Free Cloud Hosting: Comparing What the Top Providers Offer

Most providers offer some free cloud hosting to encourage you to get acquainted with their platforms. And some services actually remain free indefinitely

Let’s face it, everyone likes something for free, and free cloud hosting is no different. Most providers offer some kind of free service to encourage you to get acquainted with their platforms. Some services actually remain free indefinitely.

I’m going to explore the top Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) free cloud hosting plans currently available to help you take full advantage of whichever proves to be the best option for your needs.

Free cloud hosting: AWS free tier

Amazon Web Services is unarguably the largest cloud hosting company around. The good news is that, if you are a new customer, you are automatically eligible for the AWS free tier.

The AWS Free Tier is designed to provide you with hands-on AWS experience at no charge for the first twelve months after you sign up. Once you create your AWS account, you’ll be able to use any of these twenty-one products and services for free, subject to certain usage limits.

Details:

  • Full range of infrastructure services.
  • Great Documentation.
  • Good career-building skills.
  • AWS Marketplace offers more than 700 free and paid software products that run on the AWS free tier. If you qualify for the AWS free tier, you can use these products on an Amazon EC2 t2.micro instance for up to 750 hours per month and pay no additional charges for the Amazon EC2 instance (during those twelve months).
  • Ends after twelve months, after which you’ll be billed for all the resources you use.
  • You need a credit card to sign up.
  • Only available to new AWS customers.

Free cloud hosting: Google Cloud Platform’s free trial

Google is Google so you know just about anything they offer will work well. Google Cloud Platform enables developers to build, test, and deploy applications on their highly-scalable and reliable infrastructure. You can choose from computing, storage and application services for your web, mobile and backend solutions.

About Google Cloud Platform’s free trial

  • You get $300 in credit to spend on all Cloud Platform products over 60 days.
  • During the free trial, there are some product limitations. For instance, Compute Engine is limited to eight concurrent cores at a time.
  • Free trial is for anyone new to Cloud Platform.
  • Existing customers who have, in the past, paid for Cloud Platform are not eligible.
  • Your trial ends once 60 days have elapsed or you’ve spent $300.
  • Once the trial has ended your instances will be paused, and you’ll have the option to upgrade to a paid account.
  • You must upgrade within 30 days of your trial ending or you won’t be able to restore your instances.
  • You need a credit card to sign up.

Beyond the free introductory offer, Google also offers ongoing light compute services for free when you stay within their free quota. This service level might actually allow you indefinite free cloud hosting for a smaller website!

Free cloud hosting: Microsoft Azure’s free offer

Azure provides a growing collection of integrated services—compute, storage, data, networking, and app. Azure is the only major cloud platform ranked by Gartner as an industry leader in both the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market segments. This powerful combination of managed and unmanaged services lets you build, deploy, and manage applications any way you like.

About Microsoft Azure’s free trial offer

  • You receive a $210 credit to spend on Azure services during the 30-day trial. You can use this $210 to create and try out any combination of Azure resources.
  • To sign up for a Free Trial you need a phone number, a credit card, and a Microsoft Account username.
  • If you exceed your $210 free credit, your free trial account is suspended.
  • Azure free trials are available in all countries/regions where Azure is commercially available. Currently, that translates to 140 countries/regions.
  • Once the trial period is over, if you have not upgraded to a Pay-As-You-Go Azure subscription, your services will be decommissioned, and you will not be able to use them anymore.
  • Developers with subscriptions to Microsoft’s MSDN program get a $1,800 credit a month (though not for production applications).

Like Google, Azure also offers a long-term light-use free cloud hosting tier. Using this tier, you can deploy up to 10 free web sites, or build a mobile service that supports up to 500 devices for free, with no apparent time limit.

The Verdict

The bottom line with all this is that for each of these free tiers you need to sign up with your credit card details, so somewhere down the track, you could be charged. You can rest assured however that these are all reputable companies with no plans to steal your money, so if you play your cards right you can get a lot of free stuff for a certain period of time at least (or, in the cases of Google and Azure, indefinitely).

If you want to spend some serious time learning your way around, then you can’t beat AWS’s twelve-month free cloud hosting tier. It also comes back to what it is you want to do. But if you’re not planning on using much in the way of resources, maybe the light-use levels from Microsoft and Google offer the best deals.

Avatar

Written by

Michael Sheehy

I have been UNIX/Linux System Administrator for the past 15 years and am slowly moving those skills into the AWS Cloud arena. I am passionate about AWS and Cloud Technologies and the exciting future that it promises to bring.


Related Posts

Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— September 15, 2020

New Content: Azure DP-100 Certification, Alibaba Cloud Certified Associate Prep, 13 Security Labs, and Much More

This past month our Content Team served up a heaping spoonful of new and updated content. Not only did our experts release the brand new Azure DP-100 Certification Learning Path, but they also created 18 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At any time, y...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— August 28, 2020

AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions

If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 12 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Patrick Navarro
Patrick Navarro
— August 25, 2020

Overcoming Unprecedented Business Challenges with AWS

From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day —  cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new p...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Cloud Adoption
  • digital transformation
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— August 18, 2020

Constant Content: Cloud Academy’s Q3 2020 Roadmap

Hello —  Andy Larkin here, VP of Content at Cloud Academy. I am pleased to release our roadmap for the next three months of 2020 — August through October. Let me walk you through the content we have planned for you and how this content can help you gain skills, get certified, and...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • content roadmap
  • Content updates
  • DevOps
  • GCP
  • Google Cloud
  • New content
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— August 5, 2020

New Content: Alibaba, Azure AZ-303 and AZ-304, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation, Python 3 Programming, 16 Hands-on Labs, and Much More

This month our Content Team did an amazing job at publishing and updating a ton of new content. Not only did our experts release the brand new AZ-303 and AZ-304 Certification Learning Paths, but they also created 16 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 16, 2020

Blog Digest: Which Certifications Should I Get?, The 12 Microsoft Azure Certifications, 6 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach, and More

This month, we were excited to announce that Cloud Academy was recognized in the G2 Summer 2020 reports! These reports highlight the top-rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: customers. We're grateful to have been nominated as a High Performer in se...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • OWASP
  • OWASP Top 10
  • Security
  • VPCs
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— July 9, 2020

Which Certifications Should I Get?

The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies. With all that in mind, the s...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 2, 2020

New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More

This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— June 19, 2020

Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy

Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cloud academy content
  • complimentary access
  • GCP
  • on the house
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 11, 2020

New Content: AZ-500 and AZ-400 Updates, 3 Google Professional Exam Preps, Practical ML Learning Path, C# Programming, and More

This month, our Content Team released tons of new content and labs in real cloud environments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first highly interactive "Office Hours" webinar. This webinar, Acing the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, started with a quick overvie...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Rebecca Willis
Rebecca Willis
— June 3, 2020

Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?

More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • certification
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 2, 2020

Blog Digest: 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified, OWASP Top 10, Getting Started with VPCs, Top 10 Soft Skills, and More

Thank you for being a valued member of our community! We recently sent out a short survey to understand what type of content you would like us to add to Cloud Academy, and we want to thank everyone who gave us their input. If you would like to complete the survey, it's not too late. It ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • OWASP
  • OWASP Top 10
  • Security
  • VPCs