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Free VPS hosting: is it really free?

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In this article, I will analyze some of the free VPS hosting providers and see if I can really get VPS for free. Additionally, I will discuss the potential dangers of free VPS hosting and why buying one is much more reliable.

Free VPS is like a unicorn. It is believed that it exists somewhere out there, but no one has ever seen it. So does it actually exist? And are some more trustworthy than others?

Ideally, a free VPS hosting should:

  • Not ask too much personal information – no addresses, no phone numbers, and so on.
  • Not require a card or any payment information – if it’s free, why would the host need it anyways?
  • Simply give what’s promised – you came there for VPS hosting, and that’s what you should get.

Sadly, ideal situations are rare, and most of the time, some, if not all, points are not met. That’s a big old red flag. In the best-case scenario, you get what you’ve been promised – it barely works, but it works. The worst case, however, could result in numerous issues for you and your privacy.

However, I am very curious to know if any of the supposedly free services are free and really work. So I took the risk, so you wouldn’t have to and tested some of the free VPS hosting providers on the market. If you’re curious to know what I found, keep on reading. Spoiler alert, you're better off purchasing a cheap VPS provider.

Free VPS hosting: a case study

If we’re looking for truly free VPS hosting providers, there are quite a few options. Yes, they do promise you absolutely free services. No trials, no credit cards, just resources for free. Sounds suspicious? Well, it does to me, so I decided to see what really hides under all the claims.

Here are the hosting providers that I’ll briefly analyze today:

  1. AlaVPS – generous free VPS hosting package, just no actual hosting
  2. VPSWala – loads of promises, yet no free VPS hosting
  3. GratisVPS – almost legit free VPS hosting, but far from it
  4. FreeVPSHosti – 3 free VPS hosting plans that don't work
  5. InstaFree – make forum posts and get nothing
  6. GigaRocket – a trap to get you into a community forum

A quick disclaimer: we do not recommend using free VPS hosting for any websites, especially professional ones. There are 3 amazing cheap alternatives listed at the bottom 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 is the first provider on this list that offers free VPS hosting. The host seems to offer it all, from shared hosting to dedicated servers. And interestingly enough, all hosting types have a free plan. Yes, even dedicated servers. So does the provider really offer what it promises, or is it just a scam? Let’s see.

First, you get an option to choose among 4 VPS plans but since we’re here for the free plan, let's look at that.

ALAVPS plans with prices

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

You ask why? Well... let me walk you through the registration.

  1. First, I tried to register for the free plan, and the provider wanted to know everything about me. Name, phone, address... you name it – it needs it.
  2. Once registered, I got to the main dashboard only to see that the services are not active yet “pending”.
  3. At this point, it’s a logical move to contact customer support. Well, my ticket is also “pending”.
  4. Multiple weeks later, services and the support ticket are still pending.
ALAVPS main interface, pending services

And this is where I’m still at. My personal information has sailed away, I have no free VPS hosting, and the support is nonexistent. At least no one asked for my credit card info.

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. Let’s explore more.

Once again, it seems that the free plan is meant to be a test plan before you purchase a real deal. Yes, the provider does sell other plans, and not for cheap.

VPSWALA plans with prices

But back to the free plan – you are promised 1 CPU core, 10GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth, and 24/7 support. While the storage is a little less generous than with AlaVPS, the rest is the same. So again, good offer, right?

Well, I tried to get the services and here’s what happened:

  1. I signed up for the free plan. To do so, I have been asked for tons of information like name, email, phone, full billing address (why do you need it if I’m not a paying customer?).
  2. After registration, I am automatically sent to the main dashboard, where I find my services not active yet “pending”.
  3. Onto customer support. I create a ticket asking if I can expect to get working services. The ticket remains unanswered.
  4. Almost 3 weeks later, the services and the ticket are still comfortably “pending”.
VPSWALA main interface, pending services

VPSAWA is only a second provider in this quest for justice, but I already see a pattern. The provider gets your information (lord knows what for), 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. This is not a very common practice, so what’s the catch? Let’s see.

This provider seems to offer the least services so far – only VPS.

GratisVPS VPS plans with prices

It’s also the only provider that goes the extra mile, yet it doesn’t. Let me explain what I mean. There is 0 information on what the trial package is meant to include. I even contacted support to get an answer on what I’ll be getting. Guess what, no reply, the usual.

Yet, when you choose the free trial, you get to choose from 11 different operating systems and 8 server locations. This is the extra mile I meant. None of the others give you such freedom.

Too bad that it doesn’t make a difference. Apparently, there are no available servers. With any location or software combination. So… no servers at all, I assume.

GratisVPS no free VPS servers available

So here’s where I am loads of choices, and none of them work. Although, I am surprised that the provider didn’t ask for loads of personal information. But then again, I think it survives off of an abundance of advertisements on the site. For sweet baby Jesus, don’t click on those. Who knows where it will take you and your data.

4. FreeVPSHosti

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

FreeVPSHosti stands out amongst the other free VPS providers. Why so? The provider offers everything – domains, remote servers, shared, WordPress, cloud, and VPS hosting. The interesting part – all of it is free. There are no paid options. Interesting, let’s dive deeper.

When it comes to VPS plans, you can choose from 3 free options.

FREEVPSHOSTI VPS plans

Depending on which plan you choose, resources will vary. Yet you can expect them to be from 1 to 4 CPUs cores, 1 to 4GB RAM, 15 to 300GB SSD storage, and 1000 to 2000GB bandwidth. You are even promised a free SSL. How generous.

After digging a little deeper, I discovered that while the first plan is a simple plan, the other 2 are affiliate accounts that ask you to refer people to use FreeVPSHosti. Excuse me, but I think I’ll pass. So the entry plan it is.

Here’s how it all went down:

  1. As per usual, to register, I have to give loads of information like my name, email, phone, address, and so on.
  2. Surprisingly, this was the only provider that has activated my account right away.
  3. The account is active, yet that’s all I got. A green “active” logo. No hosting, no access to my plan, nothing.
FreeVPShosti main interface

And this is where I’m at still. Just like with most of the providers, my information is long gone, I have no services, and 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 has been around since 2004, yet I cannot say I’ve heard much about it. Or anything, to be fair. The company 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.

Instafree VPS plans with prices

If you go for the free plan, you are promised 1 CPU core, 5GB SSD storage, 256MB RAM, and 50GB bandwidth. Far from the biggest offer on this list, but it’s still something.

Now onto the interesting stuff:

  1. After registering for the free VPS, I was registered to the InstaFree forum rather than the VPS plan.
  2. Now that I’m registered, I try to get free VPS hosting again. I’m being asked loads of personal info. The application has been submitted – pending. One thing you must know, your application with your personal information is posted onto the forum for everyone to see. Fun… right?
  3. The services are supposed to be activated in 24-48 hours, but I’m here 2 weeks later with no new updates. A fair guess would be to assume that the services won’t be coming my way.
Instafree forum, pending free VPS

Time and time again, these free services prove to be useless. If the offer looks too good to be true, it most likely is. From a young age, we’ve been taught that nothing is free. And it could not be more true in the hosting world.

6. GigaRocket

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

GigaRocket originally has been a free shared hosting provider with a cPanel integration. However, after almost 7 years of services, the provider does not offer this service. What it does offer are paid shared and reseller hosting solutions as well as free VPS hosting. Interestingly enough, there are no paid plans for VPS.

Talking about free VPS hosting, GigaRocket gives a single choice.

Gigarocket free VPS plan

The 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.

Simple, become a regular on the GigaRocket community forum. And not by choice. It’s an actual requirement.

Gigarocket free VPS requirements

First, you have to make 25 forum posts to become eligible for the VPS services. But that’s not all. Every month you have to make 15 posts. And god forbid you to forget to do so… Bye-bye to your account and site, you, community forum enemy…

That’s also if you get the services in the first place because I didn’t… So...

Free VPS hosting trials

Below, you’ll find a few providers that deserve honorable mentions. They don’t meet my requirements for free VPS hosting because they do ask for verifications and/or billing information, and most offer services for a limited time. However, on the other hand, you know for sure that these providers are reputable companies and 100% not out to scam you.

  1. Cloudways – 3 days free VPS hosting with no credit card required
  2. Azure – free virtual machine usage and other hosting services for 12 months
  3. Google Cloud – non-expiring free usage of a virtual machine and other hosting services
  4. AWS – free VPS hosting services for 3 months

1. Cloudways

Cloudways
Resources1 CPU core, 50GB SSD storage, up to 4GB RAM, and 500GB bandwidth
Free trial3 days
Credit card neededNo
Best forFully managed powerful VPS hosting

Cloudways might not be a very mainstream name, but it has seen a surge in popularity recently, especially with experienced users and medium-sized companies. Not a typical provider, it simplifies as well as facilitates the setup, configuration, and management of other top hosting providers’ VPS servers.

And, I mean recognizable names like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr. So, you’ll be glad to know that Cloudways does offer its services for free – well, at least, to a degree. Let me elaborate.

You can get VPS hosting for free from Cloudways for 3 days by signing up for an account. There’s no credit card or other billing details required, but you do have to fill in things like name, email, and more. Once done, you’ll need to verify your phone number and email to activate the account.

Cloudways free trial form

With the free plan, you get:

  • Up to 4GB RAM or a Small (for AWS and Google Cloud)
  • 500GB bandwidth
  • 50GB storage
  • A wide selection of server locations
  • Multiple choice of applications – including WordPress and WooCommerce

Those are some sweet offerings considering that you’re paying absolutely nothing for them. And, they should be more than enough for you to test out Cloudways. Frankly, that’s really all most general users can do anyway since there’s only so much you can fit in a 3-day free trial.

Overall, Cloudways 3 days of free VPS hosting is a great way to get a taste of what the provider and its advanced functionalities have to offer.

2. Azure

Azure free VPS trial
Resources15GB bandwidth, 250GB SQL database, and 5GB Blob storage
Free trial12 months
Credit card neededNo
Best forAdvanced users looking for customizable solutions

Heard of a little company called Microsoft? Well, Azure is one of Microsoft’s divisions. Unlike the usual providers in the market, you don’t get everything you need for web hosting already set up in a ready-to-go package with Azure. Instead, you have to bundle its different services to host a site.

See, here’s the deal: Azure offers 100+ cloud computing and hosting solutions. To host a site, you need to combine multiple of these services. For instance, a virtual machine, cloud storage, database, and other features to fulfill your hosting needs.

This means that you get a customizable, flexible, and scalable hosting solution.

But, ease of use is going to take a hit here since you don’t get beginner-friendly tools like one-click installers. Plus, configuring and managing a virtual machine requires significant technical skills, too.

If you’re fine with that, however, you can get the services for free by signing up for an Azure account. This involves filling in personal information as well as two rounds of verification: once via email and another via text or phone call. I must also note, it does ask for your credit card information.

Azure free VPS trial form

Once you have verified, you can get:

  • Popular services free for 12 months – including 750 hours of Linux and Windows virtual machines, 15GB bandwidth, 250GB SQL database, and 5GB Blob storage.
  • 25+ other services that are always free – including app configuration, dev-test environments, and developer tools.
  • $200 credits to use within 30 days.

As you can see, many of the services are quite niched, and I’d say a huge amount of them are for experienced users or those with advanced needs.

Ultimately, though, Azure’s free services are very generous and a great way to find out if Azure can satisfy your hosting needs in the long term.

3. Google Cloud

Google Cloud free trial
Resources20+ free products, $300 in free credits
Free trialNo expiration
Credit card neededYes
Best forAdvanced users looking to build hosting from multiple products

Another massive name to join this list is Google Cloud. Part of the wider Google Cloud Platform (GCP) ecosystem, Google Cloud web hosting offers enterprise-level hosting with tons of powerful features.

Just like Azure, Google Cloud isn’t exactly a click-to-deploy solution. Instead, you’ll need to combine various services from GCP’s suite – including a virtual machine, storage, and more – to host your site.

Since GCP’s suite of services is mostly catering to developers and advanced users, you’ll need a fair bit of technical knowledge to make full use of the platform. Plus, you won’t see beginner-friendly features like one-click installers or website builders.

However, in lieu of them, you do get to enjoy the same infrastructure that serves huge names like Google Search, Coca-Cola, and Twitter. Plus, it’s great if you need an extremely scalable and customizable solution.

So, what do you need to offer in exchange for free Google Cloud hosting? Well, you’ll need to give up personal and payment information as you’ll need to create a GCP account. Plus, there will also be verification via text.

Google Cloud VPS registration form

Once registered, you get:

  • 20+ free products – including 1 non-preemptible e2-micro VM instance per month, 30 GB-months standard persistent disk, 5 GB-month snapshot storage, and 1GB network egress per month.
  • $300 free credits to spend within 90 days.

While this list is not the most extensive compared to other free trial options, Google Cloud offers you everything you might need. And keep in mind, it is the only provider to offer free services without an expiration date.

In brief, if you need advanced features and proven infrastructure for free, Google Cloud is a great option. However, do bear in mind its limitations for the free tier.

4. AWS

AWS free trial
Resources1 CPU core, 60GB SSD storage, 2GB RAM, and 3TB bandwidth
Free trial3 months
Credit card neededYes
Best forAdvanced users looking for cloud hosting services

To round out the parade of big names, AWS is next on the list. A subsidiary of Amazon, it’s one of the leading providers in the market and boasts Netflix, Disney, McDonald’s, and Samsung as its clients. AWS offers a free trial of Lightsail – its pre-configured VPS.

Unlike its peers Azure and Google Cloud, Lightsail is a package deal. With it, you get everything you need to run your VPS website already bundled and ready to be deployed. This includes a virtual machine, SSD storage, DNS management, and more.

However, Lightsail is still a robust and advanced solution. And, for the most part, AWS has its sight set on developers, experienced webmasters, businesses, and enterprises. This means that you won’t see the usual features and tools meant for rookies, such as a website builder or free migration.

But, if you’re more than willing to forgive that, then you’ll appreciate that you can try Lightsail for free for 3 months with AWS’ Free Tier. Just note that you’ll be asked to fill in your personal and billing information. Plus, you’ll also have to verify your identity with text and a debit or credit card.

AWS VPS registration form

This is what you get with your Lightsail trial for both Linux and Windows:

  • 1 CPU core
  • 2GB RAM
  • 60GB SSD
  • 3 TB bandwidth

AWS is pretty liberal with its resources. Especially when you consider that the Free Tier also includes 100+ AWS’ other products.

All in all, AWS Lightsail offers a great short-term VPS solution for free that comes with generous resources, powerful features, and convenience.

Cheap alternatives to free VPS hosting

Considering that truly free VPS hosting is an impossibility for a variety of reasons, you’d be better off looking into cheap VPS alternatives instead. Below, you’ll find some top-notch options that won’t break the bank, either.

  1. Hostinger – cheapest and best overall VPS hosting
  2. A2 Hosting – fast and cheap VPS hosting
  3. ScalaHosting – cheap fully-managed VPS hosting

1. Hostinger

Hostinger
FeaturesSemi-managed, VPS control panel, full root access
Uptime100%
Speed540ms
Best forAny user looking for a reliable, cheap, and fast VPS hosting

Hostinger tops this list because it’s a twofer: it’s very cheap, and it’s very good. With plans starting from just $3.95/mo, you get semi-managed VPS hosting along with all its conveniences such as a control panel, auto OS installers, and web scripts. More so, you also get full root access.

Hostinger offers 8 cheap VPS plans. The cheapest one costs $3.95/mo and is only available if you commit to its 48-month subscription.

Hostinger VPS plans with prices

If you don’t want to prepay and would rather pay month-by-month, you’ll need to fork out $9.95/mo. Now, if you ask me, that figure is still very much affordable and reasonable for what you get. In fact, you can see plenty of other providers’ entry shared-hosting plans costing far more than that.

And, let’s not forget, the cheapest plan also offers a number of features that are undeniably very handy for VPS hosting. This includes:

  • Full root user access to your server for unhindered control.
  • One-click auto-installer for web scripts and operating system templates.
  • Pre-installed VPS control panel for easy management of your virtual private server.

Frankly, it’s quite impossible to find another reputable provider that could offer you such a good deal at just $3.95/mo without compromising other aspects.

More so, the provider offers a standard 30-day money-back guarantee. So if the services are not quite what you hoped for, you can get your money back. VPS hosting also classifies for the refund.

Cheapest VPS

VPS 1 costs $3.95/mo. It comes with 1 CPU, 1GB RAM, 20GB SSD storage, and 1TB bandwidth. This is a good fit for those who are making the move from shared to VPS hosting, small online stores, or growing blogs.

When it comes to performance, Hostinger doesn’t disappoint. Here's what you can expect.

  • 100% uptime – the host comes with a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, it surely gives more than promised.
  • 540ms average response time on a bare server – the market average sits at 600ms. But keep in mind, you can improve this number by adding a few optimization tools,
  • Data centers located in the UK, US, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia, and Lithuania.

All things considered, Hostinger is easily the frontrunner for VPS hosting with its cheap pricing, varied features, and wonderful performance.

2. A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting
FeaturesUnmanaged, full root access, a control panel is available
Uptime99.98%
Speed253ms
Best forAdvanced users looking for generous resources

If you’re looking for solid Linux VPS hosting, you can get that from A2 Hosting at very affordable pricing. A long-serving host in the industry, A2’s main attractions include generous resources and features, flexibility in customizations, and fast performance.

The provider has 6 unmanaged VPS plans, with the cheapest one, Runway 1, coming in at a wallet-friendly $4.99/mo.

A2 Hosting VPS plans with prices

Although, you can only seize this price if you sign up for 3 years. Other options include a 1-year or monthly contract, but you’ll see the prices surge up to $6.99/mo and $7.99/mo, respectively.

If you have no problem with a longer-term, you’ll get plenty of storage and bandwidth even with Runway 1. Plus, the cheapest plan also includes other helpful features such as:

  • Full root access for administrative control.
  • A selection of OS including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian.
  • Webuzo panel, which also offers 1-click software installation.

All things considered, those are some sweet and generous resources. Especially when you take into account A2’s inexpensive pricing.

Additionally, A2 Hosting is very generous when it comes to money-back guarantees. If you’d like to get a full refund, opt for its standard 30-day money-back guarantee. Yet you can get your money back for the unused services at any time throughout your hosting period.

Cheapest VPS

Runway 1 demands $4.99/mo from you but, in exchange, offers 1 CPU, 1GB RAM, 150GB SSD storage, and 2TB bandwidth. Both storage and bandwidth should be more than sufficient for most general users. But, websites with high traffic might find the RAM not enough to handle the load.

Now talking about performance, A2 Hosting shows great reliability and even greater speed. Here's what it demonstrated.

  • 99.98% uptime – the provider comes with a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee, which it has surpassed greatly.
  • 253ms average response time on a bare server – this is barely half of the market's average of 600ms.
  • Data centers located in Michigan (US), Arizona (US), Amsterdam (Europe), and Singapore (Asia).

Exceptionally good performance, generous features, and considerable flexibility A2 Hosting delivers them all at very affordable prices.

3. ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting
FeaturesFully managed, free SSL, domain, backups, SPanel
Uptime100%
Speed443ms
Best forFully managed beginner-friendly VPS hosting with control panel

ScalaHosting is perhaps the only reputable host that offers fully-managed VPS at an affordable price point. With its cheapest option starting at $9.95/mo, you get extensive features like its proprietary control panel, security solutions, daily backups, and more.

The cheapest price you can get for ScalaHosting’s fully-managed VPS hosting solution is $9.95/mo. However, the provider lets you configure as you wish. You can even max out all the resources to get the solution to a whopping $817.95/mo.

But, of course, we have our sight set on only the cheapest plan for now – so, $9.95/mo it is. To get this deal, you’ll need to commit for 36 months. If you want a shorter billing cycle, be prepared to pay more. For instance, ScalaHosting’s 1-month option costs $25.95/mo, which is nowhere near cheap.

ScalaHosting VPS plans with prices

If long commitment isn’t an issue, you’ll be rewarded with some very attractive perks even if you’re on its cheapest option. This includes:

  • Fully managed service – including free migration, one-click installer, and 24/7 support.
  • SPanel, which closely resembles fan-favorite cPanel.
  • Freebies such as SSL certificate, domain, daily backups, SShield cybersecurity solutions, and automatic snapshots.

In brief, ScalaHosting really does pack its VPS hosting solution with extensive features and tools despite being very economical.

Yet if anything at all is not up to your standards, you can get a full refund with ScalaHosting’s 30-day money-back guarantee. Or treat it as a free trial. Up to you, really.

Cheapest VPS

Start costs $9.95/mo and includes 1 CPU, 2GB RAM, 50GB SSD storage, and unmetered bandwidth in addition to other freebies. The fully managed VPS hosting plan is a great deal if you want the power and flexibility of VPS hosting combined with the ease of use and affordability of shared hosting. It’s the ideal bridge if you’re transitioning from shared to VPS.

When it comes to performance, ScalaHosting did well with excellent reliability and good response times.

ScalaHosting cloud hosting response time
  • 100% uptime – the provider offers a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee, yet you get a perfect uptime with no outages.
  • 443ms average response time on a bare server – the market's average stands at 600ms, which means that ScalaHosting falls within the fastest hosting providers in the market.
  • Data centers located in the US and Europe.

As a whole, ScalaHosting certainly presents as a very attractive option. Fully managed, generous with resources and features, and very affordable, the host is a good fit for busy business owners as well as those that are ready to switch from shared to VPS hosting.

Free VPS hosting: final recommendations

All things considered, free VPS hosting is not a thing. Most free hosting providers are either out there to scam you by asking for your personal information and giving nothing in return. Or, you do get a free VPS, but it’s a constant cyber threat to you and your visitors. If you want to try it out, at least hide yourself by using a good VPN and fake email address.

To eliminate any risks, it is much safer, reliable, and overall trustworthy to go for a paid provider. Our suggested options are very affordable, guarantee good performance and excellent support.

Here’s a quick recap of each:

  • Hostinger is a performance-oriented provider offering semi-managed VPS hosting for the lowest price in the market.
  • A2 Hosting is an affordable unmanaged VPS hosting provider that offers generous resources and very good performance.
  • ScalaHosting is a reliable and secure fully managed VPS hosting provider offering very reasonable prices.

Free VPS hosting: why it’s impossible?

The idea of free hosting, in general, sounds pretty tempting. Especially when it comes to VPS hosting. VPS tends to be pricier than shared hosting overall, so it’s only natural to want to save those extra $. Just be aware that free hosting is, well, not possible.

Why? Running and maintaining hardware costs money. Sometimes a lot of it. No one ever offers something out of the generosity of their heart. This means a free VPS hosting provider is in it for something. But what could that be? Let’s see.

The provider is out to get your information

Having servers, keeping them live, and maintaining their “health” uses a lot of electricity. That’s a lot of money which someone has to pay. Most often, these costs are covered by the user which pays monthly fees.

But if you’re not paying, who is?

It could be third parties that are advertising on the free VPS hosting provider site. They’re there to get information on you, your likes and dislikes.

GratisVPS adds

Sometimes it could be an elaborate scheme to get your personal information, passwords, and anything related, for god knows what.

Simply put, you might not be paying money in exchange for hosting services, but you are giving up your information. Information that could be used for bad things or even endanger your identity.

Your visitors’ information is just as valuable

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.

As your site is hosted on a free hosting plan, it is not the safest. To anyone and everyone. Just imagine if you run an online store. Any transactions, logins, passwords, and much more can be stolen from your clients without anyones’ knowledge.

Sad, but it’s that easy.

Or maybe it’s just a magic trick

There are some extraordinary situations when some people do manage to get free VPS hosting. It might be barely working, lack resources, and security. But you know, you got it.

Well, don’t get too happy yet. Take GigaRocket as an example. It used to offer free cPanel hosting. However, one day it just stopped. Yeah, the users were informed beforehand that they have some time to backup and migrate their projects elsewhere.

All fine and dandy, right? Not quite. It seems that the majority of users were not able to backup or migrate their sites due to miscommunication and general issues. Pretty sad stuff, especially when you can’t do much about it.

Gigarocket forum

It’s a way to get you hooked

More often, than not 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.

AWS VPS registration form

AWS only uses it to confirm your identity. However, more often, this is done in hopes that you will forget to cancel your subscription and will end up paying for the services. Once the trial ends, of course.

I must admit, going for a trial rather than a free plan is much safer. The hosts usually are legitimate and respectable hosting providers. The chances of getting scammed are much slimmer with this option. But it’s not free per se. If you end your subscription, you lose your site/project. And that’s no Bueno.

No matter what, free VPS hosting is an impossible and quite frankly dangerous game. If you’re looking for reliable services, either choose a free trial with truly trusted providers. Or opt for a cheap but good VPS hosting solution.

Free VPS hosting FAQs

Comments
Eli
Eli
prefix 20 days 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
Miglė Šeikytė
prefix 16 days 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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