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Free Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting: is it really free?


Free Virtual Private Servers (VPS) services are where affordability meets top-notch performance, revolutionizing the way businesses and individuals establish their online presence. The traditional perception of VPS hosting as the most expensive plan is now being challenged as free VPS hosting came up as a solution with reliable services without hidden fees or scams.

It offers an alternative for those seeking a budget-friendly option to access the power and flexibility of VPS hosting. To help users navigate through the numerous hosting options, we reviewed several VPS hosting providers. Most importantly, we handpicked top hosting companies that not only offer free VPS plans but also provide a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, ensuring users can make informed decisions and avoid potential scams.

📢 LIMITED OFFER: Get up to 68% OFF Hostinger VPS!

Best free VPS hosting providers – detailed list:

This list 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 in 2024

Hostinger
FeaturesSemi-managed, VPS control panel, full root access
Uptime100%
Speed540ms
Money-back guarantee30-day
Best dealGet up to 68% OFF Hostinger VPS!

Hostinger is the leading VPS hosting provider that not only offers a 30-day money-back guarantee but is also reliable. This way, you can fully trust the service, add the 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 VPS control panel, simplifying server management and administration tasks.

Performance. Hostinger excels in delivering outstanding performance. With a guaranteed uptime of 100%, you can rely on their infrastructure for uninterrupted service. The average response time of 540ms on a bare server surpasses the market average, ensuring a 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. We tested the customer service via the live chat and asked about the money-back guarantee terms and conditions. We connected to the agent within 15 mins, and our question was solved in approximately 7 minutes.

Hostinger is a great VPS choice. It offers a month-long money-back guarantee, and only costs $5.39/month if you decide to keep it after the trial.

Visit our Hostinger review to learn more.

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

A2 Hosting
FeaturesUnmanaged, full root access, a control panel is available
Uptime99.98%
Speed253ms
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. A2 Hosting demonstrates exceptional performance and reliability. With a remarkable uptime of 99.98%, you can trust their infrastructure for uninterrupted service. Furthermore, the average response time of 253ms on a bare server is 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 we texted customer support via chat about the plan best for us, the agent immediately asked some logical questions about disk space and RAM. Our question 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
FeaturesFully managed, free SSL, domain, backups, SPanel
Uptime100%
Speed443ms
Money-back guarantee30-day
Best dealGet up to 40% 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, while 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 we 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 yet you get perfect uptime with no outages. It also showcased 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 in the market.

Customer support. ScalaHosting provides 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 we contacted the provider via the live chat, an agent responded to us within 7 minutes and helped us with the money-back guarantee question.

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 $14.95/month after the trial.

Get more details in ScalaHosting review.

4. Cloudways – VPS hosting with 3-day trial

Cloudways
Features1-click SSL installation, cache, Cloudflare CND
Uptime99.98%
Speed358ms
Free trial3 days
Best dealGet up to 25% OFF Cloudways!

Cloudways is a free 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 we put Cloudways to the test, Cloudways’ performance is 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 & 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 us find a way to increase the 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 Hosting review
FeaturesFree SSL certificate, domain, caching, unlimited disc space
Uptime100%
Speed585ms
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. We tested InMotion's VPS hosting plan for over 2 weeks, and the website maintained a flawless 100% uptime. On top of that, the 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 surprisingly – even Skype. When we contacted the customer support via their live chat, InMotion Hosting agents responded almost immediately and helped us 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 Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting compared

ProviderHostingerA2 HostingScalaHostingCloudwaysInMotion Hosting
BrandHostingerA2 hostingScalaHostingCloudways logo for tablesInmotion
Rating
4.8
4.1
4.2
3.8
4.3
Speed540ms253ms443ms358ms585ms
Uptime99.9%99.9%99.9%99.99%99.9%
Data center location832Depends on cloud hosting planUS only
FeaturesSemi-managed, VPS control panel, full root accessUnmanaged, full root access, a control panel is availableFully managed, free SSL, domain, backups, SPanel1-click SSL installation, cache, Cloudflare CNDFree SSL certificate, domain, caching, unlimited disc space
Control panelhPanelWHMCS +cPanelSPanelNative Account Management Panel (AMP) and cPanel
Free SSL
Customer support24/724/724/724/724/7
Price rangeFrom $5.39/monthFrom $2.99/monthFrom $14.95/monthFrom $8.25/monthFrom $14.99/month
Best dealGet up to 68% OFF Hostinger VPS!Get up to 66% OFF A2 Hosting VPS!Get up to 40% OFF Scalahosting VPS + save an additional 15% with any ScalaHosting plan!Get up to 25% OFF Cloudways!Get up to 67% OFF InMotion Hosting VPS!

How we tested the best free VPS services

To compile a list of the best free VPS hosting providers, we ran a dozen of services through extensive research. This allowed us to select only the top-tier VPS services. This is what we looked into while testing:

  • Free version, trial, or a money-back guarantee. First and foremost, we identified whether the VPS provider has a free version, free trial, or a 30 or longer money-back guarantee. This way, users can test providers out and see whether this is what they’re looking for before opting for a subscription.
  • Performance. To have a well-performing website, it was important to test how well the provider performs. Therefore, we took each service for a spin, built websites, and identified their uptime and average response times. Therefore, only the best-performing providers with a 99.99% or a higher uptime and a great response time made it into the list.
  • Customer support. We tested and selected providers that offer a variety of customer support. It includes 24/7 live chats, phone calls, emails, and other options, such as ticketing. Moreover, we contacted agents using one of the customer support options, therefore, only the best responding and helpful providers made it into the list.
  • Value for money after the trial. Since not all providers offer a forever free version, we had to evaluate how great their pricing plans are after the trial ends. All the selected free VPS hosting providers include many subscriptions that tap into different needs and budgets.

Free VPS to avoid: a case study

If you're looking for truly free VPS hosting providers, there are quite a few options that don’t require any credit card information or upfront payments:

  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, we concluded that completely free VPS services aren’t reliable and do not actually give free VPS. Hence, we don't recommend using free VPS hosting for any websites, especially professional ones. Alternatively, you can check a 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
ScamYes

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 possible.

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

In conclusion, our personal information was taken, however, we didn’t receive free VPS hosting, and the support is nonexistent.

2. VPSWala

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

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 we signed up for the free plan, we were asked to provide name, email, phone, full billing address. After registration, we were sent to the main dashboard to see that services aren’t active and pending. When we contacted the customer support, the ticket remained pending too, even 3 weeks later.

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
ResourcesN/A
Free plan180-day trial
Free VPS plan worksNo
ScamYes

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 leave 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 we 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 are no available servers – neither with location nor software combination.

Overall, this provider asked for a lot of personal information and none of the free trial options didn’t work.

4. FreeVPSHosti

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

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, we 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, we 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.

Once again, the provider has taken personal information and left us without any service. Only spam letters might flood my email sometime later.

5. InstaFree

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

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, we got redirected to the InstaFree forum rather than the VPS plan.

When we 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
ScamYes

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.

Free VPS hosting: why it's impossible?

The idea of free hosting is pretty tempting, especially when it comes to VPS hosting. VPS tends to be pricier than shared hosting, so it’s only natural to want to save those extra bucks. Just be aware that free hosting isn’t entirely possible because running and maintaining hardware costs money. If your free service provider offers all of the goodies for free, there are several reasons behind that:

  • Provider needs your personal information. Usually, server maintenance costs are covered by the user who pays monthly fees. So, if you’re not paying, someone has to. Simply said, you might not be paying money in exchange for hosting services, but you are giving up your information that could be used for bad things or even endanger your identity.
  • Provider gathers your visitors’ data and information. You are not the only one in danger when it comes to unsafe hosting sources. Depending on what site or project you are planning on running, your users might face a heightened possibility of cyber attacks. Any transactions, logins, passwords, and much more can be stolen from your clients without anyones’ knowledge.
  • Free provider wants to hook you up for a service. The free VPS offer comes in a free trial form. And more often than not, you are required to give your billing information, card, or any other type of payment details.

In conclusion, free VPS hosting is impossible and quite dangerous. If you’re looking for reliable services, we recommend choosing Hostinger which comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and has an excellent reputation within VPS hosting solutions.

Free VPS hosting: final recommendations

If you’re looking for a completely free VPS hosting service, unfortunately, it’s impossible to find a reliable one. Most of the tested completely free VPS hostings aim to gather your personal information, lure you into a subscription, or simply not live up to promises. That’s why we tested a dozen of free VPS hosting providers and selected the best ones.

A completely free VPS hosting service isn’t possible. Therefore, we 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 your questions.


More hosting guides from Cybernews:


Free VPS hosting FAQs

Comments

Eli
prefix 2 years ago
I came here because I wanted a second free VPS, and AlaVPS is still pending. I contacted support today, but after reading this I'm assuming I won't be hearing from them.

However, InstaFree actually provides my free VPS. It's working perfectly, although the storage is a bit too small to really do something. Bryan, the one who is in charge of manually reviewing all application, is really kind and helpful. The application actually requires very little personal information, all they want is your real name, location and a paid TLD to confirm you're an actual person interested in the service for personal use, instead of spam/phishing purposes. The information isn't publicly shared, as you claimed. It's actually only visible to Bryan and yourself.

You have contacted support on most, if not all "free" providers that didn't deliver. But why haven't you contacted InstaFree/Bryan to see why your request hadn't been approved for 2 weeks? I'm sure they would have actually looked into it. Unless you used fake contact information, that is.
Miglė Šeikytė
prefix 2 years ago
Hello Eli,

First of all, I’m happy to hear that InstaFree ended up working for you.

However, we cannot recommend it to our readers as it does not pass our test for secure and private hosting – all personal information is posted on the InstaFree forum for verification. I must stress that this is not a secure practice, and the price for free VPS becomes too high this way.
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