With the continuing fight that many are facing against “big tech”, a growing group of people are building their own servers to host their websites and content. There are really two reasons you might want to do this:
Servers for your media consumption at your house, such as music and movies. If you can’t get a reliable internet connection at your house, this could be a good way to go. It has a lot of limitations, but some advantages.
Servers for your website, so you’re not relying on others to host it for you. For almost all of us, this is overkill.
When the whole Parler debacle surfaced in late 2020, it made big news because most companies refused to host their website. Because they relied on other companies for hosting, they were in a tough spot — but they were very much an exception. A site like theirs requires a massive, custom setup, and there are relatively few viable options.
For sites like mine here, there are literally thousands of hosting providers to choose from, almost all of which are under $15/mo. If somehow my current host got mad at me for some reason, it would be relatively trivial to move this site to another host. For most of us, you just need two things:
- A backup of your site, which you should be keeping no matter how things are set up.
- Your own domain name (like “mickmel.com” for me). If I was using a completely free service, like “mickmel.wordpress.com”, my options become much more limited.
In this scenario, the weak link is the domain ownership. If I got in big enough trouble, I could get my domain name taken away and find myself in a tough spot. Historically, that has happened very infrequently, and hopefully remains that way. Even with the big stink made about Parler, they were never in danger of losing their domain name.
Build a server?
If you want to tinker and build your own server to host your sites to help increase your security, go for it. In the grand scheme of things, though, it really doesn’t offer much additional protection for you. Find a decent host, keep good backups, and don’t worry about “big tech” trying to stop you — because they can’t.