only up to 1 GB; any larger than that, and you either have to pay them a $50 fee, or do the site migration yourself.
SiteGround is based in Bulgaria and has data centers in Chicago, United States; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; London, United Kingdom; Milan, Italy; and Singapore.
A2 Hosting is quite special when it comes to managed VPS hosting in that they hit the sweet spot between good price, good hardware specs, and great 24/7 support. I recommend their core (root access) VPS. If you're just going to get an unmanaged VPS, you'll find a better deal among the other VPS hosts on this list. A2 Hosting is a BBB Accredited Business and has been given an A rating by the BBB (Better Business Bureau).
9.4/10 on HostAdvice based on 677 user reviews.
9.3/10 on TrustPilot based on 325 user reviews.
4.6/5 on WhoIsHostingThis? based on 224 user reviews.
95% "Very Good" ratings, 2% "Good", and 3% "Average" ratings on SiteGeek based on 180 user reviews.
4.64 on BBB (Better Business Bureau) based on 120 user reviews.
4.73/5 on Web Hosting Geeks based on 110 user reviews.
4/5 on WebHostingStuff based on 99 user reviews.
10/10 on Web Hosting Hero based on 56 user reviews, of which 54 of the users recommends it.
5/5 on Serchen based on 22 user reviews.
The vast majority of the 205 user reviews on HostingReviews.Website are positive.
98/99 user reviews on WPBeginner are positive.
The vast majority of the 79 user reviews on Hosting Facts are positive.
WpHostingReview 30 days VPS uptime: 99.60%
Review Hell (October 2014 - January 2018): 99.9655%
Hosting Facts (January 2017 - December 2017): 99.92%
WebHostingStuff (February 2006 - April 2018): 99.91%
Web Hosting Secrets Revealed (February 2018): 99.98%
WebSitePulse (January 6th, 2006 - July 21st, 2014): 99.9753%
Hourly updated reliability and speed tests going back 48 hours can be found on HostingReviews.Website.
A2 Hosting is based in the US and has data centers in Michigan, USA; Arizona, USA; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Singapore.
Note that even though the countries mentioned below have strong privacy laws, many of them still preform mass surveillance to some degree. Sadly, that seems to be the trend in the more industrialized countries. Of the countries mentioned, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland perform mass surveillance, and Finland is preparing a law that will the allow the Finnish government to do it.
OrangeWebsite is an Iceland-based offshore hosting provider that focuses on privacy and freedom of speech. The owner of OrangeWebsite is said to be an anarchist that strongly supports freedom of speech and both he and the company itself were strongly against the SOPA and PIPA legislations. OrangeWebsite ignores complaints that does not violate Icelandic laws or OrangeWebsite's Terms of Service. A good indication of OrangeWebsite's commitment to privacy and freedom of speech is that they accept Tor relay and exit nodes to be hosted on their VPS servers, which not many companies do, especially when it comes to exit nodes that get regular abuse complaints.
OrangeWebsite offers two-factor authentication, only require an email address to create an account and - in addition to accepting credit/debit cards via PayPal and bank transfers - they also accept anonymous payments via Bitcoin. OrangeWebsite's servers run on 100% green energy.
OrangeWebsite is the highest rated Islandic web host with a rating of 4.72/5 on HostSearch based on 107 user reviews and 9.0/10 on TrustPilot based on 104 user reviews. According to WebHostingStuff, OrangeWebsite has an average uptime of 99.95%, which is above the industry average of 99.94% uptime. From February 2011 to Feburary 2018 it has had 57 outages, resulting in a combined 52 hours and 20 minutes of downtime in seven years.
Iceland is widely regarded to be the best country to host websites for those who value privacy and abhor censorship. The 2016 Data Center Risk Index rated Iceland 100/100, making it the safest country for data centers among the 37 countries they looked into. This is the country that told the FBI to leave Iceland when they came there to get Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The Pirate Party is Icelands third largest party and the party's leader is a former WikiLeaks member. That politician was in 2010 the chief sponsor of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which set out to make Iceland a journalistic safe haven. The proposal was adopted unanimously by parliament and under that proposal the Icelandic government is now tasked with finding ways to strengthen freedom of speech and freedom of information, as well as provide strong protections for sources and whistleblowers. Another advantage with Iceland is that it's situated between North America and Europe, making it the optimal country if you want to provide fast loading times to both continents without using a CDN.
Porn is technically illegal in Iceland since 1940 (though almost never enforced), so if you think that you or your users might upload content that might fall into that category, Iceland is not the place to host your website. So don't go and host the next big image hosting site in Iceland.
FlokiNET is another Icelandic hosting provider that is also quite popular with privacy advocates. It is rated 3.5/5 by 12 reviews on HostSearch. FlokiNET doesn't have the glorious near perfect review ratings that OrangeWebsite has, but their Icelandic VPS' are a lot cheaper than OrangeWebsite's and it is a nice option for those who want privacy friendly hosting in Romania or Finland. Romania is the country with least surveillance in Europe (though that might have changed since the report is from 2010) and Finland places 3rd on Reporters Without Borders' 2017 World Press Freedom Index. A good sign that FlokiNET takes privacy and freedom of speech seriously is that they allow Tor exit and relay nodes as well as VPN services to be hosted on their dedicated and virtual servers, which not many companies do, especially when it comes to Tor exit nodes that get regular abuse complaints. FlokiNET also runs several Tor nodes themselves in order to support the Tor Project. FlokiNET's servers are encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption and FlokiNET preforms daily backups for free.
Porn is technically illegal in Iceland, so that is not allowed to be hosted on their Icelandic servers, but is allowed on their servers in Romania and Finland.
FlokiNET doesn't enforce DMCA - and also has a legal department to deal with abuse complaints like that - which is good considering how out of control DMCA has gotten.. The FlokiNET staff only use end-to-end encrypted communication systems and their all of their work stations are pre-boot encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption.
Have you ever wanted to host your website in a nuclear bunker in the Swiss Alps? Then Exoscale might be the hosting provider for you. Exoscale is based in Switzerland and has a nice DigitalOcean-like platform. It also has configurable firewall settings that you add the ports that you want to use into. Switzerland is one of the best countries for online privacy. I can't find many user reviews about Exoscale, but CERN uses Exoscale. Exoscale embraces open source software and at the moment they have 177 repositories on GitHub.
There's a nice, detailed guide for setting up a website with nginx and Let's Encrypt on Exoscale here.
One of the four data centers that Exoscale uses is, like I mentioned earlier, in a nuclear bunker in the Alps (near Zurich, Switzerland). The other data centers are located in Geneva, Switzerland; Frankfurt, Germany; and Vienna, Austria.
I am currently using Exoscale for a school project and it has been great so far. The support staff answered within an hour when I submitted a support ticket early in the morning.
I do however have some criticism. The payment options are credit/debit card and PayPal, but recurring payments via PayPal has not been enabled as a payment option, so unless you want to store your credit/debit card info with Exoscale so that Exoscale can automatically charge your credit/debit card you're going to have to manually add funds to your account. This is a problem because Exoscale doesn't notify you before your account runs out of money, they send a email when your account is out of money and your VPS has been powered down. They give you 29 days to pay the bill before the VPS is deleted, so your data is still fine though. Something else that annoys me is that their prices don't include taxes, so a 5€ VPS costs 6,20€ in reality, for example.
That said, I'm still a happy paying customer and I'd recommend Exoscale over other fancy DevOps cloud hosting platforms like DigitalOcean (which I tried two years ago) in a heartbeat. The biggest con is that Exoscale is slightly more expensive and offers less of a bang for the buck specs-wise than a lot of their bigger competitors, but if you just need a small VPS for a low traffic site, they're a solid choice.
Greenhost is an environmentally friendly hosting provider based in the Netherlands that focuses greatly on privacy and security. Greenhost hasn't logged any data since 2009, and have urged other hosting providers to do the same by setting up an informative website in Dutch (Google Translate) about data logging in the Netherlands. Greenhost is a big supporter of open source software and encryption, is mostly built on open source software, has integrated free, open source Lets Encrypt TLS certificates into their hosting platform, and supports DNSSEC. Greenhost performs daily website backups and daily database backups for free.
4.6/5 based on 25 Dutch user reviews on webhosters (Google Translate)
4.7/5 based on 11 Dutch user reviews on Facebook
4.4/5 based on 7 Dutch user reviews on Host-reviews.nl (Google Translate)
100/100 based on 7 Dutch user reviews on ISPGids.com (Google Translate)
Greenhost was one of seven Internet service and communications providers to file a legal complaint calling for the end of GCHQ's unlawful hacking of network infrastructure for mass surveillance. Greenhost signed an open letter calling for state ambassadors to implement Net Neutrality in the EU, making it the only hosting provider to sign the open letter and also the only corporate signee as all other signees were organizations. Greenhost also signed an open letter urging Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook - to defend Net Neutrality on Facebook's Internet.org platform. Greenhost has published a 244 page long Basic Internet Security manual, helps journalists and and activists around the world to communicate freely and sponsors organizations that are committed to freedom, sustainability and culture, such as Free Press Unlimited and De Concertzender, helps five whistleblowing sites with their technical expertise, and is the hosting provider chosen and promoted by the non-profit organization Privacy First. Greenhost also developed a now discontinued proxy plugin for WordPress in order to prevent censorship.
Bahnhof is a hosting provider and residential ISP that is the role model for how a responsible company should act. Bahnhof is Based in Sweden, which has some of the strongest press freedom laws in the world. They have hosted WikiLeaks and The Pirate Bay in their nuclear bunker called White Mountain (which looks like something from out of a James Bond movie) and are known as a free speech ISP. The same people who run Bahnhof also run a security, privacy, and liberty non-profit called the 5th of July Foundation. Bahnhof is currently providing hosting to a press freedom hosting service that helps news agencies in regimes to stay online. Bahnhof's data centers are 100% powered by renewable energy and all the excess heat generated by the service is used to heat up nearby households. Bahnhof started a certification for this process that is called Triple Green.
While hosting WikiLeaks is a great thing to do, what really makes Bahnhof applaudable is their stance and actions against mass surveillance. Their slogan Internet with privacy says it all. Back in 2013 when the Swedish Security Service secretly started pressuring ISPs in Sweden to give the Swedish Security Service automated direct access into their systems in order to conduct mass surveillance Bahnhof was the only ISP that spoke out and they did so when the CEO of Bahnhof, Jon Karlung, secretly recorded the Swedish Security Services demands and threats and leaked it to the Swedish press (Google Translate). Just last year Bahnhof leaked documents about a government proposal for increased data retention (which is also in violation of EU data regulations). The day the European Court of Justice overturned the EU data retention directive Bahnhof published a press release saying “Just hours after the verdict I [Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung] ordered our technicians to abort storing traffic data about our customers. Moreover, we erased existing data.”. When Bahnhof was told by Swedish telecoms regulator PTS that they still had to log their customers Internet activities under Swedish law Bahnhof provided a VPN service run by the 5th of July Foundation for free to all its customers. When copyright trolls started suing Internet users across Sweden and demanding Internet subscriber info from Bahnhof, but since Bahnhof only stores IP addresses for 24 hours there was no data for the copyright trolls to demand from Bahnhof. Bahnhof then decided to register the name of the copyright trolls campaign, Spridningskollen (roughly translates to The Distribution Check) with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office, send the copyright trolls a collection letter for trademark infringement and start a website in Swedish called Utpressningskontrollen (Google Translate) (roughly translates to The Extortion Check) about the issue and all of the ongoing legal cases.
NFOrce Entertainment is a Netherlands-based hosting provider that is known for donating dedicated servers to the Tor network via torservers.net. They are also one of the three hosting companies ProtonVPN uses for their Dutch VPN servers. Needless to say, they are quite trusted when it comes to handling hosting with a high need of privacy and security. They are also quite generous and flexible when it comes to hosting live streaming sites. NFOrce Entertainment offers paid backups with recovery points. User reviews for NFOrce Entertainment are positive and can be found on Web Hosting Talk and Reddit.
BuyVM is a very affordable VPS host with good hardware specs that is well-known and respected on web hosting forums such as Web Hosting Talk, LowEndTalk, Low End Box, vpsBoard, and Reddit where you can read plenty of user reviews. BuyVM always makes it into LowEndTalk's Top Provider Poll, this time placing fifth place in the 2017 Provider Of The Year poll with 75 votes. BuyVM placed second on vpsBoard's Provider of the Year poll with 66.5 points. BuyVM has affordable prices and good specs. BuyVM is pretty strict with fraud and I've read that they sometimes require customers to supply a government issued ID, but there's a plus side to that, you won't have any shady neighbours and the platform overall will be safer due to that.
You can choose between data centers in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; and Roost, Luxembourg. Luxembourg is one of the countries with the best privacy laws and freedom of speech is strongly protected there. There is currently no DMCA takedown enforcement in the Luxembourg data center. Frantech Solutions, the company behind BuyVM, is based in Canada.
Infomaniak is based in the Switzerland. It is rated 4.48/5 based on 340 French user reviews on Top 10 Hébergeurs (Google Translate), 4.7/5 based on 178 user reviews on Facebook, and 4.69/5 based on 14 user reviews on SiteGeek. Infomaniak has had an uptime of 99.98% between September 2010 and March 2018, with 11 outages resulting in 611 minutes of downtime combined during that time period (and the longest outage being 407 minutes), according to Web Hosting Stuff. This is far above the industry standard of 99.94% uptime, and it's quite impressive.
Since they are not bound by American laws, they do not take action on DMCA complaints, which in my opinion is a good thing, since the DMCA system is poorly designed and has gotten out of control. If anyone wants to take down content hosted by Infomaniak on copyright grounds, they have to go through the Swiss legal system, which, unlike its American counterpart, gives the site owner a fair chance to defend their site before any action is taken against it. Switzerland has the most lenient copyright laws in the western world, which shows by the number of large streaming and torrent sites hosted in Switzerland. If you're going to host a site that accepts user submitted content, I'd recommend looking into Infomaniak or another DMCA free hosting provider and save yourself the trouble that is DMCA. In addition to being in a great legal jurisdiction, they also have very good prices for great hardware specs, as Infomaniak is the largest hosting provider in Switzerland and operate its own data centers (three of them, to be specific). The data centers are located at undisclosed locations. Automatic daily backups are included for free.
TransIP is one of the largest hosting providers in the Netherlands, and likely the highest rated one as well, with a 9.1/10 score based on user 550 reviews on TrustPilot, a 97% score based on 305 Dutch user reviews on ISPGids.com (Google Translate), a 8.3/10 score based on 236 Dutch user reviews on HostingWijzer (Google Translate), a 4.3/5 score based on 179 Dutch user reviews on webhosters (Google Translate), a 4.6/5 score based on 68 Dutch user reviews on Hosting-reviews.nl (Google Translate), and a 4.7/5 score based on 49 English user reviews on Serchen. TransIP offers quite a lot of storage space, so if you're going to host a media heavy site, TransIP might be a good fit for you. TransIP is also privacy friendly, so it fits into that category as well. TransIP provides daily backups for free.
HostUS is an affordable US VPS provider with a good hardware specs which continually ranks high in LowEndTalk's Top Provider Polls, placing 11th in the 2017 poll with 19 votes. They have been rated 4.5/5 based on 10 user reviews on Affgadgets.com, and there are plenty of user reviews available on web hosting forums like LowEndTalk, Web Hosting Talk, Low End Box, Reddit, and vpsBoard.
HostUS has data centers in Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Dallas, Texas, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA; Washington D.C., Virginia, USA; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; London, United Kingdom; Hong Kong; Singapore; and Sydney, Australia.
Time4VPS is a division of Interneto vizija, which is Lithuania's largest hosting provider. Because they run their own tier 3 data center they have the lowest prices I've seen among VPS providers that have a good reputation. Note that due to the 200 IOPS and 50 MB/s limits their storage VPS are unfit for use as media servers and for hot backups (daily restores) and are meant to be used for rarely retrievable data.
Time4VPS is rated 4.7/5 based on 1839 user reviews on Shopper Approved, and 4.6/5 based on 49 user reviews on Facebook. More user reviews can be found on LowEndTalk, WebHostingTalk, and Reddit.
RamNode is one of the most well-liked VPS providers on web hosting forums like LowEndTalk, Web Hosting Talk, Low End Box, vpsBoard, and Reddit. RamNode always makes it onto LowEndTalk's Top Provider Poll, this time placing fifth place in the 2017 Provider Of The Year poll with 32 votes. RamNode placed first on vpsBoard's Provider of the Year poll with 80.8 points. It is also one of the most recommended VPS providers on the /r/webhosting subreddit. RamNode has experienced and fast customer service, affordable prices, and good specs. RamNode is based in the US and has data centers in New York City, USA; Atlanta; USA; Seattle, Washington, USA; and Los Angeles, California, USA, as well as a data center in the Netherlands. Benchmarks can be found on VPS Benchmarks.
VirMach is a US VPS provider that is placed third in Low End Talk's 2017 Provider Of The Year poll with 62 votes. They are rated 7.9/10 based on 142 reviews on Trustpilot and 4.5/5 based on 31 reviews on Affgadgets.com, making them the highest rated VPS provider on that site. There are also plenty of reviews of VirMach on web hosting forums like LowEndTalk, Web Hosting Talk, and Low End Box.
VirMach has data centers in Seattle, Washington, USA; San Jose, California, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas, Texas, USA; Chicago, Illinois, USA, Buffalo, New York, USA; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Frankfurt, Germany.
EDIS is a hosting provider in Austria that offers hosting in 24 locations within 22 different countries. They have a solid reputation on web hosting forums like LowEndTalk, Web Hosting Talk, and Low End Box, and their prices are very affordable. For example, if you want to get a VPS on Iceland - either for the privacy benefits or for the geographical advantage of being placed between two major continents to provide fast loading times to both North America and Europe - your cheapest option by far is EDIS. However, do note that more than the data center location alone matters when talking about jurisdiction. The hosting company's location is just as important. The one disadvantage with EDIS is that they don't use SSDs; they exclusively use HDDs.
Anexia is a hosting provider based in Austria, and what sets them apart from the rest is that they offer 70 hosting locations in 45 different countries, covering all populated continents. If you need some really exotic locations, Anexia is one of the first companies where you should look for them.
There aren't that many reviews for Anexia, likely because it is a hosting provider that seems to be geared more towards enterprises than the general public. Despite this, it has been rated 4.7/5 based on 12 German user reviews on Google Maps, 5/5 based on 6 German user reviews on Facebook, and 4.6/5 based on 5 German user reviews on Cloudtango (Google Translate).
What I don't like about Anexia is that they don't display any prices for their hosting services and instead ask you to get in touch with them for a pricing quote. This either means that they are unable to build a simple online pricing calculator or that they want to pull some sales trick on you to maximize their profits. I'm going to bet on the latter.
To quote Hacker News user desdiv:
It's a funny world when Elon Musk will openly display $90M to send 6.4mT of your shit into geosynchronous orbit  and yet millions of businesses selling things that are far less expensive and far more fungible want you to contact our sales team for a quote.
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