Self-hosted Servers

If you don't want us to host your SurveyCTO servers for you, you can host them yourself.

However, you should know that the cost of running your own servers will be substantially higher. And if your motivation is to improve data security, your best option is probably to host with us.

First, on data security, we allow you to encrypt all of your data with your own 2048-bit public/private keys. If you're using Android devices, encryption happens right there on the device, before the data goes anywhere. While it does technically pass through our servers if you host with us, nobody – not even our most clever engineers – can read your data. In effect, anytime data travels on the Internet, it passes through servers, and encryption is the technology used to prevent any of those servers from snooping on the data as it passes through. Our platform is relatively unique in allowing you to encrypt everything with your own keys so that we can never read it. We even support fully-offline data flows, if you never want your data to pass through the Internet at all.

Second, on costs, we're just really good at running SurveyCTO servers. Aside from a few minutes of scheduled maintenance here and there, we keep things running reliably 24x7x365. If you self-host, some day an OS update will cause something to fail, a hard disk will run out of space, or some piece of hardware will fail. Perhaps the IT person who set everything up is available, or perhaps he's on vacation or no longer working for your organization. When problems come up, they're much harder for us to help solve, because we don't have access to your servers and often don't know what's happened. This makes our job, to help you keep your SurveyCTO servers running, very difficult. So we charge a lot more to support self-hosted installations than we charge to host those servers ourselves. (We know that it's counter-intuitive.)

In total, we charge two to three times more to support self-hosted installations than we charge to host ourselves. And, of course, you face the added costs of hosting yourself: hardware, IT support, connectivity, etc. So it all becomes quite a lot more expensive.

Between our support for your own private encryption keys and our option to host servers in either the U.S. or EU, you're very likely to be better off hosting with us. But if you just have to self-host for whatever reason, we're ready to support you. Send us an email at to discuss your needs further.