We already have Are hosting recommendation requests on-topic? where the consensus was: Web-Apps are OK, but asking for hosting providers is off-topic. Are web service recommendations off-topic? comes to a similar conclusion, but could be misinterpreted in the context of my question here. There's also Is requesting a service (that has a software part) on-topic?

I'd say we need this on a more generic basis, as there are questions popping up asking for VPN providers etc.

So what is our stance concerning questions asking for "service providers" – not WebApps, but things like VPN providers, DNS providers etc – whether they have their own client software or not?

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As stated in most of the above mentioned question implicitly or even half-was explicitly: SR is about recommending software, not providers/companies. So asking for a service provider (be it VPN, DNS, web/file hosting or whatever) should be considered off-topic.

For the distinction of what makes a web-app (and thus an on-topic question), see Gilles' answer here including the discussion on it.

  • but usually, the competitions between providers will lead to different software features, especially if price is considered to be a feature, thus making asking for a software satisfying a list of features equivalently asking for providers? – Ooker Apr 28 at 7:12
  • Not necessarily, @Ooker. That might sometimes be a side-effect, but not the purpose. Asking for different eggs doens't imply looking for a bird :) – Izzy Apr 28 at 8:44

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