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Secure web hosting: for a threat-free website


In this article, I’m going to talk about the most secure web hosting providers for a safe web hosting experience. Additionally, I’ve discussed what security tools are crucial for secure site hosting.

Having a secure website is crucial these days. Cyber attacks are happening every day all around the world, and without proper security, you are risking so many things going wrong. You could either lose your website or have it be damaged beyond repair.

Even worse, you could put your visitors in danger too.

In order to avoid all that, you should take care of your hosting security as best as possible. The main factor here is picking a secure web hosting company. While many will say that they are the most secure out there, take your time to really explore more.

Do they offer all the basics like SSL, server firewalls, automated backups, or DDoS? Maybe you can get domain privacy or malware scan free of charge too?

So I was curious to discover truly secure web hosting services on the market. Not just the ones with a basic set of tools, but the ones that will keep your site under 9 locks. Here are the 5 best providers that stood the test of time.

Secure web hosting: ranked

  1. SiteGround – overall the best secure web hosting provider
  2. Hostinger – very affordable and secure web hosting solution
  3. InterServer – no-nonsense secure web hosting
  4. DreamHost – website security for personal sites
  5. A2 Hosting – security against most malicious threats

If you’re not quite sure what security tools you need, I have prepared a list of the most common security tools and their purpose at the end of this article.

By the way, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 are coming! Check the best secure web hosting Black Friday deals.

1. SiteGround

Siteground
FeaturesFree SSL, daily backups, account isolations, anti-hack system, spam protection
Uptime99.99%
Speed217ms
Best forVery secure web hosting for any website

SiteGround is one of the best secure web hosting examples in the shared hosting market. The host not only offers an abundance of basic and advanced security tools, but also includes them with all its plans. And while the provider is a little more premium-priced, you get much more than you’ve bargained for.

To get a better understanding of how secure SiteGround is, here’s what it includes.

Basic security tools:

  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Automated daily backups distributed through remote data centers (advanced on-demand backups available with GrowBig and GoGeek plans).
  • 2-factor authentication when you access your hosting services.
  • The provider checks for a high number of failed login attempts to the account.

Advanced security tools:

  • Account isolation – SiteGround uses a custom server setup to isolate shared hosting accounts from each other. This way, the host prevents all the users from getting affected by other accounts’ vulnerabilities on the same server.
  • Updates and patches – to keep its software secure, SiteGround runs regular updates and uses in-house written security patches if anything does slip by.
  • A real-time server monitoring system – the provider includes an in-house developed monitoring system that checks the server every 0.5s. Additionally, there’s also 24/7 human monitoring too.
  • AI anti-bot system – artificial intelligence analyses data from SiteGround’s servers to detect any suspicious actions. If a bot-like activity has been detected, AI automatically applies needed actions.
  • Anti-Hack systems – SiteGround has a custom Web Application Firewall that they add numerous security rules to constantly. This is done in order to protect your WordPress or any other application from emerging vulnerabilities.
  • Spam protection – this filters incoming and outgoing emails and allows to easier recognize spam. It also can quarantine suspicious emails.
  • Security plugin for WordPress – this is the most recent addition to SiteGround’s security kit. The WordPress-exclusive security plugin allows to enhance login security, prevent common attacks, malware, and monitor admin activity logs.

Overall, SiteGround not only goes the extra mile when it comes to site security. The host provides you with everything and more to guarantee that no threat will get you when you least expect it.

SiteGround pricing

Talking about price, SiteGround comes with 3 shared hosting plans priced between $3.99/mo and $10.69/mo.

No matter which plan you go for, all 3 come with free SSL, CDN, automatic daily backups, email accounts, managed WordPress, caching, and unmetered bandwidth. While all plans share quite a few similarities, the differences are noticeable too.

PlanWhat the plan includes
StartUp ($3.99/mo)Comes with a single website limit, as well as 10GB storage and a 10,000 monthly visit allowance. This is a good plan for a single, smaller site like a blog or a show-off site.
GrowBig ($6.69/mo)Allows hosting unlimited websites and includes 20GB storage with a 25,000 monthly visit allowance. In addition to StartUp’s resources, you get on-demand backup copies, staging, and an Ultrafast PHP. This is a good candidate for business websites.
GoGeek ($10.69/mo)Comes with unlimited websites, 40GB storage, and a 100,000 monthly visit allowance. On top of GrowBig perks, you also get a white-label feature and priority support. This plan will best fit bigger business websites or a reseller’s needs.
Best Value

To get the most for your money, choose GrowBig. The plan includes all the regular security tools like SSL, automatic backups, and CDN. However, you also get staging, on-demand backups, and Ultrafast PHP, unlike with StartUp.

SiteGround performance

Jumping to the performance, it’s clear that SiteGround does not cut corners. The site remained online more than promised, and the speed was really impressive.

SiteGround gives a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, in almost 2 months of examination, there were only 3 outages or 7 minutes of downtime. Overall, that’s a highly reliable 99.99% uptime. Much better than promised indeed.

Siteground  responce time

If uptime was something to be proud of, the average response time will leave you shocked. SiteGround’s response time averaged at only 217ms, barely ⅓ of the market’s average time. Simply fast.

And to keep great speed no matter where your audience resides, SiteGround offers 6 server locations. You can choose from the US (Lowa), Europe (Germany, Netherlands, and UK), Australia, and Singapore. For best results, go with the one closest to your visitors.

In short, SiteGround’s performance leaves no doubt that the host takes reliability and speed seriously. Such performance is one of the best among the shared hosting providers.

Overall, SiteGround is a highly secure web hosting provider. It offers an impressive amount of tools, most of which are developed in-house.

2. Hostinger

Hostinger
FeaturesFree SSL, weekly backups, SpamAssassin, Bitninja, internal server security
Uptime100%
Speed511ms
Best forSecure web hosting on a budget

Hostinger is another highly secure web hosting provider. Even though very low prices might seem a little suspicious, the provider takes security very seriously. You can rest assured that the most basic features will be included with all plans. Additionally, advanced features will further enhance your and your site’s security.

Here’s what Hostinger has to offer in the security department.

Basic security tools:

  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Cloudflare Protected Nameservers – Cloudflare DNS firewall helps to defend your server against DDoS attacks.
  • 2-factor authentication when you access your hosting services.
  • Automated daily (only with the Business plan) and weekly (with all plans) website backups.
  • SpamAssassin – automatically scans for and removes email spam.

Advanced security tools:

  • Patchstack WordPress security – this WordPress plugin scans your site for any plugin vulnerabilities and instantly automatically patches them up if needed.
  • Cryptocurrencies to pay for the hosting – by making a payment in cryptocurrencies, you do not share any of your personal information with the provider.
  • Internal server security – Hostinger’s servers are equipped with essential security modules like mod_security and PHP open_basedir. Additionally, they are being monitored 24/7 for any malware infection or attack.
  • Bitninja – this is a security package that prevents XSS, DDoS, malware, script injection, brute force, and other automated attacks against your site.
  • Bastion servers – Hostinger uses Bastion servers to reduce direct connection to the origin servers. This way, less pressure, and fewer threats will harm the server.

In short, Hostinger comes with absurdly low prices for the security you get. The host takes care of its internal security measures very well. All you need to do is set up a few things. The rest is taken care of.

Hostinger pricing

Hostinger comes with 3 shared hosting plans: Single ($1.39/mo), Premium ($2.59/mo), and Business ($4.99/mo).

Despite which option you pick, all plans include a free SSL certificate, Cloudflare DNS firewall, automated weekly backups, and at least 1 email account. Additionally, Premium and Business plans include a free domain and SSH access. Here’s what differs:

PlanWhat the plan includes
Single ($1.39/mo)Comes with a single website, 30GB storage, bandwidth for 10,000 monthly visits, and 1 email account. This is a good plan for a single personal website.
Premium ($2.59/mo)Allows hosting 100 websites and includes 100 GB storage, Bandwidth for 25,000 monthly visits, and 100 email accounts. Small-to-medium business websites would benefit from this plan.
Business ($4.99/mo)Comes with 100 website allowance, 200GB storage, bandwidth for 100,000 monthly visits, 100 email accounts, free CDN, and automated daily backups.
Best Value

If you’re looking for a highly secure web hosting solution, give the Business plan a look. Unlike other options, it comes with automated daily backups and free CDN for just $4.99/mo.

Hostinger performance

Hostinger has demonstrated a very trustworthy and reasonably fast performance.

Like most providers, Hostinger has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, yet in reality, exceeds it greatly. In 2 months’ time, the provider did not have a single outage, resulting in a perfect 100% uptime.

hostinger responce time

Examining the response time, the average came around 511ms. Such time still manages to fall under the market’s average of 600ms. Yet, I do wish it was just a tad speedier.

However, you can improve speed by choosing a server location closest to your target audience. And Hostinger offers 4 to choose from for shared hosting USA, Netherlands, Lithuania, and Singapore. The closer your server is to your audience, the quicker your site loads.

In sum, Hostinger has very good performance results. The uptime is perfect, response time is speedier than on average, and there are many server locations to choose from.

In conclusion, Hostinger is a very cheap, very secure, and very reliable host. Many security features like monitoring, patching, and regular updating truly make this provider one of the best secure web hosting.

3. InterServer

InterServer
FeaturesFree SSL, weekly backups, email spam filtering, web application firewall, Imunify360
Uptime99.99%
Speed662ms
Best forSimplistic and affordable secure web hosting

InterServer offers great resources and just as impressive security creatures. It’s a pretty simplistic hosting provider. You get what you pay for, and that’s resources. Pretty generous resources. One thing the provider is also generous at is its security measures. No matter what shared plan you go for, you’ll get all the basics and even some extras to keep your site secure.

Let’s look at what you can expect from InteServer’s security.

Basic security features:

  • Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.
  • Automated weekly backups that can be kept for up to 60 days.
  • Email spam filtering and SSL encryption.
  • 2-factor authentication when you access your hosting services.

Advanced security features:

  • Scanning and monitoring – InterServer is constantly monitoring uploaded files. By including file uploading and script scanners, it prevents users from unknowingly uploading malicious or breached files.
  • Web Application Firewall – In order to protect your and your visitors’ data, InterServer uses an advanced web application firewall that monitors, examines, and prevents unwanted traffic to your application.
  • In-house malware database – the provider keeps an extensive database of malware scripts in order to recognize its signature and prevent a possible breach.
  • Inter-Insurance recovery package – InterServer comes with a pretty unique package that investigates why any problem has occurred, restores the original version of your site, and tries to prevent future recurrence of similar issues.
  • Imunify360 – this is a multilayer security tool for Linux-based web servers. It takes care of matters such as advanced firewalls, intrusion detection and protection system, malware scanning, patch management, proactive defense, and much more.

As a whole, InterServer values your security. The host includes all the necessities to protect you as well as your site and server as a whole. However, I’m not very thrilled that DDoS protection is not available with shared hosting.

InterServer pricing

InterServer has 3 shared plans, with prices ranging from $2.50/mo to $19.95/mo.

No matter which one you pick, all options come with a free SSL certificate, automatic backups, CDN, InterShield security package for security. Additionally, there’s also an unlimited number of websites, storage, bandwidth, and email accounts.

Plans do differ in their resources like CPU cores (from 1 to 4) and RAM (from 2 to 8GB).

In simple terms, the entry plan is like a base offer, and every other is just a more advanced and more powerful upgrade of it.

Best Value

A good starting point would be the Standard plan. Since all plans come with the same security features, you can start from small and upgrade your plan if current resources will be too little.

InterServer performance

Talking about InteServer’s performance, it is clear that the provider is very reliable yet lacks a little speed.

In 3 months of examination, InterServer had 10 outages or 13 minutes of downtime in sum. While at first, it might seem scary, the host maintained an impressive 99.99% uptime.

This is even more appreciated when you know that the host comes with a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee.

InterServer  responce time

While I had no complaints about the uptime, response time could use some improvements. The average response time rounded up to 662ms. Overall, it is still a pretty good result. But knowing that it surpasses the market’s average of 600ms, I think it could do a little better.

One thing to note is that InterServer has its data centers in the US exclusively. This means that the best speed results can be expected for US audiences too.

To summarise, InterServer’s performance is pretty good. Even with a few outages, the host showed very good uptime. Although, the response time could be a tad bit better.

All in all, InterServer is a simple hosting provider. The prices are low, the plans aren’t overcrowded with many features, but all you need is there. Especially in the security department.

4. DreamHost

FeaturesFree SSL, daily backups, domain privacy protection, Web Application Firewall
Uptime>99.99%
Speed231ms
Best forSecure web hosting for smaller personal websites

DreamHost offers secure web hosting for smaller and more personal websites. The host comes with 2 plans, which are very affordable, either long-term or short-term. While the variety of choices is not the widest, you can rest assured that both plans are pretty secure.

Compared to other providers on this list, DreamHost has a pretty minimal list of security features. However, do not be fooled. The host takes care of all the main threats that could target your site.

Basic security features:

  • Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.
  • Automatic daily backups.
  • Multi-factor authentication when you access your hosting services.
  • Cloudflare CDN can be set up from the dashboard to protect against DDoS attacks.

Advanced security features:

  • Domain privacy protection – DreamHost conceals any visible personal information you might have used to register your domain on the WHOIS database. Sensitive information like your name, address, and any related information, otherwise, are publicly available.
  • Mod_security – this is a web application firewall for apache. DreamHost already has hundreds of security rules implemented and is constantly adding new ones to improve security levels.
  • Lua-resty-waf – this is a web application firewall for nginx. The tool helps to securely process a high number of requests to your server.

While the free options are pretty extensive, DreamHost also has a paid package to offer:

  • Malware removal tool “DreamShield” ($29.99 per year or $3/mo) – DreamShield identifies malicious code, out-of-date software, and broken permissions that might threaten your site and removes them for you.

All in all, DreamHost gives you a pretty good level of security. Such free bonuses like domain protection are always very welcomed. However, a lack of free malware scanning and repair is a little saddening.

DreamHost pricing

When it comes to shared hosting, DreamHost offers 2 solutions: Starter ($2.59/mo) and Unlimited ($3.95/mo).

Both plans include free SSL, domain privacy, automated daily backups, domain, and unlimited traffic. While quite similar, the two have some differences too.

PlanWhat the plan includes
Starter ($2.59/mo)Comes with a single website limit and 50GB storage. An email account is not included and comes for an additional $1.67/mo. Regardless, the plan is great for a smaller personal site.
Unlimited ($3.95/mo)Allows hosting an unlimited number of websites and comes with unlimited storage and email accounts. This will be best for a small-to-medium website.
Best Value

If you’re looking for a single secure website, pick the Starter plan. The 50GB storage is more than enough for a single site, and all the included security tools will protect it against the most common threats.

DreamHost performance

DreamHost’s performance is one of the best among the shared hosting providers. The uptime is very good, and the speed is just as impressive.

It must be noted that DreamHost comes with a 100% uptime guarantee. And if it wasn’t for that single minute, it would’ve shown just that. Yet keeping a 100% uptime is very hard due to many unforeseen circumstances. More so, server maintenance is not included in the guarantee.

In over a month of examining, DreamHost had a single outage of 1 minute. That has slightly tampered with the uptime, and the host came up to a near-perfect >99.99%. A very good result.

DreamHost responce time

The speed department did not disappoint either. The average response time was only 231ms – not even ½ of the market’s average time. Very speedy indeed.

Additionally, DreamHost hosts all its users’ sites in the US alone. Simply put, US audiences will see the best performance.

In brief, DreamHost demonstrated very fast and very reliable performance results. 0 complaints on this front.

Altogether, DreamHost is a very secure web host for small and personal sites. The provider offers very good tools. But if you’re looking to run a site that might deal with sensitive information, you might need a little more.

5. A2 Hosting

A2Hosting
FeaturesFree SSL, automatic backups, HackScan, dual firewall, auto-heal protection, virus scanning
Uptime99.99%
Speed597ms
Best forSecure web hosting for small-to-medium business sites

A2 Hosting is best known for its fast performance. However, the host is not only fast – it’s packed with security tools too. You can find anything from a free SSL certificate to such advanced features as server hardening. A2 Hosting really deserves its place among the best secure web hosting solutions.

Basic security features:

  • Free SSL certificate.
  • DDoS protection – the host keeps you safe against increased malicious traffic from many compromised computer devices.
  • 2-factor authentication when you access your hosting services.
  • Automatic backups (except the Startup plan).

Advanced security features:

  • Patchman enhanced security tool – this tool detects any outdated software and notifies you. Additionally, it quarantines infected files and patches up any files if seen fit.
  • HackScan – is a 24/7 active malware protection. HackScan is meant to stop any attacks before they occur and damage your site.
  • Dual firewall – the host not only includes server firewalls but also a network firewall. The combination of the two helps to better protect your site from unauthorized users.
  • Auto-heal protection – this feature makes sure that A2’s network settings are always properly configured. This means that if any default setting is tampered with, A2 Hosting automatically sets it back to the original version.
  • Virus scanning – A2 Hosting includes accessible and easy to manage virus scan so you can make sure your site is virus-free at all times.
  • Server Hardening – the host takes extra precautions to secure your server. By disabling non-mission critical server components, A2 lessens the chances of server exploitation.

The variety of free tools is pretty fascinating. However, for an extra charge, you can get an additional dedicated IP:

  • Dedicated IP ($5.99/mo) – in shared hosting, the same IP address is used by many users. With a dedicated IP, you get direct access to your server, meaning a higher level of control.

Overall, A2 Hosting leaves no stone unturned when it comes to secure hosting. You can be sure that your site will be hosted on secure servers, and the host will do its best to keep your site safe.

A2 Hosting pricing

A2 Hosting comes forward with 4 shared hosting plans with prices starting at $2.99/mo.

All plans include a free SSL certificate, DDoS protection, brute force defense, virus scanning, a dual firewall, the Patchman enhanced security tool, and unlimited bandwidth. More so, all plans apart from the entry offer automatic backups. No domain, however.

PlanWhat the plan includes
Startup ($2.99/mo) Comes with 1 website and 100GB storage. The package is very generous for a single website and will be good for a bigger blog or a smaller business website.
Drive ($4.99/mo)Allows connecting unlimited websites and comes with unlimited SSD storage. This plan is best suited for a small-to-medium site or multiple smaller ones.
Turbo Boost ($9.99/mo)Is hosted on a turbo server that is much faster. More so, on top of Drive’s offering, it comes with unlimited NVMe storage, staging, cloning, 1-click security hardening, and security rollback. If performance and high levels of security are something you’re after, this is the plan.
Turbo Max ($14.99/mo)This plan is very similar to Turbo Boost. Additionally, you get a little more physical memory. If your site is on the bigger side with loads of imagery, you might consider this option.
Best Value

If you’re sure you won’t need much more than a single website, give the Startup plan a look. For a very reasonable price, you get all A2 Hosting’s free security tools. More so, 100GB storage is very generous.

A2 Hosting performance

In terms of performance, A2 Hosting showed very good results. The uptime came up to be much better than the guarantee and the response time was pretty good.

In 2 months of examining, A2 Hosting managed to keep the site live 99.99% of the time. While impressive on its own, it’s even better taking the official uptime guarantee of 99.9% into consideration.

A2 hosting responce time

When we talk speed, A2 Hosting did not leave me impressed. While it still is considered to be among the fastest web hosting services, its average response time of 597ms is a little too close to the 600ms mark. I must note, though, this is not hosted on a Turbo server.

But worry not, performance can always be improved by choosing a server closest to your audience. A2 Hosting allows you to pick either the US (Michigan and Arizona), Netherlands, or Singapore.

All in all, A2 Hosting is a reliable performer. Maybe a little slower if the site is not hosted on Turbo servers. However, there’s nothing to worry about.

In summary, A2 Hosting is an affordable and very secure hosting company. The host does not play with adding more security features plan by plan and just offers them all with any plan.

Secure web hosting: final recommendations

All hosting providers offer some sort of security measures. However, some of them go that extra mile (or a few) to give you a little more than just a free SSL or 2FA. Exactly that was the criteria for choosing the best secure web hosting providers for this list.

Here’s a quick recap of each host:

  • SiteGround is an overall best secure web hosting service that develops its security features in-house.
  • Hostinger is a performance-oriented host that provides many security features for an extremely low price.
  • InterServer is a simplistic and affordable shared hosting service that offers highly secure server resources.
  • DreamHost is an affordable month-to-month hosting service for smaller sites looking for a high level of privacy.
  • A2 Hosting offers well-rounded security packages for small-to medium sized websites with all its plans.

Why is website security important and what tools make a site secure?

No matter what site you are running, it should be secure. For your benefit or your visitors/clients.

Gaps in security might result in painful consequences either for you and your site or your visitors:

  • Your personal information can be revealed and used for malicious intents,
  • Your site could get hacked or otherwise damaged,
  • Malicious attacks could damage your server and result in downtime,
  • A non-secure online store could lose its customers’ information and payment details.

None of these sound like a good time. While a website can be restored, your reputation might suffer for a long time. That’s why choosing secure hosting is so important.

Depending on your site and what it’s meant for (a simple blog or an eCommerce), the needed level of security will differ greatly. So which tools do you need and what for?

Basic security package

Even if you’re running a personal blog or a small website, you should keep it secure. Chances are, basic security tools will be enough to keep your site safe against the most common threats. Look for a hosting provider that comes with at least an SSL certificate, automatic backups, firewall, and DDoS protection.

  • SSL certificate, also known as Secure Sockets Layer, is a security protocol that creates an encrypted and secure link between a web server and a web browser – website and visitor. Simply put, SSL makes the internet connection secure so no bad-intending person could read into any information that’s being exchanged between 2 systems.
  • Automatic backups save copies of your site automatically. In case of any attack or hacking of your current site, you should be able to restore the last version.
  • Firewall is a network security tool that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic to the network. By using a set of predefined security rules, a firewall either allows or blocks traffic if needed. The more rules there are, the more secure your traffic will be.
  • DDoS protection monitors, detects, and prevents malicious attacks that are targeting the traffic to your server. An influx of traffic is meant to disrupt your site’s work, prevent your visitors from accessing the site, or even overwhelm the origin server.

In sum, basic security tools concentrate on preventing malicious traffic to your site or trying to deal with the aftermath of unfortunate happenings. These tools are enough for a simple blog or a show-off business website (no transactions). But if you’re planning to run an eCommerce site or deal with sensitive information, additional tools will be needed.

Can you get advanced features for no extra charge?

If your goal is to run a very secure website, just basic security tools won’t do. Maybe you’re trying to protect a big company website or an online store. Regardless, here are a few additional security features you should seek to get from your hosting provider.

Keep in mind these are a little harder to come across. More often, than not they come for an extra charge.

  • Web Application Firewall is an application-level firewall that monitors, filters, and prevents malicious HTTPS traffic to your web applications. This way, no unwanted traffic enters your web application, and no unauthorized data leaves the app.
  • Malware scanning and repairing is a 24/7 active server scanning. Such a tool detects any sort of damage to your server and jumps to repair the situation. If left undetected, some malware could seriously damage your server.
  • Security plugins are another way to ensure security. The host can recommend what plugins you should have on your WordPress site to enhance its security. On the contrary, it could also have a list of plugins to avoid. Those might temper with the host’s existing security measures.
  • Domain privacy protection helps to hide your personal information from publicly accessible directories. When you register a domain name, your registration details like name and billing address are placed in a publicly accessible WHOIS database. Domain privacy helps to conceal such information.

In short, advanced security measures add an extra layer of protection to your and your visitors’ information.

Overall, there’s no need to get every single security tool under the sun. Weight your options first. Will you run a blog? Simple SSL and automatic backups might do. However, if you’ll be dealing with payments, you will need many more security measures.

Secure web hosting FAQs

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