IHC is one of those companies which seems to cater to the needs of just about everyone. So unlike some other best offshore hosting companies, you do not have to be a big firm, or an investor-backed group. Any everyday blogger with something to share can use the platform. But how good is it actually is? That’s what we’ll discuss in this IHC review.
Also note that we don’t just hunt for an offshore hosting company. But an “anonymous offshore hosting company”. A company which respects user-privacy, anonymity, asks the least questions and doesn’t support censorship.
In an effort to get you the most transparent picture, we’ll address the following questions about the company:
- Is IHC hosting anonymous?
- What are the offshore locations offered?
- What content is and isn’t allowed on IHC hosting? (AUP Policy)
- How can you pay for IHC hosting?
- Do IHC servers perform good?
- What are the available plans and pricing?
- How can you contact IHC support?
The questions above won’t leave a lot unanswered I suppose. Would they?
IHC Hosting Overview
Let’s paint you a decent picture of the company and its features before you go all-in on this IHC Review:
- Primary URL: https://www.ihc.ru/
- Servers in: Russia.
- Payment methods: Fiat + Crypto.
- Cheapest Plan: RUB 99.00/month.
- Servers: Shared, VPS, Dedicated.
- DMCA Compliant: Ignored.
- Restricted content: Refer to the “AUP” section.
Is IHC hosting Anonymous?
A number of reasons exist why we prefer anonymity with offshore hosting companies. For starters, the content we’re trying to upload definitely isn’t the standard, everyday content. Else, we wouldn’t need offshore companies.
They needn’t be “illegal” content per se. But even freedom of speech, expression and opinion is restricted in many a countries. So it would reason to not leave the least bit of identification possible, wouldn’t it?
As far as IHC goes, it clearly mentions that it respects user-privacy. It doesn’t track users before or after visiting their website. It does however record E-mail IDs and payment information.
It doesn’t share user-information with any third-parties, neither for marketing nor citing user-interest.
Although the most impressive aspect was that, and we confirmed, you do not need to provide real details during registrations. So you can use anything random and still be able to legally purchase their shared servers, VPS or dedicated plans!
What are the offshore locations offered?
Arguably the most important aspect of an offshore hosting company is its offshore location, isn’t it?
So the IHC servers are located in Russia. That’s the only location servers are offered from. While not as “location-rich” as seen in our Webcare 360 review or KatzGlobal review, it’s still acceptable.
Primarily because Russia is known to not have good ties with the U.S and other such conservatively censor-loving countries.
What content is and isn’t allowed on IHC hosting? (AUP Policy).
This by far is my personal favourite section on this entire IHC review. The primary reason being it stays true to the definition of an offshore hosting company. What this means is, anything which is legal in Russia, is legal on IHC.
They also have made it clear that freedom of speech and anti-censorship ideologies are things which they support, as long as it’s all legal content. All of these point toward a favourable AUP (Acceptable Use Policy).
Anyway, the content which isn’t allowed includes:
- Hacking (includes DDoS/Phishing/ Brute force/ IP Spoofing/ SIP scanners etc).
- SPAM content.
- Scam sites.
- Basically anything illegal in Russia.
We also confirmed that while Porn isn’t allowed, they do allow Erotica.
Tor relays and IRCs aren’t allowed but that’s common for most other offshore hosting companies as well. Note that “Gaming” sites are allowed, but not Gambling sites considering how Gambling is illegal in Russia.
Although it’s one of the few companies which allows Video streaming if and when Dedicated servers are used.
And finally, they ignore DMCA complaints. Only those requests coming in with proper documentation, or from courts and law enforcement are entertained.
All in all, not the most liberal AUP still offers all the benefits which are generally expected from an offshore hosting company. Totally in league with our Cyberbunker review or Lolek Hosted review to quite an extent.
How can you pay on IHC hosting?
One of the biggest privacy risks are payment methods. That is why we prioritize companies accepting Cryptocurrencies as payment modes. It supports a plethora of those including:
- Cards (Visa / Mastercard)
- Yandex etc.
The Crypto payment ensure privacy and anonymity, while the fiats offer ease and speed. The choice is yours to make.
Do IHC servers perform good?
The policies are all well and good, impressive even. But while going for any hosting company in general, a lot more needs to be accounted for. For e.g. the technical capabilities such as speed, response-time and overall performance.
We confirmed IHC.ru is hosted on their own servers. It was also confirmed by one of their support-reps. So, that’s the domain we’ll be testing.
Page Load-Time Test
The first test as always is the speed-test. The homepage weighs exactly 869.8 KB. So how long does a page weighing 869.8 KB take to load on an average? Sure it also depends on a lot of other factors but the test gets us an overall idea of the same.
The page loaded the fastest from Europe (obviously) within just 1.1seconds. (Verify) North America followed with 2.27 load-time while South America and Australia had disappointing results. Both requiring 4.63seconds 6.4seconds respectively.
Server Response Time (SRT)
The Server Response Time is a slightly more accurate metric of the server’s performance. It’ll get us the response-time of the server for a browser’s load-request.
We tested the site using Bitcatcha and here were the results (verify results):
While Germany and London performed really good, Sydney and most other locations followed with a slight difference. The results are still more than acceptable, and in line with what we saw in our IT ITCH review or CCI Hosting review.
SRT with Traffic Spike
So after going through the load-time & SRT requirements, here’s how the website reacts to a traffic-spike.
Well, the results weren’t very appealing. It started with requiring 11ms for 5 users. But then at times went upto 61ms and 75ms. While these numbers are okay to go with, we saw massive variation in the results each time we ran the tests.
This clearly indicates that with a traffic spike, you may see a much slower load-time.
Well that’s not all. You may have a site offering downloads as well, can’t you? So we enquired about a downloadable file, and the support rep gave us this address – http://www.ihc.ru/data/file10m.dat
It’s hosted on the same domain and servers and hence should get us a good idea of the server’s download speeds.
I got an average of 2Mbps throughout the download. For my connection and location, this speed is more than impressive.
So in a nutshell, the server’s speed overall has its ups and downs but isn’t a complete downer.
What are the available plans and pricing?
As mentioned earlier in this IHC review, the company has something for everyone. It offers everything from Shared servers, Linux VPS, KVM VDS, Windows VPS to Dedicated Servers.
The pricing is only displayed in Russian RUB, shared servers start from RUB 99.00/month, and head up to RUB 1350.00/month.
VPS (Linux) has a starting price of 250RUB/month and goes up to 1584 RUB/month. Windows VPS is a lot more expensive, ranging from 58710p to 1000p.
And then obviously, renting dedicated servers may cost as high as 8209p or as low as 4842p depending on the specs.
How can you contact IHC hosting support?
The IHC support has two sides. For starters, they offer live-chat which indeed is 24X7 (almost) and is pretty impressive. The initial-reply time is a couple minutes, but then the replies are instant.
The other side is, they only provide support in Russian. We had to use Google translate to communicate. While that’s not a problem and the team uses easily recognizable words, the use of English could sure make things easier.
Although they have multiple E-mails and a telephone line which can be used as well.
Let’s glance at this IHC review top to bottom. The company is a privacy-respecting, crypto-accepting, and offshore. The speed sure could be better but is acceptable for small to medium projects.
The content-policy too is liberal to quite an extent, the pricing cheap, and support fast. Unless you need really fast servers, I’d say most other aspects point toward an acceptable offshore hosting company.
Do let us know if you agree with this IHC review or think you’d rather pass?