Hosting the Leading Websites:

Where Servers are Located

The physical servers hosting your website can be anywhere in the world. That might matter to you.

— Content control should be in your hands. If your content would violate a nation’s laws, even if you’re happy to let that nation’s people see your website, you may want your website to be hosted outside of its borders.

— Speed or latency is for how fast content travels. Static pages likely travel fast everywhere in the world. But movies and interactivity might be noticeably slow. Your visitors might give up in a couple of seconds. Many do. That’s been studied.

— Law covers relationships with police and courts. It also covers business relationships. Suppose a hosting service violates your rights. You may want to sue. Would it be worth the plane tickets? How much would it be to hire a lawyer over there? That’s just for starters. You could just concede disagreements but then someone might later exploit your concession in a very expensive way. And your rights and duties regarding law enforcement and court might be different than they are where you live. Have fun with the surprises.

Law raises another concern. Suppose a hosting provider has a server in country A, which is fine with you, but has a sales office in country B, and country B is insisting you pay a lot of money for some unrelated reason, maybe a criminal penalty. Country B could have leverage over the hosting provider and therefore over your website and maybe your domain. You might not want that hosting provider to have anything to do with your website. But the provider might not tell you where they have that nexus. You’re on your own in trying to figure that out and you might not be able to. Even a subpoena might be inadequate. Suppose you care about privacy and the hosting provider keeps backups in country C but doesn’t tell you, because that’s proprietary security information. The police in country C still read your provider’s backups and extract the data you wanted to keep private. Even if the provider failed to tell you where the backup was when you asked or subpoenaed the information, the police likely can still extract the data and then your problem changes, and you probably can’t even sue the provider for cooperating with law enforcement.

The hosting providers listed in this website have their server facilities in a handful of nations. The list following is organized by nation, with nations in reverse alphabetical order and within each nation by hosting provider in order of popularity within the research:

(Sources: The URLs from the links for information on nations are as accessed . Other URLs are as accessed substantially earlier.)