Company typePrivate company
IndustryWeb hosting service, Cloud computing service, Cloud storage service, Domain name registrar
Founded2002; 22 years ago (2002)
Area served
ProductsWeb and cloud services

NearlyFreeSpeech is a privately funded, US-based, low cost web hosting provider and domain name registrar that began in 2002. It was started in response to concerns about the entry of large companies into Internet publishing, and to promote freedom of speech.[1][2][3]


In September 2006, Jeffrey D. Wheelhouse registered the NearlyFreeSpeech trademark.[4]


By 2008, Michael Hemmingson of San Diego Reader wrote that the Electronic Frontier Foundation suggested using services such as and Tor software to avoid being fired for blogging.[5] In 2009 Shawn Powers of Linux Journal reviewed Nearly Free Speech and recommended them over GoDaddy even after having some technical issues.[6] In 2010 Jason Fitzpatrick of listed Nearly Free Speech as first of "Five Best Personal Web Hosts" and said they were unusual because of their incremental billing based on usage.[7] In a similar 2012 "top five" list by Alan Henry of, Nearly Free Speech was given "honorable mention" and he said they offer exceptional hosting plans for as low as $0.25, and promise to only make you pay for what you use.[8]

In 2010 in "Twitter Application Development For Dummies", Dusty Reagan recommended Nearly Free Speech for learning PHP development.[9] In 2010 Cody Fink of, describing how to install Fever in 10 minutes, called Nearly Free Speech, "an amazing hosting solution that's relatively cheap, especially for light use."[10] In 2012 in "Handbook of Research on Didactic Strategies and Technologies for Education" Nearly Free Speech was cited as a "pay as you go" service, which could reduce costs significantly.[11] In 2013, Nearly Free Speech was used for a low-cost promotion involving the posting of indie Zelda-alike game Anodyne on The Pirate Bay.[12]


BugMeNot controversy

In 2004 Matt Hines of CNET said Nearly Free Speech supported BugMeNot against take-down attempts.[13] Kevin Newcomb of wrote that Texas-based spokesman Jeff Wheelhouse said, "NearlyFreeSpeech.NET supports and defends the free expression rights of and all our members to the very limit of its terms of service."[14]

BugMeNot's move to the Nearly Free Speech provider, which also hosts a number of highly controversial sites, prompted BugMeNot's creator to say, "Personally, I don't care if I'm sharing a server with neo-Nazis. I might not agree with what they have to say, but the whole thing about freedom of speech is that people are free to speak."[15]

Badger Killers website controversy

In 2012, Kelly Fiveash of The Register said US-based hosting firm Nearly Free Speech resisted UK government attempts to take down the Badger-Killers website, which had personal details of persons deemed to be badger cull supporters, including politicians, farmers and professors.[16][17]

Alt-right and other controversies

In 2017, Ali Breland of described how NearlyFreeSpeech's commitment was tested in the 2012 badger culling website case. She also quoted the CEO of alt-right Twitter alternative Gab, who said that NearlyFreeSpeech might be a "safe haven" for his website after their web host gave them five days to transfer their domain.[18] In 2017 in Media Law, Ethics, and Policy in the Digital Age, NearlyFreeSpeech's policy of not shutting down site services without a court order made them the hosting choice for Crocels News after other services shutdown their services during a defamation dispute.[19] In 2019 in Technical Blogging: Amplify Your Influence, Antonio Cangiano "wholeheartedly" recommended Nearly Free Speech as registrar and webhost for controversial content.[20]

In January 2021, NearlyFreeSpeech published a statement on their response to a surge in business and communications from "racists." The statement was intended to clarify their positions on "free speech," refusal to host illegal content, careful cooperation with law enforcement, and opposition of racism, hatred and bigotry.[21]


  1. ^ "Our Beliefs - 2002". February 2002. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  2. ^ "Our Beliefs - 2005". 2005. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "About NearlyFreeSpeech.NET". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  4. ^ "NEARLYFREESPEECH Trademark of WHEELHOUSE, JEFFREY D. - Registration Number 3261072 - Serial Number 78966497 :: Justia Trademarks". Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  5. ^ Hemmingson, Michael (September 3, 2008). "Blogging keeps you from being hired and gets you fired". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  6. ^ Powers, Shawn (January 30, 2009). "Nearly Free Speech | Linux Journal". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  7. ^ Fitzpatrick, Jason (May 23, 2010). "Five Best Personal Web Hosts". Lifehacker. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  8. ^ Henry, Alan (May 20, 2012). "Five Best Web Hosting Companies". Lifehacker. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  9. ^ Reagan, Dusty (2010-02-16). Twitter Application Development For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-470-63265-9.
  10. ^ Fink, Cody (July 15, 2010). "How Anyone can Install Fever in Ten Minutes". Mac Stories. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  11. ^ Pumilia-Gnarini, Paolo M. (2012-09-30). Handbook of Research on Didactic Strategies and Technologies for Education: Incorporating Advancements: Incorporating Advancements. IGI Global. ISBN 978-1-4666-2123-7.
  12. ^ Benson, Julian (2013). "Anodyne's Pirate Bay ad netted them many monies". PCGamesN. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  13. ^ Hines, Matt (August 23, 2004). "BugMeNot pesters onward". CNET. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  14. ^ "Host: Big Traffic, Not Big Media Responsible for Bugmenot Shutdown". ClickZ. 2004-08-24. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  15. ^ Jardin, Xeni. " returns, spokesbugperson says some news sites trying to block it Archived August 31, 2004, at the Wayback Machine". Boing Boing. August 20, 2004.
  16. ^ Fiveash, Kelly (October 12, 2012). " tries to close site giving home addresses of badger cull figures". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  17. ^ "NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Blog » Official UK government attempt at censorship". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  18. ^ Breland, Ali (2017-09-18). "Alt-right Twitter rival may lose its web domain". The Hill. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  19. ^ Mhiripiri, Nhamo; Tendai, Chari (2017-01-10). Media Law, Ethics, and Policy in the Digital Age. IGI Global. pp. 150, 153. ISBN 978-1-5225-2096-2.
  20. ^ Cangiano, Antonio (2019-06-21). Technical Blogging: Amplify Your Influence. Pragmatic Bookshelf. ISBN 978-1-68050-713-3.
  21. ^ "NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Blog » Free Speech in 2021". Retrieved 2021-02-12.