Suppose you’re a small startup needing a server presence on the internet. Or you just want a vanity site. Whatever. You might go with any of a zillion PHP- or Wordpress-based 'web hosting providers'. But since you’ve read this far, I’ll assume you know why you should run your own OpenBSD instance instead. But mostly it is too expensive to host your own hardware - if you have the funding to host a machine at a colocation facility, go for it. These usually cost about C$100/month. An exception is if you have a modern Mac Mini Server, then you can get hosting for about a third of that. I’ve had good luck with Clarity Hosting for this, but they don’t really support OpenBSD and they don’t provide VNC console access, and the drive to the datacenter when things occasionally went south became to much, so I moved to a VPS.

The next level down is VPS hosting - Virtual Private Server. These are companies that will rent you a portion of a shared server. While not as secure as your own hardware, understand that there’s really no such thing as absolute security when using any hosting provider. Think about it: the building janitors have master keys to all the rooms. And they are paid minimum wage. If somebody wanted to hack your server, who would they bribe? So if you have enough money, host your own machines in your own premises. Oh, and make sure your janitors are well paid.

VPS is certainly the cheapest hosting solution. There are a small number of companies that offer OpenBSD VPS configurations. Most VPS providers offer just a variety of Linux and Windows configs. Fortunately, it’s easy to update your Linux VPS host to OpenBSD. THis is well explained this Hacker Public Radio post. I’ve followed this recipe to get an OpenBSD system set up on a system pre-configured with CentOS, at Contabo.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to list some of the ones that do offer OpenBSD. This page was last updated on the date shown at the bottom of the page, but even then, it may be out of date. Use at own risk, and, do your own due diligence.

If you know of others, please let me know.