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It seems everyone I know uses Digital Ocean, so I was wondering if you use any other VPS provider and recommend them.

There are many Black Friday deals floating around, so I wanted to try something else other than DO.


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    I’ve been a Linode user since 2005 and can’t recommend them highly enough. Excellent support, great performance and good prices (not to mention continuous free hardware and virtualisation upgrades over the years). There have been a few security hiccups over the past few years (mostly because of their previous web platform) as well as DDOSes, so bear that in mind. Neither have affected me though.

    I also use AWS and Azure but they’re not really in the realm of “VPS provider”. FWIW, two providers I’ve not used but who I’ve heard good things about are Vultr and Bitfolk (the latter have a UK-only presence though).

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      There have been a few security hiccups over the past few years (mostly because of their previous web platform)

      I wouldn’t say that. The causes of some of their security hiccups have included an admin panel publicly exposed on the internet, user data stored on an internet-accessible machine that wasn’t monitored by their security team, not changing admin credentials that were compromised in a previous hack, and using ColdFusion (I kid, but apparently their ColdFusion stack had major obvious misconfigurations).

      Stuff happens, but also their response in some cases has been pretty poor. They’ve avoided/buried disclosure, kept a potential compromise under wraps for months before disclosing, glossed over that they couldn’t figure out how one of the compromises happened and usually downplay as much as they can when they do disclose.

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        Good points - I’d forgotten just how badly they’d handled some of the security issues. It was the previous ColdFusion-based frontend I was thinking of (as that was the source of a number of problems in the days before the more serious security problems).

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        Same here. For straightforward VPS duty, I can’t think of a reason to go elsewhere. Currently I just have a small FreeBSD instance serving static webpages but I ran my YC startup on Linode as well and never had a reason to complain.

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          Agree, I’ve loved Linode for years for my small “tinker box”. They are one of the few providers to include native IPv6, and they will even route you a /64, useful if you want to run your own v6-in-v4 tunnel (a la tunnelbroker.net). Fast and knowledgeable support. And they just did a major WAN network upgrade which cut my VM’s ping latency in half. You can usually find a $10 credit coupon from conferences or certain web sites.

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          I’ve been using vultr for over a year now. Very happy with them, and it’s super easy to get an OpenBSD system running there. https://www.vultr.com/

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            Looks like they’re running a promo: https://www.vultr.com/match/

            For new customers, they’ll match up to $100: so a $200 credit for $100 (credit expires in 12 months).

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              Their team page has some great pics.

              I like the looks of their sysadmins. They look like serious business. :P

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              Two that I like:

              For a classic always-on VPS, i.e. rented monthly, not spun up and down and billed hourly, I like prgmr.com. It’s a small business run by Luke Crawford, who co-wrote the Book of Xen. Besides being a nice small business that’s been chugging along for 11 years with a consistent offering, I especially like that it offers an SSH console, versus the in-browser VNC console that most providers give you. They recently dropped their prices, so they’re now about half the cost of DO for equivalent RAM, assuming you keep the VPS always on.

              For a low-end cloud, iwstack is interesting. It’s more or less a vanilla install of Apache CloudStack backed by some Hitachi SAN units and clusters of Xeons. It gives you some of what you might want out of a full cloud provider, while being much cheaper, though it doesn’t come near AWS/GCP/Azure in terms of features or reliability. Documentation is also a bit lacking, and performance on the smaller instances can be iffy, but the price is right if you’re willing to dig around a bit. They’re based in Milan, with recently added satellite datacenters in the Netherlands and Romania. (You can sign up through this link if you want to give me some free credits.)

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                European angle here: Scaleway. Paris & Amsterdam data centers. “Bare metal” = own design, custom-build multi-tenant hardware. Cheeeeeap. Like them a lot.

                Used to be on Slicehost back in the day, before they got bought by Rackspace and eventually got migrated into the normal Rackspace product range. Extricated myself from that a while ago, glad to see the back of it.

                Also use Google Cloud Platform quite a bit, particularly Compute Engine. API & tooling are great, gcloud CLI util is really well thought out. Live Migration is basically magic. Been digging into AWS a bunch recently for a project and have to say, it seems waay more fiddly in structure & organisation, way less well-designed tools & UI, and it seems more expensive, too. (Disclaimer: I used to work for Google. But no kind of fanboy. GCP is just really good.)

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                  I’ve been a very happy user of ARP Networks for years, both their VPS and dedicated offerings.

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                    I use BuyVM exclusively now. They hang out in the company’s IRC channel. They are a bunch of UNIX fanatics, and expect their customers to be as well. Great people.

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                      I used DO for a year then moved to Vultr because DO took way too long to deliver on their FreeBSD promise (while Vultr not only supported FreeBSD as a deployable image but also allowed custom ISOs.. managed to make a 9front VPS even!). They have been both amazing services. I now have a dedicated box over at Kimsufi, network is much worse (100mbps instead of 1Gbps) and thank god I haven’t had to ask their almost non-existant support for anything yet but the price is too good to pass up.

                      Since those three services are pretty well known, I thought I’d list a few things about them that are not usually mentioned (not just annoyances, though)

                      • DigitalOcean and Vultr work on a hourly charging rate. While this is amazingly good for short lived VMs (especially when snapshot storage was free), it also means that I don’t know if and when my servers are going to expire. OVH/Kimsufi sends me periodic mails about how much time left I have on my dedicated box and VPSs (and I can renew them in 1/3/6/12/etc month intervals).
                      • When I lost all my TFA tokens and went to reset them, DigitalOcean was by far the most annoying one to deal with. I mean this in a good way. While Gandi and other services asked for my ID card, DO actually required that I made a selfie holding with my ID card, I imagine to prove that I wasn’t someone who managed to steal it. I also have reports from a friend of mine that they don’t just suspend your server if they get a DMCA claim but actually try to talk to you about it.
                      • While Kimsufi/OVH is getting amazingly good at practical cheap dedicated boxes (I remember years back when rebooting required a valid reasons since they needed to send someone to do it! Now it’s all automated) when issues arise you really see the good in using VPSs. A friend of mine had issues with his RAID setup on his SoYouStart server (OVH) and had to pay a fee for having a KVM switch (for up to 24 hours, not even permanent) to fix things up. This KVM option isn’t even available on the Kimsufi line, yet Vultr (and maybe DigitalOcean? Can’t remember) have built-in KVM consoles from the respective web-based control panels accessible 24/7.

                      If you’re good with DO, stay with them. They charge more than other services, but if you want something reliable and with exemplary customer support, I wouldn’t know who would fit the bill better.

                      If money is the issue, I would say Try Vultr.

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                        I started using an OpenBSD VM at Server Raptor, have been great so far.

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                          I was with Linode for 7 years or so, then switched to Vultr (not really knowing what to expect) when Linode had one too many mishandled security issues. They’ve been great! I’ve been running an OpenBSD machine with them for a year in their Tokyo DC with no problems whatsoever.

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                            I get weekly notifications from Vultr that the hardware host one of my virtual guests was running on encountered problems and was rebooted or crashed, bringing my systems down with it.

                            I tried explaining to their sysadmins that I need more details to still be comfortable running my setup on Vultr but they are not hearing me over 5 exchanges, so I am looking at alternatives.

                            I am told Google’s offerings let you mix and match CPU, RAM and SSDs as needed but I don’t know if they will let me install OpenBSD.

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                              I don’t know if they will let me install OpenBSD

                              I’m not sure about GCP but it’s possible to install OpenBSD on Digital Ocean and Linode. Some fiddling required, of course.