Best Free VPS Hosting Providers (2021)
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) provide a middle of the road service between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. You'll get more resources and control to play with, whilst keeping on the affordable side.
VPS hosting can be extremely expensive if you just want to experiment or test whether VPS hosting is right for you. This is where free VPS hosting comes in.
Free VPS servers aren’t going to offer as much power as those that come in at premium rates. However, they are a great alternative for those who want a taste of server management and configs, without the hefty price tag.
Because free often comes with a lot of clauses, or even scams, I’ve spent the time researching the best free VPS options for you. By using real “test sites” we’ve evaluated the performance to see how it compares with paid options.
What Is Free VPS Hosting?
If your business is starting to grow fairly rapidly, or you’re noticing a dip in performance across your shared hosting plans, that may be a sign you need to consider upgrading your hosting services to a VPS plan.
With a VPS plan, you’ll get your own virtual server where you can choose an operating system and customise settings and apps. Whilst you’ll still be sharing an overall server with other customers, it’s nowhere near as much as shared hosting, plus you get the added bonus of more control.
The real issue with VPS hosting is that it can start to get costly. VPS hosting is quite similar to that of cloud hosting where you’ll choose a server based on technical specifications and resources. If you simply have no idea what you need from a VPS host, then free VPS hosting could be a good place for you to start experimenting.
1. Hostinger (Best “Almost Free” VPS Hosting)
Whilst Hostinger doesn’t offer 100% free VPS hosting, they might as well do given how little their VPS plans cost in relation to what you get. The plans are great value for money starting from as little as £3.95 per month which will get you 1 vCPU, 1GB RAM, and 20GB SSD storage.
Their VPS features are really outstanding given how cheap the pricing plans are. They don’t skimp on hardware, even when something only costs £3.95 per month. Here’s what’s on offer:
- Fast SSD storage
- Latest Intel Xeon processors
- 100 Mb/s network
- Dedicated IP address
- Full root access
- IPv6 support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Choice of OS templates
- Daily backups
Hostinger’s almost free VPS hosting starts at £3.95 per month – you’d be lucky to get a sandwich at that price nowadays! With 6 plans on offer, there’s plenty of scalability moving forwards as your website and requirements grow.
Their customer support is really good. They do have a live chat system for customers, however, most of the time you’ll need to leave a message and they’ll get back to you via email. Usually, it’s pretty quick and I’ve never had any issues waiting.
If you’re not a customer you can send a general enquiry in the form of a ticket and Hostinger’s support staff will get back to you ASAP.
I’ve always found their support staff really friendly and had quite a quirky and funny edge to them which made the experience much more personal.
VISIT HOSTINGER.CO.UK (£3.95/MONTH)
2. AccuWebHosting (Best Free VPS Hosting)
AccuWebHosting offers FREE VPS hosting for 1 month. After this, their VPS plan comes in at $14.97 per month. However, you do get to try their featured Windows VPS plan absolutely 100% free for the entire month.
Your server will be set up quickly, including the operating system, and any of their applications which include: IIS Server, latest ASP.Net frameworks, Microsoft SQL server database, PHP with Fast CGI, MySQL database server and MailEnable server.
The following features are included in the free VPS Windows server:
- Hosting in USA data Center
- Dual Xeon E5 & E7 series Servers
- Server Firewall
- Initial Setup & Configuration
- Enterprise Class Nimble SAN Storage
- Self Managed Windows VPS
- 1 Gbps Port Speed
- Remote Desktop & Full Root Access
- Complimentary Backups
- Microsoft HyperV Virtualization
- Windows Server 2012
- Web based VPS Management Panel
|Classic VPS Hosting|
|Operating System||Windows 2012 OS|
|Virtual CPU Allocation||2|
Their FREE VPS plan is very generous in terms of its specifications. You’ll get plenty of disk space, bandwidth, and a reasonable amount of dedicated RAM.
I was quite surprised to learn that AccuWebHosting offered a live chat service. It was a refreshing change, especially considering they offer free VPS hosting.
I asked the live chat agent to explain a little more about the complimentary backups that are included with the free plan. The agent answered my question and explained how to go about requesting the service.
I also queried their uptime guarantee which was a little disappointing to learn it was only 99%. However, the live chat service was quick, easy, and responsive, so I couldn’t ask for much more on a free plan.
VISIT ACCUWEBHOSTING.COM (£0/MONTH)
GigaRocket offers FREE VPS hosting to those that meet some basic requirements. In order to qualify, you’ll need to register on their web development community forums. Following this, you’ll be required to make 25 non-spam posts on the forum.
Each month, you will need to make 15 posts to meet their monthly maintenance request. Once you’ve ‘passed’, you’ll have access to a free Linux VPS with full root access and a generous specification!
The free VPS plan comes with a lot of features. Their specifications are pretty impressive given there’s no price tag whatsoever:
- Choice of OS (CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Suse)
- Virtualizor Control Panel
- SSH / Bash and Shell Commands
- Manage your own server
- Limited Availability
- 1 Dedicated IPv4 (or IPv6) Address
|Free VPS Hosting|
|CPU||1 vCore CPU|
|Root Access||Full root SSH access|
Whilst it’s not as generous as AccuWeb Hosting’s plan, their free VPS hosting is still a great deal. I have to remind myself, too, that GigaRocket’s plan is free for life, as long as you keep up with the forum posting.
GigaRocket isn’t contactable unless you go via their community support forums.
They do have a knowledgebase which has various categories containing helpful information.
All in all, their support channels aren’t that great, to be honest. I understand it’s a free service, but the articles seem slim on the ground, and the community forums aren’t particularly active.
VISIT GIGAROCKET.NET (£0/MONTH)
Established back in 2013, VpsWala is geared towards offering free VPS services to students and up and coming developers. They are one of the few free VPS hosting companies that offer a FREE SSL certificate within their plan.
They use Intel SSD storage (RAID-10), offer OpenStack and KVM support, and have 24/7/365 customer service. One thing I have noticed though is that VpsWala clearly isn’t U.K. based. Their use of the English language on their website is pretty poor, so I wonder how good their customer support will be.
VpsWala offers a free VPS plan, standard and advanced plans. They all include the following features which rival some of its competitors:
- Easy VPS hosting control
- Developer-Friendly Tools
- Create unlimited sub-domains, private nameservers, email addresses, databases, FTP accounts
- Instant setup
- 24/7/365 support and live chat
- No credit card required
|VPSWALA VPS Starter Plan|
VpsWala’s free VPS plan is actually really good. You’ll get 30GB disk space which is 5GB more than GigaRocket, and a decent 2GB RAM.
Whilst I wouldn’t recommend any of the free VPS plans as long-term solutions, they are great for experimenting with a virtual private server.
VpsWala claims to offer 24/7/365 customer support, including live chat. Of course, I had to check this out for myself and see if they were as good as AccuWebHosting.
Frustratingly, even though I had ordered a free VPS plan, I couldn’t actually contact their live chat. I could submit a new support ticket, but there were no other support options.
The only option under 24/7/365 chat was a toll-free U.S. telephone number. This is really misleading as their features advertise they have a live chat system “be it 3 am in the morning”.
VISIT VPSWALA.ORG (£0/MONTH)
Alavps offers a free VPS server with SSD storage and DDoS protection. Unlike any of the other VPS plans on our list so far, Alavps provides a 100% uptime guarantee.
They also include weekly backups as well as constant monitoring. Their security features rival some of their paid-for hosting competition, making them a real contender.
My feelings about them so far lean towards the fact they’re making a big effort to provide similar features to their paid hosting rivals. Their features are really awesome, so let’s take a look at a few of them:
- 100% uptime
- 24/7/365 support
- OS updates
- Linux or Windows
- Remote backups
- Failover systems
- Managed security
|Network OUT||1000 Mbps|
All of the free VPS plans on this list have very similar specifications. Alavps is no different, offering a reasonable amount of SSD storage, bandwidth and features.
From the offset, Alavps already seem to offer better support than VpsWala. They have a sales telephone number and email address, chat now option, technical support via ticket and their HQ details.
Unfortunately, their ‘chat online’ button does absolutely nothing at all. This is becoming very frustrating! I don’t expect to be presented with a live chat system when I’m paying nothing for a service, but I also don’t expect customers to be lied to.
If there isn’t the option to contact live chat, it shouldn’t be advertised. The only option I could see to speak to someone was by filling out their get in touch form.
VISIT ALAVPS.COM (£0/MONTH)
6. Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure is a brand you’ve probably heard of already. They offer FREE VPS hosting for a whopping 12 months. You’ll have the option of Windows and Linux VPS, as well as databases and storage thrown in.
With a free account, you’ll get access to plenty of services. These include 12 months of free VPS hosting, $200 credit for 30 days and 25+ services that are always free.
The following products are free for 12 months. These all work alongside Microsoft Azure’s free VPS hosting:
- Linux virtual machines (750 hours)
- Windows virtual machines (750 hours)
- Managed SSD disks
- Blob and file storage
- SQL Databases
- Azure Cosmos DB
- Computer Vision (AI + MACHINE LEARNING)
|Disk Space||2×64 GB|
|Azure Cosmos DB||5GB|
SSD storage is very plentiful. You’ll get 2×64 GB SSDs as well as plenty of database storage. This plan is absolutely ideal for developers because it includes a whole host of free-for-life benefits.
Microsoft requires you to purchase a support plan for dedicated customer support. However, they do also provide some free resources like documents and guides, FAQs and a support community.
Their paid support options start from $29/mo and provide technical support, Architecture Support and lots more. These channels are more aimed at business customers rather than those experimenting with their services.
VISIT AZURE.MICROSOFT.COM (£0/MONTH)
What To Look For In A Free VPS Plan
It’s quite common for free services to offer no kind of uptime guarantee, unlike paid hosting plans. Whether you’re signing up for a free VPS plan or paid-for plan, you should always consider what kind of guarantee the web host can offer you. There’s no point in signing up to a service, be it free or not, if your website isn’t going to be available online much of the time.
There are two main options when it comes to renting a VPS. You can either rent virtual space on a physical server, or you can use cloud hosting. Whilst a physical server offers great reliability and performance, it can be risky because if something happens to it, your website will be affected.
Free VPS FAQs
What Are Referrals?
Many free VPS hosting companies benefit from offering customers free services by asking for something in return. This is usually by asking you to share your personal referral link to friends and other people in return for free hosting.
Are Paid VPS Services Better?
I won’t lie, paid services are often better than free services, and that is the case with VPS hosting. Whilst there are some decent and honest free VPS companies out there, paid VPS hosting will always offer better resources, some kind of reliability guarantee, and the ability to scale your resources.
Most free VPS services are usually only free for a limited amount of time, which is their way of allowing you to test the waters before committing to a premium plan.
What’s The Best Cheap VPS Provider?
Believe it or not, not all VPS providers are expensive. Take Hostinger for example, they offer VPS services from a mere £3.95 per month, which is really hard to match elsewhere. With that, you’ll get a dedicated IP, 1GB RAM, 20GB SSD storage, 1TB bandwidth, and full root access.