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How to Choose a Reliable VPS Provider?
As the use of virtual private servers (VPS) becomes more popular for hosting websites and applications, the concern about data security and privacy is also growing. There is a fear that some VPS providers may steal your data or even monitor and track your online activities.
With these concerns in mind, I am seeking solutions on how to determine which VPS provider is reliable and trustworthy. How do you know which VPS is safe to use and will not steal your data or monitor your online activities?
host your own datacenter.
Just go with top ones aws, azure, google cloud
Go with big three, DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode.
And prepare your pocket also haha
Having this as your big three, I guess you're somewhere from the APAC region just kidding they're also good
Aye, from South East Asia, Indonesia.
I feel you, from Philippines here. I guess this three providers we labeled them as the top three providers indeed
is this some sort of SEO setup post?
There are also Melbicom and UpCloud. They are popular here in Indonesia.
Lol. No, I am just curious and want to safeguard my data.
Doubt there is any host that will bother to monitor your shit unless you buy some hosting offered on hacking forums. Half of those are probably operated by glowies or eventually get compromised by them.
Tldr buy from a decent provider and it will be fine
1.Get views in https://www.trustpilot.com
2.Go to some forums like LET to get more details
3.Go with first tier Providers like AWS, Oracle, Azure, Digital Ocean, Vultr etc
Consider uptime, performance, security, and customer support when choosing a VPS provider. Some top VPS providers include DigitalOcean, Google Cloud, Linode, and Vultr.
It is a worthy question, but one that cannot be easily answered. VPS providers can have full control over your VPS if they want it, and there is nothing you can do to prevent that. I would treat the choice of VPS provider like choosing a bank. Bank employees can see all of your financial transactions if they wish (or if an authority asks), but they are sworn to protect customer privacy. Sure, financial institutions are more carefully regulated than VPS providers, but the principle is the same.
The honest truth is that you must trust your VPS provider. They have full control of your VPS, period. Your VPS is a virtual machine, so the VPS provider can do whatever they want at the hypervisor level, which can be impossible to detect from the VPS itself. You will never know with certainty.
In practice, VPS providers are too busy to bother, unless something warrants their attention - your VPS misbehaves, the provider gets a legal document or visit from the authorities, ... you get the idea.
MAKING YOUR VPS A HARDER TARGET
You can do things to discourage casual peeking, but you cannot prevent a determined provider from gaining access to your VPS. I have been working on this problem.
Here are some of the technologies that I have been looking at to improve privacy in VPSs. I would like to string them together into a procedure that others can follow, but have not tied all the pieces together myself yet:
Remote Operating System Installation
Rather than trust the VPS provider and use their templates or installers (or a mounted .iso image), I have been looking at remote Linux installation on KVM VPSs. I looked at netboot.xyz and have used them to install Debian on a VPS. I am still working out how to host the .iso installer myself, rather than relying on netboot.xyz archives. The netboot.xyz .iso files appear to be good and well-maintained, by the way, but I want people to be able to use their own .iso installers that they trust themselves. The process is documented at netboot.xyz, but I am still trying to understand it and get it to work for myself. You will need a KVM VPS. See:
Whole Disk Encryption
Encrypt the VPS' drive to make casual file browsing more difficult. When the VPS is running, the decryption key is in RAM and accessible to the VPS provider. Finding that key and using it to browse files is an impediment, not a preventative. Keep in mind that when the VPS boots, you must have a way to enter the password or passphrase to unlock the drive. You may need a VPS with some kind of console through a web browser or VNC. VNC as implemented by most VPS providers for consoles is not generally secure from anyone along the path. Both the browser or VNC interface can be monitored by the VPS provider, of course.
SSH Server for Unlocking VPS Drive Encryption
If you can get past the Whole Disk Encryption phase, then it is possible to configure a boot-time SSH server, which lets you connect to your VPS securely to enter the boot-time passphrase to unlock the encrypted drive. Nobody can intercept the passphrase that unlocks the drive at boot time. I have done this successfully using DropBear. The problems here are:
The technologies and techniques that I wrote above put obstacles in front of your VPS provider, but the provider always has full control of your VPS. They can get encryption keys from the RAM of your running VPS, which means that they have full access to your VPSs' data and communications.
I hope this helps @logan0 and others who follow.
I learn something new today, Most time every reset VPS I typing password on noVNC which inconvience.
Thanks for sharing tips!
Thanks for the very informative comment. I learned a great deal from this too, though it is quite technical and will take many trial-and-errors to implement. But thanks for putting the information out there!
I'm running proxmox on a raspberry pi, very stable
You're welcome. I hope it helps others, too. Someday I will write a smooth, well-documented procedure that everyone can follow (I hope!).
A useful learning and testing trick that works for me is to test different procedures in virtual machines on my home computer before attempting the same thing on a true VPS on the internet. You can take snapshots of your virtual machine(s) before trying something, and if it fails you can easily revert back. You could also backup and restore a VPS, but I have found that they are more time consuming and challenging than restoring a snapshot on a virtual machine, which happens in a few seconds.
The penalty is that virtual machines like lots of RAM and disk space. Still, they are so useful in so many ways. VirtualBox is free virtual machine software. I use VMware, a popular commercial product. If it were not for previous work that I did, I would be using VirtualBox instead.