The Many Benefits Of Offshore Web Hosting

Offshore Web Hosting

Benefits of Offshore Web Hosting

Offshore Web Hosting

Every website must be hosted. And there are a myriad of ways to do this. There is cloud hosting services and virtual private servers and dedicated hosting services and on and on. The choices for how an individual or organization wants their website hosted are nearly endless. And it is because of all of these options that many get lost in the differences. To begin to get a comprehensive understanding of all the options, it is good to start with just one: Offshore web hosting. This type of hosting allows individuals and organizations to host their site in a different country than they or their business are in. There are several reasons that this type of hosting can be advantageous:

1. Cost

Offshore web hosting can save companies money for various reasons. One of the big ones is that some countries have more motivating taxation policies than others. While this is not always the case, depending on what country the company is in and what country they want to host in, often times there are several offshore web hosts that can provide some sort of financial break when it comes to taxes.

Additionally, many times offshore web hosting costs less. This is especially true for companies that are in the United States. Many European web hosts charge less for space in their server than their American counterparts. One of the reasons that offshore web hosting in places like Iceland can cost less is because they will not charge extra for any desired customization. In other words, companies will have a wider range of hardware selections with offshore hosting providers and, while they do provide the equivalent basic hosting packages that companies will find in their own countries, they are often happy to customize a hardware configuration that best suits a business’ needs. In the end, this means that companies get a lower price yet better quality.

2. Anonymity

Not every organization or individual feels that they need this, but in a time where invasive surveillance is more prevalent than ever, a little anonymity can not be a bad thing. And this is what offshore web hosting provides. Data is both more confidential and generally safer. Offshore web hosting is known to help prevent identity theft, as well as provide a layer of identity protection. Not only is this important for every single individual and organization, in an effort to protect against financial damage, but for those who would like to share information with the world that could upset a government, a company, or a powerful individual, this type of protection is a necessity.

Offshore Web Hosting

3. Freedom

Not only does increased anonymity through offshore web hosting allow individuals and organizations to feel more free to share what they need and want to share, but there is generally more tangible freedom with offshore web hosting. Local web hosting providers can block a website if the content is not seen as acceptable by the government—there is also the potential that power or money could come into play with blocking a website. This can all be avoided by simply opting for offshore web hosting, where the company’s or individual’s home country has no say in the content that is hosted on foreign soil.

4. Reliability

Another consideration that should go into choosing a web hosting provider is where the server is located. It may be best for organizations to stay away from deals with web hosting providers that are stationed in areas with high rates of natural disasters. Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and other similar forces of nature have the potential to bring servers down and a total loss of data can occur. And when it comes to organizations that are located in these areas themselves, they may want to consider going with an offshore web hosting provider in a safe area who could be a reliable backup in case important material is lost.

6. Load Time And Customer Preferences

Another important consideration is what your customers or website visitors would prefer. It is essential for companies to consider what location they are trying to reach. If they are located in the United States but have a large customer base in Europe—or vice versa—they may want to consider relying on an offshore web hosting provider somewhere in between, such as Iceland. This will allow the company to seem closer to where they are trying to sell to. Not only will the load time be faster, but people tend to prefer making purchases closer to where they are getting their items shipped—there is a sense that the shipping process will be safer, faster and more secure.

And back to website load time, this is important. The most obvious reason for its importance is that customers get annoyed when they have to wait too long for a website to load what they are looking for. If it takes too long, they will just move on to another site. But there is also the weight that a website’s load time has on Google’s algorithm. The search engine’s algorithm is beginning to have a better and better understanding of how to create the most relevant and useful results and because it knows that users care about how well a website functions, load time effects Google rankings. The faster your website loads, the higher it will be ranked on people’s queries and searches. Therefore, being a little bit closer to your target market can only help this ranking.

For more information about how offshore web hosting works, please contact us.

Real-Life Examples of Why Privacy on the Internet is Essential

An image of hand writing 'online privacy' with black marker on transparent wipe board.
An image of hand writing 'online privacy' with black marker on transparent wipe board.

It is not a wrong thing to prefer to remain anonymous online.

In discussions about our digital lives, some people question the need for strict privacy around one’s internet activity. “If you’re not doing anything wrong“, they’ll say, “Why does it need to be private?”

There are plenty of responses to this question: “right” and “wrong” are not always clear-cut, they can be redefined depending on who’s looking, and even some “right” things are just plain nobody else’s business. But instead of abstract arguments, real-life situations make the point much more clearly.

Legal Differences

One example comes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, regarding the seizure of domain names by the government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This was part of a state initiative to fight online gambling, which is illegal in Kentucky. However, online gambling is not illegal everywhere. The defence for the domain owners made the case that these domain names are not property located in Kentucky, which means the state has no jurisdiction over them, even though gambling is illegal in that state.

This example illustrates how “right” and “wrong” can be very fuzzy in some cases. No matter what your personal opinion about gambling, it’s simply true that it is legal in some places and illegal in others. If a website offers a service which is legal in some jurisdictions, should the domain name be subject to legal action from a jurisdiction where that service is illegal?

Activists and Whistleblowers

If anyone needs the protection of anonymous communication, it’s whistleblowers and other activists. From human rights activists to corporate whistleblowers, these individuals and groups take on powerful organizations which often have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. With a fraction of the resources of those larger organizations, activists may rely on privacy and anonymity while they pursue their work, especially when gathering information. This gives a degree of power back to the activists, who can control when and where they will reveal their information publicly.

Trying to Do the Right Thing

Privacy isn’t only valuable to people taking on the big global issues, nor is the need for online privacy a new story. Both these points are demonstrated by the example, from all the way back in 2005, of a librarian who thought poetry contests should be more fair, and was ousted by his domain registrar.

Any person who takes a strong stand on something risks pushback. Even when there are no legal considerations, social pressure can be a strong deterrent against doing the right thing. True privacy can give people the ability to say what they want and minimize the risk of social as well as legal consequences.

Privacy on the internet is extremely important, and we take it extremely seriously. If you need anonymous web hosting or domain registration, please contact us.

Secure Offshore Hosting: A Whistleblower’s Best Friend

An image of a whistleblower's quote.
An image of a whistleblower's quote.

Whistleblowers are the only people who tell us about what is happening behind the closed doors.

Whether it is the pharmaceutical industry in the news for mislabelling a new drug or a fresh government scandal, it is clear that whistleblowers are sometime the only people who tell us about what is really going on behind the doors of power and money.

One example is Tyrone Hayes, a biologist who was hired by a large agribusiness to study one of its herbicides, atrazine. When Hayes’ research found that the chemical caused deformations in animals exposed to it, he was attacked by industry insiders and his work was smeared both within the scientific community and online:

According to company e-mails… its public-relations team compiled a database of more than a hundred “supportive third party stakeholders”, including twenty-five professors, who could defend atrazine or act as “spokespeople on Hayes”. The P.R. team suggested that the company “purchase ‘Tyrone Hayes’ as a search word on the internet, so that any time someone searches for Tyrone’s material, the first thing they see is our material”. – The New Yorker

What’s more, the Environmental Protection Agency based their conclusion that the chemical was safe largely on a group of studies done by the corporation that makes it.

Whistleblowers like Hayes are a fundamental litmus test of our freedom of speech. Usually, dirty corporate and government tactics remain hidden until someone on the inside breaks the silence. If the news is any indication, the protections that ought to be in place for those individuals are not entirely effective. Many people who expose government incompetence or corporate cover-ups are attacked and scrutinized, both through their connections online and in their private lives. A lot of web hosting services in the United States and parts of Europe that have attempted to set up secure spaces for these whistleblowers have had to face their own seemingly insurmountable legal troubles.

One this is certain: corporations and governments will spare no expense to ensure that once information leaks from within the halls of the organization, it is quickly and quietly suppressed.

But there’s a way to fight back!

OrangeWebsite is a whistleblower’s best friend and an offshore hosting service dedicated to the principles of free speech. With our secure servers located in Iceland, outside of the jurisdiction of both the U.S. and the E.U., we’re able to allow you a conduit to the outside world without jeopardizing your identity or disclosing your vital information. Whether it’s a place to hold documents or publish vital data, we’ll never expose you to outside risk.

We take the integrity of our customers’ information very seriously. That’s why we incorporate policies such as two-factor authentication and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection. Your information is not our business and we will only keep the minimum we need to administer your services, which makes us pretty unique among web hosting companies.

If you would like to hear more about ways in which an offshore server can give you the unparalleled benefits of free speech, contact us today for a consultation regarding your needs. Get some peace of mind knowing what you had published to the web will not be turned over by your hosting service at the drop of a hat.

Freedom of Speech: What It Means In a Connected World

An image of a man's mouth sealed with 'freedom' note
Image of a man's mouth sealed off with freedom sign

Freedom of speech is not to be taken for granted in the modern world.

Freedom of Speech should be an inalienable right, but social media makes things a little more complicated. Everyone is “free” to express themselves however they wish on their Facebook or Twitter feeds, but the line between expressing an opinion and offending someone of consequence is thin — and can have powerful implications for the person doing the offending. What does freedom of speech really mean in a world so constantly plugged in?

Professor Steven Salaita, a prominent scholar of American Indian and indigenous studies with six books and numerous articles to his credit, was offered a job at the University of Illinois. He packed up his life and his family and moved to a different state to take the job. There was a delay as he finished up some obligations at his previous school, and during that delay a newspaper printed some of his tweets regarding Israel’s attack on Gaza. These tweets were critical of Israel and they offended some people.

As more and more people (read: wealthy donors) complained to the University, the school finally made the decision not to hire Salaita. The fact that these tweets were not made during school hours or on school property was apparently immaterial. The professor had an excellent record of teaching and communicating with this students, and he was punished for speaking his mind on the internet, as most of us do so “freely.”

The fact is that freedom of speech in this world is only free up to a point. You can only speak your mind “so much” before it can get you into trouble. Now that we all jump on Facebook or Twitter to broadcast what we had for breakfast, we have to be constantly vigilant about how everything we say may offend someone and therefore jeopardize our own careers. Perhaps this is an inevitable consequence of being so connected, but is it right?

Freedom of speech is defined as “the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property to anyone.” It’s a nice theory, but unfortunately the real story is very different. While it’s likely that people like Steven Salaita will have to keep watching what they tweet for a long time to come, it’s important that we work toward a world of freer expression. And those who offend people more powerful than rich university alumni need a safe platform to do so.

If you’re looking for a way to express yourself online without risking your livelihood, you might consider offshore web hosting in a country with the some of the world’s most progressive free speech laws. If you don’t want to identify yourself on your website, you don’t have to. All you need is an email address and an opinion.

For more information on freedom of speech please contact us.