A Complete Guide to Anonymous Web Hosting [The Wrong Way vs The Right Way]
As a website owner, you've probably paid your domain name and web hosting provider through online transactions. And you are probably worried that your personal information might be leaked. Because during the payment they have asked for your personal information like name, address, and postal code.
You have the right to be worried because the internet can be accessed by almost anyone. You may have searched for tips on the internet on how to protect your personal data.
And one answer that may have come up from your queries is anonymous web hosting.
It is a good suggestion but doing it the wrong way may lead to bad results.
So in this article, we will cover all the topics you will need. Like how your personal data is exposed to the internet and the wrong and right ways to keep your personal information private.
Let's get started.
Can a Website Owner Be Traced?
Yes, definitely. A website owner can be traced through DNS or Domain Name System. It is like a record book or log of the owners of all domains.
Your name, locations, postal code, email address, and IP address are all logged in the DNS.
Can everyone access this information on the DNS?
Yes, you just need to use a DNS lookup tool to be able to access it.
You might be thinking: "Hey! Isn't that really bad? How can I protect my privacy?
Well, don't worry we will be talking about that further. We will first talk about the bad suggestions that you can find on the internet.
The Wrong Way
Bad Methods of Keeping Anonymous and Its Disadvantages
So we have compiled a list of suggestions that you can find on the internet to keep you and your website anonymous. This is under a context that you are a legal business that does not need to hide anything and just wants privacy.
- Buying a domain under a false name - This is a really bad suggestion. Why? Because buying a domain under a false name will make it hard for you to validate for an SSL certificate. That would mean being flagged by most browsers as unsafe and you'll be ranked poorly by search engines.
- Cryptocurrency as payment methods - Another bad suggestion if you are running a legal business and just want to keep anonymous. Because using cryptocurrency on credible websites will still require your information. Unless they are a shady offshore hosting company.
- Subscribing to shady hosting services - Subscribing to the shady hosting services will keep you completely anonymous through cryptocurrency and not asking for any personal data. But you will not be protected by international laws that govern web hosting and privacy rules. Since you're not protected by the law, you'll be left helpless if you get scammed by a shady hosting company.
So after all these bad tips, let us move on to protecting your privacy the right way.
We will first talk about the authority in charge of keeping the internet safe and its rules regarding DNS.
The Right Way
The Role of ICANN
ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a non-profit organization. ICANN was created in 1998 that aimed to only protect the US but slowly changed and became committed to protecting the world's internet.
Currently, ICANN is a partner of the United Nations. Its goal is to keep the internet secure and stable while still being free for everyone. Meaning ICANN is the internet authority, especially with DNS or Domain Name System.
When it comes to web hosting and web domains, it has policies in place to keep the web safe. We will talk about that further and how it relates to anonymous web hosting.
ICANN does not sell websites, domain names, or provide hosting services. Instead, it collects data from all registrars as we know them. That's why all legal and trusty domain and hosting providers collect your information because it is required.
Required data from you are:
- Postal address
- Email address
- Voice and fax telephone numbers
If your registrar or domain seller does not provide the information to ICANN, the domain will not be legally registered under your name. And if others tried to buy the same domain, they will be the rightful owner to the domain, not you. It's like buying a house and lot without a proper title or deed.
So you need to be sure that you are registered to ICANN so that you can enjoy legal protection in case of disputes. ICANN can also email you for updates on their policies.
How can you check? You can look it up through WhoIs. You can click the link here.
WhoIs is a protocol by ICANN created to provide a quick lookup or name search to us users.
So now you know the truth behind domain registration and how your personal info is required by international standards. You might be thinking: "If my personal info is required by an authority, then how can I protect my info properly? How can I have anonymous websites?" We will talk about that further below.
Protect Your Information Properly
You might have seen one or more ads regarding a hosting provider claiming to have a full anonymous web hosting. Its either they offer shady anonymous hosting or they offer WhoIs protection.
What is WhoIs protection?
WhoIs protection hides your personal info on any public record, even in WhoIs lookup, securing your privacy.
WhoIs privacy protection is the right and proper way to anonymous web hosting.
Yes, hosting companies will still collect your personal info but they also have WhoIs protection or WhoIsGuard as one of their services. Some provider even includes it as a free service.
Read on because we will talk about it further below.
What Is the Best Web Hosting Provider for Personal Websites?
If we are talking about the best for a personal anonymous website, then the best hosting provider is the one that has WhoIs protection.
Related: Web Hosting vs Domain Name: Definition and Differences
Best and Cheap Hosting Providers
We have listed below some of the best and cheap web hosting providers that you can subscribe to. They have made the list because not only do they have great dedicated servers and generous disk space offers but because their WhoIs protection is free or very cheap.
- NameCheap - We put them at the top of the hosting list because not only do they offer a great hosting service, it even comes with a forever free WhoIsGuard or WhoIs protection. NameCheap also has great shared hosting plans
- Hostinger - One of the great hosting providers if you want to be anonymous. Although they don't have a free WhoIs protection service, they offer it cheaply at $5 per year. They also have shared hosting plans you can get cheaply.
- HostGator - Another hosting company that offers WhoIs protection cheaply for $14.95 per year.
See Also: A Quick Look Into Web Hosting Control Panel
To sum up, the right way to protect your personal info is by having WhoIs protection. It does come with a cost but it will surely benefit you in the long run of your business.
So subscribe now to one of our recommended providers with WhoIs protection and keep your information safe from the public.
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