This article is a cry of the soul and explanation why you are likely not getting your anonymous hosting. If you are reading this article, either you are lucky or things are changing to good. Most likely the first, because we are seeing the problem exists for a dozen of years.
Back in the past
I remember the days when I was doing that useless thing called SEO. No offense to people related to SEO. This is just my personal opinion which relies on the years spent doing it and total value brought to people equal 0. For me it’s a waste of time, instead of focusing on giving value, creating quality, SEO focuses on promoting something with questionable value. Of course, one can say SEO can promote good, awesome products and this person will be right. But in reality, the % of such is very low. In reality, 90% of SEO promotes affiliate products and SEO companies choose the ones who pays or “convert” more.
Why I say it’s a cry of a soul? Google was always saying they are targeting quality. It’s been almost 10 years since first Panda and Penguin updates, which should have brought more quality to the search results. But as you may guess it did not happen.
As a company (yohost) which dedicated itself to providing privacy protection services including anonymous hosting and domain registrations for its clients for over 13 years, it’s a pain to see the Google top 10 results. And I’m not saying even about us, I’m saying in general. There are not many but a few good companies out there which can be trusted in terms of anonymous services, but almost none of them can be found in Google top 10.
What makes good anonymous hosting provider?
Before we jump into Google’s results, let understand the topic we are talking about. Basically all that staff like anonymous domains, hosting, VPNs, cloud storage is nothing but privacy protection services. So, the aim is to protect identity of the person who uses these services. There are 3 qualities this service provider should possess.
Trust takes time to earn and easy to lose. In case of privacy protection services there are few things can help to evaluate trust.
- Years in business. Anonymous hosting and domain registration is very special type of business which is not easy to operate. It’s pressured all the time, by lobbyist companies, by law companies and authorities. Company should have a very good knowledge of international laws and good track record of privacy protection.
- Do not trust good reviews! People rarely say good about something, but will always make it public if something went bad. Always check on bad reviews concerning revealing of personal data.
- No longer popular but forums are still good source of quality information. Specialized forums are the best. Make sure you are not relying on an advertisement but regular users advice.
- Word of mouth. Of course the best thing is when somebody you know or trust, recommends you something. This is pass of trust. You trust the person, he/she trusts the company, you trust the company as well. The person should not be affiliated with the company of course.
The company providing anonymous hosting services should be operating from offshore. It should be hard for mainland countries or big corporations to pressure the company to suppress some website or domain.
For example, there is DMCA in the U.S. This is an act to protect copyright owners. So, if a hosting company is operating from the U.S it can be issued a DMCA subpoena which requires it to identify the identity of possible copyright infringer. In other words, this provider will pass on all available info about his client, like IP, personal details filled during registration and payment info – card name, issuing bank, billing address.
So, if the company is registered in the U.S. and provides “anonymous hosting” you should alarmed.
Think about it! If company advertises anonymous hosting and domain services, why do they need your personal details in the first place? Whenever you provide your personal details, your privacy is broken. Even if the company is trustworthy today, it can change in the future. Follow these two “must-haves”:
- No personal information required;
- Anonymous payment options available (crypto, gift cards)
Now, when we can more or less identify good anonymous service providers, let’s jump back to the subject of our article.
OK, Google, I want you to help me find anonymous hosting! Let’s go!
Same moment Google finds you best of the best anonymous hosting of 2022! First, you might notice that there are no actual hosting companies websites but articles. But ok, maybe these articles really recommend actual anonymous hosting companies.
The first article is even featured by Google and it’s content streamed on the results page. Let’s check this article and verify some providers it recommends. I will jump a bit further to say all articles in Google top 10 recommend same providers with a slight variations.
First, let’s see if this article is somehow affiliated with the providers it recommends. If you quickly point on to the first (let’s call it Hostringer) provider, you will see the link it points to looks like this:
The link like that is called affiliate link. The target website tracks that this article send a particular client and rewards the sender. In simple words, article makes money from referrals. Are you gonna trust it’s choice?
Second, let check what country Hostringer operates. Their Contact Us page says they are located in Lithuania. Not offshore but not a U.S. either. No DMCA, but EU is about to ban anonymous domains.
Doesn’t sound quite anonymous, but the one who wrote the article probably does not care.
But let’s be honest and give some credit to Hostringer. Nowhere it says to be an anonymous hosting provider. And they cannot be blamed for not being completely privacy focused. They even offer crypto payments, thumbs up! But the article which recommends it as anonymous provider can be blamed and Google failed with it’s role to find quality results for people searches.
Promoted in the article number #2, let’s call it AOOU Web Hosting is
- a. U.S. company
- b. does not offer anonymous payment options
- c. requires full contact details during registration including phone number verification
- d. does not say anything about anonymous hosting anywhere on the website.
Do you want to go with it? Decision is yours.
And finally number #3, let’s name it, Hostpredator
- a. promoted via affiliate link
- b. a U.S. company with U.S servers location (tos)
- c. requires full contact information during registration
- d. payment options include credit card and PayPal only
- e. nothing about anonymous hosting on the website
If you think this is only one article out of 10 results. Give me a break. Check out below.
- Result #2 – CyberNews
- Result #3 – ItProPortal
You can check other results for yourself as well. But you will not find real anonymous hosting provider in the top 10. Are there any real anonymous providers in these articles? Yes. Maybe 1 or 2, hidden somewhere in the bottom, like Shinjiru or Orangewebsite. Nobody will ever scroll so much to find it.
Are those promoted companies bad? Of course, no. They are just irrelevant in this particular Google results. Is it like this in all queries? I hope not, but I think all commercial related quires are affected more or less.
What’s sad is that I can name straight ahead 5 companies which have been in this business for over 10 years – Shinjiru, Nicenic, Anonymousspeech, Alexhost, njal.la, our yohost.org. This is not a recommendation but these are businesses which specializes in anonymous services. You will not find them anywhere close to top 10 and through all those years Google failed to identify and rank those websites accordingly.
What can we learn from this experience?
Always do your own research. Do not trust unverified reviews or recommendations from random articles. You need to learn the subject in order to find a good service provider.
We have identified some “corner stones” of good anonymous hosting providers and now it will be easier for you to make a decision.