Hosting Crypto Nodes – 5 Best VPS Providers Compared (2020)

Hosting crypto nodes featured image

Hosting Your Passive Income Source

Hosting crypto nodes may sound like an exciting passive income opportunity. But the investment will quickly evaporate if the price of a coin is in an endless decline or if the hosting bill is eating most of your earnings.

Hence, it is essential to be vigilant and carefully pick your horses if you want to remain profitable. And before you ask, a latest DASH masternode clone is never a good pick. Throughout this article, we will mention a few solid altcoins that passed our review process.

This article will focus on hosting provider selection. Keep reading to find out what are some of the most cost-effective VPS providers for hosting crypto nodes.

Whether you want to host a Bitcoin full node, Nyzo verifier or Idena node, we got you covered. We will compare a broad range of providers that are suitable for various crypto purposes, including mining.

Don’t Forget About VAT For Hosting Crypto Nodes

If you are based in the EU, most companies will charge VAT on top of the listed prices. 20%+ VAT quickly add up to the costs of running any crypto operation. There is one exception to the rule hidden in this list, but you will have to find it yourself.

Hosting Crypto Nodes In The Sunny Clouds

You might be wondering what a VPS is precisely and how it differs from standard computers and dedicated servers. Let’s explain the terminology quickly. Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a slice of dedicated server resources. A typical server will have two Intel Xeon or AMD EPYC CPU’s and 256 GB’s RAM or more coupled with an (NVMe) SSD RAID. Thanks to virtualisation technologies, it can be split into lots of containers (slices) with various resource allocation. The most popular server virtualization solutions among providers we reviewed are KVM and OpenVZ. You should always aim for KVM if you want to use Docker containers because OpenVZ currently doesn’t support Docker.

We tested all servers using yabs script that automatically benchmarks disk speed, CPU performance using Geekbench and network speed. All presented benchmarks show the performance of the smallest VPS slices each specific provider offers.

Not Your Hardware, Not Your Keys

Hosting crypto nodes and verifiers usually requires keeping private keys stored on the VPS in plain text. This is a sizable security concern that needs to be taken seriously. There are two possible attack vectors, one is from hackers trying to breach into your server remotely, and the other is a risk from a host accessing your data locally.

Two-sided Attacks When Hosting Crypto Nodes

Remote attackers can be kept at bay by employing good security practices that include:

  • Using strong, unique passwords
  • Replacing passwords with (ED25519) key pairs whenever possible
  • Safe storage of login details
  • Keeping your VPS up to date
  • Hardening SSH access, extensive guide is available here
  • Keeping (RPC) ports secured

But you can’t do much about local attacks except avoiding shady providers. If you spot an unknown provider that provides specifically tailored services, is cheaper than others and offers managed service, red flags should immediately start to pop up. 🚩

Local Attacks

Using reputable providers with a good track record is the best protection you can get from local attacks. Legit hosting providers wouldn’t ruin their reputation and invest into breaking VPS virtualisation technology that protects your data just to pull off an unprofitable exit scam. Also, KVM virtualization is preferable over OpenVZ when it comes to security and flexibility. OpenVZ does have some performance advantages, though.

Next level protection would be colocation, but that is beyond the scope of this article and is only suited for advanced users that can handle logistics and required setup. It also isn’t wholly bulletproof since the host would still have physical access to your hardware.

Don’t forget about VPS control panel security. If a hacker gets access to your account, they can easily access all your servers. Secure your email account and use strong passwords.

Bringing it all together, not your hardware, not your keys is a valid concern, but the fix is relatively easy – stick to the battle-tested providers that have at least a few years under their belts.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the individual VPS reviews for hosting crypto nodes.

BuyVM (Frantech) Review

Frantech section banner
  • Pricing ★★★★★
  • Performance ★★★★★
  • Support ★★★★☆
  • Instant Setup ✘
  • Crypto Payments ✔
  • No KYC ✔

BuyVM is a sub brand of Frantech even though Frantech isn’t offering new services any more – BuyVM has become the main brand. It is slightly confusing for new users as the BuyVM billing and control panel is accessed through the Frantech website. BuyVM does not have OpenStack offerings. They offer old school VPS slots that are provisioned manually. Hence, setup is not instant – you can expect up to 10 hours waiting time depending on when you order the service.

There is another unusual thing that is not standard in the hosting world. BuyVM services are mostly out of stock due to high demand. Usually, new stock is added at the beginning of every month. 1st and the 7th are the days in a month you are looking for.

You might be wondering why we put BuyVM in the first place? It is because their low-end VPS offerings are unbeatable both in price and performance. 512 MB VPS slice for $2/month or $1.67/m, if you pay for half a year, is a beast in a tiny package. These tiny slices are perfect for hosting crypto nodes that are easy on system resources like Nyzo queue verifiers. Just make sure to upgrade them to a bigger slice once you enter the cycle. $7/m slices will do great in the cycle. If you are concerned about DDoS, BuyVM offers affordable protection for $3/m.

BuyVM – Benchmarks

BuyVM currently uses Intel 1270v3 CPUs with SATA SSD storage that offers pretty good performance as can be seen from our benchmarks below. But they are planning a significant upgrade of all KVM slice nodes to AMD Ryzen 3900X CPUs (3.8 GHz) and NVMe SSDs which will considerably improve already solid performance. All locations should be upgraded within 2020. First location to receive upgrades will be Las Vegas followed by New York and Luxembourg later this year.

Basic System Information:
#########################
Processor  : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1270 v3 @ 3.50GHz
CPU cores  : 1 @ 3500.000 MHz
AES-NI     : ✔ Enabled
VM-x/AMD-V : ❌ Disabled
RAM        : 488M
Swap       : 511M
Disk       : 9.3G

fio Disk Speed Tests (Mixed R/W 50/50):
#######################################
Block Size | 4kb           (IOPS) | 64kb          (IOPS)
Read       | 187.97 MB/s  (46.9k) | 720.26 MB/s  (11.2k)
Write      | 188.46 MB/s  (47.1k) | 724.05 MB/s  (11.3k)
Block Size | 512kb         (IOPS) | 1mb           (IOPS)
Read       | 923.54 MB/s   (1.8k) | 894.47 MB/s    (873)
Write      | 972.61 MB/s   (1.8k) | 954.04 MB/s    (931)

iperf3 Network Speed Tests (IPv4):
##################################
Provider                  | Location (Link)           | Send Speed      | Recv Speed
Online.net                | Paris, FR (10G)           | 632 Mbits/sec   | 473 Mbits/sec
WorldStream               | The Netherlands (10G)     | 720 Mbits/sec   | 391 Mbits/sec
Hostkey                   | Moscow, RU (1G)           | 670 Mbits/sec   | 392 Mbits/sec
Velocity Online           | Tallahassee, FL, US (10G) | 798 Mbits/sec   | 417 Mbits/sec
Airstream Communications  | Eau Claire, WI, US (10G)  | 803 Mbits/sec   | 781 Mbits/sec

Geekbench 5 Benchmark Test:
###########################
Single Core     | 707

BuyVM – Key Strengths

  • Unbeatable low-end VPS slices
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Crypto friendly

Hostens (Time4VPS) Review

Hostens section banner
  • Pricing ★★★★☆
  • Performance ★★★★☆
  • Support ★★★☆☆
  • Instant Setup ✔
  • Crypto Payments ✔
  • No KYC ✔

Hostens & Time4VPS are two sister companies that are targeting different markets with similar services presented in a different way. They are both divisions of the parent company called “Interneto Vizija” which was founded in 2003. They run their own data center in Lithuania where all servers are hosted.

Hostens offers a variety of different VPS plans. The ones that are interesting for hosting crypto nodes are “Linux VPS” (KVM) and “Container VPS” (OpenVZ) that are even more affordable. Monthly prices are much higher when compared to paying for a full year or longer. It might be smart to test specific VPS for a month and then switch to yearly+ payments if performance suits your needs. Changing billing cycles is easy to do through their user-friendly control panel.

Hostens – Performance & Support

Performance is usually solid. You can see the benchmark we run on the “Small Linux VPS” plan below. Support is alright but can be slow and unhelpful at times depending on the question you might have. Hostens only offers small to medium sized VPS slices, if you require more powerful and larger VPS slices, switch over to their sister company Time4VPS where you can order beastly servers all the way to 64 GB RAM.

Basic System Information:
#########################
Processor  : Intel Xeon Processor (Skylake, IBRS)
CPU cores  : 1 @ 2593.902 MHz
AES-NI     : ✔ Enabled
VM-x/AMD-V : ❌ Disabled
RAM        : 1.9G
Swap       : 0B
Disk       : 20G

fio Disk Speed Tests (Mixed R/W 50/50):
#######################################
Block Size | 4kb           (IOPS) | 64kb          (IOPS)
Read       | 783.00 KB/s    (195) | 12.54 MB/s     (195)
Write      | 819.00 KB/s    (204) | 13.12 MB/s     (205)
Block Size | 512kb         (IOPS) | 1mb           (IOPS)
Read       | 24.41 MB/s      (47) | 23.85 MB/s      (23)
Write      | 25.75 MB/s      (50) | 26.32 MB/s      (25)

iperf3 Network Speed Tests (IPv4):
##################################
Provider                  | Location (Link)           | Send Speed      | Recv Speed
Online.net                | Paris, FR (10G)           | 96.2 Mbits/sec  | 95.3 Mbits/sec
WorldStream               | The Netherlands (10G)     | 94.8 Mbits/sec  | 95.4 Mbits/sec
Hostkey                   | Moscow, RU (1G)           | 96.6 Mbits/sec  | 95.5 Mbits/sec
Velocity Online           | Tallahassee, FL, US (10G) | 89.8 Mbits/sec  | 92.1 Mbits/sec
Airstream Communications  | Eau Claire, WI, US (10G)  | 90.4 Mbits/sec  | 86.1 Mbits/sec

Geekbench 5 Benchmark Test:
###########################
Single Core     | 859

Hostens – Key Strengths

  • User-friendly UI
  • Great long term prices
  • Solid performance

Hetzner Review

Hetzner section banner
  • Pricing ★★★★★
  • Performance ★★★★★
  • Support ★★★★☆
  • Instant Setup ✔
  • Crypto Payments ✘
  • No KYC ✘

Hetzner is a great, reliable EU hosting option available in 3 locations located in 2 countries. The company was founded in 1997 and they run several data centers in Germany and Finland where all servers are hosted.

They offer a wide array of different services, but their dedicated servers and especially cloud VPS offerings are the main standouts. Bang for the buck they offer is hard to match as you will see in the results section below.

Hetzner implemented 2FA authentication that significantly increases the security of the VPS control panel (cloud console) and prevents unauthorized access. As always, we recommend enabling 2FA whenever possible.

Hetzner Performance

Hetzner server auction is a great way to snag good dedicated server deals without paying for setup fees. You can explore it here. VPS packages offer plenty of RAM and traffic. Uptime is usually rock solid while performance is mostly good. Benchmark of their CX11 VPS plan is available below.

Basic System Information:
#########################
Processor  : Intel Xeon Processor (Skylake, IBRS)
CPU cores  : 1 @ 2099.998 MHz
AES-NI     : ✔ Enabled
VM-x/AMD-V : ❌ Disabled
RAM        : 1.9G
Swap       : 0B
Disk       : 19G

fio Disk Speed Tests (Mixed R/W 50/50):
#######################################
Block Size | 4kb           (IOPS) | 64kb          (IOPS)
Read       | 117.05 MB/s  (29.2k) | 1.51 GB/s    (23.6k)
Write      | 117.35 MB/s  (29.3k) | 1.52 GB/s    (23.7k)
Block Size | 512kb         (IOPS) | 1mb           (IOPS)
Read       | 2.94 GB/s     (5.7k) | 3.00 GB/s     (2.9k)
Write      | 3.10 GB/s     (6.0k) | 3.20 GB/s     (3.1k)

iperf3 Network Speed Tests (IPv4):
##################################
Provider                  | Location (Link)           | Send Speed      | Recv Speed
Online.net                | Paris, FR (10G)           | 1.88 Gbits/sec  | 1.68 Gbits/sec
WorldStream               | The Netherlands (10G)     | 9.57 Gbits/sec  | 1.84 Gbits/sec
Hostkey                   | Moscow, RU (1G)           | 925 Mbits/sec   | 924 Mbits/sec
Velocity Online           | Tallahassee, FL, US (10G) | 1.51 Gbits/sec  | 803 Mbits/sec
Airstream Communications  | Eau Claire, WI, US (10G)  | 1.35 Gbits/sec  | 89.7 Mbits/sec

Geekbench 5 Benchmark Test:
###########################
Single Core     | 616

If you require consistent performance you can count on, their dedicated CPU packages are a great option. Like with all cloud hosts, VPS setups are nearly instant and you can easily change locations if you experience issues with a particular server. Each user has a default limit of 10 servers which can be raised if requested. Justified use case will be required if you want to get a higher limit successfully.

Hetzner – Not So Crypto Friendly

Hetzner doesn’t like seeing their cloud offerings used for hosting crypto nodes, especially ones that are resource hungry. Mining is strictly prohibited, but that goes without saying as most cloud services will terminate your account when they see a constant 100% load required for mining.

When interacting with Hetzner support staff or especially when requesting server limit increase, mentioning crypto is not a good idea and your request won’t be granted.

When it comes to their dedicated servers lineup, they are much more lenient, and you can use dedis for pretty much all crypto purposes. With that said, use Hetzner at your own risk, your account can get terminated at any moment if you break their TOS. We simply couldn’t resist including Hetzner in this list due to their awesome performance to price ratio in both cloud and dedicated server offerings.

Hetzner – Key Strengths

  • Plenty of included traffic
  • Excellent performance to price ratio
  • Dedicated servers auction

Ramnode Review

Ramnode section banner
  • Pricing ★★★☆☆
  • Performance ★★★★☆
  • Support ★★★★☆
  • Instant Setup ✔
  • Crypto Payments ✔
  • No KYC ✔

We have been Ramnode customers since its inception in 2012 and the service has always been great. Even MyAltcoins blog is hosted on Ramnode. They have proved their excellence throughout the years of service. Ramnode services are available in 4 locations spread across the US and 1 EU location in the Netherlands. Ramnode is colocating their equipment in various data centers. The list is available here.

Ramnode was offering standard OpenVZ and KVM VPS’s along with shared cPanel hosting. But recently they implemented OpenStack based cloud. Old servers will remain supported indefinitely, but the cloud is now their go-to product. Both cloud and legacy VPS setups are instant, and you will receive your login details within minutes, which makes hosting crypto nodes a breeze.

Ramnode – Performance & Support

Support is usually swift to respond. In most cases, we received a reply within an hour of opening the support ticket. Do note that Ramnode does not provide technical support, only hardware, billing and similar issues are supported. When you mess up your Ubuntu installation don’t expect them to fix it, you’ll be on your own. However, they have community IRC and Discord support channels that can be helpful at times.

Performance benchmarks are available below. We run them on a $3 KVM VPS.

Basic System Information:
#########################
Processor  : Intel Core Processor (Skylake, IBRS)
CPU cores  : 1 @ 2399.990 MHz
AES-NI     : ✔ Enabled
VM-x/AMD-V : ✔ Enabled
RAM        : 481M
Swap       : 0B
Disk       : 15G

fio Disk Speed Tests (Mixed R/W 50/50):
#######################################
Block Size | 4kb           (IOPS) | 64kb          (IOPS)
Read       | 25.49 MB/s    (6.3k) | 219.89 MB/s   (3.4k)
Write      | 25.52 MB/s    (6.3k) | 221.05 MB/s   (3.4k)
Block Size | 512kb         (IOPS) | 1mb           (IOPS)
Read       | 508.17 MB/s    (992) | 632.26 MB/s    (617)
Write      | 535.18 MB/s   (1.0k) | 674.37 MB/s    (658)

iperf3 Network Speed Tests (IPv4):
##################################
Provider                  | Location (Link)           | Send Speed      | Recv Speed
Online.net                | Paris, FR (10G)           | 751 Mbits/sec   | 504 Mbits/sec
WorldStream               | The Netherlands (10G)     | 666 Mbits/sec   | 349 Mbits/sec
Hostkey                   | Moscow, RU (1G)           | 637 Mbits/sec   | 672 Mbits/sec
Velocity Online           | Tallahassee, FL, US (10G) | 710 Mbits/sec   | 663 Mbits/sec
Airstream Communications  | Eau Claire, WI, US (10G)  | 698 Mbits/sec   | 629 Mbits/sec

Geekbench 5 Benchmark Test:
###########################
Single Core     | 557

Ramnode – Key Strengths

  • Reliable
  • Good prices
  • Quick support

DigitalOcean Review

DigitalOcean section banner
  • Pricing ★★★☆☆
  • Performance ★★★★★
  • Support ★☆☆☆☆
  • Instant Setup ✔
  • Crypto Payments ✘
  • No KYC ✔/✘

DigitalOcean (DO) is one of the largest cloud providers in the world. It was founded in 2011 and the headquarters are located in New York.

DigitalOcean has a stunning interface. It is clean, responsive and easy to use. A perfect environment for hosting crypto nodes that allows convenient testing of multiple configurations. The registration process is quick, and all service deployments are automated.

VPS (droplet) performance is great and you get more than you pay for, especially when it comes to low-end VPS packages. However, performance does vary depending on the location choice. If you end up on a server that is not as performant, delete VPS and pick another location from their plentiful list of 8 various locations. Performance benchmark of their $5/m droplet is available below.

Basic System Information:
#########################
Processor  : Intel(R) Xeon(R) Gold 6140 CPU @ 2.30GHz
CPU cores  : 1 @ 2294.608 MHz
AES-NI     : ✔ Enabled
VM-x/AMD-V : ✔ Enabled
RAM        : 985M
Swap       : 0B
Disk       : 25G

fio Disk Speed Tests (Mixed R/W 50/50):
#######################################
Block Size | 4kb           (IOPS) | 64kb          (IOPS)
Read       | 34.89 MB/s    (8.7k) | 199.85 MB/s   (3.1k)
Write      | 35.01 MB/s    (8.7k) | 200.90 MB/s   (3.1k)
Block Size | 512kb         (IOPS) | 1mb           (IOPS)
Read       | 463.13 MB/s    (904) | 569.78 MB/s    (556)
Write      | 487.74 MB/s    (952) | 607.73 MB/s    (593)

iperf3 Network Speed Tests (IPv4):
##################################
Provider                  | Location (Link)           | Send Speed      | Recv Speed
Online.net                | Paris, FR (10G)           | 1.29 Gbits/sec  | 5.74 Gbits/sec
WorldStream               | The Netherlands (10G)     | 1.76 Gbits/sec  | 10.8 Gbits/sec
Hostkey                   | Moscow, RU (1G)           | 925 Mbits/sec   | 924 Mbits/sec
Velocity Online           | Tallahassee, FL, US (10G) | 1.17 Gbits/sec  | 1.58 Gbits/sec
Airstream Communications  | Eau Claire, WI, US (10G)  | 1.33 Gbits/sec  | 1.03 Gbits/sec

Geekbench 5 Benchmark Test:
###########################
Single Core     | 760

DigitalOcean Server Limits And Mining

All new accounts start with a 10 droplet limit which can be increased after the first billing cycle. There are some caveats. You need to add (credit) card or make a sufficient deposit if you are using PayPal. You might also need to explain why you need additional droplets carefully.

Don’t think about mining on DO shared CPU plans – your account will likely end up locked quickly and you will have to go through the nightmare of their support to get a second chance. Dedicated CPU plans with dedicated cores should be fine but still proceed with care, if you are feeling enthusiastic, you can dive into their TOS for more details.

DigitalOcean Support

Their customer support is mostly useless, oftentimes it feels like talking to robots. Most responses are generic messages, and you get the impression that they didn’t even read your request. On top of that, responses are extremely slow, waiting a couple of days for a response is not uncommon. If at all possible, just don’t use their support, create new VPS and start from scratch, google the problem or maybe try asking the DigitalOcean community about any issues you might have. Except billing of course. With that said, they have an excellent tutorials section that is filled with hundreds of useful posts covering a broad range of topics. Do check it out.

DigitalOcean – Key Strengths

  • Modern interface
  • Various advanced cloud features
  • Reliable performance and uptime

Avoid Cloud Giants For Hosting Crypto Nodes

Google cloud, AWS and Azure logos

The big three cloud providers – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. These industry incumbents provide an extended range of various services, but we will focus on their compute (VPS) offerings. They offer flexible plans that allow you to scale quickly and easily.

They are a great option when you want to mine a new coin with full force. But for longer term or bandwidth intensive usage, the main thing you need to consider are the bandwidth costs. The bill can grow abnormally fast and hosting crypto nodes that consume lots of bandwidth will quickly make a dent in your wallet.

Bandwidth – Pricier Than Gold

If you never used any of the big three cloud hosts, you might be spoiled and think that bandwidth is the negligible part of a hosting bill. But this is not the case when it comes to the top cloud dogs. Incoming bandwidth is free of charge, but the devil is in the outbound. Let’s quickly compare outbound data transfer costs per TB across these three providers.

  • Azure: ~ $90
  • AWS: ~ $92
  • Google Cloud: ~ $123

As can be seen, Google is the most expensive, while Azure and AWS have similar bandwidth prices. Keep in mind that these are only examples, there are many variables in play here and your actual mileage will likely vary. While these prices look and are insanely expensive for most use cases, bandwidth quality and peering that these providers offer is unmatched.

The Power Of AWS Mining

AWS is the oldest player in this category and offers specific price tiers that are suitable for crypto use cases. Mostly mining as other providers like BuyVM are much more cost effective for running nodes and verifiers. But AWS spot instances are what you are after. They offer up to 90% cheaper rates when compared to AWS standard on-demand rates. For example, their biggest compute instance c5.metal with 96 CPU cores costs $4/h in the on-demand tier, while spot tier brings it down to around $1/h. You can check the full price list here. There is a catch, though. Your instances can get terminated at any moment. So if you are unlucky, you might miss those precious first hours of a fresh PoW mainnet launch.

Side By Side Comparison

VPS providers specification comparison. BuyVM is the most affordable for hosting crypto nodes.

In the table above you can see specifications of the cheapest VPS slice each hosting provider offers. Prices do not include VAT. Price listed for BuyVM is what you get when you pay for 6 months or more and Hostens price is what you get when you pay for a year or more. Other providers do not offer discounts for longer term payments. Previews of user interfaces (order forms) are displayed in the image gallery below.

Price and Geekbench 5 score comparison charts are available below. Geekbench scores show interesting results. Hostens is a clear winner while DO came in second. Even though the BuyVM 512MB slice is by far the cheapest, it still managed to outperform Ramnode and Hetzner performance. Do note that performance varies depending on various factors and your mileage will likely be more or less different.

Bringing It All Together – Where To Host Crypto Nodes

Below you can find our selection of the most suitable providers for hosting various crypto nodes and verifiers. Providers were selected based on system requirements for each specific task.

Time to wrap things up. We hope you enjoyed the post and found a hosting provider that suits your needs and budget. While hosting crypto nodes, remember to always stick to the reputable VPS providers, keep your servers secured and your private keys safe.

MyAltcoins team,
Petar & Ana

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