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Meet the Self-Hosters, Taking Back the Internet One Server at a Time


“Through a growing movement of dedicated hobbyists known as self-hosters, the dream of a decentralized internet lives on at a time when surveillance, censorship, and increasing scrutiny of Big Tech has created widespread mistrust in large internet platforms.”


“I enjoyed the independence self-hosting provided and the fact that you owned and had control over your own data.”


“But beyond enjoyment, self-hosters share important principles that drive the desire to self-host—namely, a distrust of large tech companies, which are known to scoop up all the data they can get their hands on and use it in the name of profit.

Despite new privacy laws like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), the vast majority of Americans still don’t trust Big Tech with their privacy. And in recent years, the countless privacy scandals like Cambridge Analytica have driven some tech-savvy folks to take matters into their own hands."


“Much of this growth can be seen on Reddit, with r/selfhosted hitting over 136,000 members and continuing to rise, up from 84,000 just a year ago. The discussions involve self-hosting software that spans dozens of categories, from home automation, genealogy, and media streaming to document collaboration and e-commerce. The list maintained by nodiscc and the community has grown so long that its stewards say it needs more curation and better navigation.”


“Of course, even the most dedicated self-hosters admit that it isn’t for everyone. Having some computing knowledge is fairly essential when it comes to running your own internet services, and self-hosting “will never truly compete with big-name services that make it exponentially easier,” KmisterK said."

“But while self-hosters may never number enough to put a serious dent in Big Tech’s offerings, there is aclear need and benefit to this alternative space. And I can’t think of a better model for the kind of DIY community we can have, when left to our own devices.”

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