Do you know where your data is being stored? Too many people are completely in the dark about this important question. To make matters worse, even if you wanted to find out, many hosting providers do not disclose where in the world your data is hosted – the most they will do is tell you the continent it’s on.
Saying “North America” or “Asia” and not giving any further information didn’t seem right to us. So we decided to give the control back to you.
Why, exactly, is this so important? Let’s break it down.
When your data is being stored on a server close to you (or to your customers – more on that in a second), your website will have a response time in the milliseconds. Compare that to the 2-3 second response time that comes with having your data on a server nowhere near you.
I can hear you saying to yourself that 2-3 seconds is not that big of a deal. But if someone lands on your website and the images aren’t loading right away, or your beautiful interactive game takes too long to play, you’re going to lose their interest reaaaaallllll fast.
Do a little research. Find out where your target customer base lives. If you’re in Vancouver but the majority of your customers are in Toronto, choose a server on the east coast. Or if you’re an Australian company that primarily does business with other Australians, get onto a Sydney-based server (like the one that Rebel offers).
Real talk: at Rebel, we already do everything we can to keep our customers’ data private. But the fact remains that laws in certain countries where servers are located will allow entities to access or monitor that information.
What can you do to protect yourself and your data? Start by doing a little research and educating yourself on the laws of the country where you are considering hosting your data. For example, Canada has PIPEDA, the United States has DCMA and Australia has the Australian Privacy Act; These are all things you will need to familiarize yourself with when making a decision.
If you work for a municipal organization or non-profit, there may already be rules in place that require you to have your servers located in a certain country. Ensure you take a look at what is required of you before you make your final decision.
Very Important Reminder: None of this is to say that you can store illegal content simply because it’s being hosted in a different country. Don’t be ridiculous.
This is a bit of a thorny topic that has been debated for the past five years. Even though the impact may be diminishing, the location of a server did (and perhaps still does) have an impact on your SEO ranking.
But here’s the thing: there is no magic formula that will ensure you’ll get to the top of Google’s search results – they keep that algorithm a closely-guarded secret. However, if you do have your data stored in Vancouver and your customers are located in Vancouver, it may have an impact on your SEO ranking. It certainly won’t hurt.
Ready to take back control of your own data? At Rebel, we have 4 server locations to choose from with our Full Control Hosting package: Sydney, Montreal, Virginia and California. The performance for each of these servers is equally fast, so choose based on your specific needs using the three tips we’ve outlined.
Don’t see the location you prefer? We’re expanding! Let us know if there is a server you’d like to see offered by dropping us a line.
Get started with Full Control Hosting today for only $10/month.