The natural inclination when looking for an internet service is to try and find one that offers exactly what you need as cheaply as possible. The same is true for VPS servers, with articles with titles such as "5 cheapest VPS servers" racking up thousands of views. As we'll explain below, however, you may be giving up more than you bargained for.
The drawbacks of cheap and free anonymous VPS servers
There are four major reasons why free and cheap anonymous VPS servers are bad for both your privacy and user experience:
1 - You are the product
It's a sentiment that has been echoed millions of times across the internet - "if you're not paying for the product, you are the product". The fact is that the population at large has signaled again and again that they are more than willing to make this sacrifice. For many internet services, many people don't pay a penny and still leave happy.
But if you are trying to maintain your privacy, this equation changes. Without your data, there is very little for a provider to monetize. An anonymous VPS provider that is running ads is already collecting information about you that it can turn over to advertisers or lose in a data breach. If they aren't running ads, then you should be wondering how else they are making money from you. What privacy and usability sacrifices they have made to make this offering financially feasible?
2 - Intentionally degraded service
Most free or cheap anonymous VPS servers only exist to convince you to upgrade to more expensive plans. On a purely logical level, the provider is probably losing money on this offering. They aren't going to commit significant resources to maintain uptime and give you support. The security of their servers might even suffer as a result.
In all likelihood, you'll also get a server that is severely underspecced for most use cases and frustrating to use. They're going to try to convince you to upgrade at every opportunity – because that's how they start making a profit.
3 - Misleading pricing and long subscription terms
To get a cheap anonymous VPS server you are often locked into a long contract of a year or longer. As well as giving you no option but to continue with poor service, this is often paired with dramatic price hikes after the contract term is over. The idea is that you will be too reluctant or busy to deal with server migration and so will instead opt for the higher price. Often these contracts also auto-renew. Ultimately, you may end up paying for more than you need, canceling any savings you made initially.
4 - Poor customer service
The first thing cheap VPS server providers skimp on is their customer service. This is because features and specs sell better than promises of good support. However, the knock-on effect is that any issues with your server or billing could take days or weeks to resolve. If you are running a business, these issues with your service could ultimately cost you far more than you're saving.
How BitLaunch is different
At BitLaunch our aim is not to have the lowest prices. Being a privacy-focused VPS provider is simply more expensive due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrency and the lack of ad funding. There is also the matter of preventing abuse, creating in-house services such as BLPay to maintain payment privacy, etc.
Instead, we allow customers to make savings by giving them the maximum amount of flexibility. You pay only for what you use on an hourly basis. Here's how it works:
- You top up your account balance using cryptocurrency.
- Each hour your server is live, we remove a defined amount from your balance. This is determined by the specs of the server and communicated before you launch the server.
- When you destroy your server, your hourly balance stops ticking down.
This enables us to provide a high-quality service with great uptime, strong customer service, and no advertising or trackers at a reasonable price.
This enables us to provide a high-quality service with great uptime, great customer service, and strong privacy at a reasonable price.
Interested in BitLaunch? Sign up and say hello on our live chat for a free trial.