What is VPS Hosting?
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) provides you with full root access to a ‘virtualized’ environment within one powerful bare metal dedicated server. Virtual Servers allow hosting providers to split up physical hardware resources into compartments, much like apartments within a larger apartment building, and rent the compartments to those who need server resources.
Why Canada for VPS Hosting?
By going with a Canadian VPS Hosting provider, you’re opting to store your data within Canada. Whether this is for email hosting, web hosting, or app-specific hosting, the data you store on these Canadian Virtual Private Servers remains within Canadian borders, allowing for Canadian privacy laws to apply to that data.
Data Privacy and Laws
This makes the data out of reach of American law enforcement without first asking the Canadian government to force compliance from their business(es) — namely Canadian hosting providers.
Canadian laws (namely PIPEDA and the digital privacy act of 2015) work to ensure the privacy and safety of your personal data that is stored within Canadian borders.
It’s important to note that 3rd party ‘spying’ systems like PRISM in the US still apply to any data flowing within US borders. This means that while your data is safe from prying eyes when it is securely stored on Canadian VPS Hosting provider’s servers, when that data is transmitted either to or through locations residing outside of Canada’s borders, the privacy of that data is no longer 100% subject to Canadian laws.
This means that it’s important that you take measures to ensure the data is strongly encrypted while it is flowing to and from your Canadian VPS.
Example of routing in action
As an example, if your server resides in Montreal and you reside in Halifax, even though there are high performance connections that take only Canadian routes between Halifax and Montreal, it’s very likely that your data packets will route through New York. This is because a large portion of America’s East Coast Internet infrastructure lives in New York City, thusly often resulting in faster routes through NYC than through New Brunswick direct to Quebec.
Even if the route isn’t faster, your ISP may get cheaper bandwidth from an American top-teir bandwidth supplier, like Peer1 Networks, than they do from, say Telus in Canada, thusly resulting in a cheaper route for your ISP to take advantage of… which pushes your packets through US borders.
Using a Canadian VPS Hosting provider is quite important to ensure that strong Canadian privacy laws apply to your emails, websites, and files. That said, be sure not to let your attention to privacy end there. Make sure that your servers are configured for the highest available levels of encryption with the latest protocols (TLS1.2 at the time of writing of this article) to ensure that any data routing to and from your Canadian servers remains secure from prying eyes.