Offshore hosting is simply a hosting solution that is done outside of your own country. Any hosting service would be considered “offshore” for you if it is done outside of your country. VPS simply means that you are setting up a virtual private server, which is a powerful, customizable, and relatively secure way to run a hosting solution.
There are a number of different motivations that someone might have for running offshore hosting.
In this post, let’s take a look at 5 different reasons that someone might use an offshore VPS solution.
01For Cheaper or Different Payment Structures
Why do people decide to outsource manufacturing to different countries? Usually for one of two reasons: either because they can make it better, or because they can make it cheaper. In the case of VPS hosting, it might be either one, but it will usually be the cheaper part. Not everything about offshore hosting is shady! Sometimes you can get a great deal by going with a hosting company that is based out of a different country. At the least, being ready to explore your options can help you find a better price.
Additionally, if you are trying to use a cryptocurrency payment structure for a variety of reasons, an offshore host might be the best and cheapest place to do this. You’ll have to be careful with this, because there are certainly sites that claim to be offshore VPS solutions that will take cryptocurrency but are not legit. Do your research first, compare some hosting companies, and stick with trusted brands on this one. There are definitely ways to pay crypto for a website, but that doesn’t mean that everyone offering to take your crypto is going to give you a website.
02To Avoid Legal Concerns
This one is tricky. On the one hand, by locating a website outside of the country that you live in, you might be able to get around certain kinds of laws. Some of these might be somewhat legitimate. For example, Japan doesn’t allow gambling. Running an online casino and basing your hosting service in Japan would be super illegal. But if you run the online casino from servers that are in a different country where gambling is legal, you might be okay. Then again, even running an online casino out of your house in Japan can be super illegal, no matter where the servers are located. It can be complicated, but there can be situations where the location of the servers and therefore the jurisdiction of the website can help a lot.
On the other hand, sometimes people are trying to simply do illegal things and therefore want an offshore server to house their website. If you’re dealing in explicit content or transactions blocked by a certain government, locating your website in an offshore VPS solution can help you get around this.
03Additional Privacy and Anonymity
If you’re trying to create an anonymous website, offshore solutions may be one of the best ways to do this. There are a lot of different ways that websites can be traced back to you as the owner, so you’ll need a structured solution to prevent being traced. You’ll need to mask your IP address by using a VPN, you’ll need an anonymous email account, and you’ll probably need some cryptocurrency in order to pay for the site without your payment information being traceable.
Offshore VPS solutions often will allow you to use cryptocurrency, and may require far less personal data to set up the site. Because the businesses might be subject to less regulation, they may not ask a lot of questions to customers who pay their monthly fees. Keep in mind that they will have whatever information you have to put into the system. If an offshore VPS solution talks a lot about your privacy but then collects a bunch of personal data, it may not be a real thing.
For anyone trying to maintain a high level of privacy and anonymity, an offshore solution can make a lot of sense.
04Freedom Of Publishing and Content
The most popular and controversial example here would be WikiLeaks, which was founded out of servers and hosting in Sweden. As it turns out, Sweden has some pretty intense freedom of the press laws which allowed WikiLeaks to publish content without revealing sources and to remain up and running even amidst controversy.
For people that are publishing controversial content, of any kind, offshore VPS solutions might put some of that content outside the jurisdiction of certain locations. If you live in a country that has a lot of restrictions on the press and content, locating your website in a different place can get around those concerns. But just like the legal example, there is still the possibility that laws are in place that target people that try to use offshore solutions to shelter content.
It does in fact get a bit complicated here, but running a website offshore can have some ramifications in the taxes that you get involved with. When you are trying to establish a legal business presence in a different country for tax purposes, or even to establish a personal presence in a different country for tax purposes, running an offshore VPS solution can make a lot of sense.
There could be issues here under a couple of different reasons though. If you are living and operating your business out of the United States but then just stick your website in Sweden, you may not get a lot of traction for the tax argument. The real way that an offshore solution might be helpful for tax purposes is when you’re already trying to make the case that your business or residence is based out of a different country. If you’re putting together the case that you’re living or conducting business out of a different country, paying for hosting in that country can be a helpful addition.