Anonymous web hosting: top options to protect your identity
In this article, I’ll share 5 excellent options for anonymous web hosting. I also made a quick guide on how to make the right choice.
Looking for a hosting provider that will keep your personal information safe from prying eyes? There can be several reasons why you might be searching for anonymous hosting.
Maybe you're want to run an adult website, simply maintain your privacy or even avoid persecution in your country. With more and more of your personal data floating around in the big wide web, it's no surprise you want to keep some to yourself.
Regardless if it's a preference or a matter of need to maintain anonymity online, you’ll find plenty of suitable hosting providers that will give you what you want.
Below, you’re going to read about 5 such providers. In this article, I discuss what anonymity purpose each is best for as well as their strengths and weaknesses. But before that, shall we set some standards for anonymous hosting?
What is 100% anonymous hosting?
100% anonymous hosting guarantees that no data you use is linked back to you. So how is that achieved? Anonymous hosting allows you to either register with fake or doesn’t require any personal data at all. More so, the payment options always include cryptocurrencies, which cannot be traced back to the buyer. Lastly, more often than not, it’s hosted offshore. This means that local or even certain international-based authorities won't be able to get to your site – access the data stored on it or track the server back to you.
If you’re interested in such hosting, here are a few advanced offshore hosting providers that can guarantee the anonymity of your identity:
- AbeloHost - It legally promises to not share any of your personally identifiable information (PII) with any third parties and allow payments in cryptocurrencies. You can opt for shared, VPS, or dedicated server hosting.
- Virtual System - It allows absolutely anonymous user registration, and you can also pay in cryptocurrencies. All legal aspects comply with Ukrainian law. You can choose either a VPS or dedicated server hosting.
- Flaunt7 - It does not censor your content, does not sell your PII to third parties, and allows payments in cryptocurrencies. You can choose from shared, VPS, managed WordPress, reseller, and private server hosting.
At the end of the day, these providers offer more advanced options to remain hidden. However, it’s entirely up to you to hide your IP and leave as little trace online as possible. So before you make a decision, consider what level of anonymity you need and if you're able to achieve it on your own.
At the same time, if you’re a regular user just looking to conceal your personal information from the widely accessible archives like domain registrars, our chosen providers will do just that, and quite a bit more, to guarantee your personal data is anonymous.
5 best anonymous web hosting providers: ranked
- Hostinger - best well-rounded anonymous hosting provider
- HostGator - business-oriented provider
- ScalaHosting - managed anonymous VPS hosting
- DreamHost - WordPress-focused anonymous provider
- Namecheap - very cheap anonymous website hosting
If you’re not quite sure about your preferences, I have also prepared a list of things to consider, when choosing an anonymous web hosting provider.
|Features||Free SSL, payments in cryptocurrencies|
|Best for||Highly anonymous web hosting|
Hostinger is one of the cheapest hosting providers on the market. Even so, it doesn’t sacrifice server resources and performance for the sake of low prices. What’s even better, it comes with plenty of options for you to keep your identity hidden.
First of all, it accepts multiple methods of payment, and cryptocurrencies are among them. You can pay using Bitcoin or other major cryptocurrencies. As a result, the payment cannot be traced back to you, so your identity will remain unknown. You can select this method of payment during the checkout process.
Secondly, Hostinger is one of those hosting providers that don’t require an identity verification process. All you'll need to register is an email address and a password.
Last but not least, Hostinger has different server locations. They are located in 7 regions around the world. The data centers are in the US, the UK, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia, and Lithuania. According to the company, there are multiple levels of protection so that your information is safe. If your country censors your content, you can simply host it elsewhere so the local laws do not apply. In any case, check that carefully as regulations and agreements between different countries can apply.
One drawback is that Hostinger charges for domain privacy and protection. If you want the provider to replace your contact information with some generic info in order to hide your identity, you must pay for it. The fee is not high, though. It’s $5/year.
Nevertheless, there are a few other reasons why Hostinger is a viable option. For one thing, its prices are crazy competitive.
Hostinger provides 3 shared hosting plans. Single costs only $1.39/month, Premium is $2.59/month, and Business starts at $4.99/month.
All plans include free SSL certificates, backups, and at least one professional email.
- Single – supports 1 website and provides 30GB SSD storage, 100GB bandwidth, and 1 free email address for it. The plan is perfect for a small, personal website.
- Premium – allows connecting up to 100 websites and includes 100GB SSD storage and unlimited bandwidth. It also includes 100 email addresses and a free domain for a year. This plan would suit small-to-medium websites best.
- Business – can connect up to 100 websites, and you get 200GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and 100 email addresses for it. It also includes a free CDN (Content Delivery Network). The plan will be the best fit for medium-sized websites with quite high traffic.
If you’re looking for the best value to money ratio, Premium allows hosting numerous websites and gives generous storage for them. By committing to a 48-month subscription, it will be only $124.32 in total.Check Hostinger Pricing Now
With an uptime of 100% and an average response time of 511ms, Hostinger proved to be one of the best-performing hosting providers on the market. Most providers cannot give you these numbers.
Hostinger has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, but it exceeded my expectations with the 100% I got. And the response time was pretty good, even at its highest.
The bottom line is that Hostinger is the overall best web hosting provider for high anonymity. It can protect your identity through the lack of identity verification, cryptocurrency payments, and domain privacy protection. Moreover, the prices are low, and the performance is close to perfect.
- No identity verification
- Use of cryptocurrencies
- Excellent performance
- Affordable prices
- Paid domain privacy
- The cheapest plan doesn’t include a free domain
|Features||Free SSL and free domain|
|Best for||Small-to-medium websites with minimum anonymity requirements|
HostGator is a popular web hosting provider, mainly for its affordable prices and generous server resources. While it isn’t 100% anonymous hosting, HostGator offers a few features you can take advantage of. The main point of selling is the lack of identity verification measures.
HostGator makes it easy to get away with providing fake credentials. You can give a fake name and the details of a prepaid card. The provider mentions that all new customers must provide accurate information, but nobody actually checks. That may pose some problems when you need advanced support, though.
While you can conceal your personal info when registering, payments aren’t 100% anonymous. HostGator allows only two methods of payment – credit card and PayPal. Since the two require identity verification, the payment can be traced back to you. Not easily, but still possible. The only way to go around this is to pay from someone else’s PayPal or pre-paid card to confuse whoever may be interested.
More so, HostGator also offers WHOIS Domain Privacy Protection. However, if you want to activate this feature, you’re going to be charged for it. And it’s more expensive than Hostinger’s option. It costs $14.95/year, which is almost three times as much.
Apart from the fact that you can kind of get away with hiding your information, HostGator is also known for its affordable prices. It has 3 plans. Hatchling is $2.75/month, Baby starts at $3.50/month, and Business costs $5.25/month.
No matter which plan you choose, you’ll get a free SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth and storage, and a free domain for a year. That’s pretty generous for the money you spend.
- Hatchling – you can connect single website and get a free email account. It’s more than enough for a personal blog, for instance.
- Baby – you get everything from Hatchling, but the number of websites is not limited. I recommend this plan for the majority of sites that are getting started.
- Business – you get a free upgrade to PositiveSSL, a free dedicated IP, and some SEO tools you’d have to pay for otherwise. It is very fitting for more secure hosting.
To get the best offer you might consider the Baby plan, which compared to Hatchling, allows more than one website. Alternatively, it offers a much better price for very similar features compared to the Business plan. With a 36-month subscription, Baby will cost you only $126.Check HostGator Pricing Now
I was patient to see how HostGator does over a 3-month period, and I was satisfied with the results. With an uptime of >99.99% and an average response time of 525ms, HostGator proved to be a reliable provider.
HostGator has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and it kept its promise. The average response time rounded up to 535ms, and I cannot really complain. It's still slightly lower than the market's average that sits at 600ms. So while it could be better, it's far from anything to stress about.
If your target audience is not from the US, it's worth mentioning that even though most of the HostGator's servers are in the US, you can activate Cloudflare CDN and have your content saved on 23 other data centers worldwide. This way, it'll be closest to your audience for the speediest website performance.
The bottom line is that HostGator is a decent choice when it comes to anonymous web hosting. You can activate WHOIS Domain Privacy Protection or register under a pseudonym with a prepaid card. The server resources and the prices are appealing too.
- You can register with fake credentials
- Very inclusive plans
- Affordable prices
- Domain privacy comes at a fee
- No cryptocurrency payments
|Features||Free SSL, white-label control panel, private nameservers|
|Best for||Anonymous reseller hosting|
ScalaHosting may not be the most anonymous shared hosting provider out there, but what it offers is an anonymous VPS for resellers. Are you looking to run a hosting reselling business, but you’d like to look more like a hosting provider rather than a reseller? ScalaHosting has you covered.
All ScalaHosting’s reseller plans allow you to use private nameservers. This way, you appear more like a provider rather than a reseller. The servers are named after your company, after all.
To further support your credibility, ScalaHosting has a 100% white-label control panel. This means that you can customize the control panel for website management (the one your clients will be using) to have your logo. Seems like ScalaHosting itself is trying to remain anonymous.
Now talking about payments, ScalaHosting allows only 3 methods – credit card, PayPal, and bank transfer. Since all these methods need identity verification, the payment will be linked to you.
They even specify that unverified PayPal accounts are not accepted. So payment options are very nonexistent in terms of anonymity.
So while you won’t be able to hide your information from the host, the private name servers, white-label control panel, and now, ID protection will surely hide your personal info from the rest of the world. When you register a new domain, this is automatically added to your cart for an extra charge of $4 for a year. ID protection hides your personal or company information from the publicly available WHOIS database. And the cost won’t break your bank!
Talking about offers, ScalaHosting has 3 reseller plans priced between $12.95/mo to $34.95/mo. Additionally, if you’d like to have a personal server for your personal needs, you can choose a managed VPS hosting for $9.95/mo.
Regardless of the plan, you’ll get free SSL certificates, CDN, and domain reseller, private nameservers, daily backups, a control panel (cPanel,) and SShield Security Protection.
Depending on your needs (more or fewer websites, storage,) you can choose one of the plans. However, if this is your first time trying the reseller business, the cheapest managed VPS plan is a good place to start. However, instead of the cPanel control panel, you'll be able to provide SPanel for your clients.
The best deal for a high-quality website lies with the Managed VPS plan. By choosing a 36-month billing option, the plan will be only $9.95/mo or $358.20 in total. At the same time, you can choose monthly billing, and the first month will cost you the same $9.95.Check ScalaHosting Pricing Now
In two weeks of examination, ScalaHosting managed to keep a perfect 100% uptime and a very good average response time of 443ms. The host proved to be not only reliable but pretty speedy to react, too.
ScalaHosting has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and as you can tell, it blew it out of the water. So it seems that good performance and reliability are not a point of concern with ScalaHosting.
It’s also good to know that ScalaHosting allows you to choose a server location. It offers 3 locations - Dallas (US), New York(US), Bulgaria (EU.) This allows you to host your website closest to your audience for the best website performance.
In sum, ScalaHosting is a great choice for anyone planning to resell hosting. The host allows you to set private nameservers and offer 100% white-label, so you get to look like a web host rather than a reseller. Cheap ID protection also helps you to keep your personal data safer.
- Anonymous servers with reseller plans
- 100% white-label control panel
- Managed VPS for a very good price
- No cryptocurrency payments
- ID privacy comes at a fee
|Features||Free SSL, domain, domain privacy, and daily backups|
|Best for||Small-to-medium-sized websites with relatively good anonymity level|
DreamHost is a titan of the industry, and its focus is WordPress. However, it’s also one of the best anonymous web hosting providers because it offers free domain privacy and doesn’t require advanced identity verification. DreamHost’s prices are very reasonable too.
A few hosting providers offer free domain privacy and protection, and DreamHost is one of them. It’s included in all its plans. You don’t even have to enable it as it is activated by default.
Another aspect that makes DreamHost suitable if you’re looking for anonymous hosting is that there is no advanced identity verification. You can get away with using fake contact information and a prepaid card. Plus, once the verification is made (via email from a do-not-reply address), there will be no other verification unless you change your WHOIS contact information.
Apart from that, DreamHost has its own servers, so security is not an issue. It has data centers only in the US, though. The bad news is that DreamHost doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment. You can use only a credit/debit card or Paypal. This means that you won’t really be able to hide your data from the provider, but it won’t be visible to third parties.
Talking about plans, there are only two options. Starter costs $2.59/month, while Unlimited is $3.95/month. Given the resources you can access, I’d say you get great value for money with either.
Both plans come with a free domain and privacy, unlimited traffic, free SSL certificates, and automated daily backups. As for particularities:
- Starter – you can connect one website and get 50GB of storage. If you want an email account, the price is $1.67/month. This plan is more than enough for a small personal website.
- Unlimited – allows connecting as many websites as you want. The plan includes free email accounts and unlimited storage. I think this plan is suitable for small-to-medium sites that need more storage.
For a single, professional-looking website you can opt for the Starter plan. With a 3-year billing option, the total will come up to only $93.24.Check DreamHost Pricing Now
I should probably mention that DreamHost also has the most generous money-back guarantee policy. If you’re not satisfied with its services, you have 97 days to ask for your money back.
With an average response time of 231ms and an uptime of >99.99%, DreamHost managed to provide some of the best results I’ve seen in a very long time.
With an average response time of 231ms, I don’t have any complaints. Even the maximum response time of 277ms was excellent. However, DreamHost has a 100% uptime guarantee, and what it delivered was >99.99%. It’s not an alarming number, of course. That 1 minute of downtime just had to have its moment, I guess.
In general, DreamHost makes an excellent choice if you’re looking for an anonymous online presence. The domain privacy is free, and you can trick the verification process. The plans are inclusive and not expensive, and DreamHost’s performance is very good.
- Free domain privacy and protection
- No advanced identity verification is needed
- Excellent performance
- Doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies
|Features||Free SSL, domain, firewall, automated backups, payments in cryptocurrencies|
|Best for||A high level of anonymity for a smaller site|
Namecheap is one of the largest domain registrars on the market, but it also provides hosting. Since it offers free domain privacy and doesn’t require identity verification, Namecheap is ideal for anonymous web hosting. Plus, it accepts cryptocurrencies as means of payment.
While few providers have this practice, Namecheap provides free WHOIS Domain Privacy Protection. Your contact information and other sensitive data are secure by default, so you don’t have to worry about prying eyes.
The second reason why Namecheap is an excellent anonymous hosting provider is that it doesn’t perform an identity verification when you register a domain and an account. Feel free to use any information you see fit.
More so, Namecheap keeps your identity safe by allowing cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. So, if you don’t want your payment to be traced back to you, just use Bitcoin, and you’re good.
When it comes to plans, Namecheap offers very affordable options. It has three plans - Stellar ($1.44/month,) Stellar Plus ($2.44/month,) and Stellar Business ($4.44/month.) The prices apply for 2-year subscriptions.
All plans come with unlimited bandwidth, free domain for a year, privacy protection, free SSL certificates, and free Supersonic CDN. As for what makes these plans different:
- Stellar – you can connect three websites, and the storage is limited to 20GB. It’s more than enough for a small personal website.
- Stellar Plus – allows connecting unlimited websites, and the storage is unlimited as well. This plan also includes automated backup. I think this plan works great for small-to-medium websites with average traffic.
- Stellar Business – this plan supports unlimited websites. While it says that you get 50GB SSD storage, cloud storage is available as well. This plan is most suited for medium-sized websites that expect traffic increases.
To secure the best value for money you should consider the Stellar Plus plan. Unlike Stellar, Stellar Plus offers much more storage and automated backups. With a 2-year subscription, it’ll be only $58.56 in total.Check Namecheap Pricing Now
One thing I found odd is Namecheap’s money-back guarantee policy. You have 14 days to contact customer support for a refund. That is incredibly short, knowing that the industry’s standard lies at 30 days.
Namecheap did not do very well in the performance department. During a 2-week period, the uptime was at a pretty low 99.82%, and it’s quite disappointing. Especially knowing that Namecheap has a 100% uptime guarantee.
The average response time of 1.05s was not much better really. Namecheap promised a little too much and delivered a little, well… too little.
When registering your account, you can choose the server location. You have three options: the US, the UK, and the EU. While the US data center is free, if you opt for the other two options, you’ll be charged an additional $1/month. That’s… different, but okay.
Overall, Namecheap lives up to its name and offers low prices. The performance, however, is its Achilles tendon. However, if you want to protect your identity, you get to register with a fake name or use Bitcoin. Plus, you don’t have to worry about domain privacy since it’s included in all plans.
- Free domain privacy
- No identity verification
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Short money-back guarantee policy
- Performance could be better
Best anonymous web hosting: final recommendations
When looking for the best anonymous web hosting provider, you have quite a few choices. I, however, narrowed them down to five providers.
- Hostinger is incredibly cheap but doesn’t sacrifice security and reliability. It accepts cryptocurrencies, and there is no identity verification required. Domain privacy is paid, though.
- HostGator doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies, but you can get away with fake credentials and purchase domain privacy. If you need a basic level of anonymity, it's a good option.
- ScalaHosting is a private reseller hosting option. With a white label control panel, ID protection, and private name servers, your clients won't know that you're reselling. However, payments are not anonymous.
- DreamHost offers domain privacy for free, and there is no advanced identity verification process. However, you cannot make the payment using cryptocurrencies.
- Namecheap offers free domain privacy, the possibility to pay using Bitcoin, and there is no identity verification.
What’s important when choosing anonymous web hosting?
The best anonymous hosting providers are the ones that don't even ask for your personal information. However, more often than not, they do. So what measures should you look for to make sure that your private information remains private? Here are the key factors you must consider before making a choice.
ICANN’s WHOIS protocol allows anyone to see your contact information or any other confidential data you use when registering a domain. After registering the domain, all your personal data becomes publicly accessible, meaning anyone who has an interest can access it. That interest can sometimes be mischievous, which is why so many people want to keep their personal information hidden.
A good anonymous hosting solution comes with domain privacy and protection. That will keep your personal information, such as name, address, email address, and so on, hidden.
While some hosting providers offer domain privacy for free, others will make you pay for it.
Fast and easy registration
When you opt for data privacy, a provider that ensures anonymity will not ask for too many personal details or any, for that matter. There are hosting providers out there that require identity and account verification. It’s a fraud prevention measure meant to stop people from purchasing hosting using stolen information. However, providing your name, contact info, billing account, or other sensitive information should not be a requirement during registration.
One of the things you need to consider when searching for anonymous hosting is whether or not the provider has its own private servers. You must have heard or read about resellers. They rent hosting from third-party companies and then resell it. It’s understandable since owning and maintaining private data centers constitutes tremendous financial resources.
Nevertheless, not owning private servers also means that the reseller doesn’t have control over the servers. It cannot ensure the same level of security as a provider with its own data centers. Consequently, your privacy is not in the safest hands.
Cryptocurrencies as a payment method
Nothing ensures anonymity like an untraceable payment method. And that’s precisely what cryptocurrencies are. You can register your hosting account and domain using a pseudonym and then use bitcoin or any major cryptocurrency to make the payment.
However, not all hosting providers give you that option. They will ask for your credit card or PayPal account. We all know that these methods require identity verification, and there’s no way for you to dodge that. So, if you want an entirely anonymous online presence, go for a hosting provider that takes cryptocurrencies.
All in all, there are quite a few factors to look at when choosing the best anonymous web hosting provider. Decide on the level of animosity you’re going for, and based weight your options. Also, do not forget to consider the pricing, resources, and your site’s performance. While not the front runners, they are very important for a functional website.
Anonymous web hosting FAQs
What’s the cheapest anonymous web hosting provider?
The cheapest anonymous web hosting provider is Hostinger. Its shared hosting plans start at only $1.39/month. A close second is Namecheap, which costs only 5 cents more per month.
Is anonymous hosting reliable?
Yes, anonymous hosting is reliable. The option of having an anonymous online presence doesn’t affect the provider’s reliability. Anonymity is just a feature that comes with it.
Does an average user need anonymous hosting?
Not every average user needs anonymous hosting. If you have a simple personal website, you might not want to pay the extra $5 or $15 for domain privacy. However, when a provider such as DreamHost or Namecheap includes domain privacy and protection in its plans, it’s definitely something that users usually appreciate.