Top Choice For A VPS in Japan
A Japanese virtual private server (VPS) is a great idea if you need a server that is largely going to be accessed by Asian users. Japan is a stable, well developed country with fast Internet speeds. Unlike China and certain other Asian countries, Japan allows free compute usage, so government permits and censorship should not be an issue. Here are the VPS providers I considered, as an English speaker looking for a VPS host in Japan.
Not long ago I was setting up a VPS web server for a client. The target audience of the website was going to be in Asia. Because of this an Asian VPS was the obvious choice. When choosing the location of a VPS, always choose somewhere close to your users. This ensures faster loading speeds for the webpage, as the data has less distance to travel.
Out of all the countries in Asia, Japan is the top choice for hosting a website. This is because Japan is a industrialized country with free speech guaranteed in the constitution. Japan is also home to fast and reliable Internet services, ensuring that Internet routing problems are unlikely to affect a VPS hosted in Japan.
Once I knew that Japan was the correct country to host this virtual server, I made a short list of things I needed in a VPS provider. They included:
- English language support.
- Payment by US issued credit card or PayPal.
- A decent reputation.
- A low-end plan with the ability to upgrade in the future.
That's kind of the order of importance also. Using a host who I cannot communicate with or open support tickets with is going to be a huge headache anytime an issue arises. And no matter who the host is, an issue will arise eventually. Also, payment should be easy. I definitely don't want to have to wire money every month or even every year.
After researching on the Internet, reading reviews and so on I narrowed it down to three providers. They were:
ConoHa is a Japanese VPS provider. They are one of the larger and more well known VPS providers in Japan and offer very competitive pricing. Because their pricing is in Japanese Yen, it varies with how the Yen and Dollar compare to one another. Right now they tend to be a bit cheaper than many US based VPS providers because the dollar is so much stronger than the Yen.
Some online reviews stated that you must have a Japanese phone number to be able to use ConoHa's service. This is no longer true. They will verify your identity by sending you a text message, but they can send this to most countries in the world, including the USA.
Something else that makes ConoHa stand out from many other Asian VPS providers I have come accoss is their willingness to accept both credit card and PayPal as payment methods. It can be difficult to find VPS providers in Asia who accept PayPal.
Their control panel is in English and was easy to navigate, but I did read some reviews which say that if you open a ticket it can take a while for someone who speaks English to reply. This is understandable, they are based in Japan and most likely to do not require their support staff to speak English.
Hmm, well Linode does have a datacenter in Japan. However it looks like they do not have any availability at this location. You simply cannot order a VPS in Tokyo.
Vultr is a USA based VPS provider that offers services in Japan. I've used Vultr before and was familiar with their system and their level of service (high). Because they are USA based, their support staff speaks English without issue and their website is also in English.
They also provide credit card or PayPal billing (or Bitcoin). And because their billing is in US dollars the price will not be affected by currency changes and I know there will not be any foreign transaction or exchange fees.
Though ConoHa seems like a good provider and might be my top choice if I were a Japanese speaker, I decided to go with a Vultr VPS. Using a US based company who has servers in Japan just made the most sense for myself.