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Ask HN: European Linode / DigitalOcean alternatives
38 points by junto on July 5, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 66 comments
Title says it all. I'm looking for European (non-US servers and non-US corporation) alternatives for VPS servers. Can anyone recommend some? Anyone with personal experiences, or any companies out there offering this?

Bytemark (http://www.bytemark.co.uk/) offer "legacy" VPS and dedicated servers (been a customer for 10 years now) and they also have a new Cloud offering called BigV (http://bigv.io) which I've started using for stuff - great company, great service, they've recently donated a 16-blade, 57Tb server to the Debian project as well (including hosting) - http://blog.bytemark.co.uk/2013/04/04/a-major-infrastructure...

They really are the mutts-nuts!

Tim from Bytemark here - if you've got any questions or anything - feel free to ask them here - or email 'support at bigv.io' and put it to my attention.

With regards to privacy from warrants etc, we're currently considering a warrant canary - https://twitter.com/matthewbloch/status/348354514081951744

Wow, I've been an on and off customer for six years - your cloud offering looks immense.

Thanks! Well, do give us a shout if there's ever anything we can help with (or even more crucially, anything we can improve on, or start doing that we're not doing!)

Have a great day!


Bytemark are superb. I've been using them for a decade also. Their new Cloud offering is bloody good, fairly cheap, and remarkably fast for a cloud service.

Plus, they've got their Symbiosis Linux distro, which makes setting up servers considerably easier (although you can also use Debian, Ubuntu, etc), they actively work to support the Open Source community, and generally they kick ass.

Always nice to see another fan, and a local one at that!

Hugh (Strange Company Hugh) here :)

http://www.hetzner.de/ quite solid and have great prices too.

Hetzner is good, the hardware is (mostly) good, the provisioning is fast, the support responses are fast but they follow scripts very closely. The biggest problem is that their network is terrible. We typically lose contact (50% packet loss, 100ms latency) with a machine for 5-10 minutes every day. Different (groups of) machines, different times of the day and night. Every time, Hetzner claim it was an "attack".

I haven't measured it, but they're probably within the 99% availability (allows for 1.68 hours/week downtime) they advertise for any one machine.

Maybe my expectations are too high. :)

We always go with Hetzner for european based hosting. It is Germany-based.

Never had any problems during our partnership with them, which we started 4 years ago.

I can second Hetzner - although I've only used them for dedicated servers, and only very little.

strato.de are very good too, and have very similar offerings to hetzner: I've been using them myself for years. However, they require payment by German domestic bank transfer, and the contracts are a little harder to terminate. I'd try hetzner the next time.

I'm in Germany. Bank transfer isn't a problem. I'll check them out.

And they offer credit card payment, too.

http://edis.at has some great european options, and they are based in Austria it seems. I have been using them before, only for a little while but they do have some cheap options. I have not done any benchmark so I cannot say anything about the performance. Worth looking at though!

We've been using their VPSes for a couple of months and are happy with them so far, even if the management interface is a bit clunky. They also have a good selection of data centers if location/latency is important.

I've been with IOVPS after RapidSwitch sold their VPS business to them. I have one trivially underused server, so I can't speak for performance.

They can't handle recurring billing automatically (you have to log in every month and pay - which leads to late charges if you forget) and they are much more expensive than Digital Ocean.

I've tried BrightBox too. Someone else has already mentioned them, and I left a big reply there - basically, very good if you need to jump from 1 to 15 servers automatically to host your massive app, but very expensive in any other case.

I'll be switching to Digital Ocean with their Amsterdam data centre when droplet deployment is back up - it's just so much cheaper than anything else I've seen, and perfectly matched to my requirements (if anything, generous - $5/mo compared to £18, or £26 with BrightBox, for a tiny 512MB RAM, 20GB HDD Linux box.)

A pity that Digital Ocean is a US corp. It means that they can be subpoenaed. Their pricing is awesome. Corporate location is bad.

for my purposes, this isn't a priority. If I do get around to setting up my own mailserver, then I'll care (although I'll probably just use an old box sat in my living room, or a raspberry pi - I don't get that much mail.)

OVH - https://www.ovh.co.uk/vps/

£5.99/mo - 1 core - 512Mo - 25Go - 100Mbps/1To

I switched to OVH last month. They are not as good as Linode: my VPS was rebooted recently, and I've had to make a couple of changes to the default configuration to deal with some weirdnesses (screen and tmux would exit immediately, for example). However, so far, it has been good enough.

Seconded, I've used their dedicated server options for a while, great value for money.

I use Gandi[1], they have both IaaS and PaaS offers. They are based in France with a datacenter near Paris. They have a very good support team and I'm happy with the service so far.

[1]: https://www.gandi.net

Gandi runs on OVH.

There are been rumors that they might became an settle over to the states, but to the current day the are located in France (and I doubt this will change).

I can really recommend them, if you are looking for some "cloudy" servers (dynamic resources, etc.)

Gandi is no longer a European company. Around 2010 they opened new offices in the USA and should be expected to act as a US company.

I can suggest Hetzner. Their plans are the best in terms of performance/price ratio.

http://www.exoscale.ch has a very similar approach to digital ocean: very quick provisionning, extensive API and automation tool support

I should mention that exoscale is based in Switzerland and thus PRISM/ACTA free and is an IAAS provider (as opposed to a VPS provider).

Antoine from exoscale. We have a "regional" approach to cloud computing, with 3 positions: datacenters, operations and company status/funding all exclusively from Switzerland. It is written in our Terms.

East Asian alternatives would be helpful to some of us, too, if any commenters want to mention those. Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, or anyplace else that has reliable connections would be excellent.

https://cloudroyale.se/ recently launched, I haven't used them but their offering seems pretty good and they are part of FS Data which is well established hosting provider in Sweden.

That said, Swedish hosting is pretty expensive compared to others.

I currently use Leaseweb for my own servers, but other alternatives are OVH, Hetzner among others.

We switched from Linode to http://www.cloudvps.com last year because they are in my home town here in The Netherlands and the prices are almost half of Linode's. We have some high traffic websites running with them and have had no problems so far.

I would recommend http://uberspace.de/ with their (non root) VPS/shared hosts. Shell-access, Ruby, Python, Perl, node, etc, etc all major DB_Systems, 10gig space, traffic, I believe unlimited. Nerds themselves, that do not wanna have a lot of your data to begin with.

And you pay, what the service is worth to you (minimum 1 € per month).

I switched there some time ago and am totally happy since. Great guys, great service, great philosophy behind the product (and, as the normally do server hosting for smaller companies, financially secured by themselves).

EDIT: By the way: you can try them for one month, just using a untaken uberspace-name without anything else (not even an email-address necessary):


I would so try these guys, but they only take money by bank transfer from what I can see which means, from the UK, it becomes very annoying.

That is crazy / cool. You pay them what you feel like. Interesting biz model.

This usually means, the pricing won't last very long.

Oktawave (http://www.oktawave.com/) - based in Poland, very fast hardware. e24cloud (http://www.e24cloud.com/) - from Poland too, second availability zone soon.

Reposting from some hellbanned chap:


GMOCloud (Japanese company) Japan location based KVM http://vps.gmocloud.com/ and CrownCloud (Australian company) Frankfurt location based KVM/OpenVZ


Non-EU is probably even better if privacy is your concern.


I asked them about their policies regarding plans to expand to the US or hold any US interests, and also specifically asked about a mention in their policy documents on defamatory content (as I deal with user generated content) and received this good response:

    we're based in the UK, both co-founders are UK residents and we have no plans to
    become a US company. All our datacentres are in the UK, and expansion plans are
    for the EU only.

    We believe strongly in data protection and obey all the relevant laws. I agree
    that ISPs really *should* be considered "mere conduits" but unfortunately there
    is legal precedent that means we can be held responsible for defamatory content
    if we're notified and do nothing about it.

    Usually, solicitors for the allegedly defamed contacts both us and our customer.
    If our customer is unresponsive or uncooperative and the alleged defamation
    continues, then we get held responsible.

    So our AUP considers defamation abuse to enable us to take action to protect
    ourselves if we have to. The only other option available to us would be to have
    customers indemnify us against any legal action (most likely in the form of
    a large deposit :).

    But we're not interested in suspending accounts or servers any time a
    solicitor writes to us. If you deal with the reports in a timely fashion (usually
    within 48 hours) then you shouldn't expect any problems.

    And for what it's worth, we've never actually had to suspend anyone for this
    (though we've come close enough to feel the need to put it in our AUP).

I also plan to utilise Jump Networks: http://www.jump.net.uk/ which is about as close to http://prgmr.com/san-jose-co-location.html as you're going to find in London. Remember... if you're going CoLo it's all about power consumption.

Finally, other sites I checked out included http://www.cloudsigma.com/ and http://www.prometeus.net/sito/

If you are concerned about privacy, I would also be wary about having servers on some EU countries and check on their relationship with USA in data sharing.

¿ Do you know that Linode has London based servers ?

I rent some of their London servers happily

( aside from cancelling my credit card the other day due to a breach, no-one's perfect )

Edit: I see you're concerned about data-privacy... so latency is not your issue


In that case I also use:

* Hetzner.de

and in the past I have used

* FlexiScale ( based uin Reading, UK )

This is more akin to Amazon EC2


DigitalOcean also have servers in Amsterdam, but they don't fit the OP requirement as they're run by a US-owned corp

https://www.transip.nl/vps/ (starts from 10 euro, first month 5)

And my Raspberry Pi is (for free) in a rack with these guys: https://www.pcextreme.nl/aurora/ (starts from 5 euro)

FlareVM is pretty good: http://www.flarevm.com/


Unfortunately their website seems to be only available in German. I run several services on their VPS and root servers and have not experienced a major problem yet.

Plus, they're owned by the UK group, so...

Assuming you're doing this for privacy reasons, some information about the various jurisdictions involved would be really interesting too if people know the answers. My understanding is that Sweden and the UK are out due to traffic monitoring, that may also apply to other EU states.

http://prq.se/?intl=1 is a hosting and colocation company in Sweden with strong free-speech values. They're also against the data retention policies that are being implemented in other EU countries.

You should be aware of this when considering Sweden for hosting: http://wikileaks.org/wiki/New_Swedish_law_draft_for_centrali...

I've setup a personal server on moln.is recently (2 months) - 18 euro / month for 1GB RAM, 1 core, 50GB disk space, 1GB traffic with 1 GB NIC.

They seem to value privacy. I am not too happy with the SLA but then I had no issues so far - satisfied with the service so far.

I can recommend https://www.jiffybox.de/ — Germany-based, part of Domainfactory, a German company.

The VPS prices are rather good, and I'm happy with the performance and reliability so far.

I'm using VPS.net for a few years now, I think they are great and they have a good and quick support team. They're a British company as far as I know but they have data centers everywhere, and you can choose where to host your VPS.

I used to work with a very little company built with passion. http://www.harmony-hosting.com/ Their support is amazing, and will help you in French or English.

GMOCloud (Japanese company) Japan location based KVM http://vps.gmocloud.com/ and CrownCloud (Australian company) Frankfurt location based KVM/OpenVZ

Inexpensive VPS on Hetzner infrastructure https://enablevps.com/

8€ / 1G RAM machine & access to all host cores.

KSplice on the host so no need to reboot.

Minimal but decent features.

Serverlove (http://www.serverlove.com/) are based in the UK, and offer a comprehensive API, plus CLI tool.

http://brightbox.com/ is quite good. Based in England as par as I know..

I have found the experience of using brightbox quite good, but it is much more expensive than other services.

The smallest, cheapest, single VPS system that I had running came out at about £26 per month. And that's with almost no bandwidth - which is pay as you go (typically I used 2p per month). They split this cost up, so you get billed separately for an IP address (which you can share between boxes via a load balancer), bandwidth, actual number of box-hours, etc, and then tack VAT on at the end.

It's a great service, I just ended up paying much more than I expected because of the way they structure their billing/price plans.

DediServe are good. But still dont match those two in terms of pricing.

LeaseWeb is quite good, except for their recent MegaUpload fiasco.

I suggest Switzerland. It's not part of the EU (therefor not subject to EU laws), it's politically neutral (it never goes to war), it's one of the best examples of healthy democratic systems and it values privacy very much.

Do you have a proposed provider? because i find it a bit hard to find one that doesn't host their servers in the Hetzner Datacenter in Germany. EDIT: word

I used to work for a business ISP (PSINet) who had a DC near the foot of Mt Geneva in Switzerland - not sure what happened to it after things wound down?

If you know who is just "reselling", it would be cool to get the names so they can be outed and avoided. (Sorry, no, I currently don't know that market well, yet.)

The only downside is:

Prices are currently still higher (which screams for new competition, in case anyone from Switzerland is listening...)

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