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Virtual Gear Dump: raindog308's Empire of Cheap VPS and Cheap Shared Hosting

Sherlock HolmesOn some gear-oriented YouTube channels, people will do pocket dumps or bag dumps where they’ll show you everything that they carry on a daily basis.  These are things like phones, chargers, multitools, batteries, knives, guns, sunglasses, you name it.  “Bag dumps” or “pocket dumps” are quite popular among the EDC (every day carry) community and many others.

I don’t have any VMs in my pocket – though I could.  I know a guy who carries a little Hootoo wireless travel router, a Raspberry Pi, an external hard drive with wifi, and his laptop, all in a “smart” backpack (the kind that includes a lithium battery inside the bag).  When he wants to work, he’s got his Linux and storage environment ready to go.  He calls it his “backpack area network”.

But that’s not what I’m talking about here.  Instead, I’m going to do a Virtual Gear Dump, listing the services I presently use and what I use them for.  Are you interested in doing the same?  We’d love to include your Virtual Gear Dump!  Just PM @raindog308 on LET.


BuyVM: Been a BuyVM customer since back when you had to wait in line at 2am to get a VM.  @Francisco’s come a long way since then.  My DDoS-protected web hosting is with BuyVM.  Really great offerings, including block storage and dedicated CPU on some plans.

RackNerd: I grab a handful of these when they have a sale, which is nearly always but especially around Black Friday.  You can often get a lot of specs for cheap prices.  I have dozens of little web apps I’ve written for myself, some of which are permanent and some are ephemeral.  I tend to host all of that stuff on RackNerd VMs.

Linode: I use hourly instances for LEB tutorials (on the infamous lowend.party domain!) and Linode has been a really effective platform for this.  I’ve used Vultr in the past as well.

HyperExpert: I still have one of their $1/year VMs from two Black Fridays ago.  Can’t part with it because it’s so cheap!


Dreamhost: I’ve been a Dreamhost customer off and on since 2004ish.  In fact, they were the first shared hosting I ever used.  I like their custom panel…later when I used cPanel for the first time, I was repelled.  I used to run my own cPanel system for friends/family but…it got to be a job.  My own hosting on my VMs I have no problem with, but once you have to start letting other people in, it gets too complicated.  So I moved everything (and everyone) to Dreamhost.  For basic shared hosting, I’ve been very happy with them.


Gmail: For my personal email domains, I’m lucky to have been grandfathered in.

MXroute: For everything else.


CatalystHost: Still chugging along with their little 128MB VMs for VPN hosts.  It’s sometimes convenient to always appear from the same IP (whitelisting WordPress admin, etc.).  If you’re looking for one ($12/year last I checked), you need to sign into their client area and then add a service, as I don’t think they advertise them on their site.

PureVPN: I tried them because we had an offer and they’ve been fine for my modest VPN needs.

Cloud Storage

B2: This my main backup, via rclone.  Been quite happy.  Tried switching to Synology’s C2 and was unimpressed.

Dropbox: Since forever.

iCloud: Because I’m an Apple fanboy.






  1. Hi Raindog — We sincerely appreciate your business!

    Thank You for the mention — and to surprise, for those looking for similar deals that you obtained during Black Friday — we occasionally stock some! Take a look: https://www.racknerd.com/BlackFriday/

    September 1, 2022 @ 9:50 am | Reply
  2. If you find a website that seems like it would be worth your time, you should not be hesitant to give it a shot since there is a good chance that you will be rewarded for your efforts.

    March 16, 2023 @ 9:58 pm | Reply

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