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Free VPS hosting: is it really free?

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) hosting services can often be costly, so users tend to look for cheaper or even free providers. The traditional perception of VPS hosting as the most expensive is now being challenged as many free VPS hosting providers showed up on the market.

The Cybernews team has researched whether free VPS hosting services can be trusted. Unfortunately, many providers failed to deliver and breached users’ privacy and security.

For this reason, I strongly recommend trying out a trusted VPS hosting provider with a money-back guarantee or a free trial.

The best alternative to free VPS hosting
Hostinger is a trustworthy, beginner-friendly VPS hosting provider offering a risk-free 30-day money refund policy. It delivers outstanding performance and high-quality services, keeping your data secure and private.
cybernews® score
4.8 /5

Below, I’ll overview our team’s experience with free VPS services, raise our concerns, and look into safer alternatives that offer free trials or money-back guarantees. This way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and avoid compromising your online privacy.

📢 LIMITED OFFER: Get up to 71% OFF Hostinger VPS!

Completely free VPS: Cybernews case study

There are many VPS hosting providers that claim to be free, but are they actually? A lot of them only offer free trials that don’t require credit card details, and that’s about it. I looked into such services and found 6 that claim to be free and not require payment information:

  1. AlaVPS – free VPS hosting without actual hosting
  2. VPSWala – promising service without a free option
  3. GratisVPS – suspicious free VPS hosting
  4. FreeVPSHosti – 3 free hosting plans that don't work
  5. InstaFree – requires to make forum posts
  6. GigaRocket – lures you into a community forum

A quick disclaimer: after conducting thorough research, I’ve concluded that completely free VPS services aren’t safe and do not actually give free VPS. Such companies do not implement strict privacy policies and potentially collect and sell sensitive data. Hence, I don't recommend using free VPS hosting for any websites, especially professional ones. Still, read on to see what I’ve checked and found out about these services.

Alternatively, you can scroll down to my list of 5 reliable VPS hosting alternatives with a free trial or a money-back guarantee that are much safer and actually work.

1. AlaVPS

AlaVPS hosting
Resources1CPU core, 25GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, and 1TB bandwidth
Free planYes
Free VPS plan worksNo

AlaVPS seems to offer it all, from shared hosting to dedicated servers. Moreover, all hosting types have a free plan and even dedicated servers, but our test has shown that AlaVPS is a scam.

The free plan comes with 1CPU core, 25GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, and 1TB bandwidth. This is a generous offer, especially for a free service. So this already raises a question – how is this possible? Unfortunately, it’s not.

When I decided to test the free plan, it required too much of my personal information, such as name, phone, and address. Once registered, the main dashboard shows that the service is inactive and pending. When I tried contacting customer support regarding this issue, the ticket was pending too, even multiple weeks later.

In conclusion, my personal information was taken, I didn’t receive free VPS hosting, and customer support was nonexistent.

2. VPSWala

VPSWala hosting
Resources1 CPU core, 10GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth
Free planYes
Free VPS plan worksNo

Similar to AlaVPS, VPSWala also offers everything you could want – shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting services. Yet, the provider goes the extra mile and gives you a choice between Linux and Windows VPS hosting. Impressive, but let’s explore more.

The free plan promises 1 CPU core, 10GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth, and 24/7 support. When I signed up for the free plan, I was asked to provide my name, email, phone, and full billing address. After registration, I was sent to the main dashboard to see that services weren’t active and were pending instead. When I contacted customer support, the ticket remained pending, too, even 3 weeks later – exactly the same as to what happened with AlaVPS.

VPSWala is only a second provider in this quest for justice, however, it only gets your information and you are left with a non-working product.

3. GratisVPS

GratisVPS hosting
Free plan180-day trial
Free VPS plan worksNo

When it comes to free VPS hosting, GratisVPS offers a free trial rather than a free plan. But, to be fair, the offer does sound tempting – the trial is for an impressive 180 days, and you are not asked to provide your credit card info.

Firstly, there is 0 information on what the trial package is meant to include. Customer support didn’t help either and I didn’t get any reply. Yet, when you choose the free trial, you get to choose from 11 different operating systems and 8 server locations. However, there were no servers available – neither with location nor software combination.

Overall, this provider asked for a lot of personal information and none of the free trial options worked.

4. FreeVPSHosti

FreeVPSHosti hosting
Resources1 CPU core, 15GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, and 1000GB bandwidth
Free planYes
Free VPS plan worksNo

FreeVPSHosti offers everything – domains, remote servers, shared, WordPress, cloud, and VPS hosting, and all of it is free.

When it comes to VPS plans, you can choose from 3 free options. Depending on which plan you choose, resources will vary. Yet you can expect them to be from 1 to 4 CPU cores, 1 to 4GB RAM, 15 to 300GB SSD storage, and 1000 to 2000GB bandwidth.

After digging a little deeper, I discovered that while the first plan is simple, the other 2 are affiliate accounts that ask you to refer people to use FreeVPSHosti. Once again, I had to provide heaps of personal information to register. However, it was the only provider that activated the account right away. However, it didn’t have hosting or access to a plan.

Again, the provider has taken personal information and left me without any service. Only spam emails will most likely flood my inbox sometime later.

5. InstaFree

InstaFree hosting
Resources1 CPU core, 5GB SSD storage, 256MB RAM, and 50GB bandwidth
Free planYes
Free VPS plan worksNo

InstaFree sells shared, VPS, and reseller hosting solutions with cPanel integration. However, the main focus remains on VPS. For shared and reseller hosting, the provider only offers 1 paid and 1 free plan, while VPS has 3 paid and 1 free plan.

If you go for the free plan, you are promised 1 CPU core, 5GB SSD storage, 256MB RAM, and 50GB bandwidth. However, after registering for the free VPS, I was redirected to the InstaFree forum rather than the actual VPS plan.

When I tried getting free VPS, InstaFree asked for lots of personal information, and it was posted onto the forum for everyone to see. Moreover, the services are supposed to be activated in 24-48 hours, but 2 weeks later – nothing happened.

6. GigaRocket

GigaRocket hosting
Resources1 CPU, 25GB HDD storage, 1GB RAM, and 150GB bandwidth
Free planYes
Free VPS plan worksNo

GigaRocket offers paid shared and reseller hosting solutions as well as free VPS hosting. There are no paid plans for VPS.

The free plan comes with 1 CPU, 25GB HDD storage, 1GB RAM, and 150GB bandwidth, and it’s a pretty decent offer. You might wonder, what do you have to do to get your hands on this gold mine? It’s simple – it requires you to become a regular on the GigaRocket community forum, and of course, not by choice.

Best free trial VPS hosting you can trust – detailed list:

As totally free VPS is basically non-existent and will most likely compromise your personal information, I strongly suggest considering premium providers you can trust. The list below features VPS hosting providers that bring you the best of both worlds: free versions, trial options, or solid money-back guarantees.

What sets these recommendations apart is their trusted reputation, ensuring that you won't fall victim to any VPS hosting scams with these reliable services by your side.

1. Hostinger – the best VPS hosting service for 30 days free in 2024

Hostinger banner
FeaturesSemi-managed, pre-installed panel, full root access
Money-back guarantee30-day
Best dealGet up to 71% OFF Hostinger VPS!

Hostinger is the leading VPS hosting provider that not only offers a 30-day money-back guarantee but is also highly reliable. This way, you can fully trust the service, add credit card credentials, and get access to semi-managed VPS hosting, including a user-friendly control panel, automatic OS installers, and convenient web scripts.

VPS features. Hostinger's VPS plans are equipped with top-notch features. There’s an SSD storage, ensuring faster data access and improved performance. With multiple CPU options, generous RAM allocations, and ample storage space, Hostinger's VPS plans cater to a wide range of needs. You'll also benefit from a pre-installed control panel, simplifying server management and administration tasks. I like that Hostinger uses Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) for increased customizability, more isolation, and more resources, making it ideal for game server hosting.

Performance. Hostinger excels in delivering outstanding performance. With a guaranteed uptime of 100%, you can rely on their infrastructure for uninterrupted service. My testing showed average response time of 540ms on a bare server, surpassing the market average and ensuring fast website loading.

Customer support. Hostinger is committed to providing excellent customer support via the 24/7 live chat, a ticketing system, email, and a knowledge base. I tested the customer service via the live chat and asked about the money-back guarantee terms and conditions. I was connected to the agent within 15 minutes, and my question was solved in approximately 7 minutes.

Hostinger is a great VPS choice. It offers a month-long money-back guarantee and only costs $4.04/month if you decide to keep it after that period.

Visit our Hostinger review to learn more.

2. A2 Hosting – business-oriented VPS service with a 30-day money-back guarantee

A2Hosting banner
FeaturesUnmanaged, full root access, a control panel is available
Money-back guarantee30-day
Best dealGet up to 66% OFF A2 Hosting VPS!

A2 Hosting is a top-tier reliable and affordable provider of Linux VPS hosting solutions. With a strong industry presence and a focus on generous resources, customizable options, and fast performance, A2 Hosting stands out as a top choice that also offers an any-time money-back guarantee and a standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

VPS hosting features. A2 Hosting offers a range of unmanaged VPS plans. As an example, one of the cheapest plans provides ample storage and bandwidth, making it suitable for most general users. Notable features of the cheapest plan include full root access for administrative control, a selection of operating systems including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian, and the Webuzo control panel for easy software installation.

Performance. My research revealed A2 Hosting demonstrates exceptional performance and reliability. With a remarkable uptime of 99.98%, you can trust their infrastructure for uninterrupted service. Furthermore, I tested it and the average response time was 253ms on a bare server – significantly faster than the market average of 600ms.

Customer support. A2 Hosting’s knowledgeable and responsive support team is available to assist you via the ticketing system, knowledge base, and a 24/7 live chat. When I texted customer support via chat about the plan best for me, the agent immediately asked some logical questions about disk space and RAM. My inquiry was solved in minutes.

A2 Hosting offers outstanding performance, generous features, and flexibility at affordable prices that you can try risk-free with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee. There’s also any-time money back-guarantee for unused services. And if you want to use it after the trial, the price starts from $2.99/month.

Find out more in A2 Hosting review.

3. ScalaHosting – fully-managed hosting with a month-long trial

ScalaHosting banner new
FeaturesFully managed, free SSL, domain, backups, SPanel
Money-back guarantee30-day
Best dealGet up to 49% OFF ScalaHosting VPS + save an additional 15% with any ScalaHosting plan!

ScalaHosting offers a fully managed VPS at an affordable price point. With its cheapest option, you get extensive features like its proprietary control panel, security solutions, daily backups, and more.There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee for you to take ScalaHosting for a trial spin.

VPS hosting features. ScalaHosting is generous with features even with its cheapest plan. You get a fully managed service, including free migration or a one-click installer. The provider also includes freebies, such as SSL certificate, domain, daily backups, SShield cybersecurity solutions, and automatic snapshots.

Performance. When I tested ScalaHosting while setting up a fully functioning website, it did well with excellent reliability and good response times. The provider offers a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee, so you get perfect uptime with no outages. My testing on ScalaHosting showcased a 443ms average response time on a bare server – the market's average stands at 600ms, which means that ScalaHosting falls among the fastest hosting providers on the market.

Customer support. ScalaHosting provides you with a pleasant customer experience. You can contact their support team via live chat or e-mail for different purposes, such as technical support, abuse, or billing. Once I've contacted the provider via live chat, an agent responded within 7 minutes and helped me with the money-back guarantee question promptly.

ScalaHosting is a great free VPS hosting that’s fully managed, generous with resources and features, and very affordable. You can take it for a trial spin with a 30-day money-back guarantee. And if you like the service, a subscription will cost you from $12.71/month after the trial.

Get more details in ScalaHosting review.

4. Cloudways – VPS hosting with 3-day trial

Cloudways banner new
Features1-click SSL installation, cache, Cloudflare CND
Free trial3 days
Best dealGet up to 25% OFF Cloudways!

Cloudways is a free-trial VPS hosting provider, popular among experienced users and mid-sized companies. It simplifies and facilitates the setup, configuration, and management of other top hosting providers’ VPS servers. The best part is that this provider offers the service with a 3-day trial to try it without any risks.

VPS hosting features. In a trial version, you can get 1-click free SSL installation for secure hosting. Moreover, there’s an optimized stack with cache and Cloudflare CND. And, of course, the provider includes automatic backups that are performed at no extra charge.

Performance. When I've put it to the test, Cloudways’ performance was stable and fast – exactly what you need from a VPS hosting provider. It showcased a 99.98% uptime and loaded the site within 358ms, which is a great result.

Customer support. Cloudways offer 24/7/365 live chat and ticketing support. Customer service is split into three plans, so if you want more advanced support, such as application support, you’ll need to pay extra. However, the basic live chat support helped me find a way to increase my site’s performance.

Cloudways is a feature-rich VPS hosting provider that comes with a 3-day free trial. While it’s a great way to get a taste of what the provider and its advanced functionalities have to offer, you can get the subscription for $8.25/month after the trial.

Find out more in Cloudways review.

5. InMotion Hosting – feature-rich VPS hosting with a 3-month trial

Inmotion banner 2
FeaturesFree SSL certificate, domain, caching, unlimited disc space
Money-back guarantee90-days
Best dealGet up to 67% OFF InMotion Hosting VPS!

InMotion Hosting is among the most popular VPS hosting providers that is suitable for larger websites and businesses. Moreover, it includes a generous 90-day money-back guarantee with an abundance of features. Therefore, it’s an attractive option for everyone who is looking for a free VPS hosting.

VPS hosting features. InMotion Hosting is packed with features you want to have within your hosting provider. It offers a free domain, caching, and unlimited disk space. On top of that, it also includes a series of free extra features in its plans, such as advertising credits, free SSL for extra security, hack protection to keep you safe from vulnerabilities, and visitor statistics to enhance your site’s performance.

Performance. I've tested InMotion's VPS hosting plan for over 2 weeks, and the website maintained a flawless 100% uptime. On top of that, its response time was 585ms, which is a remarkable speed result.

Customer support. InMotion Hosting offers a variety of customer support options. You can use a 24/7 live chat, ticketing system, phone, email, and, what surprised me, even Skype. When I contacted customer support via their live chat, InMotion Hosting agents responded almost immediately and helped me choose the best plan before making the purchase.

InMotion Hosting is one of the top VPS hosting providers that come with an extremely generous 90-day money-back guarantee for 6-month or longer subscriptions. And if you feel that this provider is what you need, the starting price is $14.99/month after the trial.

Dive into our InMotion Hosting review to learn more.

Free VPS hosting compared

ProviderRatingStarting priceFree planSpeedUptimeData center locationFeaturesControl panelFree SSLCustomer supportBest deal
From $4.04/month30-day money-back guarantee540ms100%8Semi-managed, VPS control panel, full root accesshPanel✅Yes24/7Get up to 71% OFF Hostinger VPS!
A2 Hosting
From $2.99/month30-day money-back guarantee253ms99.9%3Unmanaged, full root access, a control panel is availableWHMCS +cPanel✅Yes24/7Get up to 66% OFF A2 Hosting VPS!
From $14.95/month30-day money-back guarantee443ms99.9%2Fully managed, free SSL, domain, backups, SPanelSPanel✅Yes24/7Get up to 49% OFF ScalaHosting VPS + save an additional 15% with any ScalaHosting plan!
From $8.25/month3-day free trial358ms99.99%Depends on cloud hosting plan1-click SSL installation, cache, Cloudflare CNDNative✅Yes24/7Get up to 25% OFF Cloudways!
InMotion Hosting
From $14.99/month90-day money-back guarantee585ms99.9%US onlyFree SSL certificate, domain, caching, unlimited disc spaceAccount Management Panel (AMP) and cPanel✅Yes24/7Get up to 67% OFF InMotion Hosting VPS!

How we tested all these free VPS services

To compile a list of the best free VPS hosting providers, together with the Cybernews research team, I ran 48 services through extensive research. This allowed me to select only the top-tier VPS hosting providers that offer free services. To find out more about our testing process, check our How we test web hosting page.

I carefully curated our list looking for free plans, trials, or money-back guarantees, great speeds, useful features, and prompt customer support. Unfortunately, none of the tested free providers worked, so we decided to provide you with a list of reliable premium VPS services, that offer at least some form of free services. I ended up with 5 providers I can honestly recommend. This is what the testing process entailed:

  1. First was the provider selection. We researched multiple completely free VPS hosting services only to find they’re either scams or simply don’t work. Because of this, we selected trustworthy premium providers that offer free trials or money-back guarantees.
  2. The security and other feature evaluation followed. We checked encryption, privacy policies, secure payment methods, and how the providers handle sensitive data.
  3. We then tested each provider's performance to ensure they offer fast response times and a high uptime guarantee.
  4. Customer support was also tested, and each provider was ensured to offer prompt and helpful around-the-clock support.
  5. Finally, we put all the testing results together to rank each provider from top to bottom.

Best free VPS hosting: final recommendations

If you’re looking for a completely free VPS hosting service, you might hit a brick wall. Unfortunately, all of our tested free VPS hostings aim to gather your personal information, lure you into a subscription, or simply not live up to promises. That’s why I tested a dozen of VPS hosting providers and selected the best alternatives to free ones.

As a completely free VPS hosting service isn’t possible, I recommend opting for a reputable provider, like Hostinger, that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and isn’t there to scam you. It includes all the premium features in the trial, performs at lightning-fast speeds, and provides you with excellent customer service, ready to solve any questions.

More hosting guides from Cybernews:

Free VPS hosting FAQs