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Industry Hosting
Founded 1999
Headquarters Roubaix, France
Key people
Octave Klaba (fr) (DG),
Henryk Klaba (President)
Products Hosting, Web hosting, DSL

OVH is a French Internet Service Provider providing dedicated servers, shared and cloud hosting, domain registration, and VOIP telephony services. The company is a société par actions simplifiée under French law and its headquarters are in Roubaix in northern France.

The company has fifteen datacenters[1] housing at least 180,000 machines.[2] The company offers localized services in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Finland. It has also expanded its services to the United States of America and Canada. The company has deployed IPv6 and DNSSEC.[3][4]


OVH was founded in 1999 by Octave Klaba (fr), at the time a third year student at Institut catholique d'arts et métiers (fr) (ICAM) in Lille. The name comes from the abbreviation of his nickname, Oles Van Herman. It also serves as a backronym for "On Vous Héberge", meaning "We Host You" in French.

In 2001, OVH rented 7 racks from Paris hosting provider Claranet. With its expansion, more room was needed and cooling became an issue, so OVH moved to an abandoned datacenter from Free, a French ISP. In 2002, another datacenter from Free was rented by OVH, who then bought its building for its first own datacenter in Paris.

In 2006, OVH opened its first subsidiaries, beginning with Poland, Senegal and Spain.


Dedicated servers[edit]

  • High end servers
  • Low end servers - sold under the Kimsufi brand


The following ranges of VPS are offered in the Roubaix, Strasbourg and Beauharnois datacentres

  • VPS Classic - A range of VPS based on OpenVZ

1GB to 8GB RAM, 100Mbit/s network

  • VPS Cloud - A range of VPS based on VMWare ESXi

2GB to 16GB RAM, 100Mbit/s network


OVH provides registrar services for generic top-level and country code top-level domain names, and has sponsored the .ovh TLD.[5]

Controversies and lawsuits[edit]


OVH hosted a website of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu rebel force, until September 2009 when a German reporter asked it why it was hosting the site. Previous enquiries by the United Nations had not been answered by OVH.[6][7]


In December 2010 WikiLeaks installed itself on the servers of OVH in France.[8] France's Industry Minister Eric Besson said in a letter to the CGIET technology agency, that WikiLeaks "violates the secret of diplomatic relations and puts people protected by diplomatic secret in danger" and was therefore "not acceptable" that the site was hosted on servers based in France. The minister asked for measures to ban WikiLeaks from France.[9] In response, OVH referred the topic in emergency to a judge[10] in order to get a clear and definitive answer about whether hosting WikiLeaks is legal.

On December 6, 2010, the judge decided that there was no need for OVH to cease hosting Wikileaks.[11] The case was rejected on the grounds that such a case required an adversarial hearing.[12]

OVH managing director Octave Klaba commented that: "OVH is neither for nor against this site. We neither asked to host this site nor not to host it. Now it's with us, we will fulfill the contract."[13]

Bitcoin provider attacks[edit]

During the week of April 21, 2013, accounts on at least two separate Bitcoin providers websites hosted on OVH servers were compromised. The separate attacks occurred two days apart.

The account passwords were reset, and the servers were restarted into recovery mode, giving the attackers full access. The firms whose sites were hacked insist they never initiated a password reset (which requires an email confirmation). OVH confirmed that 3 customers were victim of a vulnerability in their password recovery unique URL system, as it was not generating as randomly as intended.[14]

News attacks[edit]

In 2013, OVH was attacked by hackers. A database of all European customers (name, phone, hashed password...) was stolen.[15]

All-around one of the most malicious networks[edit]

March 2014, OVH was ranked in the top 12 of the world's worst hosts and networks based on malicious traffic it hosts.[16]

Hosting pirated sites lawsuit[edit]

On July 30, 2014, American adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 filed a lawsuit against OVH for $188 million due to hosting websites that illegally provide their images on various pirate sites. The suit claims $150,000 per infringement, with a total of 1256 listed infringements.[17]


On October 28, 2014, Spamhaus ranked OVH as the fourth worst ISP dealing with email spam abuse complaints.[18]


  1. ^ "OVH site" (in French). OVH. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  2. ^ "OVH france twitter" (in French). OVH. 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-10-07. 
  3. ^ "OVH : Ipv4Ipv6". Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  4. ^ "Included Services - DNSSEC - Domain names - OVH". OVH. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Reporter succeeds where UN failed: Rwanda militia website closed". Christian Science Monitor. September 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ Rwanda: German Firm Shuts Down FDLR Website, The New Times
  8. ^ "Expulsé d'Amazon, WikiLeaks trouve refuge en France - Le Point". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  9. ^ "WikiLeaks Flees to Switzerland as U.S., France Options Narrow". Bloomberg Businessweek. UK. 3 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "OVH-WikiLeaks sets a reassuring precedent". 4 December 2010. 
  11. ^ French web host need not shut down WikiLeaks site: judge (AFP)
  12. ^ "Following the wikileaks case". OVH. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "WikiLeaks founder to meet British police". Thanh Niên News. 7 December 2010. 
  14. ^ "OVH Forum: Our backoffice security". 
  15. ^ "OVH : Un hacker s’empare de la base de données clients". 2013-07-22. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  16. ^ "World Hosts Report". March 2014. 
  17. ^ "OVH Slapped with $188m Lawsuit for Passing on "Pirate" Traffic". TorrentFreak. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "The Top 10 World's Worst Spam Support ISPs". Spamhaus. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 

External links[edit]