Top 5 offshore hosting locations (and the bottom 5)

Companies choose to host their data offshore for a variety of reasons. But for the most part, business owners seek to store their data in another country to take advantage of robust security, low-latency, reliability, and freedom from government intrusion.

Individuals like activists, bloggers, journalists, and whistle-blowers also seek out offshore hosting providers to exercise their human right to share information without the fear of corrupt authorities tracking them down.

But before we dive deep into the top five offshore hosting locations, let’s define what it is.

What’s offshore hosting?

Offshore hosting can be described as the practice of hosting websites, enterprise technology infrastructure, and data in data centers outside one’s own country. If we approach this from a technical point of view, anytime a website is hosted on a foreign server, you’re engaging in offshore hosting.

However, the term actually implies that you’re choosing to host your data overseas to achieve a specific goal. These can be related to achieving low-latency, privacy, security, and even freedom of speech.

So what’s the best country to host your data? Let’s take a look.

Top 5 offshore hosting locations

1. Switzerland

When it comes to storing your data privately and securely, Switzerland tops the list. This is because the country boasts some of the strictest privacy security laws on the planet.

So if you host your website or enterprise data in Switzerland, you can be sure that your data will be as safe as it can ever be from commercial and state-sponsored snooping.

As Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU), they are free to develop their own strong privacy laws without any interference from the Eurozone. You can read more about the benefits of offshore hosting in Switzerland here.

2. Iceland

Iceland made the list because their Data Protection Act (that came into effect in 1998) ensures strict data privacy and protection. This means that cloud providers, ISPs, and even telecommunications companies won’t be required to hold on to any personal user data.

Iceland also values freedom of speech, and censorship is strongly prohibited. Although it’s an island, Iceland is a top data hosting destination as it’s a world leader in fiber internet deployment.

3. Singapore

Singapore has been a thriving technology hub in Asia for quite some time now. As a result, it has the necessary ingredients like the technological infrastructure, and stable political system need to keep your data safe.

As it’s a tiny nation, Singaporean data centers cater also cater to other countries, especially in the Asia Pacific. Although island nations are hardly ideal for offshore hosting, Singapore makes the list because natural disasters are extremely rare. They also have the technological prowess and foresight to overcome these hurdles.

4. Norway

Scandinavia is relatively known for its strong privacy and security laws, but Norway surpasses all others, including Sweden (who reportedly host the Wikileaks website). Norway also boasts better data privacy and freedom of press rankings than both Sweden and Denmark.

Like Switzerland, Norway is also free to operate outside of EU laws and interference. However, hosting your data in Norway can be more expensive than most alternative offshore hosting solutions.

5. Germany

Germany is a great location to host your data because of its culture of privacy. Germans have predominantly been very sensitive when it comes to protecting their data and are often wary of private and public bodies that collect data.

So what are the worst locations to host your data? Let’s take a look at the bottom five.

Bottom 5 offshore hosting locations

1. Panama (actively promotes security and privacy, but the nation is plagued by corruption and lack of adequate infrastructure to support secure hosting)

2. China (has no freedom of speech to speak of and is notorious for extreme censorship and government intrusion)

3. Australia (was a leading data hosting location in the Asia Pacific region until the government implemented anti-encryption laws – today, even journalists are being targeted by leveraging these new laws)

4. Islands (because island nations are at risk of climate change-related disasters and isolation)

5. War-torn countries (because they lack the stability to keep your information safe)

If you’re thinking of offshoring your data, we have already done the homework for you. Take a look at Artmotion’s cloud security risk map to learn more.

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