12 Best Free VPS Hosting (2019): Linux, Windows & Cloud Servers

12 Best Free VPS Hosting (2019): Linux, Windows & Cloud Servers

The Beatles may have had it right when they sang about how “the best things in life are free.” Skipping over true love in the pursuit of money, the Fab Four probably didn’t know they were harmonizing about web developers’ future quest for free VPS hosting.

Virtual servers offer a middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting, combining added computing resources and control with affordability and convenience. However, the price tag for top VPS plans can seem a little steep to site owners who want to test a new idea or application.

Free VPS servers are often less powerful than those provided by premium hosts, but the services can be useful for developers getting their first taste of server configuration and management. To steer clear of potential scams, take a look at our list of the world’s best deals on VPS hosting — ranging from completely free to free trials or lengthy money-back guarantees.

4 Best “Almost Free” VPS Hosting Services

You know the saying “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”? You can pretty much apply it to most free web hosting services. At best, you get a tiny bit of server space on an outdated machine in a dark corner of some overseas datacenter. At worst, you’ve exposed your personal data or domain name to criminals or those who will sell the information to other spammers. Occasionally, legit hosts will dangle a free hosting service offer in the hopes of generating leads for premium services. Usually, though, you get what you pay for — a whole lot of nothing.

We strongly recommend spending a few dollars — just a few, we promise — to unlock a treasure trove of added features, performance boosts, security, and reliability from a highly regarded hosting company. The hosts listed below offer some of the best, most affordable, VPS plans in the industry. Yes, you’ll need to spend some money up front, but these hosts also have longer-than-average money-back guarantees.

Take a look at InMotion Hosting, for instance: Given the company’s unheard-of 90-day refund policy, you can get completely reimbursed for three months of VPS hosting. Our top pick, Hostwinds, will essentially give you two months of free hosting, while InterServer operates on month-to-month contracts — and the first month starts at just a penny for Hosting Advice readers. Click on our reviews of these hosts below to learn more or spin up a VPS.

1.
Hostwinds.com

Hostwinds review

Monthly Starting Price $5.17

  • Managed or unmanaged virtual servers available in Windows or Linux
  • Cloud hosting instances with hourly or monthly billing
  • Instant upgrades without downtime
  • FREE around-the-clock monitoring
  • Automatic nightly backups available
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.

VPS
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

Hostwinds: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds? The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Hostwinds provides 10 additional plans each for managed Windows VPS and unmanaged... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
N/A 30 GB - 750 GB SSD New or Transfer www.hostwinds.com/vps

2.
InterServer.net

InterServer review

Monthly Starting Price $6.00

  • FREE migrations and instant provisioning
  • Latest versions of PHP, MySQL, Perl, Python, and Ruby
  • 7 operating system options for Linux or Windows users
  • NO contracts and your price is guaranteed for life
  • Full root access and choice of datacenter included
  • Get started on InterServer now.

VPS
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

InterServer: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): InterServer's on-site datacenter and hands-on involvement with configuring and provisioning virtual private servers give customers a level of flexibility not seen with many other hosting providers. InterServer rations VPS and cloud resources through slices.... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
N/A 30 GB SSD - 480 GB SSD New or Transfer www.interserver.net/vps

3.
InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $19.99

  • 63% off the first month with added discounts
  • Real-time redundancy powered by a cloud infrastructure
  • FREE cPanel licenses with enterprise-grade CentOS
  • FREE server management for patches and updates
  • FREE SSDs and SSL certificate for fast, secure hosting
  • Get started on InMotion now.

VPS
RATING

4.7
★★★★★

InMotion: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion Hosting offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere.Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in a RAID-6 array, which is... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
90 days 75 GB SSD - 260 GB SSD FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/vps

4.
Hostinger.com

Hostinger review

Monthly Starting Price $3.95

  • Cloud-based SSD infrastructure for speed and reliability
  • Double your RAM with burst periods
  • FREE dedicated IPv4 and IPv6 addresses
  • Custom control panel for reboots and OS installs
  • HostingAdvice readers enjoy more than 50% off
  • Get started on Hostinger now.

VPS
RATING

4.7
★★★★★

Hostinger: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Hostinger's laser focus on providing affordable hosting solutions shines brightest with the company's VPS packages. The company provides six different virtual server plans, including one that costs less than $5. Regardless of which plan customers choose, both... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name VPS Hosting Plans
30 days 20 GB SSD - 160 GB SSD New or Transfer www.hostinger.com/vps

See other top VPS hosts »

8 Best “Free” VPS Hosting Sites

Although you can find a fair number of free web hosting services at the shared server level, site owners can have a harder time looking for cloud or VPS options. Your best bet, if you don’t want to sign up with one of the hosting providers above, is to look for a free trial with a reputable provider. In addition to a few options in the list below, cloud products like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Digital Ocean offer surprisingly good free options. Your server resources may be somewhat limited, but the free trials will give you plenty of time to figure out the platform and get a feel for what might work the best for your website or application long term.

Whichever route you choose, be especially cautious with sharing your personal data or payment information. Even though you can strike gold, free VPS hosting is largely considered a scam. The companies, usually headquartered overseas, often collect your contact information to sell to other companies — all while insisting they’re processing your request. We’ve done our best to verify the hosts listed below are legit, though, so good luck on your quest!

5. AccuWebHosting – Free Windows VPS Hosting

AccuWebHosting logoIt’s not free for life, but AccuWebHosting offers one of the few reliable and trustworthy free VPS hosting plans out there — and even more rare, the server space comes with the Windows operating system. AccuWebHosting is a full-service operation with more than 14 years of experience and more than 15,000 virtual private servers under management.

The company offers one month of free Windows VPS hosting — no credit card required. The initial setup includes the latests ASP.NET frameworks, Microsoft SQL, and other requested software. Because AccuWebHosting makes money on its other services, free VPS users can enjoy premium hardware and responsive support.

  • CPU cores: 2
  • Storage: 35GB
  • Bandwidth: 500GB
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Operating system: Windows 2008 or 2012
  • IP address: 1

6. x10Hosting – Free Cloud VPS Hosting

x10Hosting logoAlthough the free services from x10Hosting remove some of the control and performance features of virtual private servers, the company’s cloud-based platform affords users unlimited storage and bandwidth to freely scale your website or application. More experienced users will likely miss root access and some of the fine-grain controls, but beginners will appreciate the familiarity of the cPanel interface, one-click software installations, and flexible resources.

Powered by SingleHop architecture, x10Hosting prioritizes speed and simplicity, with rapid deployments and no pressure to upgrade your account. The company has been around for more than 15 years, making it a mainstay of the free hosting industry. Behind 100% SSD hardware, x10Hosting serves more than 12 million pages a month and hosts upward of 122 million files.

  • CPU cores:
  • Storage: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Operating system: Linux
  • IP address: 1

7. GigaRocket

GigaRocket logoFollowing a post-to-host business model, GigaRocket provides server space to users that join and participate in the company’s community forums. To receive a free virtual server account, site owners will join more than 90,000 members in the online message board and submit 25 posts before applying for the service. GigaRocket asks that users continue to post regularly, requiring 15 posts each month to maintain the free service.

The server specs are a little low when compared with those of competitors, and the limited availability may mean you have to wait a bit longer for your free VPS, but we appreciate the range of Linux operating systems available. GigaRocket aims to support students and developers with opportunities to enhance their skills in Linux server management, and the company provides one of the more trustworthy options.

  • CPU cores: 1
  • Storage: 25GB
  • Bandwidth: 150GB
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Operating system: CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, or Suse
  • IP address: 2

8. VPSWALA

VPSWALA logoFormed in 2013, VPSWALA hosts thousands of customer websites from 15 datacenter locations around the world. The company gears its free VPS service toward students and aspiring developers and does not require a credit card number at signup. Backed by Intel SSD storage arranged in RAID-10 arrays, VPSWALA touts its reliability and performance optimizations while promising to never oversell its equipment.

In addition to relying on OpenStack and KVM, VPSWALA created a custom control panel that gives users the ability to turn servers on or off, reboot, install a different operating system or software scripts, access server stats, and log into root access. Linux operating system options include Debian, CentOS, or Ubuntu.

  • CPU cores: 2
  • Storage: 30GB SSD
  • Bandwidth: 1TB
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Operating system: Windows or Linux
  • IP address: 1

9. ALA VPS

ALAVPS logoA full-service provider offering customers a chance to sample many of its services for free, ALA VPS features performance-optimized hardware that the company claims loads sites up to three times faster than competitors. Free VPS or cloud VPS servers are available in less than a minute, and the signup process is simple and straightforward. ALA VPS promises to deliver weekly remote backups, DDoS protection, and the choice of Windows or Linux operating systems.

Despite assurances of 24/7 support and a stunning 100% uptime guarantee, we encourage potential customers to tread carefully, as the knowledge base and announcements sections of the ALA VPS website remain blank. That being said, the company does not take any of your payment info at signup and seems to be one of the more trustworthy free VPS providers out there.

  • CPU cores: 1 to 4
  • Storage: 50GB to 800GB SSD
  • Bandwidth: 300GB
  • RAM: Up to 16GB
  • Operating system: Windows or Linux
  • IP address: 1

10. SolVPS

SolVPS logoAs a provider of cloud-based shared and VPS hosting, SolVPS serves customers in nearly 120 countries with supercharged performance, on-demand deployments, and an above-average 99.99% uptime guarantee. The company’s free Windows VPS option is a bit of a long shot, but who knows — maybe you’ll get lucky. Potential customers must request and be approved for a free account, but highly configurable services from a reputable provider are worth any potential delays.

Windows VPS hosting is particularly difficult to track down, given the licensing fees associated with Microsoft’s products. SolVPS, however, offers three different versions of its server operating system. We’re not sure who would want to use Windows Server 2003, but hey, it’s an option.

  • CPU cores: 1
  • Storage: 15GB SSD
  • Bandwidth: 100GB
  • RAM: 256MB
  • Operating system: Windows 2008 or 2012
  • IP address: 1

11. InstaFree

InstaFree logoA well-known brand in the realm of free hosting, InstaFree has been providing no-cost shared, reseller, and VPS plans since 2010. We certainly respect the company’s longevity and its inclusion of cPanel and a 99.9% uptime guarantee, but InstaFree allocates very tiny server partitions to free VPS hosting customers. The environments will provide a great trial run of VPS hosting for experienced developers, but don’t expect to stay on the free plan for long if you aspire for growth. Beginners or first-time VPS customers should be aware that InstaFree does not support or manage the environments, leaving you completely on your own. InstaFree only troubleshoots network or server outages, leaving support to the community forums.

The company’s servers are located in Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York. To sign up, customers must first join the forums and submit an application. Orders are manually reviewed, typically within 24 to 48 hours, but you are at the company’s mercy as to when you can get started. InstaFree refuses to give hosting to more than 45 countries, citing past abuse.

  • CPU cores: 1
  • Storage: 50GB SSD
  • Bandwidth: 50GB
  • RAM: 256MB
  • Operating system: Linux
  • IP addresses: 2

12. WoomHost

WoomHost logoWhether you’re looking for shared, cloud, WordPress, or VPS hosting, WoomHost offers a seemingly unlimited number of free hosting accounts. The VPS packages come with two CPU cores, a free domain registration, and live chat support, as well as ample storage and bandwidth. WoomHost allocates a little more disk space and data transfer for the resource-intensive Windows plans, which we appreciate.

Although signing up for services was simple and relatively painless, potential customers may want to look out for a few warning signs. WoomHost has good customer reviews online, but a blank about page and fake address make us a little skeptical.

  • CPU cores: 2
  • Storage: 120GB to 165GB
  • Bandwidth: 1.5TB
  • RAM: 2GB to 4GB
  • Operating system: Windows or Linux
  • IP address: 1

Look for Value and Free Trials When Shopping for VPS Hosting Services

As you can see, free VPS hosting plans typically come with a limited number of CPU cores and a small amount of storage. Site owners are typically restricted to free and open-source Linux distributions instead of commercial Windows Server licenses. Your free VPS environment will almost assuredly be of the unmanaged variety, meaning you’re entirely in control of configuration, security, backups, updates, patches, and other server maintenance. Without an included control panel — another expense free VPS hosting providers typically can’t afford — admins must rely on root access and their knowledge of the command line.

While no-cost or temporary service is a good testing ground for first-time VPS users or promising new projects, free VPS hosting shouldn’t be in your long-term plans. Chances are, you’ll want all those extra features mentioned above. For instance, experienced developers can still enjoy root access and fine-tuning a VPS while offloading the tedious and time-consuming maintenance projects to a company offering managed support. Similarly, beginners will especially appreciate having around-the-clock technical support on standby when something inevitably goes awry.

So, instead of falling into the free hosting trap, you should instead find a trustworthy host that emphasizes affordability. The small investment will surely pay dividends in the future and usually includes extra perks like a free domain name, automatic backups, and additional security. Check out our favorite VPS hosts and our collection of hosting deals and coupons to find the provider that meets your technical and budgetary needs.

Laura Bernheim

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